Transmission drum balancing

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mike zahorik
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Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:13 pm

Over the part few weeks I have had my 1926 engine apart for an bi annual inspection. I decided to try and improve the balance of the engine. I'm using a static grinding wheel balancer. Last year we cleaned up this balancer and installed new bearings. It is very sensitive. I tried my crankshaft and found that it is pretty well balanced. The flywheel, triple gears and magnets were a different story. After a lot of work these items were balanced pretty close also. The triple gears were about 15 grams heavy to light different. The magnets were all over the place. Then with the flywheel, magnets & gears assembled with the crankshaft, my static balancer indicates the entire unit was about 7 grams out of balance. I drilled a little into the back of the flywheel and now it will spin and stop randomly or at least as close as my balancer is concerned.

Today, I thought of trying to balance the larger parts of the transmission. I bolted 2 input shafts together and checked them for balance. I put some index marks on the brake drum and placed it on these shafts. The balancer indicated that it was out by a little over 5 grams. Since the shaft and drum are not connected I rotated the drum on the shaft to verify that the test shaft was not affecting the balance. My question is where is the best spot to remove material on the drums so as not to weaken them.

Once the brake drum is as best as I can get it. I thought that I'd add the low speed drum, tape them together and do the balance again. Then finish up with the reverse drum. Maybe I'll worry about the clutch later, after I think about it some. Thanks Mike


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:42 pm

Something else. My method of determining how much the assembly is out of balance is to tape a known weight to the light side of the assembly. Seems to work. My question then is, how about adding weight to the light side. I thought of brazing, but am concerned about damage to the bronze bushings. But , what about laying in a little solder. I could then weigh out what I need and get it rather close. Mike


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:12 pm

Found some Mike Bender video's on you tube.

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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:25 am

I've added solder, and it worked very well, but the possibility of it falling off the cast iron caused me to do an experiment. I cleaned up a drum, boiling it in lye to remove all traces of oil, then poured in some fresh body solder with a piece of wire through it. I was able to remove the solder from the drum by pulling the wire, and it was too easy to suit me. My preferred method now is to drill holes and install nuts and bolts in the light places to heavy them up.
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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:49 am

I would NOT trust solder or lead added, between heat and oil and vibration spinning around there are simply too many forces trying to peel off something that doesn't want to reliably stick to cast iron. I do not like to drill any of the drums as they are marginally weak to begin with. I don't like brazing onto the drums to simply add weight because the amount of heat required for brazing onto cast iron could result in microscopic stress fractures. For low and reverse drums I have added weight by taking a ribbon of steel, wrapping it around one of the drum spokes, and carefully brazing it together in such a way that the ribbon gets hot, expands, and then contracts as it cools to shrink tightly onto the spoke so it cannot vibrate or rattle to eventually come loose. This can be done so that the cast iron does not get hot enough to maybe cause fractures. A little experimentation usually gets the size and quantity of steel and braze really close to balance. Steel (mechanic's) wire can be used also.

The brake drum needs to be balanced in unison with the output (driven) plate. They may have sufficient areas that can be drilled. However, with three options for bolting, I usually get lucky enough to find a drum and a plate that will bolt together in a specific (one of the three) place alignment to be very close to a good balance.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:49 am

I would NOT trust solder or lead added, between heat and oil and vibration spinning around there are simply too many forces trying to peel off something that doesn't want to reliably stick to cast iron. I do not like to drill any of the drums as they are marginally weak to begin with. I don't like brazing onto the drums to simply add weight because the amount of heat required for brazing onto cast iron could result in microscopic stress fractures. For low and reverse drums I have added weight by taking a ribbon of steel, wrapping it around one of the drum spokes, and carefully brazing it together in such a way that the ribbon gets hot, expands, and then contracts as it cools to shrink tightly onto the spoke so it cannot vibrate or rattle to eventually come loose. This can be done so that the cast iron does not get hot enough to maybe cause fractures. A little experimentation usually gets the size and quantity of steel and braze really close to balance. Steel (mechanic's) wire can be used also.

The brake drum needs to be balanced in unison with the output (driven) plate. They may have sufficient areas that can be drilled. However, with three options for bolting, I usually get lucky enough to find a drum and a plate that will bolt together in a specific (one of the three) place alignment to be very close to a good balance.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Allan » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:58 am

I tried the solder trick to add weight to a really nice drum that needed a bit more taken off than I liked to see. The trick to getting solder to stick to cast iron is to thoroughly tin it first. T radiators have cast iron bottom connections and they solder well. I made a nice clean surface first using a die grinder to bare the surface back to clean parent material. Steve's lye treatment will get rid of oil, but will not give a fresh surface for the bond.This cleaned area was tinned to get the solder to 'take', before extra solder was applied. The soldering worked well.
What did not work well was the result of a long, steep downhill descent with lots of braking and low gear work to restrain the car to a manageable and safe speed. When I changed the oil there were myriad small round globules of metal in the drain tin. The solder had gotten hot enough to melt and as it mixed with the oil, it formed the round pellets, much like lead forms pellets for muzzle loaders when poured from a shot tower. As far as I can tell no other damage was done, but it will be interesting to check the drums when I do have to tear it down some time.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:59 pm

Thanks for the help. I think I'll stay away from the solder. I was a little concerned about applying heat to the old drums. I think the adding nuts and bolts may be a good idea. So far I've been taping small washers onto the light side of the drums to test the balance. I'm having a little trouble. Seems when I test just the brake drum (without the drive plate) I get an out of balance of approx 5 grams. BUT, when I test the brake drum with the drive plate bolted on there doesn't seem to an out of balance. At first I thought great! But then I added 5 grams here and there and that didn't affect the balance at all. The difference is that my balance shaft for just the drum is 1" dia where as the drum and plate the effective shaft dia is 1.5". This changes the ratio of the shaft to balance wheel from 6:1 to 4:1 and probably the sensitivity also. So, I'm thinking about making a shaft that will fit the drum and plate combination. It will have to be machined in that the plate bushing is smaller than the drum bushings. Thanks again, Mike

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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by RajoRacer » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:05 pm

What R.P.M. do you intend to run this engine ?


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:26 pm

This is not a racer. I doubt if it will ever do more that 45 MPH with standard gears. So what is that about 2000 RPM? The car likes to go at between 32 and 34 MPH. It does make me wonder about what a 10 or 15 gram out of balance would do. Mike

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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:33 pm

What R.P.M. do you intend to run this engine ?

I wouldn't push it over ten thousand. :D

IMG_2731 copy.JPG
If you use little magnets for weights you don't have to mess with tape. They're cheap. These little round ones weigh 4 grams, but you can get them in different sizes.
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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:40 pm

I've got to admit that a bunch of years back, I was at a Michigan Jamboree. We spent part of a day at The Michigan Speedway. They let us on the track. I did have the car up to 52 MPH according to the GPS. It did fell like a wash machine full of walnuts. But I think that was more a wheel balance problem. Mike

Next time I'm in town, I'll look for some small magnets.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:46 pm

Here's my setup,
BrakeDrumSmall.JPG
I noticed in Steve's picture (I'm assuming that is Bender's balancer) that there is one shaft and a couple of adpaters that slip on to the shaft for each different drum? Can to tell me what diameter the shaft is? I believe I should make those pieces, it may make my work easier.

Mike


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:13 pm

I think I repaired the problem, regarding the brake drum and drive plate problem. Seems one of the balance wheels started to drag a bit. Cleaned it up and oiled it and now it works like it should. Mike


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by tman1913 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:23 pm

Mike
The balancer is Steve's but I have one much like it. To answer your question on balancing shafts I made one for each drum. I have found that finding the heavy side of the brake drum and drive plate and putting them 180 degrees out really helps in balancing them. I set up the brake/drum as a unit and then balance. Hope that helps.

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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:17 pm

I have two shafts, ⁵⁄₈" and ⁷⁄₈". Both work OK. I think I made the larger one then found the mandrel for something I wanted to measure would require a smaller one to fit. I made the shafts from an old junk axle shaft. All the mandrels and shafts were done on a borrowed lathe at the local juco machine shop.
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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:16 pm

Well..... I took a break for some lunch and while at the refrig, I grabbed a couple old regrig magnets and cut them up. They work pretty good as small balanceing weights. I tested the brake drum and drive plate. I find it amazing that my first choice of mating (probably the one I would have used in assembly) was the worst balance. Actually I found that at 180 degrees from this spot seems to be a spot were I will not have to remove any material.

I have a couple old axle shaft that can be turned to make a shaft. I'll have to buy some stock for the mandrills. Thanks for the help Mike.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by Allan » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:37 pm

Mike's balancing of the brake drum and output shaft as a unit is the way to go. They form a single unit in operation and once balanced, that is it. They do need to be indexed so that they are re-assembled in the same manner.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Transmission drum balancing

Post by mike zahorik » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:12 am

Well..... over the week end I had some time to make a shaft and a couple of donuts
IMG_0040s.JPG
Today, I found some time to first try these.
IMG_0039s.JPG
IMG_0038s.JPG
IMG_0037s.JPG
This should make balancing a lot easier. THanks for the help
Mike

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