I'd be interested in which type clutch is favored by the members for tallying up a number.
Sometimes the persons with the loudest voices get the attention, but I am interested in raw numbers.
I have four cars. Three have Watts, one has Ford discs, so I guess I am in the Watts column. Lets keep it to these categories
1. Fiber discs, eg Watts
2. Lined discs, eg TH400, T400, Jack rabbit
3. Ford discs
Lets see where this goes
Count me Watts.
I haven't opened up my tranny, but am fairly sure there's a standard Ford clutch in there. It shifts nice and smooth if you raise the pedal slowly enough, but the neutral zone between gears is small, which I think may have something to do with the short travel of my emergency brake lever as a consequence of accommodating the Rocky Mountain brakes. Though my neutral isn't "clean" and it whines a little bit, at least it doesn't cause the car to creep forward.
Watts in two cars.
3. Ford Discs
Ford clutch in 2 cars. No plans for any other.
Jack Rabbit in the 09, works fine. Not had the 24 apart, but judging by the cold drag, it's stock Ford.
2. Lined discs within the stack of metal ones for all T's since the 2000. Like em, no issues.
While this period adv from 1926 Ford Dealer & Service Field looks interesting, you use these in place of the Ford small discs. Perhaps is where the trick of 'hammering a convex' side into some of the Ford small discs came from. But don't think it would be of big help.
Ford in 4 Model T's. Never had a problem and never will.
Ford in all 7 with no issues.
Ford in 3 cars I currently have and in every engine and transmission I've built for other people. Wouldn't have anything else and won't build with anything else.
Ford in both of mine.
Lang T400 in two and Ford in one. No problems with either.
I use the 400 clutch disks like those shown in the photo provided by Dan Treace. They were used from a local transmission shop. It was over 14 years ago when I bought and modified them for our 13 T touring. Who know's how old they are or how many miles are on them. The guy at the transmission shop said he would keep the good disks during a re-build in case some one just wanted a "Patch" job. One advantage for using used disks....they come already soaked in oil.
I bought the 8 used disks for $1.00 each=$8.00 set. He showed me new one's and I could not detect any difference between the used ones he saved vice new. The used are darker in color. He only kept the good used one's hanging on a nail in his shop. I showed him a model T disk and what must be done to the 400 disks. He laughed and liked the idea. Came buy later with the T running and offered him a ride.
The cost was in Steve's Kansas budget.
I always use Watts clutches in my cars and usually put them in customers' cars as well, when I'm doing an engine / trans rebuild. As for a count, about 10 or 12 so far.
Original Ford steel discs in both of ours.
Original Ford disks in the ones I own now (1911-1914-1927) and in all previous Model T's I've owned.
Count so far (number of people, not cars)
Jem, I didn't count you because I didn't know how to classify your situation.
Keep them coming.
I made the change during the engine rebuild on my 1927. Part of the reason was that my father (who is an ASE master technician) wanted me to have them in place of the original ford disc. They shift really smooth and I am happy with them so far.
One Watts, two stock. One of the stock will get a Watts on the next build. I like them for a fairly stock T but not with my Fronty.
Ford discs x 4 cars.
I put watts in one car it did not hold up changed back to ford
Current have Ford but when I rebuild the engine and if I can get them it will be Watts.
I've had 20 T's with stock clutches, once correctly adjusted, no issues ever. One T with a turbo 400 that failed, never again.
Jem, Mark and Walt, how should I count you if I had to place you in one category?
As this audience is primarily stock or mildy modified, put me in the Watts preferred category.
Four with stock Ford.
Don't figure on changing.
When l first started playing with T's and watching and listening to the forum , l was swayed to turbo 400 plates as the way to go, they are good, BUT, there are good and there are bad brands out there in the market, finding the good is not that hard, visit the reputable auto repair guy, he usually has the good ones again BUT, the do wear, they are a little harder on a 90-100 year old transmission and the do cause problems if not maintained and inspected every so often.
Original style steel plates is all that l use now - smoother transition from low to high at any rev range, less likely to cause any reduction in thickness and most likely to give you trouble free motoring.
So after many years of dicking around with turbo 400's and cotton, Kevlar bands, l'm now back to where l started with one difference.
stock discs and bonded linings - no fluffing, no shudder, no worries..
Watts in my '26 Tudor engine.
Jack Rabbit, but not by choice, that's what the car came with when I bought it last June (according to the receipts that came with the car). Seems to be working fine so far (I've put 500 miles on the car), but I've never driven or ridden in another T, so I don't have anything to compare it to.
I don't know why anyone would want anything except the original clutch pack. What's wrong with it? I have a '23 TT that has something else in it and I've had no reason to replace it. I think if I revved up the engine and dumped the clutch, I could break a driveshaft or axle. Again, why?
Ford - 1 car.
Ford in two cars.
Watts in all 3 of mine. Full disclosure: I used to be a dealer for the Watts while they were still being made. As has been stated, I'm testing a new Watts-style clutch using different material.
Latest tally by my count.
Walt Berdan - if you are planning on more horsepower, you should think less about the Watts or any other kind of non Ford clutch. They slip more easily than a Ford clutch because there is less surface area, due to fewer plates. The lined clutches just don't hold up. Check with Tom C, and see how many times he's been in the Montana 500 top ten.
Original Ford, Smooth and no problems
If you had read my comment above, I like them for a fairly stock T but not for my Fronty.
2 cars, only original clutches allowed.
3 Watts, 1 Ford, It will be changed to Watts.
2 cars both Ford disc seem to work just fine.
Watts.... and use the proper square cut clutch spring, not the round style spring.,.... don't ask how I know the difference.
All 4 cars have lined clutch, driven thousands of miles and never had a problem.
Ford in two, all I will use. KGB
Watts since 1989.
5 - all stock Ford. Tried turbos in the Racer w/RAJO - too much torque and was replaced post haste !
1919 re-dished Ford discs.
1911 Standard Ford.
Not much difference. Just make sure you have a good spring in it!
: ^ )
Ford 25 or 60% of responders
Fiber 11 or 26 "
Lined 6 or 14 "
Of those who have responded, Ford discs are favored over fiber by a 2 to 1 margin and over lined by a 4 to 1 margin.
What surprised me a bit was that lined discs don't seem hold up to extra torque, according to Steve's comment and what I infer from Walt's and Tom's post.
Thanks to all who responded.
Ford discs in all 5 Ts with an extra 2 in each pack. No troubles in tens of thousands of miles. Not very expensive either!
FYI - Ford clutch disks are flat. If they are dished throw them away.
All my Ts have stock Ford discs.
Royce - Why would clutch discs become "dished"? Heat from abuse?
Just plain wore out. The important thing to know is that they are flat when usable.
Some people are just hell on clutches.
I have found 3 stock disks cracked and the remaining scored/blued in a transmission I re-built for a friend. Before I rebuilt his engine/trans. he spent more time on the trouble truck than on the road. His 13 engine was Sick! Slipping the clutch is what caused his clutch failures....also had 2 cracked drums and was using "K" linings.
He now has wood bands that grab and 400 disks that seem to be holding up. Also now uses Synthetic 10/30 oil.
In our 13 touring, I run with a Stipe 280 cam, Gant power head, Dist. and Tilitson A Carb. Car has been on the road for over 14Yrs. with used 400 clutch disks and "K" linings. I also use the stock clutch spring. As many know, I have used Synthetic 10/30 from day one. Am I just the lucky one....?
I "dished" that set of clutch discs 30+ years ago after reading an article I read. I don't remember if it was by Murray Fahnestock or Ted Aschman. It seemed like an interesting, plausible procedure at the time. Like I said, I don't see much difference and don't think I'd do it again.
I'll see if I can find that article and post it.
: ^ )