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What made freewheel break?
Posted by RayF [Email] (more from RayF) on Fri, 7 Jan 2005 14:37:20
In Reply to: should freewheel be reintroduced?, chuck, Tue, 6 Jul 2004 16:18:29
I had one of those 99s. There was a lever on the console near the shifter, and it linked to a lever up front alongside the clutch cover area by a cable. Pull back and hook it and you were in f. mode, let it go forward and you were back to normal. (Ain't memory wonderful, I can see both of those levers in my mind's eye as if it were yesterday and it's about 30 years ago.) I think the cable was a weak link; only breaking I can imagine is in not being able to engage it or to disengage it cause I don't think the cars had the power to rip the freewheeling clutch apart. (Other weaker links in the tranny would and did bust first.)
There is a safety consideration whether to bring back freewheeling: i.e., in hilly terrain engine braking from downshifting is a great aid to handling and also your failsafe method of slowing a car or, with car in gear and ignition off, of stopping it, should brakes fail. With freewheeling stuck on, or simply if you failed to disengage it in a panic situation, you'd have no engine braking.
A freewheeling clutch works on the same principle as the rig on top of a lawnmower engine that lets your pull starter spin the motor, or like those smooth ratchet-less ratchets: roller bearings inside a race that's tapered and gets tighter towards one direction, so they jam between the race and the shaft with motion that way, but roll free with reverse motion.
posted by 70.105.23...
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