Clutch Replacements/ Repairs
Every Vehicle with a manual transmission requires a clutch to be able to provide drive from the engine through to the transmission and also to be able to change gears whilst driving. Majority of clutches in today’s vehicles have almost no serviceability except for the Hydraulic Components of the system. Previously before the introduction of the Hydraulic Clutch Components, the Clutch was operated through the use of a Cable which overtime would stretch and require adjustment as needed.
There are many different types of clutches, differing in size, material, and also overall design, such as organic, ceramic, button and also multiple plate designs. Variations of Clutch System Designs on today’s market, such as cable clutch, Hydraulic and even fully electronic. Therefore it is important that the correct equipment is always used when performing a repair or replacement. At Fleet Tec Automotive, We can perform Clutch Replacements on All Vehicles, With Specialist Tools and the knowledge to suit we can Repair your Clutch System on Small Vehicles all the way through to Light Truck!
Replacing or Repairing your Clutch System is not something that should be occurring regularly, especially if the correct Equipment, Parts and Tools are used whenever performing repairs to the Clutch System. Majority of Clutch Repairs will take a minimum of one full day to complete; this is because to replace the clutch you must first remove the Gearbox from the Vehicle to access the Clutch Assembly. Another important thing is to always ensure that whenever replacing a clutch assembly to machine the flywheel to provide a new and clean even surface, removing the old wear and “hot spots” developed over the previous running time. This is done to help ensure the maximum life span out of your new Clutch Assembly.
The majority of clutches are reliant on friction as the means when engaged to transfer force from the driver (engine) to the driven (gearbox) allowing variables in speed and power as in towing.
Different Clutch Materials
There are many types of materials used these days but in the past all clutch material was an asbestos based compound which has now been banned and technology has led to organic resins interfaced with either aluminium or copper particles to increase both grip and the longevity of the clutch. Where extreme or heavy applications exist ceramic material is preferred as it has the ability to withstand excessive pressure and temperature.
In the case of “wet clutches” as in automatic gearboxes, motor cycles and some heavy duty trucks where there are multiple clutch discs called clutch packs that are immersed in oil, a composite paper material is used and because of the oil immersion they are incredibly durable and strong.
Single and multiple clutch plates
As outlined above multiple clutch plates are common today, this where the driver plates that have a friction material bonded to them are separated individually with a clean metal plate being the driven plate. This style of unit is used in formula 1, Indy car, rally cars, top fuel and funny cars where there is extreme stress and power. Also motor cycles, automatic transmissions and can be found in heavy machinery such as diesel locomotives and army tanks i.e.: AFV’s (t-54). The thing to note here is the application of multiple clutch plates as they are used for immediate engagement and there can be no slippage allowed or they will be destroyed quickly, compared with the normal motor vehicle single plate unit that is much larger and thick by comparison, this unit allows the average driver to apply varying pressure to get away smoothly.
Different types of Clutches
Cone clutch is as implied a cone of friction plate that drives a solid plate and depending on the position of the driven plate up or down the cone varies the speed of the end product. These applications are found in mowers and small machinery
Centrifugal clutch is used again in small machinery, chain saws, mopeds and the like. The principle is to have the bonded composite plates like shoes pinned on one end and held by springs and when the engines revs increase the “shoes” throw outwards and contact to the driven end in the form of a drum giving a positive drive only at engine speed.
Belt clutch more commonly found on agricultural equipment where a number of belts are very loose and by lever motion an idler pulley brings tension to the belts and causes the friction required to drive effectively.
Hydraulic clutch is where the driver and driven parts don’t touch and the action is hydrodynamic.
Electromagnetic clutch is as implied, an electromagnet is used to engage the plates to drive