Sachs clutch modifications

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Manual clutch Many sachs performance enthusiats will opt for the manual shift, 2-gang or 3-gang sachs/hercules motors (505-2B(or D) or 505-3B) ordered from ebay Germany. Helpful search terms include: "2-gang" or "2 (zwei) lamellen" sachs/hercules "Prima 5". Unfortunately, even the 2 speed manual motors have trouble with clutches slipping.

The standard clutches consist of:

  • 2x pads [#18] 3.2mm thick
  • 3x plates [#16] 1.7m thick (on an standard 2 pad automatic clutch you instead have one 1.7mm plate and 2 2.6mm plates)
  • spacer [#15] 4.5mm
for a 16mm total thickness

Additionally the manual clutches use a spacer at the bottom of the bell and a spring washer to press the clutch together when engaged, and three 15.8mm long x 3mm diam pins [#14] which go through the plates and push back the bottom plate against the spring to disengage the clutches when the shift lever is pulled.

One option to prevent slipping is the so-called "uber clutches". These are available through ebay Germany, however the cost is 150+ Euro, plus shipping, and the seller doesn't ship to the US, so you need a contact in Europe. These have been tried and provide good action with no unwanted slip.

The "uber-clutch" consists of:

  • 4x New "uber" pads [#18], 2.15mmx4
  • 5x clutch plates [#16] 1.7mm
  • no spacer

for a total 17.1mm (meas 17.3) total thickness It also includes a stiffer base spring [#20]

The second option is to make these uber clutches yourself. If you find any second clutch pack even from an automatic, grinding down the clutch pads is all you'd need to do. 1.7mm plates should be thin enough as-is. The manual engines already have 3 and the automatics usually have 1 plate of desired 1.7mm thickness. Grind the pads on the side where the oil channels don't go all the way out the teeth, this should be apparent when looking at them. This is so that you dont loose oil turbulence. It's also very important when grinding to keep the 2 sides absolutely parallel.

There is more work required to make it fit into your clutch. Even when milled down to the uber clutch sizes, it still doesnt quite fit. You can mill the bottom spacer [#21], to leave room for more clutch to fit in the bell. You may also remove the spacer [#15] on the end. Another option instead of milling down #21 is to space out the cover. If you just flip the inner spacer [21] and get rid of the outer spacer [15] it buys you enough room to fit it all in the bell, but it pushes the engagement bell [#11] too far out so the clutch cover causes the clutch to disengage when the cover is tightened on. A few extra gaskets or a custom spacer works to alleviate the problem. So either you gotta mill down #21 about .5mm or flip it and add some extra gaskets on the clutch cover. I did the latter and have 3 clutch cover gaskets.

The second problem number 2, the new uber clutch pack is too thick for the old pins. The clutch disengages when you pull it by pressing the set of 3 pins [14] thru to push the back plate and spring [16,20]. The pins are only 15.8mm which works because the normal outer spacer [15] is recessed. With the new setup at 17mm thick, you need longer pins. These can be found (3mm diameter 18mm long) from McMaster Carr. They work, I have a ton extra, if you want some, they’d be free. PM wdaloz.


Another option used by Nick K with his 3 speed Sachs is to maintain cool oil temperatures. A simple pump and radiator cooler setup is used to circulate the transmission oil and dump int back into the top of the clutches. This is reported to also alleviate problems with slipping. It is also worth noting that the 3 speed motors have a 4 plate 3 pad clutch with greater surface area. Transmission oil also has an effect on the clutch performance. I run a belray gearsaver 85w gear oil but have tried everything down to ATF with no noticeable affect. Sachs recommends 90w oil for it’s manual transmission engines.

I also put a little whirly piece to whip the oil around and keep everything lubed and cool. that's equally or more important than friction area. it's just a cut piece of tin can with bent out tabs bolted in there. pins go through it. i havent any pics but get creative.


Automatic Clutch For you normal automatic folks:

This is an Automatic sachs clutch. I took parts from two standard 2-pad/3-plate clutches. milled the pads to fit 3 pads and 4 plates for more friction area and less slip. The 2 center plates are the thinner 1.7 (usually one in each clutchpack is this size), outer 2 plates are standard 2.6mm thickness. pads are milled down to 2.3 from 3.4mm. Also good to recut the oil channels in the pads. After that you just have to add shims to make sure the center toothed piece [#19 above] has proper clearance so it grabs only as the donut springs out or the starter bell is pulled in. ready to rip.

The other big problem people have with the sachs auto clutches is the nut backing off the end. the reason for that is that the clutch only attaches to the crank by the nut on the end, whereas most clutches are taper fit so they really get snug on there. That means the sachs clutch can spin the nut free, basically because the clutch can spin freely from the crank if the nut gets any loose. Taper would be ideal, a woodruff key would be great but neither are really easily doable.

What I did was to take the toothy bit [#19]and drilled and tapped a 1/8 in. hole through the side of it and then got a short allen set screw for it.

-somethin like that. I lined it up on the crank and drilled a tiny divit into the crank where it would sit normally, making sure that's alligned right. Then drilled a big hole in the top of the clutch case to get to the screw and tighten it down through the slits in the side of the bell once the bell and spring and evrything behind #19 was in place. Then i just put a cover over the top hole, theres no pressure on it, just to hold the oil in. Assembled the rest as usual. Red loctite on the end nut is still a good idea. clean it with brake parts cleaner 1st to get any oil off.