new clutch, terrible squeal - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 03-11-2012, 09:17 PM
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new clutch, terrible squeal

A few weeks back when I had the engine out for a major overhaul I replaced the clutch with a southbend 1944-6O clutch, kevlar pilot bushing, and new throwout bearing. I already had a solid Valeo flywheel on the truck, it was in good condition and measured fine so I re-used it. When I got the engine running again I could not get the clutch to disengage and after the engine had idled for a couple minutes there was a terrible squealing sound from the bellhousing area. I immediately shut the truck off and commenced to changing back to the old valeo clutch to get me back on the road.

With the old clutch back in with the new kevlar pilot bushing and throwout bearing, everything worked just fine for a couple weeks. Then while driving down the interstate an o-ring blew in the high pressure oil system, there wasn't any indication that anything was wrong it just filled the engine valley with oil which ran down the back of the block and oiled the clutch up nicely. Then the clutch started slipping pretty bad and the truck ran low on oil and shut-off (this only took about 15 miles on the interstate).

So here I am with the new southbend clutch back in after calling them about not being able to get it to disengage, they suggested it was the clutch slave cylinder and that the clutch should work with the valeo flywheel. After some bleeding and a slight adjustment modification to the slave cylinder it now disengages just fine. However I still get a terrible squealing sound that sort-of comes and goes, it happens just idling in neutral and depressing the pedal or engaging the clutch does not always affect it. Sometimes it goes away in gear under load.

Things I am ruling out are the pilot bushing and throwout bearing because they both worked just fine with the old clutch re-installed. Also I have removed the slave cylinder and pulled the throwout arm back to make sure the throwout bearing was not in contact with the clutch fingers and the squeal continued.

Any ideas? I have heard the input bearing might make that sound but it is intermittent and didn't do it at all with the old clutch installed, just the two times I've had the southbend clutch in. Also I can kind of feel the squeal through the shifter when it is squealing and I start to put it in gear.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to get all the information out there.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:55 PM
pez pez is offline
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I had an issue with a squealing South Bend Clutch in my Audi S4. South Bend Clutch gave me the run around for quite a while. My father lives near South Bend (My car and I live in Colorado) and went in to talk to them in person. They finally fessed up and told him that there was a manufacturing error on the series of clutch that I have. I forgot the guys name over there, but he and his buddy both have the same clutch as me. He said his clutch was fine but his buddy's clutch made the noise. He told me to send it in and they would "fix it" for free. The only problem was the clutch was $1400 deep into the car. (That Audi was a PITA to work on.) Of course nobody wanted to pay for it, especially the mechanic that put it in (Autosportwerks - Broomfield, CO). I'm still salty about the whole situation. I ended up selling the car with the noisy clutch. There was never any performance loss, just a horrible sound.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:40 PM
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Do you have to force the stick to get the tranny in gear? If so, sounds like the clutch isn't disengaging all the way. Does it make the sound just sitting there with the engine idling, tranny in neutral, with the clutch out? If so, i can't imagine how it's the clutch causing the problem. I'd bet throwout bearing or something in the tranny itself (think things that are spinning with the clutch engaged).
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:36 AM
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You cannot put that series of clutch on the factory flywheel or the hub of the disc will rub the bearing retainer. Give us a call on Monday and we will get you straightened out.

Peter
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for responses. Just an update for anyone that might look this up in the future. The squeal would happen after the engine had been running a few minutes idling with the transmission in neutral and also it would emit a chirp when changing from acceleration to deceleration and vice versa. Basically anytime the engine/transmission was unloaded and the clutch pedal was out (clutch engaged). The squeal went away with the pedal in.

I drove the truck that way for the last few weeks because I needed to use it and didn't have any other options (while driving under load -- not coasting -- there would be no sound so it was tolerable), the squeal gradually decreased in severity until one day I noticed it hadn't happened for the last week or so.

I fully agree with Peter, it sounded like dry metal on metal rotational contact between the clutch hub and the throwout bearing retainer. I guess the interference was not much due to the intermittent nature of the noise and it finally rubbed enough material from the hub and/or bearing retainer to eliminate the sound.

I wish the individual at South Bend would have known about that clutch series not working with the solid Valeo flywheel when I asked about that a few weeks ago because I had everything apart and was prepared to purchase a flywheel that would work if needed. At this point since the noise has stopped, the damage is already done and probably isn't significant. Also I am not inclined to take everything back apart because as Pez indicated it costs so much in labor just to get to the clutch, unless someone at South Bend knows of some impending catastrophic failure and is willing to help out with parts and/or labor.

Other than that the clutch performs very well, significantly less pedal pressure required over stock, consistant engagement, and it holds well so far with all of the truck modifications and towing up to 10k.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:05 PM
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Not to try and deny anything but the people that man our phones here at SBC definitely know that the two cannot go together. Is it possible that you may have dealt with another company that sells our product? If so please let me know who so they don't do it again. If us, do you have a name so it can be dealt with internally. If it is rubbing hard it can heat the hub in the disc up and melt the plastic components the surround the hub. It is a very close tolerance and sometimes it can rub off the end of the retainer quickly and make the clearance needed.

Peter
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:23 PM
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I purchased the replacement clutch online from a distributor. I took the risk on an incorrect assumption that this replacement clutch would work with my existing flywheel because I could not find anything that said it wouldn't and I was interested in saving money and continuing to use a perfectly good flywheel.

After the initial installation I contacted the distributor about the squeal and the disengagement problem but they didn't have any answers and directed me to South Bend. The tech I talked to at South bend (don't know his name) hit the nail right on the head with the disengagement problem being the slave cylinder, maybe it was not communicated clearly which series of clutch I had and on which application (I don't know if that makes a difference) but I did ask if that could be the issue with the disengagement problem.

I am not trying to discredit South bend, overall I am satisfied with the purchase, performance, and even the tech support of this product and I commend you for searching out this thread and responding to it. There was just one piece of information that didn't get fully sorted out in this puzzle at the most opportune time and that was when I had the transmission/transfer case out last time and had the money to purchase the correct flywheel if that was required. I might recommend making a statement to the affect that this particular clutch won't work with x,y,z applications on the South bend website.

Now that the squealing has ceased and I feel at ease that it was minor interference with the hub and bearing retainer that now has the needed clearance I am not inclined to pursue it any further unless you feel there might be some significant deterioration that needs addressed. If that is the case feel free to PM me and we can get the details sorted out.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:23 AM
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Well that being said and I appreciate your honesty and approach on this situation and says alot about you. Believe it or not, this is how I determine my warranty and you sir I will help. If you want to address this now then I will give you a new disc at no charge and get you a new flywheel for $100. If you want to wait it out to see if it is OK? fine. But should it have a problem down the road I will still stand by this offer.

Peter
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:24 AM
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Your offer speaks a lot to your commitment to the product and customers and I appreciate it. I would like to wait it out and see if is OK, I think that might save us both some time and money. If a problem should arise in the near future (I'm not going to come back with a worn out clutch and insist it be replaced under warranty) then I will accept your more-than-fair offer of a replacement disk and purchase the flywheel. Thanks for all the information and willingness to address this issue.
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