Automatic Clutch

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huiga
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Automatic Clutch

Post by huiga » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:10 am

re 1933 Packard straight eight, 1001 sedan,

reprints of the Service Newsletters, series 7th - 13th, Notes on Clutch section, refers to an Automatic Clutch
Control,

On what cars was it installed, and how is it suppose to work ?

Dave Czirr
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:33 pm

Welcome to the PAC forums, and a great question. I've owned a 34 Eight for over 45 years and have been all over and around and under 33/34 Packards all those years. I'm familiar with the material in the Service Letters, yet must say I've never seen that option, and have never heard anyone even mention it.

huiga
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by huiga » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:17 pm

Dave, thanks for the reply,

My reference book came from - books4cars.com. - Reference Book of Mechanical Information.
I wonder if different reference books contain different subjects.

on pg 37 - Clutch, From the description of the operation, it sounds like the clutch is
suppose to release when the car is in 3rd gear, and the speed goes below approximately
10 miles per hour.

There is a description of a vacuum system, piston, control valve, and clutch release lever, et al with
some diagrams. I haven't fully comprehended the diagram and system. ( If I can scan the pages,
I will get them to you. )

in the Packard Service Parts List ( manual purchased from Kanter) there is a comprehensive list of the components
of the clutch system which includes a section on Clutch Control ie Clutch and brake vacuum control valve , clutch
control valve assembly, clutch control valve to vacuum cylinder, etc, etc,

which confirms the ' automatic clutch'.

The whole question came up, when I started the car, warmed it up, and pushed in the clutch. It didn't
disengage, I was unable to put the car in any gear with the engine running. I crawled under the car to
look for obvious loose or unconnected rods. I was not able to follow the linkage from the clutch pedal
to the clutch. Turned to the reference letters and parts manual and discovered the section on the
automatic clutch.

Started the car again, it worked like normal, clutch disengaged, was able to put the car in gear,
and drive it normally.

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JD in KC
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by JD in KC » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:12 pm

Packard did have an Automatic Clutch. It was called an 'Electromatic' Clutch. I believe this device was first offered on the 19th series so there shouldn't be any relevance for a 1933 model Packard. The earliest reference to the parts for the Electromatic would show up in the 1935-1941 Packard Parts List . All the Electromatic references that I see in that parts list relate specifically to the 19th Sr. series (1941 model year).

There may have been some sort of vacuum assisted clutch device on earlier Packards, but I'm not aware of one (and 1933 is much earlier than any Packard I've ever dealt with).

Dave Czirr
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:25 am

JD - I believe the device referred to was not the vacuum-assisted clutch which was standard on Twelves, but what appears to be a rather primitive and early form of Electromatic, but w/o the electrical controls, purely vacuum and mechanical. It is covered in 4 pages int he 9th-12th series Service Letter reprint and I can email you a couple of the pages if you're interested. Since I've never seen or even heard of an installation, I assume it was an option that was aborted very early after introduction.

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JD in KC
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by JD in KC » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:20 am

Dave, thanks for the offer. I've sent you a PM.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Automatic Clutch

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:36 am

In further discussing the early (pre-Electromatic) "automatic" clutch with a prewar Packard historian, I've come to the conclusion that it was most likely a 1932 offering and perhaps a companion to "free wheeling" which had it's brief period of popularity around that year. Apparently Buick tried a similar system in 1932 which they called "Wizard Control". It would appear all three (free-wheeling, Wizard Control, & Packards version of same) were less than rousing successes.

PS - I also see in Chilton's 11th Edition that Plymouth also had a primitive "automatic clutch" in 1933 - apparently also a one-year wonder (see info below). Perhaps somewhat in parallel to Packard's later Electromatic Clutch, the length and detail of the adjustment process might be a clue to just how service-intensive these units were.
Attachments
33 Ply automatic clutch.jpg

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