The flywheel is a large mechanical wheel located at the end of your rig’s crankshaft and is part of the clutch kit. The flywheel plays an important role in keeping the crankshaft balanced, providing the rotational inertia the engine needs to keep working, and facilitating the transfer of kinetic power between the engine and the transmission.
The flywheel is a metal component that wears with time. Resurfacing usually takes place as part of routine clutch maintenance and can prolong the service life of your clutch kit, ensure optimal engine operations, and improve the performance of your rig.
Read on to learn about the importance of flywheel resurfacing and how it can benefit your fleet.
How Flywheels Harden
The rig’s clutch assembly allows the transfer of energy from the engine to the transmission. To enable the forward movement of the truck, the clutch disk presses against the flywheel, thereby creating friction and rotational energy that is conveyed to the transmission.
With time, the lining on the clutch disk wears and loses the ability to grip against the flywheel. The disk will, therefore, begin to slip. This process will create a polishing effect against the surface of the flywheel and create a large amount of heat that eventually causes the surface of the flywheel to harden.
A hardened flywheel surface can begin to crack. Cracked flywheels drastically lose their efficiency and are unable to convey kinetic energy between the engine and transmission, which the truck needs to move forward smoothly.
How Flywheels are Resurfaced
Flywheel resurfacing entails the use of an advanced diamond-tipped machine to remove very thin layers of hardened metal from the surface of the flywheel.
This process eliminates pitting on the surface and creates a stronger grip between the flywheel’s newly smooth surface and the clutch disk.
If a flywheel has hardened too much, it will need to be replaced rather than resurfaced. Extensive hardening of the flywheel surface can occur due to a lack of regular maintenance. When this happens, resurfacing would involve removing a large amount of metal from the surface. However, removing too much metal from the flywheel can drastically diminish the efficiency of the flywheel and create safety issues.
Experts recommend resurfacing the flywheel at the time of replacing the clutch to mitigate extensive pitting of the wheel.
Benefits of Getting a Flywheel Resurfaced
Periodic flywheel resurfacing delivers several benefits to your fleet.
Prevent Transmission Failure
Your rig’s flywheel is not completely free of cracks. These small cracks are normal and result from the heat and the friction between the clutch disk and flywheel.
However, neglecting to resurface your flywheel can cause large cracks and continued use can damage the transmission, which might require costly repairs. A badly cracked flywheel also makes driving unsafe.
Prevent Clutch Damage
Inadequate grip and friction between the clutch disk and flywheel can cause the clutch to start slipping. Over time, excessive slipping will prevent the engine from moving the car forward and may necessitate major repairs to the clutch.
Resurfacing exposes the flywheel’s underlying smooth metal finish, allows the clutch to engage, and enables the vehicle to accelerate.
Periodic flywheel resurfacing, done by a reputable mechanic, can help minimize expensive repairs or replacement of major components in the truck such as the engine, transmission, and clutch assembly. Regular maintenance can prevent costly downtimes that can affect productivity and your bottom line.
At Godfrey Brake Service, we are specialists in heavy-duty truck parts and services. If you want flywheel resurfacing in Rapid City, SD, and surrounding areas, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified mechanics.