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Old 09-24-2019, 06:02 PM   #1
GOSFAST
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Default Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

I've decided to place some "tips" up here to help many members with some valuable (I believe) info!

This first post will reference the flywheels specifically on the 8BA, it may also pertain to the earlier units, not sure as of tonight!

We came across this "issue" just today while attempting to balance a members flywheel/clutch ass'y.

My son realized that the aftermarket "dedicated" shouldered pressure-plate bolts (5/16-18) weren't going deep enough into the wheel to allow the bolt-shoulder to properly tighten against the plate. If those shoulders don't go all the way in recesses in the wheel it causes the plate to not be centered on the wheel, this means you cannot balance it correctly!

One "fix" for this issue is to run a 5/16-18 tap (by hand) all the way through the existing holes, for some reason Ford stopped all the threads short and just aren't compatible with many of the aftermarket bolt lengths out there, most have an .875" U/H length.

One more area to check is the shoulder length, it MUST go into the wheel counterbore, so we recommend checking the depth with the lock washer (if used) in place!

(Add) Inspect your ring gears very closely also, the "teeth" could actually be in bad enough condition to affect the accuracy of the balance job in the event of a ring gear change at a later time. It doesn't take much weight at 7.000" radius to be cause for a vibration. As of tonight we would recommend installing a new ring gear as insurance! After a few weeks of unforeseen issues here we are actually going to be changing a few of the ways we get to the end of these builds. (e.g., we may start installing 16 brand new valve seats on every FH build in the door, we're working on a "comfortable" price structure for the customer)

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. On a final note here, you MUST have any pressure plates and flywheels, new or rebuilt, checked for balance regardless if they're claimed to be already balanced or not! We encountered a few "issues" today with a members ass'y, I'll add this without giving the specifics, his plate came from a highly respected clutch rebuilder in the industry, in the end today, we realized it just cannot be used as it is now, balance condition aside!
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
19Fordy
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

Thanks "GOSFAST" for that valuable info.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:44 PM   #3
Emmit51
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

Appreciated. Keep ‘em coming
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:30 PM   #4
Gene1949
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

A case of buyer beware. If we are going to be in this hobby it's up to us to dot our "I"s and cross our "T"s. A lot of junk being sold to us out there

This spring I just bought a complete package (flywheel, PP and dual friction disc) from Jegs [drop shipped from Centerforce] for roughly the same price as going thru a rebuilder or the Chinese junk.

I bought Centerforce because I have their products in a 69 BB Camaro installed about 15 years ago.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

Yes, thanks. I have a question. I have an alum flywheel that has the wrong bolt pattern for the pressure clutch I want to use ( stock 91/2 Ford) How would you recomend doing this. Thanks
Ron

I have no trouble drilling it.

Last edited by Ol' Ron; 09-24-2019 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

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Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
Yes, thanks. I have a question. I have an alum flywheel that has the wrong bolt pattern for the pressure clutch I want to use ( stock 91/2 Ford) How would you recomend doing this. Thanks
Ron

I have no trouble drilling it.
Hi Ron, hope you're all well up there?

We've drilled/tapped a few of the flywheels over the years for the larger pressure plate, for me, I've found the Bridgeport in conjunction with a larger rotating table to be the best method!

It takes a bit of time locating everything and making the initial setup, but drilling and tapping the holes goes fairly quick.

Important: After drilling and tapping you have to remember to c'bore all 6 holes also, or you won't have a usable wheel??

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. One other possible method would be using an existing flywheel with the correct holes as a template, it would have to be lined up "reasonably-close" to the wheel being drilled but I believe with some perseverance you could pull it off. On a side note here's a shot of our "defective" plate, notice the nut on the one finger sort of "bent" (distorted). I believe it was caused by excessive heat when welding the nut to keep it from moving??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flathead Pressure Plate-Defective 2017.jpg (76.4 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by GOSFAST; 09-25-2019 at 07:25 AM. Reason: C
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

I've drilled and tapped quite a few flywheels in the past, with no problems. However the aluminum flywheels have a metal threaded insert, and I was wondering how you'd install them and which ones are the best to use. Never done this befor and this engine will be a hi rever.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

I found out a few things in general about 8BA flywheels when I was searching for a 10" clutch version. My 8BA had an 11” clutch and my flywheel was notusable (pressure plate hole issues). Be very sure that anyreplacement flywheel you get is for an 8BA with 10” clutch and not an earlier V8. The easiest way to tell is if thepressure-plate bolts are drilled all the way through on 8BA. If they are blind, it is an earlier style andwill not work (even though it will bolt up, I found out the hard way)! Also note that there are 2 different stylesof pressure plate. The “Long” (Ford) stylehas bolts in pairs close together. The“B&B” (Mercury) style has 6 bolts equally spaced. Apparently, the B&B pressure plates aregetting scarce. I looked into redrillinga flywheel, but it was less expensive to find the correct used one. Also, the starter rings are unique to thisflywheel. They cannot be reversed andare not available through normal parts channels. The restoration parts suppliers have them ifyou need one. The clutch disc is the same either way for both Long and B&B styles.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdtn View Post
I found out a few things in general about 8BA flywheels when I was searching for a 10" clutch version. My 8BA had an 11” clutch and my flywheel was notusable (pressure plate hole issues). Be very sure that anyreplacement flywheel you get is for an 8BA with 10” clutch and not an earlier V8. The easiest way to tell is if thepressure-plate bolts are drilled all the way through on 8BA. If they are blind, it is an earlier style andwill not work (even though it will bolt up, I found out the hard way)! Also note that there are 2 different stylesof pressure plate. The “Long” (Ford) stylehas bolts in pairs close together. The“B&B” (Mercury) style has 6 bolts equally spaced. Apparently, the B&B pressure plates aregetting scarce. I looked into redrillinga flywheel, but it was less expensive to find the correct used one. Also, the starter rings are unique to thisflywheel. They cannot be reversed andare not available through normal parts channels. The restoration parts suppliers have them ifyou need one. The clutch disc is the same either way for both Long and B&B styles.

There are OE production diaphragm plates that have the same common bolt circle as the Merc B&B. Just match the finger height and T/O bearing OD (straight or bent finger Diaphragm).
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

I placed a few more shots below related to this topic.

It's an aluminum "Ram" wheel for a members build here with a "Ram" diaphragm style pressure-plate, 10.5".

The wheel weighs about 15#, the plate about 16#.

You can notice the "pan-head" retaining screws helping to hold the ring gear in place. These are more for a precautionary measure?

(Add) On a side note here I sort of like the fact of using the diaphragm plate, they usually require less pedal pressure making it easier on the linkage!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. There are no inserts (heli-coil or otherwise) in any of the pressure-plate bolts. And the wheel has a multi-pattern for various pressure-plates!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flathead Flywheel Alum Ram-Front.jpg (75.2 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Flywheel Alum Ram-Back.jpg (69.9 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Flywheel-Clutch Assy-Ram-Alum.jpg (81.6 KB, 47 views)
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:31 PM   #11
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

do they make an aluminum diaphragm pressure plate? Yjat's what my flywheel is drilled for. I wanted to use the 91/2 ford clutch, much lighter. Light car
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

Since we are talking about aluminum flywheels, Does anyone know if there is only one model Albro for all flatheads 32-53? All the ones I have seen for sale, the seller states, fits all flatheads or they say they don't know. On stock flywheels, I know the early ones will not fit the 8ba's. On the Albro's I have not seen different models for flatheads.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Flywheel / Clutch Tips 8BA

I brought this back to add another very important "tip", we just realized it today on a customers flywheel/clutch ass'y. We actually had to rebalance it this morning!

We balanced it to "perfect" last night, took off the machine, inspected all the pieces closely and found this "bolt" issue.

Heads up here Joe, the "cover" we have here, a RAM piece/ 3/8-16 mtg bolts, measures about .150" thick, the lock washer (if you plan on using any) measures about .100" thick, and the "dedicated" pressure plate bolts we used for this setup have only a .190" long shoulder under the bolt heads. If you were to install this in your ride with these components I can all but guarantee you WILL have a vibration.

BEFORE any attempt to mount/balance the pressure plate (specifically) you MUST measure the actual shoulder lengths directly below the plate mounting bolt heads.

In this case here, the bolt "counterbores" average .190" deep (RAM alum wheel), with the cover at .150" thick, and the lock washer at .100" thick there is NO way the cover will be "centrally located" on the wheel where it's supposed to be.

There's a photo below (blown up some) to show the problem, the bolt on the left is an aftermarket piece, there's absolutely no room for the cover, the one on the right is a G.M. correct one, it has both enough room for the cover and to "center" it correctly! The one on the right has the "thin" washer already in place.

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Monday morning I'll be contacting ARP for some measurements on their bolts' shoulder lengths. If they meet our needs we will be putting some on the shelf. I also recommend NOT using any conventional lock washers, more as a precautionary measure, and going with some "thin" flat washer with "Loctite" on the bolts. I know ARP has these washer we need (I already have some here), but more will be ordered also if their bolt/washer combo is OK!
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File Type: jpg Pressure Plate Bolts-Washers.JPG (36.3 KB, 19 views)
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