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View Full Version : Clutch/Torque Converter: Frustration abounds with '66 6 cyl clutch replacement



edpjr
07-03-2014, 08:03 AM
Gents,
How difficult can it be to replace the clutch, press plate and throw-out bearing on a 1966 Commander 194 CID 6 cyl? The auto repair shop working on it has had the trans out twice. But first time the gears wouldn't change without grinding. Next time there was no clutch adjustment left and the clutch had to be released virtually all the way before the car would even move. The shop ordered a different throw-out bearing from SI, but that didn't help at all. They have my '65-66 Repair Manual too. Any ideas?
Thanks,
edp

rkapteyn
07-03-2014, 08:20 AM
Find a shop that knows what they are doing.
If your gears grind there are many reasons.
The clutch does not release or the transmission input shaft is somehow frozen into the pilot bearing.
I am not familiar with the 1966 Chevy bakers but I believe they still used the Borg Warner T86
transmissions and the traditional Studebaker clutch shaft on which the fingers slip on the shaft.
Robert Kapteyn

JoeHall
07-03-2014, 09:55 AM
The obvious answer is to find another shop, that has a clue. Problem is, those shops are becoming increasingly hard to find. When unable to fix my own, will have to sell or park them. I cannot think of anyone nearby who would be competent to work on 1950s-60s vehicles of any kind, let alone an "orphan".

Warren Webb
07-03-2014, 10:55 AM
Find a shop that knows what they are doing.I am not familiar with the 1966 Chevy bakers but I believe they still used the Borg Warner T86
transmissions and the traditional Studebaker clutch shaft on which the fingers slip on the shaft.
Robert Kapteyn

The 65 & 66's used the typical clutch arrangement (Chevy) along with the bell housing so the problem of the "fingers" slipping common to Studebakers isn't found on these.

StudeRich
07-03-2014, 04:43 PM
If they cannot SEE where the lost motion is in the Clutch Linkage causing no release then it is possible that they really do not know what they are doing.

I believe the '65-'66 still uses the '61 to '64 Stude. Engine Clutch linkage from the Pedal to the frame near the steering gear and that Pivot Pin, Nylon Bushings, Linkage Rod, and Lever etc. setup needs to be checked for slop.

edpjr
07-04-2014, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the responses Gents. I had to have the clutch replaced about three years ago too. That shop is gone now - the owner retired. But they struggled mightily with getting it right too, and had to remove the trans twice.

The place working on it now has been in biz for 50 years and is highly reputable. They even have a mechanic in his 80's who actually worked at the Studebaker dealership in Hickory, NC during the early 60's. Now-a-days all he does in brakes and front end alignment. But he says the clutch setup in my '66 is different than any he ever worked on from '60-'63.

Jon Myer helped explain '66 linkage problems to me and how the bellcrank can come loose, spin and needs to be fixed/re-welded. That situation has been addressed. Even though the engines are GM, Stude apparently used a BW trans and different linkage set-up. It seems like something is causing the clutch not to fully disengage. Maybe that's why the other one only lasted 3 years before it started slipping like crazy. And the press plate springs were always so weak you could push the clutch in with a couple fingers. Plus, it never had any bite until the clutch pedal was virtually ALL the way out.

Sleepless in Denver, NC....

JoeHall
07-04-2014, 10:33 AM
Why not just remove the tranny and leave it out, till 100 percent sure they have fixed the clutch problem? (Much easier to troubleshoot.) Re-install the bellhousing, all clutch components beneath, reconnect the linkage, then observe the linkage travel, end to end. If the input shaft must be in place to do this, use a nylon, alignment jackshaft; slip the "nipple" over it, if needed for the t/o bearing to ride on. If the clutch shaft anchor, that normally bolts to the side of the tranny is needed, again fabricate a simulator.

It may be something as simple as the last mental giants who worked on it installed something incorrectly, i.e. the clutch disc upside down, or used a substitute component that threw the geometry off.

I just cannot understand why this is so complicated, for a supposedly competent shop. Hopefully they are not charging you labor for the multiple times the tranny has been in & out, or the time spent standing around scratching their heads.

Shesh, you said you're frustrated. Its frustrating for me just reading about it. :mad:

Kurt
07-04-2014, 01:55 PM
I had one of those for years. The clutch linkage is more Chevy like than stude like. My guess and it'd just a guess is that something is wrong at the pivot point where the release lever goes through the bell housing. It is pretty easy to mess that up.

RadioRoy
07-07-2014, 06:36 PM
It's quite possible that a previous owner/mechanic mixed up the parts or put in some non-Studebaker parts, or parts from a different year of car.

How often do we see posts like "this XYZ doesn't work, so can I put in one from a Desoto?"

Lots of folks jump to erroneous conclusions, and stick to those conclusions, rather than actually figuring it out. Lots of times when they do that, the result is a b*st*rdized car that looks OK to someone not intimately familiar with how it is supposed to look.

bezhawk
07-07-2014, 07:05 PM
Have them check the clutch fork, and the ball pivot inside the bell housing. I have seen them worn clear through.

GEEMAC
07-08-2014, 12:17 PM
Joe Hall, seams like Nostalgic has been down for a year or two they are open Monday thru Thursday 10 to 4:30, service dept. 248-349-4884 Dan Booth, this is the only way I can get in touch with them. Mac

edpjr
07-10-2014, 08:43 PM
Thanks very much for all the help and suggestions. I'll have them all checked out until this thing is running properly again. Keep the ideas coming, please!

edpjr
06-15-2015, 10:44 PM
Almost a year later... It's fixed and running! The car required a new flywheel, clutch, press plate and release bearing. The shop got all the parts from SI. Once the right combination was installed, the clutch operated fine and with bite. But, it wasn't cheap. And, brakes needed work too.

Dan Timberlake
06-15-2015, 11:14 PM
Thanks for posting the update.

studebakerkid
06-16-2015, 04:45 AM
Too bad I did not see this earlier as I could have saved you a lot of grief. The 194 clutches are a PITA to get from a local auto parts house as the pressure plate was used for AMC and you have to be real careful picking the clutch disk you use and the center cone on many is too thick and the pressure plate fingers will actually bottom out against the center cone of the clutch disk. Yes I went though this one time. I had to have my disk machined in a lathe to get rid of the extra cone material. The OE type disk is hard to find since 216, 235 and 250s can use a clutch with a longer cone.

Dwain G.
06-16-2015, 03:45 PM
Is the new flywheel flat as opposed to the original recessed face? I was told that's the only way to fix one of these now-a-days.

edpjr
06-16-2015, 10:09 PM
You are right.


Too bad I did not see this earlier as I could have saved you a lot of grief. The 194 clutches are a PITA to get from a local auto parts house as the pressure plate was used for AMC and you have to be real careful picking the clutch disk you use and the center cone on many is too thick and the pressure plate fingers will actually bottom out against the center cone of the clutch disk. Yes I went though this one time. I had to have my disk machined in a lathe to get rid of the extra cone material. The OE type disk is hard to find since 216, 235 and 250s can use a clutch with a longer cone.

- - - Updated - - -

Yes. Flat. The recessed one was part of the problem.


Is the new flywheel flat as opposed to the original recessed face? I was told that's the only way to fix one of these now-a-days.

gordr
06-17-2015, 11:48 AM
So what you had was mis-matched parts, like Radio Roy had suggested. Somebody thought, "hey, Chevy engine, so a Chevy clutch will fit". Except it didn't, quite. I've had moments like that myself, but usually I recognize that something is wrong, and get it sorted out.

kxet
06-17-2015, 09:32 PM
Arms that t.o. bearing touch should be flat when clutch is bolted up to flywheel, straight across, parallel to flywheel, if not you can loosen bolts evenly and see if they flatten out. This happens when you mix parts. Shims or washers between clutch and fly wheel will work to get it usable. Don,t run it with bolts loose.

studebakerkid
06-24-2015, 03:46 AM
You sh.ould have been able to find a machine shop that could step machine that flywheel. The flywheel in my 65 was flat but I had it stepped so that the pressure plate adds a bit more pressure. .020 seems to make a huge difference in clutch life.