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Clutch Damper Springs


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What is the function of damper springs in clutch friction plates?

Worn centres and spring retainers are the only problems I have had with clutch plates in the Spit.  Has happened several times over the years.

When putting the Bluebird motor into the Transporter I noticed VW made a rigid friction plate so decided to use it.
Behaved itself with no problems that I could detect over the years I had this VW and that long, slender, input shaft that the Transporter gear box uses would surely have revealed any tendency to judder.

Are they supposed to improve take of or smooth the output of the engine at low revs?

I suspect the wear I have experienced is due to working whilst clutch is fully engaged as I have never abused clutches with harsh standing starts and have never worn out the facings of any of these plates.

Any ideas?

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"I would imagine that would also act as a spring (Torsion bar)."

That it would Piman.
But if the clutch gripped during engagement whilst moving off from a stand-still I picture the long shaft may twist until the load exceeded the grip, the shaft would then unload until the plate gripped again and so on, giving a juddery take off.  This is why I mentioned the shaft as I thought it would amplify any tendency to judder.  There were no problems.
The damper springs in the clutch plate, I feel, could do a similar thing.

May just be my screwy way of interpreting things.

Would be interested to know if anyone has used a rigid plate in a Spitfire.

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Hello JU,

you would have to be very clumsy with the clutch to get that effect I would think?
I just looked at Demon Tweeks' clutches and they do ridgid centre plates but state for dual mass flywheels (Inbuilt damper) so I suspect that they would not be a good idea in a Spitfire?


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Thank you Alec.
The condition which is most likely to cause the judder is with gradual engagement of the clutch when starting up hill.
The technique to get old V8 Fords to move of in this situation was to increase the revs,  keep the clutch slipping till the car was moving, back of the power, fully engage the clutch and apply power.  This avoided that grip/slip situation.

If the damper springs are to even out the drive with the clutch fully engaged, which is probably the case, then, as you pointed out in your first post, the long input shaft in the VW would have been handling this job.

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peterhlewis wrote:
the damper springs damp out unsympatheic engine vibrations to  keep the drive line quiet


i would agree, inboard marine engines use something very similar to a center plate(only bolted straight onto the flywheel).  tried a solid plate when i changed from petrol to diesel.... v nearly shook the boat to its!!!


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