Centrifugal Clutches – Common Problems & Solutions

Centrifugal clutches, or friction clutches, are used in a wide variety of machinery and engine applications. In comparison to other types of clutches, centrifugal clutches generally have lower maintenance requirements. A well-designed and maintained centrifugal clutch should provide a long and reliable service life.

Centrifugal Clutch Won’t Engage

If your clutch won’t engage, It usually means that the engine idle speed is different to the clutch idle speed. This can result in damage. To correct this, change the spring or change the engine speed to below the clutch idle speed. If damage is excessive it will require the repair or replacement of the clutch.

Slipping Centrifugal Clutch

If your clutch is slipping you may notice a burning lining smell. Due to the clutch slipping, overheating will occur. It’s important to assess situations like this as soon as possible as this leads to heat damage to the inside of the clutch drum. This may then require replacement of the mechanism because the clutch will no longer engage. Unfortunately, heat damage is not covered by a warranty.

Centrifugal Clutch Engages Early

A common reason for a clutch engaging early is due to the engine idle speed being too high. Another possibility is that the tension springs are too loose. This could occur due to excessive wear and will eventually cause the flyweights to prematurely engage.

There are different solutions to consider, depending on your exact problem. If your clutch is engaging early because your engine idle speed is set too high, you will need to reconfigure the engine by adjusting the engine idle speed. Depending on the extent of the damage, it might be necessary to replace the entire clutch.

Custom Centrifugal Clutch Solutions

If you’re experiencing issues with your centrifugal clutch, finding a solution is usually a quick process that might involve replacing a small internal component. In many cases, problems can be avoided by maintaining a proper maintenance schedule.

A high-quality centrifugal clutch should provide a long service life. BLM Automatic Clutch has been designing customized clutches for industrial and commercial applications for over 89 years. With applications ranging from military and defense to agriculture, city waterworks, and more, our products power the world. To begin developing your solution, contact us today.

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