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Discussion Starter #1
My motor of 25 years, so the clutch is at least 25 years old. The friction disc are black but the grooves are still there. When I put the clutch pack together and press by hand,the plates still slide around the steel plates but may be normal.

Do clutches get old like brakes and tires and need replaced due to the material degrading without use?
 

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Yes and no. how about that for an answer? I have seen clutches go bad after a few years. And I have seen 50-year-old clutches going strong. It seems like the older clutches are better than the new ones. The only time I have seen the old clutches delaminate is if they sat for a long time with a lot of moisture.
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Discussion Starter #3
Im going to roll with the old one since it seems ok plus its nostaligic. I do have a set of new plates from ebay but will try my old ones first, its not all that hard to swap it out. Thanks!
 

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If plates really are 'black' the clutch has probably been slipping through bad adjustment?
Even then, I would fit heavy duty clutch springs before fitting new plates.
I'm running clutch plates more than 40 years old in my 378 motors, the original springs are all weak as they were marginal even when new.
The reason pre 1977 plates seem to last longer, they contain asbesto swhich was banned from automotive use (don't use 'Roloc' abrasives to remove gaskets on old vehicles or 'sand' old plates)
Modern plates are basically made of 'paper' (cellulose)
 

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Measure the thickness with a mircometer.
If they pass spec.
Wash them off with kerosene, brush them off with a stiff wire brush.
Rinse in kerosene again, let dry and re-install.
 

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I know what you mean but for anyone else, never install clutch plates 'dry.'
Always soak in engine oil for a minimum of 20 minutes and preferreably overnight
 

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I know what you mean but for anyone else, never install clutch plates 'dry.'
Always soak in engine oil for a minimum of 20 minutes and preferreably overnight
Yes - 100% - I forgot to say once the Kerosene has dried to soak in Engine oil before installing.
I frequently leave out steps that are just natural for me.
 

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Me too, not sure why I 'picked up' on it this time?
 
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