View Full Version : Clutch/Torque Converter: Clutch Slippage

09-24-2012, 12:32 AM
Not long after I bought my Power Hawk I noticed that on normal acceleration in 2nd gear the clutch seemed to slip. Then I thought about the PO telling me that he had problems with the overdrive unit and had to replace it with another. Not knowing that much about the overdrive, I thought that maybe it was part of the problem. Anyway, the clutch seemed to be getting worse so I checked my freeplay and it was a little high, I adjusted it. I was able to get it down to 1" but that was all the adjustment I had. It made no difference in the operation of the vehicle. Long story short. Yesterday I pulled the drive line, tranny, bell housing, clutch and flywheel. Here's what I found.






It looks like I should have felt some chatter, which I did not. The pressure plate is old and I think the springs are weak. I can push the levers with my hand easier that I think I should be able to. The release bearing actually felt good. I suspect that it is the only part to be changed. You can see that the levers on the pressure plate are badly worn and one of them is almost worn off. I will be taking the flywheel in to have it machined.
BTW,what is the pipe fitting for on the throw-out bearing?


Warren Webb
09-24-2012, 01:00 AM
The pipe fitting on the throwout bearing should be attached to a flex hose going to the bellhousing that would have a zerk fitting on the outside to grease the throwout bearing. I remember Ed Reynolds posting some time ago asking if anyone knew where on the bellhousing this was to be placed. You might call him at Studebaker International & see if he ever had this question answered.

09-24-2012, 12:43 PM
Typically was a Taxi feature to allow external greasing of the clutch release bearing.

09-25-2012, 03:06 AM
Man that PO sure did some half assed work. I would be concerned about what else he fixed.

09-25-2012, 10:56 AM
Aside from the clutch I have found that the PO did nice work on the car. Do I think it's perfect? No, but for the most part very good. I can't even imagine where his head was at on the clutch. He more than likely had someone else do the engine work and they did engine work and nothing with the clutch. That being said, do I think he new the clutch was bad?.....absolutely. I'm sure I will find other things that are in need of repair as time goes on but that is to be expected on a 56 year old car. (1956 + 56 = 2012) Unfortunately for me, this is a project for a guy my age in his garage crawling around on the concrete floor on his back since my ramps aren't high enough to allow room for a creeper. Pretty confined space. Bottom line is, if you look at the bigger picture a couple hundred bucks is a small slice of the pie in the restoration and my golf game would be a lot better without the sore back. :lol:

I see that Studebaker International sells 2 different throw-out bearings for 51-64 V8's. One is standard and the other is heavy duty. I have the heavy duty on it now. I am not really sure that I need it. Price is only a few bucks different. Is the standard permanently lubed bearing and the heavey duty not? The grease fitting on my existing bearing was not connected. Thoughts?



09-25-2012, 11:49 AM
those pressure plate release fingers are SMOKED. I'm surprised there wasn't a bunch of noise, but maybe the throwout bearing in there now isn't the one that machined off all the metal from the fingers. And the heat generated is probably what sacked the springs and caused the slippage.

09-25-2012, 07:59 PM
If you plumb in the grease line odds are the bell housing will wind up full. I would use the perminantly greased bearing.

09-25-2012, 11:39 PM
Yep, smoked is the word. The flywheel is smoked a bit as well. Nothing a good lathe can't make feel better though. I was flabbergasted when I saw the condition of the levers on the pressure plate. I was also thinking how fortunate I am that the worst one didn't break off while I was out and about. I think the throw-out bearing was replaced and that was the extent of the repair. There was no indication of a bad bearing.

Thanks for the advise about the bearing kid. I certainly don't want to have a bell housing full of grease. I have seen photos on this forum of throw-out bearings floating in grease. An ugly sight! :eek:


10-31-2012, 12:47 AM
Just a short update.

1st - I do not have the Studebaker back on the road yet. Dang it! :( I found that I needed another part that was worn as well.

2ND - I need to thank a couple of people for there assistance in this repair.

I want to acknowledge "Studebaker Parts.com in Phoenix, AZ. Chuck Collins and His wife Chris were extremely friendly, helpful and went out of their way to make sure I got the correct parts for my car. They also LOANED me an alignment tool. There was no charge for rental as long as I returned it. I can't say enough good about them. They have got a customer for life.

I also want to thank Tom Karkiewicz (Studebaker Parts) in South Bend, IN for supplying me with the only part available from him or anywhere else. His help is going to keep me in good shape for years to come. He supplied a used part in great shape at a good price and was delivered promptly. Also an acknowledgement for Studebaker International for referring me to Tom.

If any of you need hard to find parts, or just parts in general you may want to give these vendors a try.

If I can get caught up with my "home" work I might find time to get the Stude back in shape.


11-01-2012, 01:06 PM
I hope you catch this in time before install......pilot bearing release levers should be checked, spot welded and the brg replaced. Good time to check sleeves, rods and pins too...GL

11-01-2012, 10:14 PM
I bought all new parts for the replacement. New pressure plate, clutch disk, release bearing and pilot bushing. I have checked the release levers against the old pressure plate and there is an extreme difference in the force required to compress the springs. I did not "rebuild" the old parts. I guess I'm not really following the sleeves, rods and pins??

Thanks for the heads up.


03-17-2013, 03:20 PM
Hi all,

It's been quite a hiatus for me due to home projects and family obligations but I am finally back to working on the Power Hawk. I FINALLY went out today and started to change the release bearing shaft & levers....UH OH....problem #1. What I found was that the replacement that I purchased is longer and has different offsets than the one that was in the car. What I need to know is which one is the correct shaft for the 259w/ t86 trans and is the replacement going to work for me......Hopefully. I did notice that the shaft that was in the bell housing was a little off center and the newer one is more centered. That may have something to do with the wear on the shift levers. These pictures will show the story a little but here is what I found. The "original" shaft (being the one that was in the car)

Original: 10 1/4" = overall length ......................................... Replacement: 10 3/4" overall length
Original: End of shaft to retainer stop = 1 11/16" ....................Replacement: 1 15/16"
Original: Stop to shift lever = 3 1/4" .....................................Replacement: 3 1/2"
Original: 2nd Shift lever to end of shaft = 2 3/4"......................Replacement: 2 7/8"

I got the replacement from Tom Karkiewicz in South Bend and he was well aware of what I needed. So I'm wondering if the "original" was the wrong one. Need some advice before I put it all back together. Any help is appreciated.



Crude arrows show where the measurements we taken. :o

Original shaft...notice the offset.

Replacement is more centered


Shows the extreme wear on the original shift levers


Replacement levers are in good shape.....wrong side but in good shape..:D

03-18-2013, 05:09 PM
sometimes if you fill the bushing cap on the passenger side..it creates volumetric resistance and pushes the shaft out....you can force it in easily, but you might have trouble locating the input shaft of tranny come install time...

03-19-2013, 06:43 PM
Any other thoughts on the difference in the two shafts? I was hoping someone would have run across this before.

Keep Smilin' :)