Tech Tip #225: Resurfacing Twin Disc Power Take Off Clutch Plates?

Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel

How to Get the Most Out of Your Flywheel Grinder

Foley Engines offers rebuilt-exchange Rockford, Twin Disc and WPT power takeoff clutches and clutch packs. These over center clutches have heavy cast iron backing plates that need to be cleaned and machined prior to re-assembly. As a result, we do a lot of resurfacing of industrial clutch plates on our flywheel grinders.

We’re aware that some people don’t use a machine to resurface these plates, but simply scuff them up with a hand-held device, like a D.A. It looks like other people just tie the cast iron backing plates to the back of their pick-up truck and drag them down the street! You should run away from anyone who doesn’t resurface these components using a resurfacing machine because the worn and uneven surfaces of the cast iron plates won’t work well with the new discs that are to be installed within the clutch pack.

We’ve picked up a few tips over the years and want to share them with you. For a photo of our flywheel grinder maestro, click HERE.

  1. Keep the machine clean
    • It used to be, in your father’s time, that a new unit would cost about $5,000. Now, both a DCM SG7000 and a Van Norman FG5000 are approaching $18,000, depending on your options. It pays you to keep the machine clean.
    • No operator wants to work on a dirty machine. Keep the machine clean. After you clean it, wax all of the painted surfaces. It will pay you back in spades. A happy operator is a good operator.
  2. Keep the coolant clean
    • While the DCM SG7000 flywheel grinder usually is shipped with a coolant filter, the popular Van Norman FG5000 does not have a coolant filter. No matter which make or model flywheel grinder you have, keep the coolant clean. Coolant isn’t cheap and is a pain to change.  Here are three innovative ideas for a coolant filter system for a flywheel grinder.
  • The Sock Trick
    • We’ve found that a simple white cotton sock can be tied to the coolant return line to serve as a coolant filter to get rid of the metal shavings. Clean, cool coolant works better and lasts longer.
  • The Pantyhose Trick
    • In the absence of a white athletic sock, consider using pantyhose to filter out the swarf.

  • Use Magnets
    • If you position a several magnets in the coolant the magnets will pick up metal filings or swarf from the coolant.

      3. Throw away the stones and use a carbide cutter

    • CBN cutters are faster and better.

      4. Van Norman flywheel grinder coolant

    • Sure, it’s a little pricey but unlike plain, old resurfacing fluid, it contains a rust inhibitor. 
Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel
Knowledge is power. Power to build ties to engine users. To build a relationship with our customers, we share with you our 104 years of knowledge in many ways. We have this special section called “Ask Dr. Diesel™” where you can pose questions about engines, transmissions, industrial hand clutches, exhaust scrubbers, etc.

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