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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › When to replace a clutch?
10-17-2005 12:41 AM  13 years agoPost 1
MickeyMoo

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Ohio

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I just replaced a clutch on a R70 I got used and it got me wondering I also have a 3 year old R30 with more than 200 flights on it. Is it better to replace the clutch before it goes or is there some warning signs to let one know its time. I've gotten pretty good at autos but where I fly timing would be everything

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10-17-2005 01:10 AM  13 years agoPost 2
Bell 430

rrApprentice

West Grove Pennsylvania

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I replace my clutch linings every winter. I fly each aircraft alot(65+ hours a year) so I feel a 4.00 dollar part is well worth the time.

Brian Porter AMA 232513 My money flies better then I do

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10-17-2005 01:12 AM  13 years agoPost 3
classic

rrElite Veteran

All over the place!

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Usally it will start acting funny just before it breaks, like sticking during autos, you can check it, if its looks out of shape, one side spread out or bent more than the other, or a lot of miscoloration on the shoes thats a good sign its ready to be replaced.

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10-17-2005 01:15 AM  13 years agoPost 4
Naomi

rrElite Veteran

Ontario, Canada

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Replacing clutch is only when it breaks or the ears of clutch spread open too much when clutch liner is getting too thin ( could be due to too many hot starts or crashes with engine running full throttle), In other words you do not need to change clutch unless necessary.

Naomi

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10-17-2005 01:33 AM  13 years agoPost 5
gymmshoes

rrNovice

Phoenix Arizona

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I just changed my clutch liner, (3 hot starts), but thought it was fine, I was troubleshooting a tail twitch on my hawk pro and after the liner change the twitch went away....hmmm

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10-17-2005 01:35 AM  13 years agoPost 6
MickeyMoo

rrApprentice

Ohio

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I guess I should have been more clear. I was talking about the lining. However on the used 70 i bought used the lining was burned up completely on the first run (by previous owner). I replaced the lining and pushed the shoes back in place. Is this a no no? So should the clutch on the 70 be replaced and should the lining be changed before failure on any raptor You will always have an unexpected failure at times but should it be changed after say 200 flights or at least checked for ware?

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10-17-2005 04:16 AM  13 years agoPost 7
MJWS

rrKey Veteran

Airdrie, AB - Canada

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Pushing the shoes back in isn't such a great idea. Once the clutch is 'sprung' it is pretty much going to break where you bent it back. In addition, it won't hold the new position you gave it, it will go back to sprung on first run.

If it still disengages nicely and doesn't stick, you'll probably be fine and may get some use out of it. When they break it isn't usually that dramatic. Every one I've done has jammed itself locked so you just land normally, and when you spool down discover the clutch is 'stuck'.

How you fly makes a big difference to liner life. Bailing out of auto's, hot starts, and crashes kill clutches... otherwise they can last a long time. On the rappy a worn out clutch is a sure fire way to stretch the shoes and have it sticky until it breaks.

I don't replace the shoes until something changes. It isn't hard to tell if it is slipping or engaging at a different point. Standard maintenance. Fuel and Fly. Check the clutch on major crashes... or maybe once a year.

Mike

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10-17-2005 04:31 AM  13 years agoPost 8
crowfly

rrVeteran

Pleasant View, TN U.S.A.

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Pushing the shoes back in would be like packing stripped threads back into a bolt hole.

If God had meant for man to fly, he would have given him more money

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10-17-2005 01:09 PM  13 years agoPost 9
bagobitz

rrVeteran

saddleworth,lancs,UK

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Pushing the shoes back in would be like packing stripped threads back into a bolt hole.
NO! It wouldn't.
Metals are all stretchy/bendy, to a greater or lesser degree.
The stuff used for a clutch of this type is made with material of this type. The area joining the shoes to the main body is thin enough to bend at a specific amount of force, at a certain speed, the centrifugal force will throw out the shoes until they contact the bell. when the force reduces,the shoes will spring back in again TO THE ELASTIC LIMITS OF THE METAL. that is, if the liner is worn excessively, the shoes will spread out further to the point where they will bend the thin joining area permanently,but they will still have a spring-range virtually the same as before. so yes, you can strip the clutch, press the shoes back in towards the body,and they will still work effectively. BUT. bending metal will work-harden it,which makes it stiffer,and will eventually lead to metal-fatigue.(that's why full-size parts have scheduled working lives ) Experiment- get a piece of metal
thickish wire/tin-lid /coat-hanger,etc. hold one end rigidly and try bending the free end(like a tree-trunk swaying. when released, it will spring back from a deflection WITHIN IT's ELASTIC LIMITS. when you exceed those limits,the metal will take on a permanent "set" or bend,but will still spring back slightly. that's why , if you need a 90* fold,you go over that and allow it to spring back to the required angle. this only skims over the subject,but hopefully gives an insight into the springiness of metal which isn't specifically made into a spring.MJWS beat me to most of these points,although I think that the area where the "set"occurred would be slightly harder and therefore,the bending would take place either side of this,until the whole thin -hinge area was equally hardened and stiff.for all practical purposes, reline and reset shoes and reuse.(no big deal if one does stress-crack and break off)

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