1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Burnt Up Clutch

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by w6bauer, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. w6bauer

    w6bauer Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 4

    One of my drivers recently complained about my 90 chevy dually transmission. Got a blister on his shifter hand from plowing for 18 hours. I drove the truck and it felt to me like the damn clutch was out of it. Its the muncie four speed granny trans. I got it up on the lift and found a birds nest of clutch material in bellhousing.

    After much torch use, broken bolts and knuckles, I got the old four speed down out of the way and found that the flywheel side of clutch plate was tore up. Pressure plate side barely wore but was glazed.

    Is this operator error burning up the clutch? I just bought the truck with the 810 Blizzard from a guy a month ago for $3500. Clutch felt fine. He said it was just over a year old.

    What the heck is going on here? Is my guy riding the clutch, is this normal or should I expect to be doing a clutch on this old pig every year?


    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    2x a year if that guy keeps driving it.

    You could give him the benefit of the doubt tho. Replace clutch, throw-out bearing and grind the flywheel, all the good stuff.
    Test drive it yourself to make sure all is good.
    Next time he takes it out as soon as he is back at the shop inspect. If there is another "birds nest" you will know one way or the other.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,749

    I say he rode it is he experienced plower?? Stick driver??
  4. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    If the truck was used and it lasted through an 18hr shift, it did good.

    Pop a new one in it, do it right, and see what happens. If it goes out after another 18hr shift, driver needs to be changed.
  5. Snow Commandor

    Snow Commandor Senior Member
    from 07666
    Messages: 438

    Replace the clutch & the driver both! :p
  6. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I say he probably trying push snow in the higher gears If he getting blisters from the shifter Then that tells you he shifting way to much
    My longest time in my truck was 32 hrs straight never got blisters from the stick but did rub my finger tip raw pushing the buttons on the plow controller
    I push Snow 20 yrs with a manual out of 30 yrs 60% time never leave 1st gear But my truck has 3.73 gears

    I sit down with him and ask how he is driving the truck You might learn what you are seeking a answer to your problem
  7. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    If he's trying to plow slowly in high range, he may be riding the clutch. If shifting is done correctly, it won't cause significant wear to the clutch. It MUST be fully engaged when pushing snow.
  8. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    Got photos of the carnage?

    How's the flywheel condition after interfacing with the nasty leftover part of the clutch?

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,286

    I had an 88' baby dump with a 4spd, he shouldn't have to use low gear. I always used 2nd which is actually 1st.
  10. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    You just bought the truck, how sure are you about the clutch only being 1 year old?

    And how was it used in that 11 months before you got the truck? That is, if it was replaced a year ago.

    Was this the first time the truck really got used hard since you purchased it?
  11. w6bauer

    w6bauer Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 4

    I got new clutch put in. I put a new flywheel, pilot bushing, pressure plate and throwout bearing in while I was at it. Old flywheel was torched and had some cracks in surface. Was not worth my time to resurface. I put an upgraded pressure plate and clutch plate in from perfection flywheel and bearings/bushings from perfection as well. Also changed all gear lube in gearbox and tranny fluid in transfer case while i was down there.

    When i first got truck the front diff was leaking, i took it out stripped it down and replaced all bearings and seals. I took that chance to look in the bellhousing and there was no birds nest then.

    Previous owner did use truck to plow last year but if his season was anything like mine i think i did about 18hrs total then i dont see how the clutch could go so fast. Not to say that he didnt ride clutch and glaze it, or maybe didnt break it in before heading straight out to plow.

    Driver said he plowed in 4hi using only 1st gear(not L) and reverse. Said the blister came from gearbox being so difficult to go from first into reverse.

    Not very experienced plowing but pretty decent with a stick. Its probably a combo of driver and previous clutch condition. I dont think anything was done to flywheel or pressure plate/throwout or pilot bearing last time clutch was done. Hell it didnt look like the input shaft splined recieved any grease either. Clutch disc could have been binding there.

    Anyhow, got it done and ive been driving it for the 500mi break in period i prefer and it shifts great. Upgraded pressure plate increased clutch pedal effort but she definitely grabs nicely.

    Ive got some pics of the carnage i will post when im back to my computer. Havent figured out how to do it on my phone yet.

    Just for a general idea about everyone else pushing with a stick, how often are you guys under there changing clutches?

    Thanks guys love the site.
  12. Chiputz

    Chiputz Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I plow with a stick. I fried one clutch in my 1/2 ton chevy when we got 18" of wet heavy slop and a buddy called me to help plow his business lot out. Other than that, no issues. It's real easy to ride the clutch when you're plowing if you aren't used to it. Driving a stick and plowing with a stick are 2 different animals in my opinion. Maybe ride along with the guy to one or two jobs and see what is happening, might be something as simple as telling him to get his foot off the clutch once the clutch is engaged.
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,749

    I been plowing for 6yrs in stick. Old tk had 136,000 on it plowed for 4yrs with it. Had the clutch done b/c of noise. The trans shop said clutch didn't look bad at all. Looked normal for 136. All I ever use is granny and first, reverse
  14. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    Figure it this way; at least he didn't fry an AT.
  15. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    That's what I was thinking. That would explain why the flywheel-side of the clutch and the flywheel were wrecked but the pressure plate was ok.

    Might want to consider using L and/or 4LO for plowing. It wouldn't help with the failure you had but it would reduce normal wear on the clutch.

  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    My first truck was a 88 F250 5 speed and was around 80k miles pressure plate broke the Clutch plate look good
    Well my 2nd truck and one I still drive is 99 F350 w/5speed I bought used it was a 1 owner and he push snow with it
    It had 90k on the clutch it was factory So I thought I would check it out It was still good but I installed a new one a HD Luke Clutch, truck has 140k on it now
    I run 9.6 Vplow w/wings
    Last owner ran a 7.6 on the first 90k of plowing had a easy life
  17. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    4 low 2 or 3rd worked best for me for years in my old 4 speed chevy 1ton with 8ft and 9ft fisher as per snow conditions.

    also check for broken welds on the shifter piviot ball to shaft. makes a lot of play / extra throw in shifter. mine was broken at welds . i fixed it and was a lot better. http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billavista/sm465/index.html

    if he got blister he is not a stick driver / or just dont get it. only time i ever got blisters was as a kid on my first atv . road the hell out of it and wore my hands down bad.
  18. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    Use the force Luke!!!

    I think you mean LUK. Those are the crappy made-in-mexico clutches. They have very poor quality control.
  19. ceptorman

    ceptorman Senior Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 174

    You could take a ride with him to see how he drives.
  20. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Might be your thinking but I never had problem with them
    I ran them in everything from full size trucks to midsize truck Even in a Mud truck never had one fail
    Sorry spelling error on LUK