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  1. #41
    tacotoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    yeah, i'll be interested to find out as well! i've been able to find precious little real information out there. I did find a youtube clip comparing two cummins trucks with each version of the clutch. The dampened clutch was basically silent (as mine was) and the undampened clutch had a moderate "hum" when you pressed the pedal, as heard with the drivers door open. This didn't seam objectionable to me, nor my wife when I showed her. she commented that the overall sound of the cummins engine was by far the more annoying thing to put up with lol.

    or as a sales guy with South Bend put it "well, when you press the pedal you'll definitely know that somethings going on in there, but we have thousands of customers who daily drive this setup and they are happy with it".

    on other forums and facebook, commentary spanned the range of "super annoying, no way" to "no big deal, i'd get another one", though feedback was overall limited to very few people with some real experience and several people just weighing in an uninformed opinion.

    glad your interested, i'll definitely post up after I get it up and running!

    Its also an interesting aside that I get a general "not a fan" vibe from the South Bend guys regarding the addition of the damping system to what they felt was already a very good design. kind of like customers demanded a "quite" dual disc clutch, so they came up with one, despite an overall feeling that it was a design compromise.
    I feel like the wording trainwreck applies just the same.


    damping a clutch and expecting performance is a bit crazy at these loads.....
    hookers and blow!

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    interesting... I've been emailing back and forth a bunch with South Bend trying to find the perfect clutch setup for my rig and use, they are recommending that I go with a semi-custom version of the Dual Disc Street (SFDD3250-6, my last clutch), but modified WOUTHOUT the rubber dampers on the ears of the center plate.

    given my demanding use and desire for reliability they say this basically eliminates the weak point of this setup and that it will last considerably longer, especially given my aggressive mountain driving and occasional visits to Bandimere, but it might rattle quite a bit more, only when the clutch is pressed.

    given how noisy the whole thing is anyways, and that the noise will only occur when the clutch is pressed, I imagine this is something that i can live with, but I have no frame of reference and googling has not located any examples to listen to.

    does anybody have any experience with UNDAMPED twin disc clutch?
    I hadn't seen this till now.

    I have an undamped Valair DD, that's far more aggressive than the DD3250, and it rattles. A LOT. Primarily when the clutch is pushed in, but it will also make extra noise in neutral with the clutch out.

    I don't necessarily mind it, but you can plan on having to turn the truck off in drive thru's for the speaker/microphone (you may have to already because of engine noise, but the clutch will make it worse, the trans is right next to the microphone). There are times when it's annoying at stop lights in the summer, but when the truck launches, the clutch doesn't slip, and I giggle like a little kid. Makes it worth it.

    The noise of the DD is offset by it's ability to take abuse, especially when pulling with a tuned truck.
    Cages: '08 Dodge 6.7CTD, '08 Nissan Xterra Offroad
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  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by tacotoy View Post
    I feel like the wording trainwreck applies just the same.


    damping a clutch and expecting performance is a bit crazy at these loads.....
    It is crazy, but it works pretty well, which is a testament to the engineers at SB, but when your customer base really wants something, you either deliver or lose some of your customer base.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by tacotoy View Post
    I feel like the wording trainwreck applies just the same. damping a clutch and expecting performance is a bit crazy at these loads.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    It is crazy, but it works pretty well, which is a testament to the engineers at SB, but when your customer base really wants something, you either deliver or lose some of your customer base.
    I definitely don't want to diss on the Street DD system too much, if you want something designed to hold 500+ HP and tow heavy while being better than stock in every way, its a GREAT setup! mine way totally silent, had very light pedal pressure, felt great with just the right amount of modulation to either drive totally smooth or spin the rear tires on demand, and it held up to an incredible amount of abuse. EVERY Wednesday through the summer, I either hit Bandimere or head to Winter Park to go biking, in both cases i'm either hot-lapping the track before it gets crowded or straight mobbing every corner up the pass, not to mention the high speed towing on i70 and hooligan driving to work and back. I can honestly say i've been really hard on the thing and didn't let me down a bit.

    But it is really nice to properly understand the limitations of the system, and even though South Bend doesn't really make that common knowledge out there on the interwebs, they were more than happy to openly discuss the trade-offs via email and telephone.

    On trade offs of a double disk, even being "slower shifting" due to the weight of the system was not something I ever experienced. I can still shift it fast enough to keep the turbo spooled up and chirp the rear ties on the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts. Though I don't really advise that behavior if you want u-joints to last very long. I'll openly admit that i'm kind of an irresponsibly abusive driver and its frequently my own damn fault when i break parts.

    On keeping the turbo spooled on shifts... Its also worth mentioning that my blow off valve helps A LOT. its pretty uncommon that people install these on diesels but I can tell you that it is a really great addition and really helps keep that turbo spinning between shifts. I turn it off once a year to go get my emissions test done, not that I think it would be a violation, but just so the tester isn't like "what the heck is that?", and the turbo feels noticeably lazy, even when i'm not hard power shifting it, but anytime that i'm shifting through boost.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    I hadn't seen this till now.

    I have an undamped Valair DD, that's far more aggressive than the DD3250, and it rattles. A LOT. Primarily when the clutch is pushed in, but it will also make extra noise in neutral with the clutch out.

    I don't necessarily mind it, but you can plan on having to turn the truck off in drive thru's for the speaker/microphone (you may have to already because of engine noise, but the clutch will make it worse, the trans is right next to the microphone). There are times when it's annoying at stop lights in the summer, but when the truck launches, the clutch doesn't slip, and I giggle like a little kid. Makes it worth it.

    The noise of the DD is offset by it's ability to take abuse, especially when pulling with a tuned truck.
    Thanks for the feedback Grant, i'm willing to bet that my experience will be similar to yours and in the "noisy but worth it" category. South Bend never mentioned that it would rattle in neutral and were pretty adamant that its only noisy when pedaled. I hope that's the case, but kinda too late to complain at that point!

    I do have a lot of sound deadening in my trans tunnel, installed when I had the trans out to do my up-pipes. I think this time when I have it out i'll maybe add to that a little bit and make sure its all still well adhered ect. I'm also going to take some extra steps when I reinstall my shift boots to make sure thats all really well sealed. an awefull lot of noise comes up through that hole!

    From a practical perspective I don't do drive throughs very much, it can be a REAL pain in the butt getting around some of the curves being 22' feet long, having a Detroit locker doesn't help that much either! not to mention, yeah, i have to shut the motor down, nobody can here a damn thing!

    I'm really looking forward to having experience with both setups, hopefully I can post up a fairly comprehensive comparison that will be helpful to others in the future.

    more than anything, I know I can live with whatever noise, but I don't really want it to get on the wifey's nerves, so if she's happy its mission accomplished!
    1950 CJ3a - Wilma
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  5. #45
    tacotoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    I definitely don't want to diss on the Street DD system too much, if you want something designed to hold 500+ HP and tow heavy while being better than stock in every way, its a GREAT setup! mine way totally silent, had very light pedal pressure, felt great with just the right amount of modulation to either drive totally smooth or spin the rear tires on demand, and it held up to an incredible amount of abuse. EVERY Wednesday through the summer, I either hit Bandimere or head to Winter Park to go biking, in both cases i'm either hot-lapping the track before it gets crowded or straight mobbing every corner up the pass, not to mention the high speed towing on i70 and hooligan driving to work and back. I can honestly say i've been really hard on the thing and didn't let me down a bit.
    Oh i wasn't looking to bash either, I just feel like the desired use and expected life issues would normally detract people. But there are also other things that may lead people away from a normal DD with the noise that this would help as well.

  6. #46
    and.... my water pump croaked today. i'm going to set this thing on fire.

  7. #47
    Frustrating! I just (hopefully) came out of a season of that with my bronco. Fuel issues resulting in a 10 minute trail ride after trailering for 3.5-4hrs. Turn around a drag it back home.
    God Forgives, Rock's Don't www.ucora.org
    1973 Bronco, 351 SEFI, Locked, discs, 35's ZF-5spd and Atlas 4spd. 235:1 Crawl Ratio

  8. #48
    the damn crawler has been the most reliable family member the last couple of years! go figure lol! i'd go wheeling this weekend with some buddies if the tow rig was running...

    oh well... i took the day off work tomorrow, and now i have something to do (change water pump) while waiting for my new clutch to arrive...

    i'm getting backed up on projects faster than i can get them done!

  9. #49
    My intent was not to dis the Street DD, not in the slightest. Quite a few of the guys I know that don't want to go to crazy levels with their trucks run them, and they are nice in that they are silent and hold moderate power well.

    I remember seeing the sound dampening that you did, and contemplating doing the same on my pickup, but I think I'll just leave it be. The rattle really isn't that bad. It just gets annoying on certain occasions. Having a 1200w stereo certainly helps cover up some of the annoying noises when I feel like it.

    All in all, I think you will like having a traditional DD given your described driving.

  10. #50
    well son of a gun... the drama never ends! new water pump installed, no problem there, but south bend sent me the wrong clutch. they sent the dampened version instead...

    emailed them right after i received it and going to call them first thing tomorrow, but i'll be shocked if this is resolved to my satisfaction in regards to timing. my 40th birthday is Sunday, plan was to actually get to drive my truck in the mountains on my birthday and go do some BC skiing. gosh... what a run of bad luck this thing has been lately.

  11. #51
    Sorry man! When it rain...

    Keep persisting.

  12. #52
    keep on keeping on it....

    South Bend is sending UPS over to my office today to pick up the incorrect clutch and shipping out the correct one today, hopefully for Friday delivery.

    okay, no chance in hell that this thing will be here Friday, and SB's sales department has pretty much shifted into dickhead mode, pretty pissed off about the whole thing. they almost shipped me the wrong clutch AGAIN and somehow this all ended up being MY fault.
    Last edited by euroford; February 7th, 2018 at 02:49 PM.

  13. #53
    tjjared413's Avatar
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    Damn that sucks to hear man!!!
    rig- 04 TJ for going to the malls and tow pig- 15 F350

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    keep on keeping on it....

    South Bend is sending UPS over to my office today to pick up the incorrect clutch and shipping out the correct one today, hopefully for Friday delivery.

    okay, no chance in hell that this thing will be here Friday, and SB's sales department has pretty much shifted into dickhead mode, pretty pissed off about the whole thing. they almost shipped me the wrong clutch AGAIN and somehow this all ended up being MY fault.
    Damn that blows... It's never fun when things go this way.

    The attitude from SB folks sounds familiar. It is a large part of why I have a Valair in my truck.

    On the flip side, Happy early birthday!

  15. #55
    I've been following your saga here and reading along since I currently have a zf6 truck that needs help. It's always been harder to shift and after draining the fluid I found out why. Two shift collar detents and springs came out with the fluid..... So I've been weighing my options of rebuild myself or have it done. It doesn't grind just difficult to shift.

    Also according to the previous owner when the original clutch went he put some South bend single disk in it. Whichever it is I hate it. It's an on/off switch. Impossible to slip and hard to shift smooth ever. I'm very curious how this all turns out.

    I've seen you drive by my shop on occasion. Right off 49th & van Gordon. Truck always sounds good!

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
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    2001 WJ, 4.7, Np231 swap, Claytons long arms, Aussie locker, ARB bumper

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by tjjared413 View Post
    Damn that sucks to hear man!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    Damn that blows... It's never fun when things go this way.

    The attitude from SB folks sounds familiar. It is a large part of why I have a Valair in my truck.
    Thanks guys. Its one thing to deal with "shirt happens", its another thing to deal with a sales jerk being exceptionally rude. If one of my employees copped that kind of attitude with a customer, heads would ROLL. Those guys were all buddy buddy until they screwed up and i called them to the mat on it. I've always been very happy with SB product, but won't be willingly treated that way, so next time i'll be looking elsewhere. I was very close to just canceling this transaction and going with a valair, but that would just set be back another couple of weeks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    On the flip side, Happy early birthday!
    Thanks man! woohoo 40 trips around the sun! kind of bittersweet, i hoped to get out and do something rad, but no-go without the truck running. probably go out with the wifey and do some good eating and drinking through! maybe could still take her rig up to RMNP for some skiing.

    Quote Originally Posted by broncocrawler View Post
    I've been following your saga here and reading along since I currently have a zf6 truck that needs help. It's always been harder to shift and after draining the fluid I found out why. Two shift collar detents and springs came out with the fluid..... So I've been weighing my options of rebuild myself or have it done. It doesn't grind just difficult to shift.
    If I was you, I wouldn't hesitate to take that project on. It'll be a pretty easy fix. split the case and hoist out the gearset, then just knock out the pins on the shift rails so you can slide them out of the way and replace the detents. It would be quite easy and obvious. In fact, I didn't replace my detents so I have new ones that i'd just give you. Heed my advice about replacing the input shaft seal AFTER the gearset goes back in though!

    Quote Originally Posted by broncocrawler View Post
    Also according to the previous owner when the original clutch went he put some South bend single disk in it. Whichever it is I hate it. It's an on/off switch. Impossible to slip and hard to shift smooth ever. I'm very curious how this all turns out.
    I'd bet you a six pack that you have the ferametalic single disk in there. Though its very durable, it would be super grabby and suck to drive. i'd replace that with a dual disc or the single disc organic (if you make less than 400hp), which is still a solid setup and drives great. since you already have a SB flywheel you could get the "repair" package (1944-6OR) for $485 and be in business.

    Quote Originally Posted by broncocrawler View Post
    I've seen you drive by my shop on occasion. Right off 49th & van Gordon. Truck always sounds good!
    Drove past you this morning! and I walk past there almost everyday, just getting out of the office and stretching my legs. I'm right around the corner, Ward road behind the beauty salon. Thanks man! I love the way this thing sounds, i wish i got to here it go by more often lol!

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by broncocrawler View Post
    Also according to the previous owner when the original clutch went he put some South bend single disk in it. Whichever it is I hate it. It's an on/off switch. Impossible to slip and hard to shift smooth ever. I'm very curious how this all turns out.
    Welcome to a big single disk clutch. In order to hold power, and be durable, they have to just grab and hold, hence your On/Off switch comment. The organic will be better, but backing up, especially with a trailer, will still suck.

    As euroford said, depending on your current power level, and future goals, there are several options from SB (keep some of your existing parts) or other good vendors. You will enjoy driving your truck again. As I have stated, I have a pretty aggressive DD in my dodge (ceramic buttons and a 3850# spring plate) with upgraded hydraulics, and it's quite nice to drive.

    If you already have to pull the trans to rebuild, I'd change the clutch out to something you want to drive with at the same time.

  18. #58
    How long do you think it would take to do the detent project? Could it be done in a weekend? I'd be tempted to do more while it was apart since it has 212K on it but then again if its not broken dont fix it. We put a valair quiet dual disk in a 06 Dodge a while back and that seemed very nice from the little I drove it. This truck is all stock right now but I have plans to be right around 400hp with it. maybe 375 however it gets hooked to a 20k trailer regularly so the clutch gets abused. After your experience id rather buy valair and avoid SB altogether. I never liked the kevlar pilot bushing thing.

    Did you get the correct clutch yet?

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    Welcome to a big single disk clutch. In order to hold power, and be durable, they have to just grab and hold, hence your On/Off switch comment. The organic will be better, but backing up, especially with a trailer, will still suck.

    As euroford said, depending on your current power level, and future goals, there are several options from SB (keep some of your existing parts) or other good vendors. You will enjoy driving your truck again. As I have stated, I have a pretty aggressive DD in my dodge (ceramic buttons and a 3850# spring plate) with upgraded hydraulics, and it's quite nice to drive.

    If you already have to pull the trans to rebuild, I'd change the clutch out to something you want to drive with at the same time.
    Yea I think I will take that advice. Thank god this truck is a floor shift 4x4 because I use 2wd low to back my trailers all the time.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by broncocrawler View Post
    How long do you think it would take to do the detent project? Could it be done in a weekend? I'd be tempted to do more while it was apart since it has 212K on it but then again if its not broken dont fix it. We put a valair quiet dual disk in a 06 Dodge a while back and that seemed very nice from the little I drove it. This truck is all stock right now but I have plans to be right around 400hp with it. maybe 375 however it gets hooked to a 20k trailer regularly so the clutch gets abused. After your experience id rather buy valair and avoid SB altogether. I never liked the kevlar pilot bushing thing.

    Did you get the correct clutch yet?
    I think you could get it done in a weekend, finish disassembly and shift repair on Saturday, reassemble well before dinner on sunday. I think you'd be looking at a couple hours tops to split the case and repair the detents. Thinking about it further, I bet you could actually replace the shift detents without splitting the case. they are pressed in through the center plate from the outside. To pull the caps out, you could either use fords special tool, or drill a small hole in the caps, screw a self tapping screw in and then pop them out with a slide hammer (or some vice grips and a normal hammer!). Though you might have some piece of mind if you split the case, give it all a lookover and a cleanup and also replace the input shaft seal.

    After work i'll dig through my spare parts and make sure i have the caps, springs and pins. my rebuild kit may have just come with springs and caps, foggy memory, i'll double check because it sounds like you'll need those as well.

    If I don't have the detent pins they are P# 1307-306-170 at midwesttrans.com for $5.

    The SB DD clutches don't use the kevlar bearing, they have a ball bearing, but yeah... i'd be happy to convey to them that my poor customer service experience has already resulted in at least one lost sale! Towing 20k i wouldn't want to just toss an organic single disc in there, sounds like you have a Valair DD in your future. FWIW, i bet you could pull that SB single disc out and sell it for $300ish bucks on one of the facebook groups assuming it looks to be in decent condition. some kid running around town in a chipped 7.3 would consider that quite the score.

    UPS tracking says my clutch should show up here at my office sometime today. eagerly looking forward to seeing that and making sure they've sent me the right one this time.
    Last edited by euroford; February 12th, 2018 at 10:13 AM.

  21. #61
    alright! brown santa just stopped by and dropped off the correct unit!


  22. #62
    Now you can get it rolling again!!

  23. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    Now you can get it rolling again!!
    Yeah i'm stoked! might take the day off work tomorrow and get it done.

    Another interesting tidbit that separates this from the street DD. The standard version uses two metal springs in each friction disc with the remainder of the dampers being rubber. In my version all of the springs are steel, no rubber nothing.

  24. #64
    whew! busy day! nice 6 hour thrash, new clutch is in and its AWESOME. nice to have her back to full health. will ramble more tomorrow, old clutch was surprisingly trashed.

  25. #65
    I have completely failed to give this a proper update, well, not entirely. a couple of weeks ago I typed up a full response, and promptly clicked the wrong button and lost an hours worth of typing.

    Its been a bit of an ongoing struggle, the new clutch is awesome, but it promptly began to point out the failures in other systems. When I first got it running the new clutch was VERY grabby, and would totally lock up as soon as I lifted the pedal barely off the floor. It was driveable, but very difficult to drive smoothly and I knew something was funky. I've never had any sort of issue with my pedal, its always felt fine to me, but maybe that was just not knowing any better. Upon checking it out I found that the little plastic piece between the master cylinder and pedal was totally gone. I picked up an $8 plastic doohicky and popped it on in the O'Rielys parking lot, this vastly improved the pedal feel, but also made me realize how insanely craptastic that setup is. I immediately envisioned this piece failing again at the most inopportune time.

    So... I immediately began researching modifications for the pedal connection and replacement of the hydraulics. I found a kit for the heim joint upgrade on ebay for $13, and found replacement hydraulics on amazon for $98. After much internet research, I figured out that you can get the same upgraded hydraulics that South Bend sells for $215 at Advanced Auto Parts for about $120, but then found the same thing even cheaper at Amazon. Its notably nicer looking than what I pulled off the truck, with metal fittings and braided hose and appears to be manufactured by AP, the UK based brake company owned by Brembo, though my old hydraulics had the same logo.

    This made a MAJOR difference, it was actually a fairly simple project, much easier than I thought it would be. Hardest part was grinding off the weld on the clutch pedal to pull off the old rod and leave a hole for the heim joint bolt, but a die grinder took care of that in a couple of minutes. Now my total pedal travel is about 2", it disengages right in the middle of travel and its VERY easy to module and slip as necessary to drive very smoothly.

    With this done, and about 800 miles on the clutch now, it really drives great and feels way smoother than my old clutch.

    The other thing I've been battling with is that it shifts pretty slow now. unlike my old dual plate clutch, it shifts quickly out of gear, but now it feels like I have to wait a second for the syncro's to slow down before it will slide into the next gear. This was much worse before I did the hydro's, as I think the clutch was not being fully disengaged, now its much better, but still does not shift as fast as it used to. I don't think this has anything to do with the trans rebuild, as it shifted fast with the old oiled clutch, but I do question my fluid.

    After I rebuilt the trans, I filled it with 8 quarts (6 quarts is standard, adding two extra quarts does a GREAT job of eliminating gear rollover noise, highly recommended) of Valvoline Synthetic ATF, though it leaked and the clutch got trashed, the trans shifted perfectly fine and was very quite. Since most of this leaked out I refilled with 6 quarts of Ravenoil ATF, This was supposed to be for my 540i, but I had it around so thats what I used. After getting the new clutch in, I had a lot of gear rollover noise in addition to the slow shifting, so I added two more quarts, this quieted it down, but no improvement on the shifting.

    Despite being an expensive premium synthetic fluid, I don't think the Ravenoil ATF is getting along well with my syncros. Though I've had good luck with the Valvoline Synth ATF, a lot of people are raving about the Redline Synthetic MTL being very good in the ZF6, and I've had good experience with this in T5's, so i'm going to give that a shot. $60/gallon on Amazon and I'll have two of those (8 quarts) here on Wednesday.

    But, let me be clear, I'm being very picky at this point. Given how much I've invested in all of this lately, this goes in the "fine tuning" category.

    I've been fairly gentle with the whole thing for the most part, but I did give it a little test while out cruising around yesterday. Rolling about 20 mph, rev her to 3200rpm in my street tune and side step the clutch pedal in 2nd gear = rolling burnout. so thats fun!

    Oh yes... lets talk about the noise a little bit. when i first got it up and running, the clutch was almost silent, but I think this had to do with being brand new and that my clutch wasn't fully disengaging. Its loosened up a lot as it broke in, and now that my hydro's work correctly it full releases. you can here it vibrate and make some noise, but its totally not a problem. In fact, in regular use you really can't here it at all, but if you have the radio off and the windows down and you listen for it, you can here it, and its pretty obvious from outside the truck, but again, in regular use its just not loud enough to overcome all of that engine clatter.

    Despite the issues I had with South Bend, I'd recommend this as a very good clutch setup, especially for the money. I would not recommend the dampened version of the clutch. The center damping on my friction plates was TOTALLY trashed, tons of drive line slop that I had been blaming on u-joints was actually failure of the rubber dampers. This version is all metal, should be way more durable and the noise is just simply not a problem on these inherently noisy trucks.

    just for fun... here's a pick of my trashed clutch linkage. you can see the wear on the pin, the oblong hole in the shaft and new plastic jobber was trashed after only about a week of driving.


  26. #66
    Glad things are working well for you now! I can see why a new plastic clip/bushing wasn't going to last in that rod. Have a link to the Amazon kit?

  27. #67

  28. #68
    Yeah, looks like good stuff! May have my FIL look at his truck.

  29. #69
    Nice.

    Glad to hear it's working well for you!

  30. #70
    Thanks guys! its been great having her up and running again, and combined with the nice weather its been nice to worry about a couple of trivial things, like washing the poor thing!

    8 days to MOAB! will be nice to use it for its intended purpose!

  31. #71
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Glad you got it sorted in time for your Moab trip. Looking forward to seeing some pics of it loaded up and on the road!
    197? DJ-5 LHD & 4wd

  32. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    Glad you got it sorted in time for your Moab trip. Looking forward to seeing some pics of it loaded up and on the road!
    Thanks man! I received my Redline MTL and got that in yesterday, for a substantial improvement, so I guess at this point my transmission saga is officially over and the truck is running great. We are going mountain biking in Moab this time, so the jeep gets left out of the fun and I get to enjoy pulling the passes lightly loaded. Though ultimately I'll be the shuttle vehicle and loading down with 12-16 mountain bikes. Pretty much quadruples the value of my truck!

    So, with this epic concluded I thought i'd post some bullet points of "lessons learned" on this whole deal.

    * Though the ZF-S650 is renowned for being incredibly durable, its officially not indestructible. Failures appear to be far and few between, but I did find a couple examples of people who had failures similar to mine. Though I wouldn't exactly worry about it that much, I think its safe to say that if your making in the neighborhood of 1,000lb/ft, and making full throttle pulls at near redline in the overdrive gear, you should consider that failure of the gear is certainly possible. Not that anybody would do that, I'm pretty sure that sort of thing is not condoned on any road in this great nation. If you drive like a normal person, your not likely to experience this same problem.

    * If you do damage a ZF6, or if yours is starting to feel worn out or otherwise less than healthy, don't hesitate to take this on as a DIY project. I found this to be one of the easier transmissions to work on. If your a shade tree mechanic, even without prior transmission experience, and you can follow basic directions, you can rebuild one of these. Required tools were cheap and easy to obtain at Harbor Freight, required parts were cheap and easy to obtain online.

    * Unless your a body builder type of dude, you'll need proper hoisting capability to lift the gearset out of the trans. Its VERY heavy, awkward and unbalanced. I'm a reasonably fit 180lb dude who works out regularly, and to even attempt to lift this out would have been asking for damage to me and/or it.

    * No press is required, if you follow directions to appropriately heat parts, everything will slide into place, or maybe take a couple of taps from a deadblow.

    * Partially cut and chisel the roller bearing races to remove, cheap to replace. figuring out a way to pull these off undamaged is not worth the time and effort.

    * ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, replace the input shaft seal from the BELLHOUSING side after the transmission is reassembled.

    * Use the correct fluid! I always had good luck with Valvoline Synthetic ATF, now I'm running Redline MTL. Filled with 8 quarts through the shifter hole (2 quart overfill). With the MTL it shifts perfectly smooth and is totally silent.

    * Shifting speed with different clutches appears to be highly variable and your millage will vary. I've found several threads discussing this and lots of people have lots of different experiences. With my single plate and dampened dual disc, I could powershift the truck instantly fast just like in a car. Now with the undampened dual disc my experience is a little more variable. 1-2 shifts fast, 2-3 has a bit of delay, 3-4 has a notable delay, 4-OD shifts instant, downshifts are generally faster. I think the speed varying a little even with the Redline MTL is likely a consideration of syncro wear (OD syncro is brand new) exacerbated by the clutch. Two factors in the clutch, additional weight of the heavier plates, and the relative "stickyness" of the ceramic friction material against the center plate. As the clutch breaks in further, shifting may improve. Its worth noting, that i'm being VERY picky here. It shifts great, the delay is subtle.

    * If you haven't done the "heim joint mod" on your clutch pedal/master linkage yet, go do that right away. Cheap, easy, massive improvement. ebay link in previous post.

    * If your clutch hydro's are "old", you might want to consider replacing these as a matter of general maintenance rather than waiting for them to fail at a likely inopportune time. This was under $100, fairly easy and combined with the Heim joint mod made the pedal feel oh sooooooooo gooooood.

    * Getting rid of the rubber damper in the shift lever and welding up a solid shift rod was a GREAT mod!! Shift feel is substantially improved with a nice mechanical feel, shift throw was reduced by about half. Its like having a short shift kit. super awesome, love it.

    * I would not hesitate to recommend to almost everybody that they go with a proper "undampened" style dual disc clutch. The only potential downside is the noise, and quite frankly its hardly a consideration IMO. yes, you can hear it sometimes, no, its not anywhere near loud enough to be a problem. with my dampened "SDD", yes it failed because it was oiled, but it was really on its last legs anyways, and it was the rubber damping stuff that was failing, not the friction material or pressure plate. The failing center damping had been quite an annoyance for several years, though I had blamed that drivetrain slop on failing u-joints, in retrospect this slop from the clutch may have been partially responsible for my regular u-joint failure.

    * Valair or South Bend... hmmmm... tough decision. I can attest that the South Bend is a GREAT clutch, and others appear to be very happy with Valairs as well. The SB is a fair bit cheaper though, and they are very similar in ratings and construction. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend SB if they hadn't acted like douchbags when they screwed up my order. So, its a great clutch, at a good price, but with some potentially horrible customer service.

    and well... thats all i can think of for now. i'm VERY happy to not be involved with major surgery right now, and its nice to tinker with some more trivial things. I tend to over anthropomorphize vehicles... so i wanted to earn some brownie points with my truck and encourage her to treat me well. so she got a salon day! I went through an ENTIRE can of polishing compound and three foam pads on my buffer, then gave her two coats of wax, cleaned and rain-x'd the windows, detailed the interior, pretty much did everything I could to hopefully make her a happy truck. She's not once received this treatment from me, so hopeful she feels fully spoiled and doesn't complain for awhile.


  33. #73
    I've got a 4r100 in my X, not a ZF6, but this has been a fun thread, and I'm glad you got it working well.

    I do kind of feel like I'm stalking here and in the MTB forums, though. :-)

    Mark

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    ''Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.'' - Plato

  34. #74
    Still a great looking truck! The grill needs...something. Maybe the bumper should be white??

    Anywho - it's cool to see these Gen 1 Superduty trucks in good shape. I was even eyeing two nice OBS trucks at the walmart parking lot last night thinking, I hope my truck looks that good in 20+ years!

  35. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    I've got a 4r100 in my X, not a ZF6, but this has been a fun thread, and I'm glad you got it working well.

    I do kind of feel like I'm stalking here and in the MTB forums, though. :-)

    Mark
    Stalker! lol! I could use more local buddies to ride with, you hit winter park during the summer?

    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    Still a great looking truck! The grill needs...something. Maybe the bumper should be white??

    Anywho - it's cool to see these Gen 1 Superduty trucks in good shape. I was even eyeing two nice OBS trucks at the walmart parking lot last night thinking, I hope my truck looks that good in 20+ years!
    Yeah, and the bumper and grill are pretty rough and in need of some kind of love. my son plastidipped them when he was in high school and that stuff is gradually falling apart, I'd like to do something different with it someday, but i'm not really sure what. I'd like to get a 6.0 grill, and I've always kind of liked the NFab desert style bumper, but I'm not sure. Obviously I don't really wheel this thing (duh, that's what the Willys is for!), but I'd love to add a winch to it so I could be a little braver out searching for camping spots.

    I got a couple other things to take care of before I worry about that too much... new windshield, traction bars, I need to rebuild my front shocks (Kings) and replace my rear shocks (Bilsteins, would like to put matching Kings on), I'd like to add a Hellwig rear sway bar and a compressor that would allow me to control the airbags in the cab, and its getting close to time to get series about a new engine. I have a good builder 2000 forged rod engine that has just been wrapped up in the shed. I don't intend to run this motor till it blows, i'd love to pull it out alive and sell it. Wife has budgeted (some joke about calling the wife CFO, that's pretty serious in my house! I submit project spreadsheets with schedules and budgets, if i speak her language she's pretty good about it! hahaha) my first major engine parts purchase for October, Swamps will be happy when they cash that check!! lol!

    Maybe its just because we are old or something, but yeah, OBS and first gen powerstrokes are the best looking trucks around. I think its the simplicity of the designs, makes them timeless. My first job out of college my boss had a green OBS CCLB on 35's, I smoked at the time and when I went out for a smoke break I would just stare at that thing and wanted one SO bad.

  36. #76
    I attempted to put a 6.0L grill in my 1st gen and it isn't a direct swap. You could certainly tackle it, but I wasn't interested in modifying my truck in a way that I couldn't go back. There are some nice replacement grills out there, you could have powdercoated white. That would look nice. Rigid comes to mind and then you could load it with a small LED bar or something... But I can understand needing to get the other stuff done first. That sense of responsibility also comes with age.

  37. #77
    awesome four days of ridding in Moab, great weather and we killed it pretty hard hitting porcupine and mag 7 multiple times as well as some different stuff like Jackson and Portal. Most of our rides were shuttles and having the truck back and full up to par was key with our big group.

    We packed closed to a 1000 miles on it and the truck was flawless, in fact well better than the flawless, all of the driving has continued to break the clutch and transmission in and it has progressively felt better and better. Shift smoothness and clutch modulation are now very very good and shift speed on average has improved dramatically. Even my worst 3-4 shift which was very slow before has gotten substantially better, and oddly enough there have been a couple of times at higher RPM where it shifted instantaneously.

    so this is what a $30,000 1st gen superduty looks like....



    Bronc, thanks for the info, I'll promptly scrap the 6.0 grill idea and look into some aftermarket options. Unfortunately Rigid is not offering anything for 1st gens anymore. kinda surprised about that.

    as far as other projects go... though I have some other things in the works I'm going to jump right into a headlight retrofit. I'm been consistently dissatisfied with the Recon headlights that the truck came with. In prep for this trip I completely disassembled the lights, polished and cleaned everything, repainted the fascia hammered black, eliminated the extra LED's (tacky) and installed some Osram Nighbreaker halogen bulbs. They were adequate (we didn't die!), but i'm still very dissatisfied with it for pulling the passes at night. fortunately I had the highway pretty much to myself and used my light bar a lot.

    The retrofit source now has a bi-xenon kit specifically for these headlights so i'm going to order that up asap and install these as soon as i can take the truck off the road for a couple of days.
    Last edited by euroford; March 27th, 2018 at 12:31 PM.

  38. #78
    Yeah, the lighting in these trucks is dismal!! I ended up putting (non DOT) Xenon kit in mine and it made a WORLD of difference. But I understand that oncoming traffic might not have appreciated me too much. It's amazing what the color of light (*K) and not straining to see does for fatigue!! Looking forward to seeing how your kit turns out!

    What a great MTB trip! And glad it's running so good!

  39. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    Looking forward to seeing how your kit turns out!
    Me too! It turns out that Retrofit Source makes a bolt-up kit for replacing the projectors within the Recon aftermarket headlights that I have on this thing. Though I'm sure I could hot gotten away with just dropping in a HID ballast, the projectors within these things appear to be quite crappy and I want to do this right and be done with it.

    https://www.theretrofitsource.com/pr...ik-spyder.html

    They have adapters for both Spec-D and Spyder brand aftermarket lights, Recon uses a mix of these two parts, in the case of Recon's 1st gen Superduty lights its compatible with the Spyder parts.

    I'm getting the Acme Super Bi-Xenon projectors, Morimoto XB 35w Ballasts, 5500k bulbs, relay wiring harness and the high beam splitter wiring harness so I'll have both the Bi-Xenons and the Halogens operating on high beams.

    I'm pretty stoked, and with free shipping and a 10% first time buyer promo code that's only $216.

    I'll wait until I get the shipment notification, then I'll pull the headlights off and give them a complete disassembly, repaint and polish inside and out while I wait for my parts to arrive. I did this fairly recently, but it was a bit of a rush job and i was just trying to make them 'better', now i'm going to take my time and try to make them perfect. Weather is nice, so I'm happy to drive the BMW for a bit.

  40. #80
    Just don't put them in an oven with a towel under them...

    Should be a sweet setup when you're done!

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