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More sturdy clutch and flywheel recommendation - 1.6K Supersport


nico.engel

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Hi there,

I don't want to interrupt the discussion on a similar thread for the 1.8K engine, so I started a new topic.

I'm a proudly owner, since march this year, of a seven 1.6K series supersport (not factory built). I bought it at the automobil-manufaktur from Ralf in southern Germany. So happy with this car and enjoy every second on the curvy roads.

Every year we make a tour through the alps with different cars. This year the first time with the seven. 1250km and approx 12.000m cumulative elevation gain. Drove the seven how it should used for it :) I don't have had so much fun since years while driving.

IMG-20200719-WA0027.jpg

Last weekend I was on a drift advanced training at lake constance and it was such more fun :D After five hours of extremely constant load I think i blewed up my clutch. The next days I will bring the seven to my engine expert and he will look after it. N

Now to my questions. 

Which other clutch, as the original one, you may recommend me, which will last longer. But I don't want to built in a motorsport clutch, a bit comfort would be nice. 

And i don't know if it's already a lightweight flywheel mounted, this I will see when all parts are off. Exists a drawing or sketch to reduce weight on the original flywheel. Of course after machining, balancing is necessary. Or it's easier to buy a lightweight flywheel with a matching clutch?

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I have an AP uprated clutch kit in mine. I would hapily fit a helix clutch kit too.

It is worth searching for an article by John Vine on the clutch spring pre-load (spring inside the pedal box) as the standard set up is insufficient and can cause early release bearing failure. Fix is simple to add a second spring.

Regards

Ian

 

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The Caterham lightweight flywheels are around 3.2-3.5 KG depending on type and are made of steel (as opposed to iron) so are alot stronger. Trigger pattern is also a consideration - very early ones had a different pattern.

I remember from my classic Mini days that you could lighten iron flywheels but take too much material off and they were prone to shattering. The unscientific test for flywheels and back plates was to tap them with a hammer - sharp ring = steel and dull ring = cast iron.

Ian

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Okay fine, than i will look for the helix update. The update of the clutch pre-loading spring i have read before and this is a nice update for little effort.

So when i change the clutch i have to change the cover also, right?
Will this set be the right one?

clutch - helix - 70-1605 (Link - burtonpower)
cover - helix - 60-3329 (Link - burtonpower)

Or ist he the 3 paddle race version the better choice for me. In the description says its suitable for higher temperature.
clutch - helix - 76-1605 (Link - burtonpower)

And do i need the matching release bearing for this kit or may use the installed one?

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You must change the release bearing as they are known to fail without the extra preload modification. This thread gives some reference numbers. Caterham online parts seem to be out of stock of the AB57U - perhaps Redline have them?

https://www.lotus7.club/forum/techtalk/what-make-clutch-release-bearing-do-caterham-now-supply

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Also, I'm not entirely sure those are the correct Helix parts - It is a Ford driven plate and a Rover pressure plate. There must be part numbers in the archives - I'll have a look!

 

Looks like I'm wrong (again) - The Helix website lists the same pressure plate for the xflow and k series! 
 

Pressure plate 60-3329

Road friction plate 70-1605

Race friction plate 76-1605

Bearing 40-2482

source:-

 

https://helixautosport.com/catalogues/201905-PerformanceClutches.pdf

 

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Fine, than I will use this part numbers and change also the release bearing. The preload modification I will update that either.

Do you recommend the race clutch or is the the standard clutch last enough? I will drive the seven as it used for it, in the Alps, fast curves and for some fun days like the drift training and some rounds over race circuits.

 

Edit: And do I need new bolts to the flywheel? I will renew the crank spigot bearing also for preventive maintenance, what is the right size for T9 5-gear and the rover 1.6k? Is it the 21x15mm

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The spigot bearing is a ford item and needs a sleeve to fit the Rover crank. Revilla has posted about the challenges of changing them recently and has sourced the sleeves from QED in Loughborough.

Please double check the part numbers for the Helix items - perhaps give Burton a call. I have personal experience of the AP items but never bought Helix items but read many others have used them and have been happy.

Regards

Ian

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These are the information what i need *yes*
Then the paddle race version is not that what i need. A little bit comfort would be nice.

I found also the right spigot bearing and matching spacer on the caterham shop, so i can order the two springs for the crb update.

  • bearing 30E108A
  • spacer 70228
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Hi Nico,

WARNING! The spacer sleeves I bought from Caterhamparts recently (several, over a few years) have been too thick. They damage the bearing on installation, leaving the gearbox shaft too tight. They are then almost impossible to remove.

These are MUCH better: https://qedmotorsport.co.uk/product/spigot-bearing-bush-to-take-ford-gearbox/

You only get one chance! If you install the Caterhamparts one and find it is too tight, you risk damaging the crankshaft getting it out again. The usually tricks for removal will often not work.

See this thread, especially the findings towards the end: https://www.lotus7.club/forum/techtalk/k-series-spigot-bearings-there-must-be-better-way

Somebody told me (actually it was Ralf who you bought your car from!) that QED can be difficult to order from from Germany. They don't always respond to emails and it can be difficult on the telephone. If you need help, I live five minutes from the shop so I can go one lunchtime and get you one.

Andrew

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Thanks for the warning, this thread is very interesting.

But Caterham sell these spacers for a long time now, than more cars should be affected, or not? *confused*

I have to ask Ralf first, I think he has some spare parts on stock and check the dimensions.

But nevertheless many thanks for the helpfulness to buy one for me *angel* 

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Do ask Ralf ... It was Ralf who reported the issue to me in the first place so he has seen it. I built an engine for him using the Caterham spacer. When he tried to centralise a clutch using a gearbox input shaft, he couldn't get it into the spigot bearing, it was too tight. He sent me a video showing that he was unable to insert the input shaft. I then borrowed an input shaft to test another engine I had built for him that was still with me and I found the same issue. Ralf removed the spigot bearing from the engine he had and fitted another, I believe using old stock spacers that he bought a long time ago, and it was fine. I removed the spigot bearing from the engine I still had and fitted a new one using a spacer from QED and it was also fine.
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Just to add a little balance and an alternative viewpoint ...

I've used both the original Caterham K-Series lightweight flywheel (~3.3kg) and the R500 version (~2.9kg) and both work perfectly well and make the pickup more instant. If I was building a K-Series of pretty well any spec for a road Caterham I'd likely use the o/e R500 version, no issues even with such a light flywheel. Just make sure it's the appropriate "missing teeth pattern" for the install.

Regarding spigot bearings and sleeves, I've never replaced a sleeve, only fitted new ones to crankshafts not previously used in a Caterham. Likewise I don't as a matter of course replace the spigot bearing, they are known to fail but if the existing one is fine I just make sure it's clean and add a tiny amount of grease. Never had one fail and failure is quite rare in a road going car.

Also regarding the clutch release bearing, the first Caterham engine swap I did 20 years ago I bought a new release bearing, decided it was not the same quality as the original and promptly refitted the original and I've done the same every time I've had an engine out since. It's one area where I work on the premise of "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" I've not done the pre-loading mod either and not had any issues ... famous last words!

I do however prefer balanced flywheels, they're so much smoother through the whole rev range, and I prefer to use new patchlock bolts when fitting to the crank, ideally these should be weighed individually to make sure there's none that are a long way from the average weight, it's not unknown.

Fitting a new flywheel/clutch is very straightforward, it doesn't need to be a major overhaul job.

Stu.

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