4R70W direct clutch with 8 frictions - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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4R70W direct clutch with 8 frictions

Looking for anyone who has done the 8 friction disc in the direct drum. I had rebuilt my 97 transmission (with 99 valve body)with the J-mod a couple tears ago. The 4.6 I used with it was 350 hp. Now I am using a 4.6 DOHC teksid motor with a supercharger. Estimated hp will be 600 hp. But I want to use about a 150 shot of nitrous too. So, I want to rebuild the tranny again to handle this increase. When I disassembled this tranny, Everything was still in great shape.
I have done some extensive measuring on my direct clutch drum. The J-mod states that .100 can be machined of the direct piston to be able to get the 8th friction in the drum. This is what I have noticed. If I measure from the top of the drum down to the top of the steel plate that would be next to the piston (it is sitting on the piston when I measure), I get approximately 1.4". When I took out the steel plate and piston and put the steel plate all the way down to the end of the splines, I get a measurement of 1.43". So, I see only gaining .030".
Am I missing something here? The J-mod states using a 97 or newer drum. The only reason for that is the snap ring groove moved up. But that would not do anything to help the fact that the top of the direct piston is only 030" higher than the bottom of the splines in the drum.
I appreciate any input
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 08:28 AM
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I also found there to be an error with this part of his instructions. Sure, you can machine off .100" but it will only increase your clearance by .030" or so . The only two options I see for getting 8 clutches in there is cutting the snap ring groove a little further up, or using thinner steels, which is what I have resorted to. Also in his instructions he says to machine .050" from the forward piston, this will also only only achieve an additional .010" clearance. My transmission is a 2003 so I know the parts in it are new enough to have the drums he is referring to.

I just wanted to add this information for anyone that reads it like I did and buys parts based upon the article.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 06:00 PM
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I found this info while looking up rebuild info on the web:
Quote:

Alternate (Better?) Ways to Up the Direct Clutch Friction Count

You saw me use the ALTO thinner plate setup to raise the friction count from the stock max of 6 to 8. I expressed my thoughts on the heat that was going to produce and the thermal mass being smaller.... and cautioned to add a larger cooler.

Some well respected builders use this setup and swear by it. Others hate it and swear at it, claiming it burns up. So... how can you UP the count using stock frictions?

Well, there are two ways. First off.... remove the top pressure plate (last in)... and in it's place if it put one more friction and one more steel. Top that steel with the thinnest retaining snap ring FORD makes (P/N F3AZ-7D483A - .052 in thick - although you may be able to get proper clearance using other thicknesses, maybe) and you now have a 7 plate direct clutch. Relax, the thinner steel will do just fine in place of the thicker pressure plate. Oh, the P/N for the most current production friction plates is F8AZ-7B164-BA. They are black with radial grooves, not the waffle pattern any longer. These plates are supposed to be virtually indestructable.

Next, if you have access to a lathe, or a machine shop... take the piston out of the direct clutch and strip it down to bare. On the side facing up into the clutch, machine off .100 of material from that face. (Not any proprietary secret, just what it takes to get the clearance.) Then build it like we just did the 7 plate version, but this time, you will have room for 8 stock plates.

Cheaper than ALTO, and with fewer drawbacks. More difficult for the average Joe.

While we are here, let's talk about clearances in clutch packs. FORD specs are quoted in this article where they apply. General rule of thumb is that .005' is the close side per friction disc (eg. a 5 plate clutch would be tight at .025") and .010 is high (eg. a 5 plate clutch would be .050").

Jerry W. suggests when in doubt err on the high side - s'why I suggested the thinnest snap ring in the stock 7 plate setup - your results may vary, measure. The Snap rings for this drum are P/N F3AZ-7D483 A thru D.... 4 thicknesses A, B, C and D.
-Glacier991

4R70W Rebuild Diary - Part 5 - Direct drum | Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

Post #4.
That's from here:

4R70W Transmission Rebuild Diary | Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

The Explorer guys have an excellent site.



I'm currently building an 8-plate direct clutch using Raybestos blues and kolenes in stock thickness; I'm surprised to hear the milling recommendation is wrong by 0.070".

I'm Very Happy to hear it before I noticed myself, lol.

Swapping the stock upper spacer for a std. kolene gives you almost enough room for 8; I'll bet the additional 0.030" is plenty.

From my measurements that should leave ~0.065" clearance, which should be fine.




You can get there easy with thin Alto's and Kolenes; No machining required.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 06:59 AM
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If you ever take a direct setup apart where someone has used a steel instead of a pressure plate you will find that the steel doesn't have enough structural integrity and bows. What this does is effectively leave you with an 8 plate setup where you are using on average all of the friction material on about 5 of the frictions. So for all that work you end up with a weaker setup than stock in most cases. It will work just about as well as the factory setup and you won't know anything is an issue until you actually take it out and look at it.

I know the explorer guy has done a lot of work. He also missed a lot that happens after you put an assembly that looks good on the bench into use where things happen that you might not expect.

Everyone misses the fact that the steel is held in with a snap ring along the outer diameter. Add to this that the friction material doesn't run all the way out to the outside edge of the steel that is being held by the snap ring. Apply pressure and the effective pressure point on that stack doesn't land on the outer edge. It ends up at just about the right point to cause the steel to bow. Particularly when it gets hot. So it bows a little and the outer edge of the friction is rubbing on the steel exactly where it needs to heat it up to make it bow some more. And so on.

Quicker than you might think you have turned your 8 plate clutch into a 6 plate at best.

So, don't do that.

D
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 04:27 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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This is a good point, Darrin.

I know there's a bunch of force holding the clutch active, so I can see it bowing a .060 plate pretty easy; over the .225 stock pressure plate.

Looking at my measurements, I can do 7 with the stock plate and snapring; I'll likely do that instead.

Thanks!

PS: Good to see you around.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post

Swapping the stock upper spacer for a std. kolene gives you almost enough room for 8; I'll bet the additional 0.030" is plenty.

From my measurements that should leave ~0.065" clearance, which should be fine.




You can get there easy with thin Alto's and Kolenes; No machining required.
I found that when adding 2 more stock frictions (requires of course 3 more steels) using stock thickness steels, the 3 extra steels and 2 frictions come out .150" thicker than the pressure plate. So you can get .030" from machining the pistons and you can use thinner steels. I ordered .059" steels but when I received them they were actually .064", so I had to adjust and use a thinner snap ring. I am still using one stock thickness .079" steel in the upper position in place of the pressure plate, because I was concerned about the much thinner steels taking all the force.

To get the clearance needed on the forward for 7 frictions, I machined the piston down .015" and then surface ground 2 of the steels .010" thinner and placed those in the center of the stack.

So far it's all going together and coming out at the clearances that are spec'd , but it is definitely not what is in the article or what people repeat on the internet to make it happen.

Plus it seems like everytime I order parts for the transmission I get the totally wrong part and they have to reship or I get something a little off , like the steels that should have been .059 and they were .064" instead. I had planned on only using 7 of the thinner ones, but I had to use 8 because they were thicker than advertised.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 06:45 AM
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Ok...

Clarity needed. Don't use a steel for the pressure plate. Not even a .090 steel. Those things are weak steel and bend easily. They do a great job for what they were intended and this is not their intended use. I have seen what happens when people use a steel as a pressure plate. Doing what I do I get a LOT of transmissions that others have attempted to build for performance applications. It's an awesome education in what NOT to do. LOL

Then I guess my next question is why the heck you guys are trying to build an 8 plate direct clutch anyway? I regularly use 7 plates to over 900rwhp and they hold up as long as you use the stock clutch material and none of that "fancy" aftermarket stuff that people buy because they like the name. Again, I see what holds up to what and what does not. Factory frictions all the way.

To build an 8 plate direct you are going to have to use the thinnest steels you can find and then machine the piston and pressure plate to get what clearance you can. But again, why? Why do that if you don't have to? You're going to cause yourself more hassle and problems in the long run than what it's worth.

Look, there is just no way in hell anyone is going to throw enough power through a Tbird IRS to ever need an 8 plate clutch. Just use 7 and get the right clearance if you think you need more.

Don't get me started on a 7 plate forward clutch...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 07:07 AM
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Oh, and surface grinding the steels really screws up the structure of the metal for this purpose unless you re-treat the steels afterward. When you take one apart after it has been run hard for a bit you will see the pringle effect you end up with on those steels. This effectively closes up the clearance on the stack and causes the clutch materials to be in contact with each other all the time. The pressure applied from the warped steels isn't enough to come anywhere near applying the clutch, but it is enough to cause them to heat up really nicely while you are cruising in overdrive.

But I'm not going to say that I don't do this with the forward steels myself for certain applications because that would be a lie. I would never, ever, ever do this for an application that sees street usage in overdrive for any period of time at all though. If we are going forward in 1, 2 and 3 and just backing up then I don't really care if my forward clutch is dragging. But if it's in overdrive where the forward clutch needs to be released.... NO! Bad!

And again, why? I use a 6 plate forward clutch in cars well over 1000rwhp. I know of one VERY reputable builder who only uses a 5 plate forward in his builds, no matter the hp. He says has no issues and I definitely haven't seen any bad things anywhere about it.

Y'all need to measure up the surface area on these clutches and see how silly all this is. Yes, there comes a point. But that point is a whole lot further down the road than you might think it is.

I can also build you a 5 plate intermediate setup. It works awesomely well, but it REALLY sucks to do and I have seen exactly 0 gain from it. So again, why?

I've seen it all guys, and most of it is pointless and does more harm than good.

If you have an IRS, don't waste your time. Use a 6 or 7 plate direct and a 5 or 6 plate forward and build it right. The stock stacks will hold a whole lot more than most give them credit for. The reason you see the stock stacks failing in stock vehicles isn't due to a lack of clutch material.

D

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 09:01 AM
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I'm not building a thunderbird, it is a for a 750hp+ 4.6L street and track mustang. DOHC turbocharged going to an auto. I am only here because everyone references you to the manual on this site as the holy grail for the 4r70w, but according to what I have found and what you are saying, it is nothing more than a lot of misinformation. My whole intent on posting what I had found here was to let people know about some discrepancies I had found, so they wouldn't wind up buying parts that wouldn't work or if they didn't have their own machines like I do, end up paying for useless machine work. There needs to be a caveat with the article that says it is old , outdated and no longer relevant, if that's what it really is. In the article he even says it fine to use steels instead of the pressure plate and that 6 direct clutches is only good for 450hp max.

I also want to add that I am not arguing with you on what works and what doesn't, I am just saying that this article has been around for a while and no one has really disputed anything it says, so there are people all over the place touting it as fact and I am finding that it is just not true. For one, you can't get the clearances he says following the methods that he describes, so I don't necessarily believe a lot of the other information is accurate either.

I will more than likely go with 7 direct, using the stock pressure plate and 6 forward using that stock pressure plate with no wavy plate. I had just seen so many people referencing the article and it had been around since 96 or so, and my thinking was it was concrete fact or it would have been edited or at least amended, but sadly on the first part of his information that I followed, I found it to be incorrect.

Last edited by ih560; 08-06-2016 at 09:20 AM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 07:58 AM
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I have to agree that when it comes to the forward and direct clutches that the clearance info isn't correct. I said that WAY back in the early 2000's and like to got beheaded on here.

But, the rest of the information is probably the best you are going to find anywhere. Yes, it is outdated. I would guess that it was written around 2000 or in the first couple of years afterward. Things have changed quite a bit since then. At the time, aside from the obvious clearance issues, it was kind of a holy grail. The author likely isn't going to update it.

And forgive me for replying about the IRS. Since this is a forum for IRS cars as applied to these transmissions, well...

But I would do as you said in your last paragraph at your power level. 6 forward and 7 direct. On the direct I would use the .070 steels and knock whatever it takes off of the outer half of the stock pressure plate to get somewhere just over .060 stack clearance.

D
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
But I would do as you said in your last paragraph at your power level. 6 forward and 7 direct. On the direct I would use the .070 steels and knock whatever it takes off of the outer half of the stock pressure plate to get somewhere just over .060 stack clearance.

D
That is exactly what I end up doing. I machined down the outer edge of the direct pressure plate. I machined a step in it .305" from the outer edge just like the forward pressure plate. I think I end up taking off .025" using the .064" plates I already had and the .052" snap ring. My Forward actually had .098", with the pressure plate, the 6 stock steels, 6 stock frictions and the .092" snap ring that was in mine. I ordered a new .106" snap ring, which should get it into the clearance range.
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Last edited by ih560; 08-09-2016 at 05:28 PM. Reason: typo
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 01:21 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
Oh, and surface grinding the steels really screws up the structure of the metal for this purpose unless you re-treat the steels afterward. When you take one apart after it has been run hard for a bit you will see the pringle effect you end up with on those steels. This effectively closes up the clearance on the stack and causes the clutch materials to be in contact with each other all the time. The pressure applied from the warped steels isn't enough to come anywhere near applying the clutch, but it is enough to cause them to heat up really nicely while you are cruising in overdrive.
...
I hadn't thought of thinning the steels; which just sounds like a bad idea.

I do have some plates as you describe; "Pringles" is a good term.

I thought at first someone used some extra wave plates in the stack, lol.

I like the comments on the forward clutch as well; I do most of my driving at "highway speeds" in od or 3rd, worst thing for our tranny's really.

I tend to kill one every 3-5 years, so now I'm learning to rebuild them; Unfortunately, the best local guy is a transgo specialist.

I've now become an expert at resizing teflon seals, lol.


Any advice you'd share for operating in 3rd/OD all the time?

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
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