ETX TECHNICAL TIPS
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 17:36:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I've noted that a fair lot of users are complaining about the excessive torque requires to 'lock' the RA clutch on a ETX125EC. After I reached a point that it hurt my thumb to get it tight, I decided to have a look inside as this wasn't right. What I found was very interesting and somewhat disappointing too. 1. Meade cut corners on this one. After I removed the lower clutch plate I found what I consider, very poor workmanship. Mead had used a center punch to put two dimples on the plate surface. This is the plate that tightens up against the main drive gear. I also noted that the total clutch surface is a bit lacking but that's the design and I have to live with it. What really bothered me was the Mickey Mouse way they attempted to increase the clutch friction with these punches. the picture shows the ware pattern as being the dimple edges and a small amount 180deg from the dents. This would help to add some friction UNTIL the punch ridges wore down a bit then the clutch would take a gorilla to tighten. My fix was to remove the plate and drive gear, resurface the plate (a good file or lathe works here). Once the plate is flat, all of the leached grease and metal dust was removed. I then fabricated a intermediate friction plate from .032 fiber clutch material I had around the shop. this plate fits between the outer plate and gear and is soft enough to allow more contact surface area under compression. Be very careful how you reassemble the AMP punch-block connector. The clutch now does not slip when being driver by the motor under normal conditions but will slip when driver into the stops. I think that the punch marks in the plate was someones attempt to get the product out the door. But that's just an electromechanical engineers opinion. Anyway this worked for me. Doug Loukota
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