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October 14th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #1
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Clutch management

I thought I would start a thread on clutch management. It is one of the biggest buzz terms in VW drag racing today. I've seen this term talked about a lot but have not really seen a lot of documentation in a single thread. I saw over on Lances project thread about some clutch managment talk. Let's talk about it on a single thread.

What is clutch management? To me, controlling the engagement of the clutch. In the fuel cars and NHRA/IHRA pro stock, those vehicles make more power than the tire can handle. In our cars, we make more power than the transmission can handle in a lot of cases. So, how do we control the clutch engagement???

To basic methods to me: Slipper type clutch designs or controlling the movement of the throwout bearing. I personally use the control of the throwout bearing movement. I use a clutch setup that really doesn't slip that much itself with a Kennedy stage 2 and Kennedy four puck. It will hit like a hammer when let out with your foot. But will be smooth as silk by controlling the throwout bearing speed. The system I use has been around for 15 years that I know of. Mine is controlled by c02 gas by connecting air cylinders to the pedals. I get an average of 150 runs or more on a type 1 3.88 with 1.40 60 ft. Works very well for me.

I've have used an Washington anti-shocker back in the early 90's. That system has seen a lot of refinements over the years and works quite well. I know some of the PRA Pro Mods now use a hydraulic system. I have not seen it but have seen a lot of talk about it in different threads on UAC.

So, if you have some info you like to share with the masses, I'd like to see and hear about it. We are making more power than ever and stress the hell out of our gearboxes. I'm sure the masses would like to hear how to get better life out of their boxes with clutch management.

One more thing, my clutch release system has no affect on RT by itself when used without a delay box or adjustable switch. I've used it on pro tree and bottom bulb full tree racing. I just think it makes good sense to allow clutch management in our racing due to extending gearbox life, especially type 1 boxes.

Carl

and, oh yea, juice it and/or boosted HARD baby.
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October 14th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #2
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Re: Clutch management

Dave & I were using it way back in 92 on my Pro Turbo car and it is the same system on my car today, it's a mixture of a great clutch that was set up by Dave as well as a shocker set up and proper gearing. I use a type 1 gear box, before the clutch system I would kill a gear box or two every race, after clutch management and gearing two years on the same ring & pinion. The car had 10x28 tires and 60ft 1.24 to 1.26 consistently!

I will not race without it!
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October 14th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: Clutch management

It is my understanding that with a hydraulic clutch setup with orofices in it you can only control the engagement rate throughout
with the jcl setup like frank has
you can engage the clutch a user desired amount and the slip the rest of the clutch in
so you get a combination of dumping the clutch and slipping the clutch
best of both worlds
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October 14th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #4
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Re: Clutch management

Interesting topic Carl
I spent considerable time and some money on a CO2 system like you guys run that was designed to soften the hit and help with tranny life. Released off a button. The really funny thing about the whole deal was that i documented it on my website, and it wasn't more than a couple weeks later that the PRA came up with a rule forbidding that or ANY kind of management system in our "Super Category" classes other than the "Anti-shocker" gizmos.

coincidence?

Yeeeaaaahhh.
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October 14th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: Clutch management

Mike same thing i have been in the process of designing a centrifical that would save trannie parts and axles and would allow better reaction times and it to is bannished because it would cost to much. lets see $7000. for a Mendy $10-15 k for a motor axles $1600 a set ect. ect. $3000 once really don't seem that much.
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October 14th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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Re: Clutch management

yep thks carl for the thread on this topic , i'm very interseting in getting information from these topics
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October 14th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #7
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Re: Clutch management

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lawless
Interesting topic Carl
I spent considerable time and some money on a CO2 system like you guys run that was designed to soften the hit and help with tranny life. Released off a button. The really funny thing about the whole deal was that i documented it on my website, and it wasn't more than a couple weeks later that the PRA came up with a rule forbidding that or ANY kind of management system in our "Super Category" classes other than the "Anti-shocker" gizmos.

coincidence?

Yeeeaaaahhh.
Yea, Mike. I remember when that went down. I have been using a clutch release for 10 years. I do run it with a delay box. So, I know for a fact how these systems can tie together. Delay boxes, love them or hate them, has given me a real insight on what affects RT with that experience. The real fear with organizations with an electronically released clutch, whether it is hydraulic or pneumatic, is being able to control with release with a timer, a la delay box or adjustable release switch. I've run my system many times with the box zeroed out, no delay. It has no affect on reaction time itself in that manner. And once you find the correct release speed for your clutch, you don't mess with it. Too slow, you'll glaze the clutch up. Too fast, you'll shock the hell out of the trans. I've done both ways many times. This could be policed real easy. No box in the car, no hidden wiring (as NHRA requires on a lot of stuff) and only single action/ non adjustable trans brake type switch. You get a simular argument with the v8 crowd with trans brakes.

Keep in mind, once you put release system into the car, you will now be considered "Electronic" by your area track, box or not. Which, most vw drag cars are "electronic" anyway due to a two step for starting line rpm control.

Carl
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October 14th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Clutch management

We been using centrifugal clutches since 96'. Being that our application is on a dragster with Lenco attached to titanium bellhousing then into a chassis/motor plate , some engineering and fabrication was required .There are many positives to discus , absolutely the best way to treat all your drive train and motor components and the best prov-en way to lay down the power and be able to adjust to track conditions , but here are some issues to think about . One is actual clutch assembly depth and diameter fitting in to VW bell housing , second is NHRA/SFI legality and sanctioning body racing in . Designing bell housing , starter and input shaft that meet specifications is the real expense , is there enough possible volume out there ?? Many clutch and bellhousing manufactures available that meet the SFI standarts , just a matter of fitting them into the Mendiola with correct input shaft length .
Note: Be prepared for required maintenance in between passes , clutch disc and surface wear if not corrected will change operation characteristics .

MT
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October 14th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: Clutch management

Quote:
Originally Posted by carl nolen

Keep in mind, once you put release system into the car, you will now be considered "Electronic" by your area track, box or not. Which, most vw drag cars are "electronic" anyway due to a two step for starting line rpm control.

Carl
That's actually not the way it is out here Carl. Although I have seen "foot brake or foot operated clutch only at tracks outside of our area, the PRA scene is unique in not allowing this stuff. The other organizations I run in, or even the non PRA VW events, a clutch release is no more "electronic" than a trans brake, which allowed in "non electronics" classes. As such, "Stick Shift" guys may run a release.

Eventually it may come down to choice. Either stick with PRA rules and run at a disadvantage at other events, switch driving techniques between the two styles, or just stick to other events.
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October 14th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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Re: Clutch management

Quote:
Originally Posted by mario tavares
We been using centrifugal clutches since 96'. Being that our application is on a dragster with Lenco attached to titanium bellhousing then into a chassis/motor plate , some engineering and fabrication was required .There are many positives to discus , absolutely the best way to treat all your drive train and motor components and the best prov-en way to lay down the power and be able to adjust to track conditions , but here are some issues to think about . One is actual clutch assembly depth and diameter fitting in to VW bell housing , second is NHRA/SFI legality and sanctioning body racing in . Designing bell housing , starter and input shaft that meet specifications is the real expense , is there enough possible volume out there ?? Many clutch and bellhousing manufactures available that meet the SFI standarts , just a matter of fitting them into the Mendiola with correct input shaft length .
Note: Be prepared for required maintenance in between passes , clutch disc and surface wear if not corrected will change operation characteristics .

MT
thank you for that information,
I allready knew it and i have been working with East/West clutches on the development so it would all fit in ther current bellhousing and would meet th SFI spec there clutches are on most Pro/Stock cars in the NHRA and they are being proven in Top Fuel as well as ADRL Pro/Mod cars they know what they are doing and we are only 3 doors down.
I honor your opinion thank you.
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