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Clutch takes a lot to push

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  • Clutch / Torque Converter: Clutch takes a lot to push

    Still working on my 53 Stude with R/1 -- 4 speed. The clutch is too hard to push considering that my left leg is a little weak. The existing clutch is a Borg and Beck model 1402 with a full load of what looks like black colored springs. Would the stock clutch that SI sells be easier to push? I understand that the diaphragm type as used in Chevys is easier to push. I would go that way if I can be sure what I need to buy. Will the stock throw-out bearing work with a diaphragm type pressure plate? Exactly what pressure plate will work? I am not racing so a standard clutch will be OK.
    1967 Riviera, 1964 Avanti R/2-R5096, 1953 Champion-R/1,4spd, Two 1967 Studebaker Gravely tractorssigpic

  • #2
    A Stock 289 Pressure Plate has only 9 of the 12 Spring pockets filled with 2 or 3 different Color/Spring Tension Springs.
    An Avanit/Jet Thrust Pressure Plate has all 12 Springs also different tensions, never all the same.

    Yours must be an aftermarket replacement, maybe a 409 Chev. or 426 Hemi Mopar Unit that WILL fit!

    The 1402 MAY be an original Correct Cover, but rebuilt with stronger springs.

    I understand that the Diaphragm Pressure Plate requires Grinding inside the Clutch Housing for clearance and a different Throw-out Bearing.

    Maybe it's just me, but I prefer Factory Engineered and Tested Studebaker Parts, guaranteed to work correctly to "experiments".
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-12-2021, 11:16 AM.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967


    • #3
      Can make all the difference. I traded a tractor that was otherwise perfect because the clutch was so stiff it about crippled me after several days field work. You must have a competition clutch which is ridiculous in as low a powered engine as an R1. You'd be much happier with a standard clutch. With a 4spd it seems like you are shifting all the time anyway. I remember sitting at a cafe in Albuquerque watching a young lady try to drive what must have been her boyfriend's car- a Corvette- which clearly had a fairly radical cam and a racing clutch . She'd try to get it moving by letting out the clutch and would 'pop' it causing the car to hop and stall. I watched her for a long time 'til she finally gave up slammed the door and stomped off. It is amazing to me the lengths that some people will go to and the money they will spend to render a perfectly nice car undrivable. Might want to call and talk to Jim Lime or Dave T, or another supplier and explain the problem so that you get the right parts.


      • #4
        In order to have as few different pressure plate models as possible on the shelf, re-manufacturers have taken to putting the strongest springs in each different model.

        When I put a new clutch disk in my one owner 51 Champion, I kept the old pressure plate because it was easy to disengage.

        You could take a few of the springs out and try that, or maybe there are specifications for the originals that you could use.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


        • #5
          Where would I find the specs for the originals? I think I will Call Dave T.
          1967 Riviera, 1964 Avanti R/2-R5096, 1953 Champion-R/1,4spd, Two 1967 Studebaker Gravely tractorssigpic


          • #6
            Originally posted by jtjim View Post
            Where would I find the specs for the originals? I think I will Call Dave T.
            The Shop Manual has the specs for the pressure plate assemblies- how many springs, pressure, etc, in the specification section.
            Winston-Salem, NC
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