Help Removing Clutch Drum

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    The bearings on my Staton friction drive needed replacing. It seemed like a good time to upsize the friction roller from 1.125" to 1.375" or 1.5", so I ordered both of them as well. I was trying to remove the clutch drum from the roller before the new parts arrive.

    No luck so far. Luckily, I kept the drive assembly on the aluminum channel housing to make it easier to remove the drum. Gripping the roller is not a problem with chain vise tool. However, turning the drum is impossible. I've used penetrating oil on the threads, but nothing works. I cut a length of an old leather belt and stuffed it between the drum and spacer. The spacer is less than 4" diameter and shaped like the drum. It engulfs all but .25" of the drum's leading edge.

    Since the drum wasn'r coming out easily, I also ordered a new drum and spacer with the bearings and rollers.

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008

  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    good to see ya, myron.:D

    my staton friction kit has been on the work bench for a while, but my new bearings should be here next week.

    Mine came apart easily. Have you tried using your chain wrench on the drum & maybe a pipewrench or good channel-locks on the roller? It's normal RH it's self tightening, in our case.

    my question am I going to get what's left of my bearings, off my roller?
  3. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member


    I'd be curious to know what your thinking was behind up-sizing on the roller?

    Also, and to srdavo too, what kind of mileage/time are you guys getting out of the bearing/roller replacement overhauls?

  4. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Hey Dave,

    A week ago, I read your post about removing spindle and bearings from the drive. Your pic showed the whole unit removed from the aluminum housing. There is only .25" of exposed drum's edge that you can grip on to. I tried unsuccessfully with a strap wrench used to remove automobile oil filters. I'm afraid of warping the drum and causing clutch problems. It's cheaper to buy a complete drum/spacer/bearings/spindle assembly than to have a machine shop disassemble the old friction drive. Thank goodness for that.

    Did you press or pound out the spindle and bearings? Pressing outward towards the engine, correct?
    Thanks for the tip, Dave. If you re-use the roller, I guess you could grind the pieces off carefully. As a last result, call your trusty, qualified machinist.

    Happy, my Mits engine is screaming 8900rpm at 30 mph, 22-26 mph between 6700-7900 rpm, 17 mph at 5,000 rpm peak torque range. This is with 1.125" roller and 23:1 gear ratio. With 1.5" roller and 17.3:1 ratio, top speed might be 40mph/30-35 mph/22 mph . I just have one medium hill to contend with on my flat route, so loss in low end won't disappoint me. If the 1.5" loses too much torque, I'll switch down to 1.375", which is 18.9:1 ratio. Speeds would be 36 mph/27-32 mph/21 mph.

    Happy, I had less than 500 miles on the friction drive system before the bearings failed. I only rode in the rain twice. Once was two years ago and once last week. The bike was kept indoors, although I should've lubed the bearings. It started making loud grinding noises a day and a half after I rode home five miles in the rain. I let the bike sit in the house for 36 hours. The bike's rear wheel hesitated for a fraction of a second when I rolled it off its stand. The spindle was still pressed against the tire. At that exact moment, the bearings failed. For the next ten miles, it sounded like a loud, continuous grinding noise.

    I just ordered new bearings from Staton. Now that you brought it up, I'm going to upgrade to the best bearings locally available. Replacing them is labor-intensive.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  5. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    there are snap rings, holding the bearings to the aluminum housing.

    I can't really help ya there...I bought my kit used...& had it on 3 different bikes...the last one, being a 3-wheeler.
  6. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member


    Thanks much for your considered reply on roller size. Got a new kit coming from david and I'm finalizing the order.

    One more question if you wouldn't mind:

    If you bought your kit new, what kind of life did you get out of the roller/bearings.

    Thanks again.
  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Happy, I had less than 500 miles on the bearings. Since you haven't ordered yet, tell Dave that you'd pay retail for the finest bearings he can install. If he refuses, ask him not to mount the engine and friction drive assembly. It is a no-brainer for you to install the engine onto the aluminum housing. Then match the Staton bearings with the best ones available locally. That's what I would do if I could do it again.



    As a last resort, I removed the clutch drum using a chain vise grip on the roller and vise grips on the drum's edge. It's a good thing I ordered a new drum because I bent this one during removal. Before I install the new roller drive, I'm going to drill two 3/8" holes through the new drum, spacer and aluminum housing. On the next removal, I'll insert two bolts to secure the drum and spacer to the housing. Then the chain vise pliers should easily loosen the friction drive assembly without damaging the drum.

    Maybe Dave should drill all his friction drive assemblies.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008
  8. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    After pounding the drive bearing and spindle out towards the engine side, I removed the c-clip and pressed the roller and second bearing out, using my trusty gear puller. The bearing on the engine side had failed. Since I was upsizing to a larger roller, I set this old stuff aside and waited for the new parts to arrive. I wasn't not going to drill the drum, spacer and housing unless necessary, at a later time.

    Thanks for help, guys.

  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    On the road again!

    The 1.5" roller, bearings and drum arrived on Tuesday and had them installed at a machine shop. When I remounted the engine, there was metal-to-metal scraping when turning the spindle. I figured it was caused by a hand-tight fit between clutch drum and spindle. This would cause the drum's outer edge to scrape the engine block at the bottom of the clutch housing. I assumed the noise would disappear when the engine revs tightened the drum further.

    Everything was assembled today, and I pedaled my bike for 50 yards with engine off and roller engaged. The scraping grew louder. When I lifted the roller off the tire and started the engine,the loud continuous, scraping noise sounded like major engine/clutch failure! I was tempted to pedal home and tear the clutch out. However, after engaging the roller, riding patiently and enduring the noise for a few minutes, the engine revs properly seated the clutch drum and the scraping noise completely disappeared. Whew!

    The difference in torque and speed was enormous. Low end suffered greatly, sacrificed for faster top end and lower engine revs. However, I safely drove on the road in traffic without the Mits engine screaming at 30 mph. I was also able to climb the two medium hills near home with a running start.

    Less than ten miles into the ride, I noticed my rear tire was cracking at the sidewalls, and I wasn't about to push for more speed. So off to the bike shop I went for new tires and a stronger front wheel.

    Personally, the 1.5" roller was worth installing. The higher top speed made my bike safer to manuever in traffic. Loss in low end was compensated with more pedalling, which was a good thing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2008
  10. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    cool...good for you!

    I ordered a new 1" roller & 2 bearings from staton on friday... ups picked them up on they are enroute.
    I have a new project picked out...I can't wait.
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    What's your new project, Dave?

    I'm looking for a used friction drive kit, minus engine. I hate down time while swapping parts.
  12. cpuaid

    cpuaid Member

    Ugh... I was messing around trying out different engines on my 1st gen Staton kit. Bolted a 31cc Huasheng 4-cycle to it and I guess it didn't properly center itself into the clutch drum. When tried to take it for a spin, heard metal on metal and something broke off. Unbolted the engine to inspect and found a chunk of metal broke off from the clutch drum lip. Tried soaking the thread, chain and rubber oil filter wrenches, Vise grips, etc. on it but the darn thing is completely seized onto the roller shaft. May have to borrow a small torch and take a flame to it. 1-1/2" Roller was worn so decided to go ahead and ordered a whole replacement kit.
  13. cpuaid

    cpuaid Member

    I came across this great little tool to remove the stuck Staton Clutch drum. It's called the Jaw Grip by Fram. After soaking the drive roller with penetrating oil, it easily came off with no damage using this tool. I think it costs around $7 from Walmart.

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