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Old 05-10-2005, 11:00 AM   #1
mxs
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Default NTC3 and K-factory Centex clutch

Hi all NTC3 fanatics,

question regarding K-Factory centex clutch. Has anybody got it working without breaking thrust bearing every 10 laps? I've never had one before, so I installed it set the right end play at 0.4mm put down on the track. 10 laps it was grabbing fine and then it stopped after the thrust bearing cage and balls disappeared from the unit.

There were no instructions with the clutch so I set the end play according to general advice of other racers at the track, but mind you nobody runs the same clutch. Personally I hate the design when the whole thrust bearing is exposed on the outside of the clutch bell. I am thinking that the clutch might be a piece of garbage that's why it was so cheap. So no harm will be done if thrown away. But I thought I would ask before I do that.

Thanks all for response.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:37 PM   #2
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you have to set gap and end-play. 0.4mm endplay seems like alot. I usually set mine to 0.1mm. Also did you lube the bearing?

John
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrabbito
....... Also did you lube the bearing?

John
That is the final answer..........the centax's thrust bearing need to use heavy (thick) lube for almost every 2 run.......I use the AE black grease, use something thick, lube both side of the plate (several tab) should do the work....I do that every 2-3 runs, not 2-3 days....2-3 of 5 minutes run.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the answers.

Just to confirm. I set the gap and end play. the reason I set the end play to 0.4 was that I read a couple of articles written by racers like Josh Cyrul and they all said that the end play should be anywhere between 0.25-0.7mm, depending how mild or agressive grab do you want to have. The thrust bearing was lubed basically just prior to the run when it collapsed and I used a thick grease, so this was not an issue.

Is any of you actually using this clutch or are you using something else? The reason I am asking is that I see the end play will strictly depend what kind of clutch is it. I met a guy with serpent centex and that thing had almost zero end play. It didn't make sense to me, but the car was pretty quick and he said he doesn't have a problem with thrust bearing blowing up. Go figure....

Thanks
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:55 AM   #5
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mxs,

I think you are confusing GAP and ENDPLAY. I have used Josh's guide also and the GAP he recommends is .35-.7.

The ENDPLAY he recommends is .1-.4.

Read the article again ( http://www.cefx.net/tips/nitro/clutch/index.php ) and also look at the assembly on MyTsn. ( http://www.mytsn.com/publ/publ.asp?pid=9829 )

Make sure that everything is set as per the instruction or guide and you should be good. Just grease that damn bearing!!

John
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:08 AM   #6
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don't get crazy with the setup. try this.....

set the "gap" so that the clutch bell starts to spin freely with the clutch unit installed on the shaft- make sure you have plenty of "endplay" at this point (no extra shims except the thrust bearing). I hold the engine with the crankshaft vertical until the bell spins freely and does not grab the disc.

Now, simply adjust the endplay so you have 0.1- 0.2mm.

Go from there.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:57 AM   #7
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I'm running the Ofna Power Clutch in my NTC3. Using the NTC3 engine mounts. I've had no problems with my clutch setup. My end-play is about .4 and it seems like theres alot of front and back movement with that setting but it works like a charm. I don't grease my thrust-bearing like I should but I've run that clutch in 30 min. mains with no problems with my thrust-bearing. I've notice that some of the guys at the track, that are blowing there thrust-bearing have theres set real tight. There's almost no front to back play. So I think the key to making your bearing last is to run it more on the loose side. I think.
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:08 PM   #8
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After reading the last three posts I think that some of us call gap an end-play and vice versa, including me. After reading John's post I went like "oh my god, did I do it the other way", but reading the article again I realized that in my initial post I just called gap an end-play, but my clutch was actually exactly like Josh recommended.

Anyways to avoid the gap-end play confusion thing I will just say this. I shimmed the clutch bell carefully so it was spinning freely but as close to the shoe as possible. After I shimmed thrust bearing the clutch bell movement in and out was set to 0.4mm. The bearing was lubed properly as well.

Maybe this clutch needs something else. Anyways for now I went to the proven 3 shoes hard springs set up and it works like a charm. With 20 buck per thrust bearing I don't think I am going back to centex for now.

Thanks to all for posting.
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:47 PM   #9
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I use Mugen MTX3 clutch with 0.8 gears, a lot cheaper then K Factory or Yokomo or AE...etc.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:03 PM   #10
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Well, I don't know. I paid for mine USD 45 on ebay. All other centax clutches I've seen were well over 100 USD spmetimes without pinions....
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:21 PM   #11
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Guys, there's nothing confusing about gap and endplay-

GAP is the distance the shoe must travel before engaging the clutch bell. So it is the distance from the bell to the shoe. If you read your instrusctions carefully you will se that this distance MUST be set without endplay shims- this way the distance stays correct when you set the endplay.

ENDPLAY is the amount of lateral movement the bell has to allow for heat growth etc on the thrust bearing and shaft assembly. If your endplay is too tight then with the heat expansion, the tolerance will lessen to zero or close to it and heat the thrust bearing therefore destroying the bearing. Conversely, if the endplay is too loose then the bell will be allowed to wobble and the bearings allowed to move around in the bearing seats which will destroy the bearings as well and also allow the bell to spin out of balance which can chew up the gears and eventually damage the engine's rear crankshaft bearing.
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Old 05-12-2005, 08:08 AM   #12
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I don't think I am stupid, but can tell you that if a centax comes witho no instructions and you've never dealt with that type of clutch before it can get confusing.

Although I will gladly admit that should I have the serpent guide John posted above there would be no confusion about gap and end-play on my part. It's very clearly explained, the best I've seen so far.

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:21 AM   #13
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mxs,

dont give up on the centax. Once set it is incredibly simple. There are defanite performance and tuning advantages to it.

Dont give up on it!!

John
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:03 PM   #14
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Thanks John for the support. I am convinced that when set properly it will deliver abd eventually be better than 3 shoe clutch, but because I am into 3rd year with my NTC3, I am 100% sure that I will be buying a new kit next year (I like what people report about new Kyosho RRR, I think sooner or later XRay must come out with some nitro touring..) and these days the high end kits all come with new centax designs, not like the one I got for 50 bucks. So it's just not making sense for me right now to get a new thrust bearing and who knows what else. If I come across a good price I might get it, but I can be without it this year, that's for sure.

Anyways, thanks to all of you again, you gave me some good tips.
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:05 PM   #15
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funny you mention RRR. That is what I am driving now. Very happy with it, you cant go wrong. My only advice is to look at all the top level belt drive cars. Pick the one that you like the most and has good parts support for you.

Kyosho, Serpent, Mugen, G4, HPI...etc. They are all great kits.

Good luck!!

John
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