Dragging Clutch - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 06, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Dragging Clutch

Strange one here. After driving my 67 RS, 4 speed 327, the clutch starts to exhibit a wierd condition. If sitting at a stop light, or at a turn with the transmission in 1st gear, clutch to the floor, the engine begins to slowly load and will stall. As the engine slows pulling on the shifter you feel drag on the gears. The clutch is dragging at this point. I have adjusted the clutch to provide about 1" or so freeplay and have plenty of travel. The setup works fine when the engine is first started or after the initial 15 minutes or so of driving. This only happens when the vehicle is fully warmed up and driven.

The entire drivetrain (engine, clutch, trans) are new or rebuilt. The trans input shaft is tight, with new bearings, the input bushing was replaced with a bearing. This is a conversion from powerglide, so all components including the z bar, clutch pedal, flywheel, pressure plate, clutch disc, fork are new. Clutch is a zoom street pressure plate and disc. Fork is a GM part.

As a result, we are kicking the tran into neutral at stop lights and turns. First is a bit balky to engage, but shifting to 2nd then 1st seems to help for some reason.

Looking for some ideas here.

Thanks

67 RS Convertible Camaro Restification completed August 2009. All original with updated drivetrain -Marina Blue exterior 327 with Proflo2 EFI Tremec 5 speed. Paint and Body by Lanzinis Bodyworks of Huntington Beach. Great fun!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 06, 04:01 AM
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Re: Dragging Clutch

Everything is expanding with heat, as experienced. Tighten up on the free play, lessen it to 1/4-3/8 inch vice 1 inch. I would wager it is the Zoom pressure plate is giving the problem.

With a dragging clutch, 2nd gear is easier to engage gears as output shaft is still verses engaging 1st gear. You would probably find it easier to engage 4th gear, then 1st.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 11th, 06, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dragging Clutch

OK, I'll try adjusting the clutch to reduce free-play. Since posting this issue I have changed out the pressure plate in trying to cure a vibration problem. It was a Zoom street clutch. (It was "balanced" by a local machine shop. I think they botched it) I now have a Sachs Clutch Pressure plate which cured the vibration problem and provides a much better feel.

It still has the dragging problem when hot. One more thing. I can get it to do it when I apply the brakes before stopping in first gear. When stopping slowly it is not as much a problem, but with a more aggresive stop I can drag the engine to a stall with the pedal to the floor. It seems as if my Crankshaft is moving forward and allowing the clutch to engage, although the main bearings are new and I checked for endplay when I replaced the clutch and found it to be fine. I'll take the free play down and see what happens.

Thanks for the reply! If anyone else has an idea, pls let me know.

67 RS Convertible Camaro Restification completed August 2009. All original with updated drivetrain -Marina Blue exterior 327 with Proflo2 EFI Tremec 5 speed. Paint and Body by Lanzinis Bodyworks of Huntington Beach. Great fun!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 06:32 AM
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Re: Dragging Clutch

Well, if everything is working properly, there's just no way a hot (versus cold) engine should be affecting your clutch that much.

Something has to be wrong, so I'd start checking every last little nut and bolt. Here's a short list of things that come to my mind of things to check.

1) Make sure you're using correct parts (z-bar, throwout bearing, linkage, etc.)
2) Make sure all parts are installed in correct location and orientation (consult manual)
3) Check z-bar frame mount, make sure it's tight
4) Check ball mount on block, make sure it's tight and you're using right hole
5) Check pivot ball in bellhousing, make sure it's OK. Sometimes guys use adjustable aftermarket pivot balls and it may be mis-adjusted for your needs
6) Make sure your throwout bearing is on fork correctly, many guys install it wrong!
7) Check trans input housing for wear. Throwout bearing often causes this area to be out of round after many years of use. Sometimes you can rotate the housing and that will fix.
8) Buy and install a heavy duty clutch fork
9) Check crank endplay carefully using big prybar and dial indicator
10) Get flywheel turned
11) After flywheel turned, check runout with dial indicator with flywheel mounted on engine
12) Make sure clutch disc is true. If warped, it won't release correctly. It's easy to bend. Let's say you installed pressure plate, then (before installing BH) wanted to make sure tranny would go in, so you slide tranny in and then let it hang, with all weight exerting bending forces on the disc. Now it's warped.................
13) Make sure clutch linkage not binding anywhere and maybe hitting chassis or exhaust header. Mine (clutch fork end) was slightly hitting floorpan and I had to "clearance" a little with a hammer
14) Make sure you're getting FULL RANGE of motion from the linkage
15) Make sure motor, frame and tranny mounts are correct for car and that your engine/trans is properly located
16) As stated, use smaller amount of freeplay at top
17) Check bellhousing for cracks and warping
18) Replace bronze shaft bushing in end of crank with roller-bearing version


If I think of more, I'll keep posting.......

Let us know how you make out

-

Dave F. in Rhode Island
'68 Camaro SS Accel DFI 454 (SOLD - I'm a boring Corvette owner now)
Bought my first big-block Chevy in 1970

Last edited by Chevy-SS; Nov 25th, 06 at 06:47 AM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 06, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dragging Clutch

Thanks for the advice, Dave. I'll certainly check the input housing, that one I did not consider. As for the others, all is well. I was very careful installing the trans. and am using all new components.

I am down to the clutch disc. There must be a problem there. One long shot is that it is hanging up on the input shaft. Perhaps sticking on the groove cut around the middle of the input shaft splines.

In any case, this engine will be coming out as soon as I have the original engine re-built. In the meantime, let me know if you think of anything more.

Cheers!

67 RS Convertible Camaro Restification completed August 2009. All original with updated drivetrain -Marina Blue exterior 327 with Proflo2 EFI Tremec 5 speed. Paint and Body by Lanzinis Bodyworks of Huntington Beach. Great fun!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 06, 05:18 AM
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Re: Dragging Clutch

Bill,

You're welcome.

Could be sticking clutch disc on input shaft, as you say.

But could also be something as simple as extra thick soundproofing under carpet, which prevents you from fully depressing pedal. Let's see, that's #19, heheh.......

My main guesses are clutch disc, or something preventing full travel of throwout bearing..........

-

Dave F. in Rhode Island
'68 Camaro SS Accel DFI 454 (SOLD - I'm a boring Corvette owner now)
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 06, 01:55 PM
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Re: Dragging Clutch

At hte Z-bar, check the distance traveled of both top and bottom arms. Both should be the same.

Also check the firewall on the engine side for movement. It may be weak/cracked from previous high pressure plates, aka, 2400 lb clutch. the ones requiring two legs to depress.

Check distance clutch fork moves. If not enough, pressure plate won't release enough. Clutch disc should have slid on relatively easy onto input shaft. However, the angle from the Z-bar, the throw out bearing has a tendency to twist CCW when viewed from the fork. Eventually, a groove is worn on input shaft bearing retainer the t/out brg rides on, top and bottom if condition persists.

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