Centerforce clutch issues with Lakewood bellhousing - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 02, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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I recently installed a TREMEC 5 speed transmission in my 68 Camaro. I changed the car over from an automatic to a 5 speed. I used a 30 pound Hayes steel flywheel, a Centerforce dual friction 11" clutch and pressure plate, the GM short throwout bearing, and a Lakewood bellhousing with an adjustable pivot. No matter what I do I have too much freeplay in the clutch fork and the clutch fork hits the floorpan before it disengages the clutch. I called Centerforce and they said they had no "perfect" fix (though they have seen this problem before). Apparently the Lakewood pivot, even when cranked out all the way is still too short to allow for an acceptable freeplay adjustment. Suggestions that Centerforce had were: 1.To get an intermediate (as opposed to short) throwout bearing; 2.Use the longer (which they thought would actually be too long) GM non adjustable pivot point (1.680 as opposed to 1.380); 3. Get a machine shop to weld a longer bolt onto the adjustable Lakewood pivot so that it could be adjusted out to appropriate length. I know that others of you have converted your cars over to TREMECS but I don't know if anyone has run into this Centerforce clutch freeplay issue. Any input is appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 26th, 02, 04:32 AM
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Did you use the Lakewood fork? It will not work. I believe for an 11" clutch you need GM #14066235.

Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,Autogear M22,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips ( yet ).
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 26th, 02, 02:52 PM
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I agree with Rick. The Lakewood fork does not work.

The Red Beast
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 02, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Eureka! It works! I suspect that the geometry is not perfect but I am going to have to settle for having the throwout bearing fully release (not touching the pressure plate) when the clutch pedal is not depressed and being able to shift gears. I've got to tell you I am very disappointed in LAKEWOOD and CENTERFORCE. LAKEWOOD knows that: a.) their heavy duty clutch fork won't fit in a 1st generation Camaro but they don't say so in anything they publish; b.) Neither LAKEWOOD nor CENTERFORCE make an extra long adjustable clutch pivot even though both companies acknowledge that they know of the problems that are experienced when using a LAKEWOOD bellhousing in a 1st GEN. Camaro (and I assume any Chevy). I certainly like the safety of using a scattershield but if I had it to do all over again I would have used a stock bellhousing. I just don't like the idea of LAKEWOOD trying to pull a "fast one". In a similar vein CENTERFORCE puts a warning paper in with their very expensive clutch and pressure plate saying that if you are a Chevy owner using an aftermarket bellhousing that you have to use an adjustable pivot point and give you the proper measurements at which to set the pivot. What they DON'T tell you is that NO ONE makes an adjustable pivot point long enough to give you the proper measurement.
In any case I got the job done with a stock fork, the short GM bearing, the LAKEWOOD bellhousing, the HAYES 30 pound steel flywheel, the long GM stock ball pivot, and CENTERFORCE dual friction clutch disk and pressure plate. It only took me two weeks (I anticipated a week-end), and in that time I put in and took out the transmission a total of three times and after the job is done I am the proud owner of a total of three ball pivots (one of which I am using) and a LAKEWOOD clutch fork which will be of as much use to me as mammary glands on a duck.

P.S. The TREMEC five speed is a blast! For some reason the speedometer is not working (cable appears to be hooked up but maybe I broke it or make the speedometer cable adapter in the TREMEC is not engaging properly) but I think that this week-end I'm just going to enjoy the drive. Thanks to everyone who provided input and support.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 04, 02:24 PM
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wow that sounds exactly like my problem, everything is installed the way the instructions say, and I have all the parts they said to buy... but the clutch fork is hitting the firewall. I have pretty much the same setup, except with a 4 speed muncie. I used the centerforce throwout bearing as they recomended. Im gonna assume with what u went threw that the stock clutch fork (although I heard they crack, and I wnated a stronger one ) will work as well as a short gm bearing. Can u give me a part # for that bearing? and for sure you needed the gm pivot ball?

This is my first car build up but not my dads, and we are kinda lost right now, trying everything we can think of, a soultion would help [img]smile.gif[/img] thx
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 04, 02:55 PM
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Eureka! It works! I suspect that the geometry is not perfect but I am going to have to settle for having the throwout bearing fully release (not touching the pressure plate) when the clutch pedal is not depressed
The throw out is not supposed to touch the clutch fingers when the pedal is not depressed. There should be about one to one and a half inches of free play at the pedal. I have to agree with the others. The lakewood fork does not work very well. Use the GM fork.
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