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#476361 11/23/22 11:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2021
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Grease Monkey
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Grease Monkey
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I'm about to have a mechanic replace the clutch leather on my 1920 490 Touring. He's charging $80 per hour, which I think is very fair, but I have a few questions.

1) How long should this job take?

2) What are some problems he might encounter?

3) What other parts may need replacing and are they available?

4) Any advice that may help him?

Sorry for all the questions, but my car seems to be in nice original condition and I'd really like to get her on the road again!!

Filling Station - Chevrolet & GMC Reproduction Parts


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Backyard Mechanic
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I recommend you to search this forum. Choose ”Advanced Forum Search”, scroll the ”Forum(s) to search” to ”Technical-Prewar”, begin to choose 1916-1922 (Model 490 only) and print ”clutch leather” (Note: don’t forget the ”...”:s) in the ”Keyword Search Terms”, then ”Searth Entire Posts”. On ”Date Range, choose ”Newer than 20 years. Klick ”Search forums” and you’ll get a handy number of posts (I got different numbers, between 24 and 43!), many of them from the same thread. Choose one post, go to the first post in that thread and often you will find a lot of good information. Sometimes different opinions on the same subject. In some of these threads you will find links to other threads, or tips of different kinds.

1 How long time?
I have no idea. Depends on the mechanic's knowledge and experience.
I replaced the clutch leather, during the winter 2006/2007, with extremely lot of help from a good friend, not a professional mechanic but with a lot of knowledge and quite a lot of experience from restoring and reparing older cars on hobby basis. At that time I was not a member of the VCCA, and i did not have the excellent ”Chevrolet Repair Manual 1918-1924”, third edition January 1923, which I one year later bought from Gary Wallace.

2 Some problems?
In my opinion: a lot. Depends on the mechanics knowledge and experience.
For me alone it had been an impossible job.
One example: How to remove the gear box without removing the rear end? I got the information from a man who was restoring a 490.
Another example: How to construct and make a ”Clutch Puller”? My friend succeded! And he did that without the instructive picture of the tool in the Repair manual mentioned above.

3 What other parts?
I cannot remember if we replaced some other parts.
I used leather, and I recommend that. After the replacement the clutch has worked for more than 11 000 miles, so far without issues.
The six expanders are crucial, mine were quite good.

4 Any advice
I have quite a lot of pictures from the replacement, also from the check of the clutch leather I did one year later, when I had to make an engine overhaul.


Per-Åke Larsson
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Grease Monkey
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Grease Monkey
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Thanks for the response swedechev! I bought the new clutch leather from Gary Wallace and it came with new rivets. I also have the repair manual from him too. I'm hoping the replacement goes well without too many complications. I'll try and look for your pictures.

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Sounds good. If you have some specific question or wants too have a picture that shows something specific you are welcome to ask. Good luck!


Per-Åke Larsson
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Take pictures and make drawings during the process,it will help greatly when putting it back together. The manual explains what is needed to compress the spring and remove the pin. I was rebuilding the engine at the same time, if it is going to sit for some length of time you should release some of the tension on the spring.


1917 490, 1928 Depot Hack, 1925 Buick roadster, 1978 Vette pace car, 2002 Z06

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