The Draper Expert 6 piece HGV Clutch Aligning Kit – Stock No.41803 has been put to the test this month by Commercial Vehicle Workshop Magazine and their technician Rob Cooper. This Expert quality kit was tested on several different commercial vehicle applications in the magazine’s very own workshop.
ALIGN OF THE TIMES
Here is Rob’s verdict…
Problems constantly seem to arise with clutches; although there is such a capacity for other areas of the vehicle to cause clutch problems that makes it tough to identify exactly what the original cause was. Often it can be because the clutch has not been aligned correctly when it was originally assembled to the vehicle. The biggest issue with alignment has always been the element of guesswork that came with it: which, as we have discovered, needn’t be an issue anymore.
Having not used anything like this before, the Draper Tools Expert six piece HGV Clutch Aligning Kit has been really impressive, and we have been able to utilise it on a range of clutch sizes. The tool comes with four precision manufactured steel bushes and two expanding mandrels, and these generally seem to cover all the applications that we have had to deal with; in fact we have yet to come across one that we are not able to use one of the four interchangeable spigot adaptors with.
Considering the simplicity of this kit, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before in the market, or even a tool of its kind. In the past, as I’m sure most other technicians would agree with me, there was a lot of DIY when it came to aligning clutches. Using older clutches as a guide was really the only option because there were no specific shaft sizes available for the bigger spigots; this led to the use of industrial tape to thicken the shaft in order to align the clutch. This obviously leads to the possibility that slight discrepancies will arise, which can have serious consequences when it comes to the clutch wearing down whilst out on the road.
The clutch alignment tool removes these issues completely, makes the entire process much faster and gives you more confidence that the clutch is aligned correctly without having to second-guess your DIY handiwork. The shaft simply slots into the groove and will keep it dead in line, meaning that there is no guesswork. The screw action allows for fast adjustment too.
The tool has also proven to be extremely useful when aligning twin-plate clutches as it has two grooves. If you were to get this wrong when aligning clutches by eye, it causes all sorts of problems, not least the obvious one of one side going in. The last thing you want is to be out with the plate. However, the tool is also great for this because it is so easy to unscrew and remove that you can align one and hold it in place before aligning the other plate.
This is a tremendously useful tool that I can definitely recommend. It removes guesswork from an important process, screws out a long way for ease of use and can be centralised. Overall, it is a very well designed piece of kit and comes in a handy impact resistant case.
Rob Cooper – Technician, Commercial Vehicle Workshop Magazine, www.cvwmagazine.co.uk