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anyone had a failure like this ?


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Hi all

last September i took my centurion for a bit if a run and had massive clutch failure.

resulting in a clutch in a million pieces . two destroyed radiators and fans ,coolant rail beyond repair and a fair bit of engine damage .

i was in 4th gear doing about 2000 rpm . has anyone seen damage like this or had it happen to them them ?

i am still trying to get her up and running for the next show in september so i am on the hunt for parts and time to fix her

cheers Adrian

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi all

last September i took my centurion for a bit if a run and had massive clutch failure.

resulting in a clutch in a million pieces . two destroyed radiators and fans ,coolant rail beyond repair and a fair bit of engine damage .

i was in 4th gear doing about 2000 rpm . has anyone seen damage like this or had it happen to them them ?

i am still trying to get her up and running for the next show in september so i am on the hunt for parts and time to fix her

cheers Adrian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Adrian,

 

I would think there could have been a crack in the clutch casting, possibly due to overheating in the past, by looking at the face of it. The crack may have developed further, then centrifugal action and so on, it just flew apart. Not good, the damage that it has done.

 

By the way, welcome to the forum. I have a friend up your way who used to own a Cent, I once helped him change the fan belts and spark plugs whilst staying with him.

 

regards, Richard

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Hi Adrian,

 

I would think there could have been a crack in the clutch casting, possibly due to overheating in the past, by looking at the face of it. The crack may have developed further, then centrifugal action and so on, it just flew apart. Not good, the damage that it has done.

 

By the way, welcome to the forum. I have a friend up your way who used to own a Cent, I once helped him change the fan belts and spark plugs whilst staying with him.

 

regards, Richard

 

 

Hi mate

your on the money when it comes to why it failed . i have had her for 2 years and driven it for about 15 min .

who was the the person that you know that used to own a cent ? i probably know them . cent owners are a small group in AUS

cheers

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Hi mate

your on the money when it comes to why it failed . i have had her for 2 years and driven it for about 15 min .

who was the the person that you know that used to own a cent ? i probably know them . cent owners are a small group in AUS

cheers

 

Hi Adrian,

 

What I should have added was, by looking at the breaks, you might have found one showing that is was not a fresh fracture, ie. not so clean.

My friend is Warwick Lord, when he had the Cent, he lived up near Mudgee, now lives near Williamstown. I caught up with him at Corowa this year.

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I think Richard is right regarding previous damage. The Cent clutch is a three plate development of the twin plate Cromwell and Comet clutch with many parts being the same. It was not known as a weak point.

 

Indeed, the usual failure with an overspeed is the engine big ends. If you allow Cent to run away down hill in low gear without disengaging the clutch, the rods give way and punch through the crankcase, I think the clutch normally survives the experience though.

 

Just bad luck for you, I reckon!

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Hard to tell from the pictures but it's quite likely that a crack established at one of the holes in the flywheel and grew slowly over time until the remaining section couldn't take the high loads hence the sudden failure.

 

Looking at the remains of the item it looks to be quite poorly finished in some areas, which won't have helped the strength of the item.

 

When you obtain a replacement item I wold suggest a bit of fettling to reduce the chances of a repeat failure. Firstly run a countersink or oversized drill lightly into all the holes to take away the sharp edges. Secondly run a die grinder or file around the edges of the casting to form a slight radius, similar for the slots or elongated vent holes. All sharp edges are a potential source for future cracks to start.

 

I know the part has probably seen years of use before your failure but it's quite likely a replacement will be of similar age. May be worth doing a dye penetrant test on the item to check for cracks before installation, and regular checks when installed to avoid the future catastrophic failures.

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While not being able to offer any insight or help, I am none the less horrified to see the destruction and realise the amounts of money and time that will be taken to repair your pride and joy, hate seeing people's kit broken like that

 

Robin

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If the Centurion clutch assembly is anywhere near the weight of the flywheel/clutch on the Continental R975 motors, a precision balance will go a long way. I am amazed that during the rebuild of my 975 C4 that most people I talk to are very concerned about balancing the 18oz. supercharger impeller, but no one seems concerened about the 175lb flywheel/clutch/fan assembly hanging off the end of the crankshaft! Hope you get up and running soon. It is horrible to see what can happen to the machines we care for.

 

Perry

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