215 Composite flywheel and integral single plate diaphragm clutch Fig 224

This is a compact diaphragm clutch unit built as an integral part of the two piece flywheel. It is designed for transaxle transmission application where space is at a premium and maximum torque transmitting capacity is essential.

The flywheel and clutch drive pressing acts as a support for the annular flywheel mass and functions as the clutch pressure plate drive member. The advantage of having the flywheel as a two piece assembly is that its mass can be concentrated more effectively at its outer periphery so that its overall mass can be reduced for the same cyclic torque and speed fluction which it regulates.

Fig Hydraulic Single Plate Clutch
Fig. 2.23(a-c) Clutch air/hydraulic servo
Diaphragm Clutch
Fig. 2.24 Integral single plate clutch and composite flywheel

The diaphragm spring takes the shape of a dished annular disc. The inner portion of the disc is radially slotted, the outer ends being enlarged with a circular hole to prevent stress concentration when the spring is deflected during disengagement. These radial slots divide the disc into many inwardly pointing fingers which have two functions, firstly to provide the pressure plate with an evenly distributed multileaf spring type thrust, and secondly to act as release levers to separate the driven plate from the sandwiching flywheel and pressure plate friction faces.

To actuate the clutch release, the diaphragm spring is made to pivot between a pivot spring positioned inside the flywheel/clutch drive pressing near its outer periphery and a raised circumferential rim formed on the back of the pressure plate. The engagement and release action of the clutch is similar to the pull type diaphragm clutch where the diaphragm is distorted into a dished disc when assembled and therefore applies on axial thrust between the pressure plate and its adjacent flywheel/clutch drive pressing. With this spring leverage arrangement, a larger pressure plate and diaphragm spring can be utilised for a given overall diameter of clutch assembly. This design therefore has the benefits of lower pedal effort, higher transmitting torque capacity, a highly progressive engagement take-up and increased clutch life compared to the conventional push type diaphragm clutch.

The engagement and release mechanism consists of a push rod which passes through the hollow gearbox input shaft and is made to enter and contact the blind end of a recess formed in the release plunger. The plunger is a sliding fit in the normal spigot bearing hole made in the crankshaft end flange. It therefore guides the push rod and transfers its thrust to the diaphragm spring fingers via the release plate.

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