Giulietta 101 Race car conversion to hydraulic clutch - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Giulietta 101 Race car conversion to hydraulic clutch

I have a 59 Giulietta Spider Veloce race car. I am running a Tilton clutch with the mechanical actuator and the clutch is EXTREMELY heavy. My thought was that some assistance from a hydraulic master cylinder/slave cylinder setup would make the clutch lighter. Since its a race car fabrication can be done originality is not necessary. Moving to an aftermarket race setup would be an option.

Do any of our US based vendors produce anything to assist with this conversion. Has anyone undertaken a project of this nature?
I have also considered moving from the floor mounted pedal setup to a hung pedal setup, having difficulty finding info on how to do this and if its even possible.

Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 02:56 PM
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You may benefit from some geometry changes to your mechanical linkage, if you can tolerate a bit more pedal travel. I used to modify the old F&S racing PP's and some required considerable pedal effort. Linkage changes added more motion, lessing effort. I did not like the hydraulic conversion only because personally, I imagined they had less feel. They DO feel "different".
You can use any Alfa hydraulic unit that fits easily, or is easy to modify to fit. However, if the Tilton is really heavy, you may need a sturdy slave cylinder mount. You might check with Tilton on this as they would know what slave cylinder is best with your clutch. Then it may be that the Alfa masters cannot provide the volume needed for a Tilton slave, and you will be back to Tilton again for another modification.
Look at the Alfa options, but check with Tilton first.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Gordon. Sage advice. Appreciate the swift response. I have had this Tilton clutch a few years now but it never properly engaged previously and I had all kinds of problems. So I got a really smart engineer to make this work with the engine he rebuilt for me. So now engine is awesome, clutch works perfectly but the driver effort to operate it is massive. I will be honest here I am slightly more vintage than my 59 Giulietta and the fact that with the floor mounted pedals you not only have to press forward but also downward. Thats why I thought a hung pedal arrangement where the effort was forward only plus hydraulics may work. Plus you have the added assistance of the larger master pushing the smaller slave to reduce effort.

My engineer is a smart guy and I will certainly speak with him about geometry changes to the mechanical linkage. We will also speak with Tilton. Final question you refer to F&S Racing who I am not familiar with. Of course I Googled it. are they in MD?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:57 PM
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No, the old Fitchel & Sachs racing clutch was used on racing Alfa TZ's, TI Supers and GTA's, as well as many others. There were several versions, or variations, including a "lightweight" version for TZ's that was usually quickly replaced by the heavier GTA version, as the light one did not hold up well.
These were often used with solid hub discs, also from F & S. These are no longer available new, though there is an Asian copy that is not as good as originals. I've run these for many years, and used to rebuild them for pure race use.
I've a few of these that are not for sale for my own use. I too am almost 20 years older than my 52 year old Ausca spider, and these easily hold the power of my GTA engine without excessive pedal effort.
Early versions had a flat ring welded to the top of the spring covers. Later, about '66, the big ring was thinned a bit, but has a rounded lip, so it is as stiff or stiffer. The light TZ version had a thinner base plate that bolted to the flywheel, and you KNEW it was thinner because bolted up to the flywheel, this plate sometimes was wavy (!!!) with heavy springs installed.
I'll try posting some pictures, but other BB members tell me photo posting was not working earlier today.
If my photos don't work here, (Still NOT working now!) send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send them by e-mail.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 07:33 AM
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Clutch

Quote:
have a 59 Giulietta Spider Veloce race car. I am running a Tilton clutch with the mechanical actuator and the clutch is EXTREMELY heavy. My thought was that some assistance from a hydraulic master cylinder/slave cylinder setup would make the clutch lighter. Since its a race car fabrication can be done originality is not necessary. Moving to an aftermarket race setup would be an option.
It`s a common problem. You don`t need hydraulics.

What are you using as a throw-out bearing?
If you are using a 5.5 or 7.25" Tilton pressure plate then YOU MUST use a TO bearing that fits the clutch fingers. You cannot use a factory type (Alfa) release bearing as the OD of the contact plate is way too big for the fingers. The TO bearing should only have a contact area no bigger than a 1/4" diameter larger than the hole in the fingers leaving a contact area of 1/8" on the ends of the fingers. Otherwise the big flat plate is contacting the fingers well up their length multiplying the force needed to release the clutch. This causes far to high a load on release components.

If you are still using the cable release the simple fix us to use the Centerline release bearing adapter and a "modified" F&S release bearing to fit the contact point correctly on the fingers. (the adaptor is machined to fit the F&S bearing only not other aftermarket ones)

I`ve been modifying Alfa release bearings for these applications for many years.

If the BB wasn`t FU`ed I could post a picture.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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Last edited by Alfar7; 09-25-2017 at 07:36 AM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 08:02 AM
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Yes, totally agree. He probably has the rod rather than cable, but the T.O. itself changes the geometry because the old F&S T.O., even modified has a different 'depth' than the finger type with Centerline adaptor.
I discussed the photo issue, and it's being worked on. At least I can STILL send photo's e-mail!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys having massive problems with the BB on windows ... gave up....so trying from my iPad seems to work here.

Anyways back to the technical. I was at my engine builders shop today.

So Richard it's a 7.5 inch Tilton clutch, aluminum flywheel and GOrdon is spot on I am running a mechanical linkage, with factory floor mounted pedal box. My engineer is in agreement we think it's a leverage issue. I do not have a definitive answer on the thrust bearing. I can tell you it is not stock Alfa. Just to clarify my car is a 59 Giulietta Spider Veloce with a 1600cc '64 Giulia block, with 1750 pistons mated to a 5 speed 2000 Spider gearbox with modified gearbox crossmember and shortened drive shaft. But still running the stock Alfa pedal box with a rod linkage. So it's definitely a mongrel or Mutt.

Did not know cable clutch was an option over mechanical rod or hydraulic. But believe me this clutch is really heavy. The issue I have with the Alfa floor mounted pedal box is you not only have to push forward but also downward and that's a real bear and I believe little mechanical advantage. I just thought that with a hydraulic since you have the advantage of master over slave bore and capacity would help. But I certainly stand to be corrected.

Really appreciate all the help guys and I will see if I can figure out how to send you guys my personal email address.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 08:25 PM
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Again, send me a private message with your e-mail address, and I'll send you photos of what works well, old school, withour breaking the bank or your leg/foot. My GTA engine is considerably more agressive than your engine build, and in 52 years, I've never had a clutch issue.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 07:51 AM
Richard Jemison
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Clutch

I sent him pics of a modified TO bearing.
Regardless of TO bearing source you need to see how large and the contact point on the fingers to determine it`s a compatible application.

Quit typing and remove the cover and look!

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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