Tech Tip #231: AutoClutch and Stein PTO Discs: Rigid vs Springs? Time to Reconsider?

Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel

Clutch Pack Internals

This Dr. Diesel™ Tech Tip, one of a number we publish concerning power take off clutches, focuses on AutoClutch and Stein PTO Discs. It follows on the heels of other Tech Tips that discussed other power takeoff clutches including WPT, Rockford, and Twin Disc. See Tech Tip 214: AutoClutch PTOs Made Easy, Tech Tip 218: Running a Twin Disc™ Power Takeoff Clutch and Need to Replace It?, and Tech Tip 191: How to Upgrade an AutoClutch Power Takeoff for more information.

Over the years, a great number of people have turned to us for replacement discs and pressure plates for their AutoClutch and Stein industrial PTOs. Both AutoClutch and Stein Manufacturing clutches are called “automotive style” industrial clutches and feature a disc and a pressure plate. They are distinctly different from the “over center” style PTO commonly produced by WPT, Rockford, and Twin Disc™. 


PTO discs

Drawing on our experience with smaller automotive style clutch assemblies, particularly on Ford Industrial engines, we have provided AutoClutch style clutches with discs equipped with between 6 or 8 springs.  Our thinking was that a disc with springs would dampen the shock load on the clutch input shaft and minimize any damage. Based on our experience over the years, we now think we might be wrong. Or, at least we should give the rigid style clutch disc vs. the spring loaded dampened disc more thought.


We now think that the rigid style disc offers higher clamping loads without damaging the input shaft and avoids having individual springs dislodge themselves from the spring loaded disc. In other words, the rigid disc is a better clutch, lasts longer, and doesn’t have those pesky springs that can pop out and ruin your day.


Also, for those of you running John Deere engines, check the pilot bearing hole in the flywheel.  This is a troublesome area, and the flywheel is often damaged. But not to worry, we stock John Deere flywheels and have them ready to ship from our Worcester, MA warehouse. (See PN RE500398E)

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 105 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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