In the early 1900′s automotive engineers were trying some crazy stuff. That is one of the reasons that I love older cars so much. These guys didn’t really have a “norm” to start with, so they attempted to create it. Cars in general were in their infancy and each manufacturer was completely different than the next.
The other day I spotted an engine that still had an old clutch assembly attached. It was something that I had never seen before so I snapped off a few quick pics. Judging by the planetary gears on the back of the clutch, it was probably from a tractor or some piece of farm equipment, but it was cool looking & genius design nonetheless. It vaguely resembled a modern puck clutch with it’s multi-pad design. From what I am told, you could swap those friction pads out without pulling the transmission. Now that is a good idea! Just imagine how much cheaper clutch jobs would be if the transmission didn’t need to come out. Even if clutches didn’t last as long, it could be a 30K mile service that is 1 hour of labor, and likely ~ $50 in friction material. What am I missing here? Why was this design lost in history? Why doesn’t somebody reinvent this for ultimate profit? What the heck?