Lotus Elan

Clutch plate spline lubrication

PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sat May 16, 2009 12:40 am

Hi All,
Would appreciate some recommendations for lubricating clutchplate/gearbox input shaft splines during installation.
Thanks,
Colin.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat May 16, 2009 4:39 am

fatboyoz wrote:Would appreciate some recommendations for lubricating clutchplate/gearbox input shaft splines during installation.

The spline should not be lubricated. Anything you put on it will end up on the friction plate as soon as it starts rotating.
Russ Newton
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sat May 16, 2009 7:36 am

I would agree with Russ. Anything you put there isn't going to last long and shouldn't be necessary in the first place.
I had clutch problems a few years ago. Clutch not always disengaging, and when it did, being of the light switch variety. i.e. either on or off.
Everything was adjusted correctly and I surmised that the problem was the clutch plate sticking on the splines and staying in contact with the flywheel.
With the pedal depressed I couldn't get the gear lever out of gear because the gears were loaded up because the clutch was dragging.
With a lot of perseverance I managed to get a long thin tube up through the clutch release lever hole in the bell housing and gave it a dose of CRC/WD40, about where I figured the spline was.
Clutch action was absolutely transformed.
Just like a "normal" car. Couldn't believe it. I'd gotten used to leaving the traffic lights in second gear 'cos it was so much easier.
Yep, you've guessed it. Lasted about a year. Did the old CRC trick a couple more times before giving up. The thought of pulling the engine/box for the umpteenth time just doesn't appeal any more, and as there is no obvious solution once I do I have learned to live with it.
Suspect, by now, there are quite a few cars out there where owners are fruitlessly messing about and changing bits to no avail.

Ralph.
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sun May 17, 2009 3:53 am

Does anyone use moly-d paste or something else, apart from nothing that is?
Colin.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun May 17, 2009 7:22 am

Colin,
I agree with Russ and Ralph.

Apart from lubricants getting on the clutch plate, any greasy material on the splines is likely to hold dust from the clutch (as it wears) and this will stop the clutch from moving freely on the splines, possibly what Russ was experiencing.

Lubricants are cheap and easy to apply; if it was a good idea, manufacturers would recommend it but they don't.
Mike
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PostPost by: prloz » Sun May 17, 2009 10:55 am

Hi Colin,
The Ford workshop manual states - in relation to the clutch plate - apply a light smear of molygrease to the main drive spline.
Regards,
Peter.
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun May 17, 2009 4:06 pm

Hey Colin,

I've always put a small amount of grease on the splines. The keyword here is small. Such a small amount that if any of it did happen to fly off and land on the clutch lining, it would quickly be burned off.

My daughter just returned from her semester abroad at Bond University. She's already missing Australia and making plans to return some day (on her nickel). She didn't pass up the opportunity to spend 2 weeks with her sister in New Zealand on the way back. Neither one of them can stop talking about it.
Frank Howard
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun May 17, 2009 4:45 pm

Frank,
I certainly agree with the importance of the small amout but I remain sceptical that a small smear of grease will have anything other than a very short term effect. I suppose it may help prevent rust on areas where the surfaces are not actually mating and wearing off any corrosion.

Mike
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun May 17, 2009 5:10 pm

Mike,

Thanks for your imput. The way I understand it is that relative to the spline shaft, the clutch disc moves very little over it's life. If you start out with a clutch disc that has 3/16" of material on each side and you use it until it completely wears out (not recommended), the clutch disc will have traveled forward no more that 3/16" on the spline. Putting a small amount of grease only where the clutch plate splines contact the spline shaft will ensure that the disc is able to move toward the flywheel as it wears and if the grease is limited to that area, it will be contained for the most part by the splines on the clutch disc because it will be covered by them.

Until I read Peter's post, I was unaware that Ford actually recommends lubricating this area. All I can say is I've always done it this way and I've never had a clutch plate get bound up on a spline shaft.
Frank Howard
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PostPost by: dusty » Sun May 17, 2009 6:50 pm

I've always used a smear of Copperslip.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun May 17, 2009 9:34 pm

Frank,
your argument sounds good, I may well try it next time.
Mike
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PostPost by: alaric » Sun May 17, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi. I used a light smear of copper grease to prevent the clutch corroding up and keep the clutch plate moving; I'm with Frank. Sean.
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sun May 17, 2009 11:29 pm

Thanks everyone. I put the gearbox and engine together using a little copper-eze, secured them into the chassis and put the body back on. Feeling quite pleased with myself until, whilst leak checking the hydraulics, I notice gear oil dripping from the bellhousing. Had a really bad feeling about this, so looked through all the reference books I have and came up with nothing other than the front seal leaking. Still, the gearbox sat for years full of oil and no leaks. Then came across an item about pulling the g/b with the engine in situ. The guy made the point of not forgetting to put thread sealant on the lower left bellhousing bolt as it penetrates the g/b innards. Bummer. I had snugged all of these bolts with a torque wrench just prior to fitting and obviously broke the sealant. So, body back off, engine/gearbox back out (all very easy when using a friend's 2 post hoist). Rectified the leak, but also read somewhere (obviously have too much time on my hands), that anti-sieze compounds may not be the best thing to put on splines. Hence the question about other people's practices.
Pete, thanks for quoting the Ford manual. Couldn't ask for a better answer than that. Have decided to use a smear of the Loctite 65% Moly paste, and then put it all back together again.
Frank, small world. We live not more than 10 min's from Bond Uni'. Not quite sure why your daughter would visit NZ rather than spend more time in Oz though. I guess she felt a bit "sheepish" about not visiting her sister. :twisted:
Thanks again,
Colin.
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