Has anyone ever been able to save an oiled clutch?

Just got my race car back on track and wouldnt you know, I must have messed up when I installed the rear main seal. After a few min on the track, my brand new clutch started slipping. I'm pretty sure I will have to replace the friction material, but has anyone ever been able to clean out all the oil and save it after this type of incident?
 
Well, I've heard stories. (Sorry Pete!)

One year at Sebring (late 50s) a corvette clutch started slipping and the diagnosis was oil. The driver drove a few laps purposely slipping the clutch (HUGE clouds of smoke) and was able to finish the race with a functional clutch. So, yes its been done. Somehow destroying something to get it to function never seemed like a good idea. As Pete implies - fix it proper.
 
CRC brakeleen or similar product, if you have the plate out of the car, might take a few attempts & helps if you have a heat lamp or source to aid evaporation, not enviro friendly stuff though so avoid breathing. Big warning on the net some time ago about welding after using it as a parts degreaser prior to welding. TAKE CARE.
 

Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Supporter
Back when I was a young bloke we used to have this problem with brake shoes and clutches getting contaminated with oil / brake fluid and all we did was to soak them in petrol for a few minutes and then burn them.
sometimes it had to be repeated a couple of times but it always worked and burnt the oil out of them.

Dimi
 
Back when I was a young bloke we used to have this problem with brake shoes and clutches getting contaminated with oil / brake fluid and all we did was to soak them in petrol for a few minutes and then burn them.
sometimes it had to be repeated a couple of times but it always worked and burnt the oil out of them.

Dimi

I've never done it, but was thinking the same thing.
 
I have burned off clutches as David indicated (not recommended), soaked in lacquer thinner and set on fire (works okay), smelly result too. Tried to clean one with brake cleaner, not too successful. Just get a new friction plate and call it done.
 
I thought about letting the clutch sit in a acetone bath for a days. In theory, the acetone should be able to penetrate the friction material and break down the oil. But I rather not have to replace the clutch again after I find it didnt work...

There goes another $270 bucks or so..
 
CRC brakeleen or similar product, if you have the plate out of the car, might take a few attempts & helps if you have a heat lamp or source to aid evaporation, not enviro friendly stuff though so avoid breathing. Big warning on the net some time ago about welding after using it as a parts degreaser prior to welding. TAKE CARE.
Your talking about phosgene gas.
Yeah, almost killed myself with this one time. Luckily, i must have been using non-chlorinated cleaner... Had no idea how deadly it was around welding.
 
Your talking about phosgene gas.
Yeah, almost killed myself with this one time. Luckily, i must have been using non-chlorinated cleaner... Had no idea how deadly it was around welding.
REALLY NEED to be CAREFUL with that stuff!
 
If you've gone to the trouble to remove the disc, the logical thing would be to replace it. If you're trying to save it "in place", instead of dousing anything around it (bushings, seals, etc that might run dry or swell) that might be affected, replace it. Trying to smoke it off by riding the clutch will only heat check the flywheel face causing uneven subsequent contact and the risk of total failure, causing a LOT more expense. I've tried some of the remedies but the only good way is to bite the bullet and replace it.
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
You might be able to get it relined. Big truck clutch/brake reline shops might be able to get you on the right track. You might also ask the original manufacture if they can reline a new disk. $270 for a friction disk is a fairly expensive one and it might be worth a try.

If the $270 is for the whole clutch then ask about a friction disk only from the manufacture.

You really can't clean them and have it come out like new and save all the money like it never happened. Usually you just spend the same amount of money and double the time to do the job twice. The main thing is, don't hurt the flywheel screwing around with a ruined friction disk.
 
No problem to clean clutch disk.
Soak it in brake cleaner and GENTLY agitate with airline nozzle, changing cleaner couple of times.

It does work very well and have done it many times over the years. Great for reviving clutches without oil contamination.

CAUTION ........ Do not breathe fumes, do it outside and no naked flames or heat.

OC is right. Take care, but it does work very well and you will have an as new lining.
 
John, I'm no mechanic but am I missing something here? Is the problem the rear main seal? In other words if the rear main seal is leaking won't it continue to leak and cause the same problem to each new or refurbished clutch you replace? Forgive my ignorance but I might learn something from this and I always like learning. Hope you get the thing fixed regardless.
 
Top