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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Fitting a Centrifugal Clutch?


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  #1  
Old 06-17-2017, 07:16:37 AM
oldmotorette oldmotorette is offline
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Default Fitting a Centrifugal Clutch?

I've completed a cosmetic restoration on a 1960 Sears Allstate 3-hp scooter - essentially, a rebadged Yardman Motorette.It has an original Continental AU85 engine, fitted with a centrifugal clutch. Everything on the engine/drivetrain is original. During disassembly, I removed the centrifugal clutch - and I can't remember ANY problem getting it off the shaft...as of now, my problem is getting it back on. My sense is, it should slip onto the shaft/key smoothly, with no play. I can just barely get the clutch started on the shaft, and then - I can't make it slip on the shaft. It's almost as if the inside diameter of the clutch bearing shrunk by a few thousandths. I tried tapping on it with a rubber mallet. No help. I'm resisting the urge to grab my 3-lb. hammer and give it a go. The key seems well-seated; I've tried slipping the clutch onto the shaft without the key - no difference. Am I missing something obvious? My only solution (?) might be to run the engine whilst I hold some emery cloth onto the shaft, in effect "turning down" the shaft diameter just enough to get the clutch to slip over the shaft. Anybody with a more knowledgeable solution? Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:53:40 AM
Combustor Combustor is offline
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Default Re: fitting a centrifugal clutch...?

Do you have a micrometer? Only takes a small bump on the end of a shaft to mushroom it slightly and leave an invisible bulge, so measure the end carefully end compare it with the rest of the shaft. Or take a good quality sharp flat file and lay it on parallel to the shaft and slide back and forth gently. Any high spots will be cut and it will hardly mark the true part of the shaft. Dress off the high spot gently and you may be good to go. Regards,
Combustor.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:22:36 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: fitting a centrifugal clutch...?

Could also just be a real close fit. As you try to slide the clutch on, the inner race of the bearing might cock just a bit and jam onto the shaft. Pushing harder just causes it to jam harder. Try as suggested above, and polish the end of the shaft a bit. Also be sure there is no rust or other buildup on the clutch bearing inner race. Put a bit of grease on the shaft and then very carefully try to slide the clutch on, keeping it straight as possible. Pull it back off it it tries to jam and try again. If it is just a real close fit, you will probably find that it will try to jam a few times but eventually you will get it right and it will slide right on.

Dont...use a hammer.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:41:44 AM
oldmotorette oldmotorette is offline
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Default Re: fitting a centrifugal clutch...?

Combuster, beezerbill - you guys are the best. A little flat file work, a bit of grease...presto. Slid right on. Thanks for taking the time. It's much appreciated.
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