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  #1  
Old 06-25-2008, 11:09 AM
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Broken clutch story

I got lucky on Monday. I was shifting "Stella" from 4th to 3rd on a freeway offramp and all of a sudden it wouldn't go in to 3rd. The pedal felt weak like I lost hydraulic pressure. I left it in neutral and coasted to the side. I couldn't get it to go in to any gears (with the engine running) so I shut it off, put it in 1st, pushed in the clutch and fired it up...That's when I heard the "bad noises."

It was a crunching, grinding metal sound so I immediately shut it down.

Fastforward to last night...I pulled the tranny and clutch and found the culprit...two missing clutch springs. Well, they werent' missing, just not where they were supposed to be.

They came out of the clutch plates (somehow) and did battle with the crank bolts on the flywheel when I started it up in 1st. I didn't hear any noises as I tried to shift down, only when I started it. There is minimal damage to the bolts and nothing got to the flywheel surface so I'm feeling pretty lucky.

My questions are:
1. What could cause the springs to fail like that.
2. Do you think the soft pedal feel (prior to the noises) is a cause or an effect of the failed springs.

I'll try to get some pictures up but my new job is a little tight about internet use.

Here comes an order, Phil!
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2008, 11:11 AM
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Effect.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2008, 11:44 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Those springs simply wear out after a quarter of a million miles or so depending on the driving conditions the car has endured.

Not to worry, but you may want to pull the flywheel and get it resurfaced along with new pp, disc, to bearing and pilot bearing.

If you are on a very tight budget and the flywheel is not too worn you may be able to get by for a while just by replacing the disc.

The recommended proceedure is to replace the parts and plane the fw.

Tom W
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for the tips TW. All the parts you mentioned are in my shopping cart now.

I hadn't planned to pull the flywheel. How much wear is too much for a re-surface and how can I tell if there's enough left. Also, if I end up needing a new FW, are there going to be any balancing issues?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:17 PM
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Talk to someone at the machine shop, do NOT take it to a chain parts store unless you know they do exelent work... They can measure it, and dig through a book for factory specs (anyone have that information?, it'd save them some hassle...) The main thing is check for ANY cracking, you dont want any cracking at all... If there's heat stress cracking, buy a new one.

For a new flywheel, you wont have any balance issues if it's a good one. Check for drill holes on the edge to see if it was balanced...


~Nate
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2008, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
Talk to someone at the machine shop, do NOT take it to a chain parts store unless you know they do exelent work... They can measure it, and dig through a book for factory specs (anyone have that information?, it'd save them some hassle...) The main thing is check for ANY cracking, you dont want any cracking at all... If there's heat stress cracking, buy a new one.

For a new flywheel, you wont have any balance issues if it's a good one. Check for drill holes on the edge to see if it was balanced...


~Nate

you should always match balance. If your old one is a known zero balance you will be ok with a new one if it is assured zero balance. Mine was out by 18 grams on the outside edge so I drilled my new one to match. 18 grams was 2 3/8 holes 1/4 deep BTW, so it is more than it sounds
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:53 PM
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you should always match balance. If your old one is a known zero balance you will be ok with a new one if it is assured zero balance. Mine was out by 18 grams on the outside edge so I drilled my new one to match. 18 grams was 2 3/8 holes 1/4 deep BTW, so it is more than it sounds

Thanks to everyone!
Where do you recommend buying a new one and also, who/how do you check for balance?
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Where do you recommend buying a new one
Sounds like you have deep pockets. I wouldn't expect the flywheel to be under $400 if you can find one. Is this a manual conversion? or is it a euro?
I think these guys have you scared about cracking and what not. I took my flywheel in to have it planed (same machinist as TW) and he looked at it and said "What for"? From that I gather if it doesn't have any obvious gouges and it wasn't slipping before (causing glazing) I wouldn't worry about it. I think common sense will prevail here.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2008, 06:33 PM
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Pockets are not so deep, no. I just talked to Phil and he said a new one is $600. Mine has some discoloration so I'm tempted to replace it. This was a conversion with an early style 4-speed.

From reading numerous posts on the subject, this is my plan
1. Take my existing FW to a shop and have them see if it is neutral balanced and whether it can be resurfaced.

Option1: resurface existing FW and put it back in
Option2: Find a used FW and have it tested for neutral balance

So, if my existing FW is neutral balanced and can't be resurfaced, I need to find another neutral balanced FW, or find one and make it neutral.

If my existing FW is not neutral balanced, I need to find another FW (neutral or not) and have it balanced to the existing FW.

Am I on the right track here or am I making it more difficult than it needs to be.

As usual, thanks for all the replies!
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:15 PM
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I wouldn't remove the FW unless its obviously damaged, just install all the new parts Tom mentioned. Be sure to mark the drive shaft just in case it gets separated.
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2008, 08:48 PM
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if you have a dial gauge, you can check the run out on it if the clutch felt like brakes do when they warp when you let out on it, just go to a machinist and get it turned. I just use a flap wheel disc on my grinder and smooth it out Check the points on the flywheel were the white lines are drawn those are the heat check points if there are cracks in those points, replace the flywheel.
I cant decide if its easier for remove the tranny or pull the engine to change a clutch...
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2008, 11:18 PM
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You're thinking right, if the FW is not damaged, and is straight, you can just clean it up with a die grinder and a 3M Roloc wheel (abrasive coated fiber), If there's any deep grooves you'll need to have it surfaced. Cracks can be misleading, they're usually caused by heat (such as someone riding the clutch at a stoplight) and sometimes are just superficial and mill right out when you have it turned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
Pockets are not so deep, no. I just talked to Phil and he said a new one is $600. Mine has some discoloration so I'm tempted to replace it. This was a conversion with an early style 4-speed.

From reading numerous posts on the subject, this is my plan
1. Take my existing FW to a shop and have them see if it is neutral balanced and whether it can be resurfaced.

Option1: resurface existing FW and put it back in
Option2: Find a used FW and have it tested for neutral balance

So, if my existing FW is neutral balanced and can't be resurfaced, I need to find another neutral balanced FW, or find one and make it neutral.

If my existing FW is not neutral balanced, I need to find another FW (neutral or not) and have it balanced to the existing FW.

Am I on the right track here or am I making it more difficult than it needs to be.

As usual, thanks for all the replies!
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2008, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervan View Post
if you have a dial gauge, you can check the run out on it if the clutch felt like brakes do when they warp when you let out on it, just go to a machinist and get it turned. I just use a flap wheel disc on my grinder and smooth it out Check the points on the flywheel were the white lines are drawn those are the heat check points if there are cracks in those points, replace the flywheel.
I cant decide if its easier for remove the tranny or pull the engine to change a clutch...
With all the fragile lines on the engine I know I would much rather pull the tranny!

I'd be shocked if the fw is damaged. If its worn a lot though it may need planed. You just have to look at it. If you remove it you should mark where it came off. If you plane it you also need to shim it or your pressure point will be very close to the floor, like my 280e and my 240/300d. I don't know where or how to get the shims. 300sdog knows about the shims I think.

Tom Walgamuth
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