Application of pressure at the inner section of the diaphragm will cause the outer rim to move away from the flywheel and draw the pressure plate away from the clutch disc, disengaging the clutch.
The clutch disc, also called friction lining, consists of a splined hub and a round metal plate covered with friction material (lining). The splines in the center of the clutch disc mesh with the splines on the input shaft of the manual transmission. This makes the input shaft and disc turn together. However, the disc is free to slide back and forth on the shaft.
Clutch disc torsion springs, also termed damping springs, absorb some of the vibration and shock produced by clutch engagement. They are small coil springs located between the clutch disc splined hub and the friction disc assembly. When the clutch is engaged, the pressure plate jams the stationary disc against the spinning flywheel. The torsion springs compress and soften, as the disc first begins to turn with the flywheel.
Clutch disc facing springs, also called the cushioning springs, are flat metal springs located under the friction lining of the disc. These springs have a slight wave or curve, allowing the lining to flex inward slightly during initial engagement. This also allows for smooth engagement.
The clutch disc friction material, also called disc lining or facing, is made of heat-resistant asbestos, cotton fibers, and copper wires woven or molded together. Grooves are cut into the friction material to aid cooling and release of the clutch disc. Rivets are used to bond the friction material to both sides of the metal body of the disc.
The flywheel is the mounting surface for the clutch. The pressure plate bolts to the flywheel face. The clutch disc is clamped and held against the flywheel by the spring action of the pressure plate. The face of the flywheel is precision machined to a smooth surface. The face of the flywheel that touches the clutch disc is made of iron. Even if the flywheel were aluminum, the face is iron because it wears well and dissipates heat better.
The pilot bearing or bushing is pressed into the end of the crankshaft to support the end of the transmission input shaft. The pilot bearing is a solid bronze bushing, but it also may be a roller or ball bearing.
The end of the transmission input shaft has a small journal machined on its end. This journal slides inside the pilot bearing. The pilot bearing prevents the transmission shaft and clutch disc from wobbling up and down when the clutch is released. It also assists the input shaft center the disc on the flywheel.
When the operator presses the clutch pedal, the clutch release mechanism pulls or pushes on the clutch release lever or fork (fig. 4-8). The fork moves the release bearing into the center of the pressure plate, causing the pressure plate to pull away from the clutch disc releasing the disc from the flywheel. The engine crankshaft can then turn without turning the clutch disc and transmission input shaft.
When the operator releases the clutch pedal, spring pressure inside the pressure plate pushes forward on the clutch disc (fig. 4-8). This action locks the
Figure 4-8. - Clutch operation.Continue Reading