Burnt out clutch?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Mattyjwr, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We've been watching people getting stuck in sand at the carpark we're parked in. Some ignore our suggestions not to go down certain routes and then get stuck.

    Our cut down bread crates have worked well but we've observed the following:

    One motorhome had the engine revving and in gear but the wheels did not seem to move at. When it eventually shifted, there was a load of smoke coming from the middle of the bottom of their engine bay. It smelt like burning rubber. Was that clutch fluid burning off? If so, how much damage is likely to have occurred? Long term damage or resolved with fluid top up?

    Another vehicle, an automatic for sure, was in a similar situation but, at one point, just had one wheel spinning, even when engaged in second or third gear. Would there have been any way to get the other drive wheel to move?
     
  2. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Only with traction control . With a standard differential the wheel with least resistance will spin.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Funster Life Member

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    And not for too long before the diff goes bang.:(
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    the smoke is from the clutch plate slipping, not the fluid.. .. the damage done depends on how long it was slipping for..
     
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  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Well if it was in gear and the engine revving and the wheels not turning suggest something not quite right (assuming the clutch was engaged) smoke could have been fron slipping the clutch but I would not expect it to slip in first or second.

    One wheel spinning is not uncommon and is certainly not just associated with automatics, it is to do with the differential that allows the vehicle to go around corners where the inside wheels need to go slower than the outside ones, in sand or mud the wheel that has the least grip just spins and wastes all the power, the answer to this is a limited slip differential or on rear wheel drive vehicles a fully locking differential. A more common system is an electronic braking system that senses when a wheel is spinning faster than the other on the same axle and then it applies the brakes to the wheel that is spinning out and then it sends power to the wheel that had more grip (edit, that would be the aforementioned "traction control")

    If you don't have any of these fancy systems a simple cheat is to just touch the brakes a little bit when one wheel is spinning and this should slow it down and give the other wheel a chance to get some grip.

    Martin
     
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  6. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Probably slipping for no more than 30 seconds.
     
  7. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    If it slipped long enough to produce visible smoke its life has been shortened dramatically. Even if it survived its function will be impaired in that it may judder on take up. The plates are made of fibre and nowadays brass 'wool' and some fairy dust but they are still bonded with a resin. They have a measure of resilience .......................... until they're carbonised.
     
  8. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for this tip re touching the brakes. Our vehicle is too old for traction control (I think) and doesn't have limited slip differential (yes, it was me that got stuck in that situation :love:)
     
  9. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    The owner of the vehicle has retreated and was very sheepish when he got stuck. If he emerges tomorrow, I'll pass on the info. Does this normality require a new clutch or plates? It looks like a 20 year old van, maybe older.
     
  10. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    ive smoked a ferw clutches whilst its not good for them ive never had on fail because of it
     
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