View Full Version : OH YEAH! Aluminum Flywheel is FUN!!!!!
05-08-2002, 12:08 AM
WoW! <Font size="+3">WOW WOW WOW</FONT> What a freak'n BLAST that was!
After almost a year of having my car outta commission from tranny problems I have driven it for the first time tonight without ANY problems! The vibration was solved by the 0 balanced 13lb aluminum flywheel.
Let me tell you guys something....if you have ever entertained the idea of swapping flywheels, DO IT! IT'S WELL WORTH THE MONEY! WOW!!!
I can safely say this car pulls harder now than it EVER did previous! What a BLAST!
Anyway, I'm just really freak'n excited about the performance GAIN over this! Low end (first gear only) is a bit harder to get it to break loose (not a big deal anyway)....once you get it around 2000rpm you just get shoved back in your seat.
Jim Demmitt Jr
05-08-2002, 12:26 AM
That's great Aluminum flywheels are so much better what kind of clutch do you have?
05-08-2002, 12:30 AM
I'm using the 11" LUK (stock) clutch and pressure plate. Engagement is very good when I let out quickly and it's smooth as a baby's butt when I let out slowly.
No chatter or slipping when it's engaged. :-)
05-08-2002, 12:37 AM
Im glad everything finally worked out for you. Does it feel like you have less power off the line or is it just harder to spin em?
If I ever have to replace my clutch Ill make sure to stick one of those in there.
05-08-2002, 12:41 AM
I do not have less power off the line. In fact, I would say I actually am able to pull harder simply because I don't spin them. It was so easy to break them loose previous (particularly late at night like this).
Definately worth the $ I spent.
If you ever do it there is a walk-through over at my homepage. http://sc.tbkhomeworld.com
05-08-2002, 01:15 AM
Glad to hear your problems are over. I have vibration issues that I'm told stem from the flywheel/clutch. I was originally thinking of getting a Centerforce DF only, but in light of your success story, I think I'll add a McLeod aluminum flywheel to that order.
Also, thanks for posting your walk-through, I'm sure that it will come in handy.
05-08-2002, 09:06 AM
Is yours a factory 5-speed or a swap? If it's a swap, what year car did you pull it off of? I had a duracast crank flywheel that I used...which means it was weighted. This is what was causing my vibration. :-(
Either way, it's still a good, fun, performance mod that you can do. The cool thing....you don't do anything to the engine itself....so you don't increase your chance of screwing it up. :-)
05-08-2002, 10:24 AM
TBK, i will soon be ordering the McLeod flywheel for my rebuild. I have a totally stock '95 SC 5-speed. I just would like to make sure i know what all modifications have to be done to put the flywheel in and i believe the Centerforce Dual Friction clutch is only made in 11", so what do i need to do to get that flywheel/clutch combo installed? Thanks
05-08-2002, 10:37 AM
Well, so long as it's 11" clutch plate, then your home free. Just make sure you purchase new flywheel bolts and pressure plate bolts from Ford. The bolts can get micro fractures in them and they have been known to sheer off and severally injure peoeple. If you don't have a local dealer then I would suggest Dan Newman at Five Star Ford (http://www.fivestarford.com). Tell him TBK from the Tbird club sent you.
The swap is rather easy....getting to the parts is the only hard portion of it. While your there, inspect your rear-main seal and make sure it's in good working order. Now is the time to replace it if you need too. (btw--a new write-up was just made for that at my homepage).
On a side note: McLeod is now selling an adjustable clutch setup. I was told you can adjust how much pressure is applied to the surface of the flywheel. I am not sure how this is accomplished or what it's like, but if you want to, call McLeod and talk to them about it.
05-08-2002, 03:55 PM
thanks, i really appreciate all the help. any other minor things like the bolts that would need to be replaced that i should know about? i want to have ALL the replacement parts lined up ready to go when i walk up to that shop. also do you have any hints on how you can tell if a shop is good or bad? dont wanna get screwed by these people but ive heard a few good things around from them.
I just went up to my local ford dealer, got prices on the parts i could remember at the time but they dont stock ANY of these parts...
synchros - 1-2 - $183
3-4 - obsolete
5-R - $152
slave cylinder - $138
Master cylinder - $119
lines - $83
t/o bearing - $59
top gasket - $17
2 seals may be needed - $35
those are the parts he said would most likely be worn or need replacing during a tranny rebuild. sounds kinda high priced, i guess i just need to talk with Dan Newman like you said. Thanks
05-08-2002, 04:03 PM
Dan typically gives about 20% discount. When you purchase from him, get EVERYTHING in one go, saves $ on shipping.
Two things I would add:
1) if it leaks oil right now, do the rear main seal ($10 from Dan)
2) A shifter rebuild kit (if you have the $)
Check your U-joints...(Get under the car and look at them...try and move them) if they appear to be warn or you can get some serious movement from them, then they should be replaced as well (best time to do it!!).
That should pretty much cover it.
Easiest way to tell if a shop is good or not...tell them it's a Super Coupe Thunderbird with a 5-speed. If they say "Tbirds didn't come with 5-speeds" or "Isn't that one of those turbo charged thingies" then turn your back and run!!!! Check your local Better Business B. and make sure they have a clean record.
05-08-2002, 06:00 PM
Mine is a factory 5-speed. So was your problem that you had a weighted flywheel on a shaft that didn't require it? If so, then if I get the McLeod, I might actually make my vibration worse. I'm pretty sure that my vibration issue is in the clutch, so I figure if I have to replace it, I might as well go big, and while I'm in there, might as well throw in a McLeod.
05-08-2002, 09:44 PM
My problem was I used a Duracast crank 1989 donor car....these used a weighted flywheel. When I put my 0 balanced flywheel on there it fixed the problem.
Explain a little more about your vibration, I've done almost every point on alignment of the drivetrain now, so I might be able to pin point it (at least in a general area) for you.
For Example: Does it vibrate at idle and while driving down the road? etc.etc.etc.
If you need a new clutch, and have the extra dough, I say get the aluminum flywheel, you won't be sorry. :-)
05-08-2002, 10:04 PM
Well said, TBK. That is what I have been trying to tell this board for over a year now. And Vernon a couple of years. Oh well, ya gotta be hard headed to own one of these cars in the first place! :lol:
05-08-2002, 10:07 PM
Your actualy the BIGGEST reason I got it. I know there are a couple of others on the board who talk about theirs, but it was your discussion that really put me over the edge.
Anyway, thanks to EVERYONE who told me about it and said to try it out....I am NOT disappointed.
05-08-2002, 11:07 PM
I figure, since you are in the hard to reach place, you might as well do some good while your in there. Why replace with stock if there is something better out there.
I have been discussing my vibration in depth with some of the SCCoO boys up here, and I've been told by a few that have driven my car that I'm just being paranoid, but here goes...
When I take the RPM's up between 3500-5000, the car has a very rumbly vibration to it. It progressively gets louder from 3500 up to 5000 (it's still there, but I try not to go above this). The vibration is pretty constant throughout, but it's the volume that increases. It gets quite loud. My body guy's opinion is that the clutch isn't sitting flat and that it's warped or something, but I think my clutch feels strong, so do some SCCoO guys. I don't want to take it to Ford so they can tell me that they don't know what it is, and that'll be $500 please". At cruising speed, the car feel fine. Except at around 110-120kph but I think this is from an improperly balanced wheel.
I've come to the decision that I'll just wait until something breaks, then put in better parts.
I welcome opinions...
Bill A McNeil
05-08-2002, 11:14 PM
I emailed McLeod about getting one ASAP when I thought I was going to toss one in while the opportunity presented itself. That was over a month ago, and to this day I have not been contacted.
Anyone else have problems dealing with them via email? Maybe when the tranny comes out to re-do the rear main seal I'll consider the swap.
I keep hearing different prices, anyone got a definite?
05-09-2002, 12:42 AM
And I am sorry. Only a few months ago everyone here was real "anti-lighter flywheel". Folks talking about bogging the engine and stuff. But this engine is a torque house, I would think that it would have plenty to spare.
I have a 1995-5-speed and I put in a Centerforce II clutch since that is the "best" clutch they make in the 11.5" disc. I tend to drive my car like a little old lady. When the clutch was first put in, it felt very smooth and very forgiving on engagement. Now many months later, the clutch is slightly "chattery" when accelerating from a stop light. When I had the clutch replaced, I was informed that they went ahead and replaced my Flywheel too. Geez, i know it was covered under warranty but If that was the case, I might have sprung for a lighter flywheel.
The only real reservation I have with a lighter flywheel is the increased transmission of engine vibration. Is this a problem with your 14lbs flywheel? Do you notice more engine vibes?
05-09-2002, 01:21 AM
Just throwing some ideas out here. I'm assuming this is in neutral and/or when driving at those RPM ranges.
Have you checked all of your pullies? Are they all true? Is your harmonic balancer ever so slightly offset? Have you replaced the belt lately?
Obviously you can have a slightly messed up pressure plate or clutch disk. This is rare from my experiences, but it can occur. The likely hood of your flywheel being warped is slim to none....but this doesn't mean it can't occur.
You could have some bearings inside the engine going bad....
---like I said, just thinking out loud here.
05-09-2002, 01:28 AM
I was unable to get a response from them via email. This does not supprise me as it seems to be more of a 'good ol' boy' type of store. You can actually call and talk to the owner and designer of these products....so if you have any questions, he can answer them on the phone with you. A direct price from them was $515ish. However, you can get it from Summit or a local supplier for $420ish (this varies on suppliers). When you talk to McLeod, get a local place that will not charge you much for shipping or handling....Summit will almost kill you with it. :-)
I can safely say that I have noticed a HUGH performance gain with this mod. The only real difference is it is a bit harder to break it loose at lower RPMs, but as soon as you get above 2000rpm it shoves you into your seat. And who really drives these cars below that!!! It's rather difficult for me to say what a true "stock" flywheel would feel like since I was having a problem with mine in the first place. However, I can say this. Compared to a flywheel with a 50oz offset weight, this thing is SMOOTH! Seriously though, I have noticed no more than normal 3.8L V6 idle vibration. When you get higher RPMs (highway speeds) you can not tell a difference until you shove your foot to the floor and feel the pull.
Again, I would highly recommend this to anyone who has the $, time, and desire to do it.
P.S. - Anyone who is anti aluminum flywheel has obviously NOT tried it in the SC!
05-09-2002, 01:31 AM
Wanted to add one more small item. When I grew up I modified 5hp briggs and stratton engines for my go-kart. One thing we often did was take a 2.5hp flywheel and put it on. After that and some minor work with the carbs we had it dynoed to 8hp.
The 2.5hp flywheel was slightly smaller and a LOT lighter. Sure, it took a tiny bit longer to wind up....but when your using a direct clutch system and you seldom slow down below 20mph, it does what you need.
btw---that kart would top out around 40mph. :-)
05-09-2002, 01:38 AM
True, there are some other things that I should look at before dropping that kind of money on a new clutch and flywheel (think I was just looking for an excuse). Harmonic balancer and pulleys sound like a good idea.
Oh, and it doesn't really happen in neutral or when I'm cruising and then throw it in neutral and give it gas.
05-09-2002, 10:07 AM
I just got mine in last night. I haven't driven the car yet, the exhaust isn't done yet.
I did bolt the exhaust on enough that I could start it without the cops showing up. The car seemed to idle completely normally. I gave it a couple revs. It didn't seem to rev much quicker than stock. I guess it will be a whole different animal on the road.
TBK, I weighed both of the Mcleods while I had them yesterday. The 11" and 11.5" weighed the same as far as I could tell. I sent the 11" back to Mcleod, it should be available next week for anyone that wants one of these. I also tried to take some pics, I'll see if I can get them on the computer.
As far as installation, it seemed kinda tight getting on the crank hub, and I was really nervous about cross threading those pressure plate bolts!!!
05-09-2002, 10:29 AM
Mine was very tight getting onto the crank hub as well. I was very careful when attaching it, making sure to criscross on the bolts. At first I was afraid I had received the wrong one.
One reason why I probably rev quicker is because I had the wrong flywheel for my crank on the car. The offset weight probably cause a serious issue with the engine misbalance. :-(
Likely I replaced the rear main seal (again) and so far I haven't seen any new leaks!
Can you weigh your stock flywheel for me....I was wanting to put that info on my write up.
05-09-2002, 10:44 AM
Sure I can weigh it, but my &*$@# Machine shop probably ground 10 Lbs off of it.
Anyway, I carried them all outside to take a picture, the stocker felt about twice as heavy as the Mcleods. I'll try to e-mail you the pictures of each of them to use if you want.
05-09-2002, 10:54 AM
Yes, please. I am really interested in a front shot of the 11.5" beside the 11" and the backside of the stock flywheel. That way I can show more of the differences. :-)
btw--I found a DIFFERENT section in my book talking about the pins. I'm going to scan the image in so you can check it out. Very interesting information.
05-09-2002, 07:56 PM
Stock flywheel is about 35lbs.
05-09-2002, 09:33 PM
TBK there will be a delay in getting the pictures. Since I don't have a digital camera my method of getting digital pics is to video tape something then use my video capture card. Well I just discovered that my video capture software is not installed on my PC anymore, and I am not sure where the disk is. So I have video tape of the flywheels, but now one is installed, and one is shipped, so no more photos. Maybe I'll have time to look for the software this weekend and get them off the tape.
I got the car all finished tonight. This thing feels so different now. The clutch pedal effort is so much lighter than that CenterFarce. I want to take it easy for a couple hundred miles to break in the clutch, but I did nail it once in third. It may be a little quicker. My seat of the pants o'meter couldn't detect a huge change, but it may be out of calibration after riding in assorted minivans, Intrepids and New Cougars for the past two weeks.
It feels so much nicer now, Those ~~~ brass Sychronizers are the next to go!
05-09-2002, 09:36 PM
I'm wondering if my performance gain is because of the old flywheel I used. I took the Viper owner at my work for a run today. He was very impressed with how hard it pulled. He said he was shocked how much of a difference it made and now he's thinking about one for his Viper (after we supercharge it....LONG PROJECT!)
05-09-2002, 09:53 PM
Well Like I said, I babied it for the 5 miles I put on it tonight. I really can't say what a difference it has made. I am more impressed with the fact that it will go into gear at a stoplight now without a wrestling match. And seriously, the 11.5" pedal effort is about 1/2 that of the 11" Dual Friction. Holding force? Well, I doubt I needed a dual friction in the first place.
The whole car feels VERY different now, it will take a while before I notice a difference due to the flywheel weight. I am just sort of overwhelmed with the other new sensations. Plus, old flywheel or new, it is a hell of a lot quicker than what I have gotten used to over the past couple weeks while it has been down.
05-10-2002, 01:16 AM
I know you did a trans swap, but were you using a 11" CF dual friction clutch before???
I have the 11.5" CF II. It feels *exactly* like stock (pedal pressure wise) but it hooks up nicely. It's very hard to slip this clutch. But I am having some slight "grabbiness" when in 1st gear and taking off from a stop. I wonder if my clutch disk is getting glazed/warped. When I first got it, it didn't do this at all and engagement was SMOOTH.
It was weird too, when I had my clutch installed, my harmonic balancer broke too, so they put another one in. My belts are in good shape, I replaced them like last summer, I think and put on steel tensioner pullies.
If I wanted could I "downgrade" to a 11" flywheel and use the Centerforce Dual Friction clutch on my car? My 1995 5-speed is stock remember....
ALso andy, since you had the stock flywheel, have you noticed any additional engine vibrations??
BTW, will I see you again at carlisle this year? I just got a Room at the super 8 for Friday night (can't come to the show on friday since the wife has to work) it was the last room they had, it is the Super 8 at 1800 Harrisburg Pike, is that the super 8 that everyone else is staying at??? I remeber there were two super 8's or maybe I was too drunk to remember.....
05-10-2002, 10:18 AM
TBK, i was going to order my flywheel and clutch yesterday but wanted to get to talk to dan neuman first which i just got the answering machine. i'll just try back again today. Also, when i order my flywheel, since i want the 11" centerforce dual friction do i need to order an 11" flywheel? and that will just bolt up in my '95 SC without any problems right?? i cant ever find any of my old posts so try shooting me an email if you get a chance. thanks a lot
05-10-2002, 11:03 AM
Maybe someone can answer this.
I don't know what size my McLeod clutch is. Either 10.5 or 11. And of course I have the 11 inch flywheel.
I don't want to get the 11 inch aluminum flywheel and later have to upgrade both the clutch and flywheel again to 11.5.
Do you guys know if an 11.5 inch flywheel will work with my 10.5 or 11 inch clutch? Then when I smoke this clutch I can just get an 11.5 inch clutch? Cause I don't think I got the cash for a new clutch AND flywheel right now, but I def. want the alum. flywheel.
05-10-2002, 11:35 AM
<DIR>I'm not sure if this is all addressed to Andy, but I'll throw in my two cents. I have always used the 11" LUK clutch plate (stock). my advise, since the bolt pattern is the same on the 11" and 11.5", is to ge the 11.5" flywheel. That way, if you ever want to upgrade in the future, you can. If I had known this at the time, i would have ordered an 11.5" like Andy did. Unfortunately it was found out too late for me.</DIR>
<DIR>I would advise the same to you. If you ever plan on upgrading to 11.5" (which is always a possibility) then I would go with the 11.5". From what Andy tells us, they are all the same bolt pattern and size...so this would make perfect sense.</DIR>
<DIR>Again, same thing....if you ever plan on upgrading to 11.5" then go with the 11.5".</DIR>
All of the above is held true as long as Andy's measurements/placement of the clutch assembly to the flywheel was correct (I'm confident it is). He stated the 11.5" would fit the 11" because it uses the same bolt pattern. All you would have is slightly larger steel surface area that was not being used by the clutch plate....which is what a stock flywheel does anyway.
05-10-2002, 12:08 PM
That's exactly what I want to hear. I was hoping that's all that would happen.......the steel surface would be larger than needed.
With the flywheel being $450 I don't really have the cash to pay $300 on a new clutch. Besides, this McLeod clutch has like 10K miles on it and is still in good shape, so it would be a waste to get rid of it.
Oh, and for what it's worth. A friend of mine had the adjustable McLeod clutch on his Fox body LX 5.0L. He was running 11.9-12.0's on a n/a 302 and thought it was total crap. He had to adjust it after each run and it still didn't hold up to the abuse (kept slipping).
But he did drive his car hard. Launched at 5000rpm on slicks, powershifted at 7500rpm with 4.10 gears behind a T5.
So that's one negative vote for the adjustable McLeod. In fact, that was the last straw before he swapped in a C4.
05-10-2002, 03:01 PM
TBK that is it exactly. My flwheel was exactly the same as yours, they took the steel plate out and machined the aluminum to accept a 11.5" diameter steel plate. The smaller clutches would work, you would have an extra bit of steel that isn't used is all.
Deep6, If I were you I would avoid the dual Friction until you need it. If you are happy with the clutch feel and aren't experiencing excessive slipping, don't take a chance of messing it up with a different clutch design. Chances are 99.99975% of the people here don't NEED a dual friction. I beleive most get it thinking they are going to have "the best" in their car. The problem is the only performance gain from going to the dual friction is holding power. It is more holding power than most of us need, and in my case I think it was holding so good I couldn't shift into gear. I wonder how many people with "bad" M5R2's have a Centerforce........
05-10-2002, 03:31 PM
Just to digress a bit.......brass blockers suck. I'm going to fiber next time around. I cannot shift 1-2 fast or it will give a GOD AWEFUL grind. Which is why the 1-2 shift takes so long in my LS1 kill video.
I slam it into 2nd and it feels like it takes a sec before dropping in. So the other day I decided to overcome that "feel" and I ripped it into 2nd as fast as I could. UGH. Dood, it sounded TERRIBLE.
SO from now on I'm gonna keep speed shifting the 1-2 shift how I've done. It's not worth having a tranny that grinds all the time around town just to go .3 faster in the 1/4.
I can powershift 2-3-4 though?
05-10-2002, 03:41 PM
I guess I should have put this in the technical forum. :-)
btw--if you find a supplier for the fiber ones let me know. I want to buy a set and have them ready for when my tranny goes out. Ford no longer produces some of them.....
05-10-2002, 03:52 PM
How can that be? That's wierd. Surely Liberty Ford can come through
05-10-2002, 06:10 PM
TBK, I just bought a full set of fiber lined synchro's from the Ford dealer here. At least I hope I did, I was told that 1-4 are the same and 5, Rev are the same so I bought 4 of the one type, and two of the other type. I ended up paying almost $200 for all six, you might get a better deal from five star ford.
Micah, Liberty here in MI is not Liberty Ford. They are Liberty Gear working with all makes and models.. They are in no way affiliated with Ford, or any of it's dealers. They are a gear and trans shop, one that does some very cool shingit. They also order their rebuild kits from outside, I don't know where. Southern Gear maybe???
05-13-2002, 11:21 AM
05-13-2002, 07:22 PM
I have been thinking of getting the Mcleod flywheel and was wondering if my centerforce dual friction clutch would be hard on it by tearing it up or would it hold up like the stock flywheel?
05-13-2002, 07:39 PM
Well, considering the insert is steel...and is probably a harder steel than the original flywheel (this is an assumption) then I'm sure it's fine.
05-14-2002, 03:15 PM
2000 rpm seems at least to me to be pretty much low end range if you say it pulls very hard from 2k. As far as spinning the tires, that depends on what state of tune your engine is in, and if all of the bolt ons are optimized and working well together. I get lots of wheelspin at 2k rpm and above using only minimal intake bolt ons- enlarged stock air box with k&n and removed silencer, custom porting and enlarging of the supercharger inlet/outlet, raised top, customized sampling tube on 73mm maf, 63mm custom TB, shortened throw air bypass valve, custom porting of exhaust manifold.
i would say that if i put the lighter flywheel on with a 2400 stall converter that my sc would be too torquey on the low to midrange rpms.
05-15-2002, 12:35 PM
What are you talking about hytorkSC??
"i would say that if i put the lighter flywheel on with a 2400 stall converter that my sc would be too torquey on the low to midrange rpms"
Flywheels are only found on Manual cars, stall converters would be used on Autos. So I think your a little confused. Also... what are these?
"customized sampling tube on 73mm maf, 63mm custom TB"
What Kind of customizing did you do?
05-15-2002, 01:19 PM
probably ported stock TB w/ bigger butterfly. Like Russ did.
05-16-2002, 10:30 AM
Have you checked your fuel economy with the new flywheel yet? I just filled up for the first time since I put it in, it caught my attention.
393 Miles on 16 gallons. I was getting about 320 miles out of the same amount of fuel.
It may be just because I have been babying the new clutch to break it in. I have gotten on it pretty good quite a few times though, I haven't been babying it THAT much. I could see where the lower inertia might help fuel economy, especially in city driving.
05-16-2002, 10:45 AM
Not really....I'm actually getting worse....reason: With the old flywheel the car vibrated badly so I was VERY slow while driving it, keeping it at VERY specific RPM range to help the vibration be less.
Also, since I have put in the new flywheel I've been bad and speed a lot. I raced the Viper owner last night on the way home from work. I think he was shocked when I stuck with him (just went for small spurts). He would pull away until I would hit around 3000rpm and then I would stay with his acceleration. I'm so proud of my baby!
Anyway, I'm at 1/4 tank of gas and have 200miles on the tank! LOL Guess I should pull my foot out of it.
After the cruise up the Pacific Coast this weekend I'll be gentle with it and see if I can get more than the 300 miles/tank I was able to get before. (91 octane only out here...BLAH!)
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.