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Clutch won't disengage on T-54

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John,

We're on hold for parts. The owner has developed a good contact in Poland, having visited them, seen their setup, and spent big bucks with them. They are looking for a complete clutch.

 

You mentioned the 17 vs. 19 plate clutch (this clutch has 17) but it seems plates could also be 3.5 mm or 5 mm thick. Ours are 5 mm thick.

 

In the meantime, we need to buckle down and clean out the hull, replace hoses, lubricate linkages, etc. All while the tank is in the open under a baking hot Ontario sun. :)

 

Malcolm

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Hi Malcolm

 

that is interesting, I will check our clutches and see what thickness the plates are. Good lucky with the clean out if the hull, will sure make maintenance more pleasant going forward....speaking of Poland...when is the Leopard arriving?

 

John

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John,

Looks like we might not be getting a complete clutch, just the disks and hopefully a new pressure plate and springs. We could get the PP ground at a pinch, I suppose. It's "coned" about 0.010" across the rubbing face.

 

Leopards are due in the Fall sometime.

 

Malcolm

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I would think you should be able to machine the pressure plate pretty easily, were you able to check the springs to see how close they were to each other?

 

Leopards plural? Outstanding!

 

JOHN

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Hi Malcolm

 

any progress on the T-54? If you are ordering parts from Poland let me know, I would like to grab some clutch plates for spares

 

Regards

John

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John,

I'm on holiday in the UK at present so I'm not sure what progress has been made on the t-54. The owner is dealing with the Polish company re getting spares, so I don't have any details. I expect it will take a month or two to get them.

 

Malcolm

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An update on the T-54 clutch: a new clutch was ordered from Panzerfarm in Poland who seem to have a large stock of T-54/55 parts. There were huge delays due to paperwork, shipping requirements, tieing the delivery to the delivery of Leopard tanks, etc. Finally, the delivery was expedited and we got.... half a clutch.

So now emails are flying back and forth on what additional parts we need to make it work. Optimistically, if they have the parts, they will ship in the next week or two so we will have the tank running for the first big tank show at the end of May.

 

Malcolm

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Malcolm I am sure that the pressure will be on to get it up and running for Aquino will be strong.

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Shame we are so far away, our Type 69 was captured in 2003 outside Basra by the British 16 Air Assault Brigade, it has been itching to even the score ever since, be great to put it up against Al's contingent of Brit Armor!

 

John

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The show is rigged, John, so you wouldn't stand a chance!

 

Although one "Iraqi" re-enactor with a machine gun wouldn't give up last year. A CVRT commander got a big laugh by popping out of his hatch and lobbing bottles of water at him.

 

Malcolm

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The T54 made Aquino and ran well for the weekend. Woohoo!

 

The new clutch is noticeably different in operation. You have to feather it more to prevent stalling on pull away because those nice flat plates engage more positively. Also it is now possible to engage a gear with the clutch pedal depressed at standstill without loud grinding.

 

And then it developed a bad coolant leak. I suspect refilling the coolant system to a normal level actually generated some pressure in the system and we blew one of the less accessible old hoses we couldn't replace. The pressure is on now to fix it for the Gulf War tank day this Saturday.

 

Malcolm

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Saw the videos of it at Aquino, looked great slogging through the mud! How did the coolant leak repair go Malcolm?

 

John

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John, the coolant leak was a 5 minute fix. After I dropped the big hinged hull hatch underneath the engine, I found the short coolant hose we had forgotten to tighten the clamp on after using it to drain the coolant a year ago. Classic example of what can get forgotten when it takes that long to get replacement parts (which was not Panzerfarm's fault, by the way).

 

She ran pretty well in the Gulf war show last Saturday. I think the gearbox had synchro originally, but it doesn't now! The 1-2 shift is damn near impossible. In fact, I suspect first gear is a bull low gear, not designed for normal driving. You can start in second keeping revs up and easing the clutch, but it is easier to pull both tiller bars back to the first detent to get the gear steering reduction on both tracks (which approximates first gear) and then, when she's moving, push both bars forward to engage second. 2 to 3 is a nice shift, with the massive torque of the engine coping no problem with the speed drop during the double de-clutching. But the downshift from 3-2 is a bit balky.

 

And you you gotta keep an eye on the coolant temp. The driver is solely responsible for this as there is no thermostat. When she gets up to the top end of the range, 100C, you have to operate the lever to open the radiator louvres. It's damn hard work and quite stressful!

 

Malcolm

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Hi Malcolm

 

ours has a very low first gear and usually, unless loading or unloading from a trailer or negotiating really tough terrain, I use 2nd to start off in as well. Yes they can be quite the beasts to drive, not a wonder the Israeli's re-powered them with the Detroit 8V92 and Allison cross-drive from the M109 series, we obtained a great running M109 powerpack from MCB Pendleton and were seriously considering the retro-fit. But so far we have managed to keep the old girl original so I guess once we run out of engines and transmissions we will have to consider it...What does your DsHk run off of? Is it a gas gun or blanks? Sure looked impressive!

 

John

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Malcolm another thing I thought I should mention is that when we first got the tank running, we had the idle set too high, this also made gear changes tough. Once we had the thing running smooth and we lowered the idle to spec it was much easier to accomplish gear changes.

 

John

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