R12 clutch advice needed
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Thread: R12 clutch advice needed

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Default R12 clutch advice needed

    G'day everyone.

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    The clutch is slipping on my R12 ts 1289cc. This is the third time.

    The last time was a year ago. I don't drive the car much but do drive it hard.

    Last time I couldn't budge the flywheel bolts so just cleaned it and put in a new clutch plate. I had expected oil everywhere. But it was pretty clean.

    The R12 1390 flywheel has a larger clutch and different mounting bolt pattern.

    Any suggestions on improvement to the clutch or how i should do things better this time?

    Thanks

    Ian

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Hi,
    It sounds like you have the 160mm clutch. The bigger one you mention is 180mm. Once you have the engine or gearbox out look at the following before getting a different FW. There were 3 types used on those engines. 1) 5 bolt small center hole. 2) 7 bolt small center hole. 3) 7 bolt large center hole.

    So check for clutch dia and FW centers.

    Frans.
    Old enough to know better
    Young enough to do it anyway.

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    Just a new clutch plate or the pressure plate as well? I’m just wondering if it is a combination of a “worn” flywheel and pressure plate with “hard” driving that is causing it to slip prematurely.

    Also, always change the input shaft seal in the bellhousing to prevent oil contamination, not that that sounds like it is the issue.

    Normally the early "small" 12 clutch is good for 100-160K km.
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    COL
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    The only time I have had problems with a slipping clutch in an R12 was from an oil leak from the gearbox input shaft.

    You will need to fix the oil leak to stop the problem happening again.

    Was is gearbox oil or engine oil that has leaked out onto the clutch?

    What is the condition of the flywheel face and the pressure plate? May need to machine flywheel and a new pressure plate.

    To get those flywheel bolts undone should not be to hard, you should be able to use a double ended ring spanner of the right size and a hammer to apply a quick blow to the spanner and they will come undone. Also locking the flywheel will make it easier.
    Regards Col

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    Fellow Frogger! R8 Dream's Avatar
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    I am no expert on the R12 setup, but don't overlook the clutch fork clearances and release either.

    I am having some clutch slipping issues also on my R8. It mainly happens under sudden acceleration.

    I may have a folk the is not releasing entirely, but will have a good look in the next few nights and try an see if I can adjust.

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    Define "drive it hard". Does it continue to slip once its cooled down. Do you get a hot clutch/brake smell after one of your vigorous drives?
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    The r8 r10 1100 has a 160 mm disc
    The 1289 has a 170 mm disc
    the r12 1.4 has a 180 mm disc

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Locking the flywheel is crucial to be able to apply considerable force on those bolts. I made my own locking key from a 5mm steel plate that bolts on the starter bolts and has some teeth I cut with an angle grinder cutoff wheel that engage the ring gear. There's about 5 or 6 teeth that engage, so they lock the flywheel pretty solidly. That way you can use a Gargantuan extension on your tool (I use a 1/2 inch ratchet driver). No flywheel bolt has given me lip yet. Failing that, an impact driver should do the job albeit with some persistence.

    I vote with the others and suggest you machine the flywheel and make sure everything is peachy keen before you go hammering it. The clutch will last a long time even with hard use, unless you slip it regularly.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    Quote Originally Posted by potentz View Post
    The r8 r10 1100 has a 160 mm disc
    The 1289 has a 170 mm disc
    the r12 1.4 has a 180 mm disc
    I am running the "r12 1.4 - 180 mm disc"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    Define "drive it hard". Does it continue to slip once its cooled down. Do you get a hot clutch/brake smell after one of your vigorous drives?
    Sorry I didn't mean to hijack your thread Ian, but I provide some response that might also help you.

    Define "drive it hard"? - Say down shift from 4th to 3rd, revs go from 4000 to 5500 under acceleration

    Does it continue to slip once its cooled down? - It seems to be worse (I think) once warmed up.

    Do you get a hot clutch/brake smell after one of your vigorous drives? - no smell at all. Even taking the cover off, there is no 'dust' at all - very dry and clean.

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    Hi
    When i had a couple of 12s in the 70s I think I did two clutches back then. Not from oil problems either ! They were regarded as a bit 'fragile' and would not take a lot of punishment. Hence the increases in size I guess.
    Jaahn
    Last edited by jaahn; 21st November 2017 at 06:30 PM.

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    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    And it doesn't help that Ian spends his Friday night toying with VL commodores on the Dandenong Freeway..
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    Driving hard is full acceleration through to 6500 rpm.
    34 sec up rob roy and 1 sec slower than angelo around sandown.


    As others have said there is no law on how quickly you get to the speed limit.

    Not much smell of burning as i always back off if i feel slip.

    I have a Virage 1.4 engine in parts and if memory serves me right the bolt holes are different.

    The first clutch change was done by a mechanic in bendgo. I doubt the seals were replaced.

    Second time i cleaned the flywheel and pressure plate as it had only been one year.

    There was no evidence of engine oil on flywheel. Perhaps the gearbox seal is the culprit.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    And it doesn't help that Ian spends his Friday night toying with VL commodores on the Dandenong Freeway..
    Vl commodors pah!
    They eat my rust!

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Driving hard is full acceleration through to 6500 rpm.
    34 sec up rob roy and 1 sec slower than angelo around sandown.


    As others have said there is no law on how quickly you get to the speed limit.

    Not much smell of burning as i always back off if i feel slip.

    I have a Virage 1.4 engine in parts and if memory serves me right the bolt holes are different.

    The first clutch change was done by a mechanic in bendgo. I doubt the seals were replaced.

    Second time i cleaned the flywheel and pressure plate as it had only been one year.

    There was no evidence of engine oil on flywheel. Perhaps the gearbox seal is the culprit.
    You do realise that oil is flung off the flywheel like shit off a shovel especially at 65k RPM.

    The telltale is on the inside of the bellhousing. If it is covered uniformly all the way around with oily gunk, you can be sure there is oil coming off somewhere and being flung around the place. Can be engine, can be g'box.

    Engine oil shouldn't make it past the back of the flywheel, so you will see the inside of the bellhousing covered in oil mainly behind the gear ring (engine side). And you should see a pronounced oil mark on the inside lined up very nicely with the flywheel perimeter.

    Gearbox oil would end up on the other side, plus there will be leak marks right at the end of the little conduit the input shaft pokes out of, and inside the conduit.

    G'box oil also has a specific smell that should give it away.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd replace seals to eliminate another potential issue, as well as just because it is apart and you can! But after your experience, a Rolls-Royce job is what I'd do. Fix everything and go for the largest diameter if you can. Something ain't right.....

    I'm much too polite to comment on driving style. There's hard and hard.... Much too polite....

    Good luck with it - those who really know have already contributed!
    JohnW

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone.
    I will give it a go soon.

    I know i try hard at driving hard.
    My fear and lack of skill are my biggest hinderance.

    Oh well the R12 like bowie's like to pretend to be race cars.
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  18. #18
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    Also, replace both the pressure plate and clutch plate, preferably with decent brand parts such as OEM Valeo. Some pirate parts are just that, with poor tolerances, and it sounds like the pressure plate diaphragm may be losing its clamping pressure if it has got hot.
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    I think the last clutch was valeo.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Replacing the seals means taking the clutch cover off the g'box to get access to the back of the input shaft guide tube securing ring. That's where the 'box seal is. That means taking out the g'box oil, gasket, yadda yadda and so on. Has to be done, but if it ain't leaking I wouldn't do it.

    The main problem (with all oil seals) is that they wear the shafts they run on and make a groove, so they don't seal anymore. To reseat you need to space them in or out so they run on a different section of the shaft. With the g'box seal, this is not really possible unless you get a different thickness seal. With the main bearing seal it is a little bit easier, but again you need a different thickness seal, or you need to make some very tricky spacer to use behind the original seal. You also need to clean the burr pushed up by the old seal on either side of the groove, or it will take out the lip of the new seal when you put it on.
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    I had the outer lip machined off my 1289 fly wheel and re drilled it to fit the 180mm clutch, it helped with acceleration due to the lighter flywheel with no noticeable loss in torque.
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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    I think some of the OS parts we buy now just aren't up to it. I've heard of multiple failures, not just clutches. On my R8 (with 160mm clutch) I put a new one in back in 2003ish. It broke at one of the rivets on a finger of the pressure plate around 2013/14 in a car that really doesn't do that much mileage.

    I have to say I've had a pretty good run out of 170 and 180 clutches in my bigger engined cars though.
    KB


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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J Kent View Post
    I had the outer lip machined off my 1289 fly wheel and re drilled it to fit the 180mm clutch, it helped with acceleration due to the lighter flywheel with no noticeable loss in torque.
    I thought about that.
    Taking the two flywheels and get the smaller R12 one to be machined like the virage one.

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    I thought about that.
    Taking the two flywheels and get the smaller R12 one to be machined like the virage one.
    Ian if I was you I would inspect all of the parts very carefully to make sure they are 100%, at the very least you are going to need a new clutch plate (or get your clutch plate relined, which I have done in the past with success) and replace the seal that is leaking.

    The only clutch problems I have had is from oil leaks.

    I have towed heavy loads on trailers behind my previous R12's and also use one of them to help remove tree stumps.

    I think the trick is not to ride the clutch.
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    Regards Col

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    Hi
    Just recalling my past R12s. I am a driver who is easy on the mechanicals because i was the one who had to fix them. One of the clutches I did back then was caused by being fully loaded with family and tents etc in our good newish waggon. Best car we had owned! We got a bit stuck in a creek crossing in the forest. That is the problem with a fragile clutch. Not much margin for extreme events. We got home but the clutch had to be changed soon after.
    I always thought the clutches were undersize on Rennos, not sure why ?

    The R750G we built up had a Triumph 2000 clutch fitted to the flywheel with a solid plate. No problems driving it day to day in the city, never burnt it out at the drags, at the city lights or at the track
    Jaahn
    That Triumph clutch would have been just a standard B&D (8"?) unit fitted to a range of similar cars in those days. Seemed a good step up to us.
    Last edited by jaahn; 25th November 2017 at 08:04 AM.
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