Lotus Elan

Splined shaft greasing

PostPost by: William2 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:31 pm

When the engine is mated to the gearbox should the end of the main shaft that locates in the crankshaft and the shaft splines that engage with the clutch plate be greased or oiled or assembled dry?
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PostPost by: PeterK » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:52 pm

I've always left mine dry.
I expect the dust from the clutch would get into any oil or grease and cause the clutch plate to grab or stick
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PostPost by: ricarbo » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:27 pm

I believe both should be greased, but it's important not to use a grease that will be thrown off the shaft on to the driven plate. A liitle white lithium grease on both. Not too much. I'd put some on the splines, then wipe it off, thus leaving a little in the grooves. I think the bearing in the flywheel is a bush on the Mark 1 type and a needle roller cage on the Mark 2 type, but not entirely sure. I'd treat them the same. Others with more knowledge may correct me.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:38 am

I use a small amount of motorbike chain lube on the clutch spline. It dries to a non sticky finish so it does not attract dirt. You could probably leave the spline dry if you wanted.

For the GB input shaft pilot bearing in the crank end it depends on the type as said before.

If its an oilite sintered bush then it needs oil (say SAE30) and it needs to be heated while immersed in the oil to absorb the oil into the pores. The new bushes should come preoiled.

If its a needle roller bearing the I would grease it with normal bearing grease. You want to make sure the bearing is greased but dont have excess as you dont want it squeezed out when you insert the gear box input shaft and risk getting it on the clutch.

If I ever split a gearbox from an engine I always would put in new bearings

cheers
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:53 pm

When I was working on cars for a living we used the white brake grease sachet that came with brake shoe sets.

Small amount then slide the driven plate up and down a few times, then remove any excess grease.

Also it checked you had the right plate for the spline.

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PostPost by: William2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:19 pm

Thanks for your replies. One reason I asked the question is that the car will be standing for several months whilst I complete the restoration and I wanted to take as many precaution as possible to prevent the clutch plate sticking. I had this problem on another car a few years back and had a devil of a job to free the clutch up. Regards, William
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:26 pm

Get someone to operate the clutch pedal,crawl underneath and place a block of wood to keep the operating arm in the operated position...

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PostPost by: 512BB » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:06 pm

Cleggy wrote: Get someone to operate the clutch pedal,crawl underneath and place a block of wood to keep the operating arm in the operated position...

Hmm.... I am not sure about doing that. There might be the possibility of weakening the fingers on the cover, if left depressed for an extended period.

I would think that with a new driven plate, which I assume you have fitted Will, you will be okay to leave the clutch in the drive position. It helps massively if your workshop is nice and dry, and heated.

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PostPost by: oldchieft » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:36 pm

When I was at sea for long periods the clutch would stick to the fly wheel in my Morgan.

The way to un-stick it was tow or push it on to a road, put it in first and start it in gear.

Then drive it with the the clutch pedal down till it became un-stuck.

Once I got about a mile and into third gear, but usually it took about one hundred yards.

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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:41 pm

Echoing Leslie's concern, if this procedure is used by others it may well explain the funky clutch behavior noted by another poster a few weeks back. Springs generally do not take kindly to being held in their fully compressed state, and this is a very important set of springs, particularly for more potent engines. While it will solve the sticking problem, I wouldn't trade that possibility for needing to replace the pressure plate, clutch disc, and as Rohan rightly insists, the related bearings if the pressure plate fails.

I'm not intimately familiar with the innards of the Twincam's bellhousing (yet :) ), but in most cases the actuation of the clutch does not result in applying perfectly equal pressure to all fingers (there's an unequal load involved due to the physics of the interface.) This won't amount to any bad thing under normal use because that load is randomly distributed with each application of the clutch. In this use case, if the storage load isn't randomly distributed, applying uneven long-term force to the pressure plate fingers is a good recipe IMO for jerky clutch engagement.
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