PDA

View Full Version : £410 for a Flywheel


terryJones
7th Dec 2006, 23:38
How in the name of (Insert your own expletive) can a disk of cast iron, with a starter ring shrunk onto it cost over 400squid.
Daughter bemoaning the fact that her Focus 1.8 deisel needs a new flywheel.
This in itself I find difficult to come to terms with, how the fcuk do you BREAK a flywheel.
Knacker a clutch I can live with (although being an auto driver for 15 years now not a problem I have to worry about).
Chew the teeth off the starter ring I can accept, done it myself years ago.
BUT a flywheel, and the 410 pounds is the cost of the bit, not some grease monkey fitting it.
Are Ford using solid gold for flywheels nowadays.
RANT OFF

allan907
7th Dec 2006, 23:56
It's probably the fact that flywheels don't break is what makes it expensive - no readily available spares and may well be a small batch manufacture.

So, c'mon, tell all - how the hell did your daughter break it???? (or is the service station having a lend?)

Keef
8th Dec 2006, 00:34
Is it a plain solid flywheel, or one of those spring-loaded balanced jobbies to reduce the vibration etc from the Diesel engine? I can't see a plain iron one needing to be replaced, I have to say.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
8th Dec 2006, 01:02
An expensive Flywheel or is the seller a Shyster And selling a Flywheel at a Marxed up price. Does he have any Brothers?



ten points for the (obscure) reference :8

pigboat
8th Dec 2006, 01:43
An expensive Flywheel or is the seller a Shyster And selling a Flywheel at a Marxed up price. Does he have any Brothers?



ten points for the (obscure) reference :8

Nice one, Groucho. :ok:

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 01:45
'Abuse' of clutch (whether through carelessness or inherent system fault) can transfer excessive heat into the flywheel mating face, resulting in surface cracks that can extend quite deeply into the metal, changing its structure and no amount of surface skimming will restore a satisfactory mating texture for the clutch friction material. All friction devices depend on the establishment of a chemical couple whereby the resins coat the 'rotor' (disc, drum or flywheel) such that the resins and inclusions in the friction material develop the necessary frictional value or drag. Friction devices depend upon slip, otherwise the engagement would be abrupt. A mating face with extensive fissures will behave like a rasp and destroy any chemical couple mechanically, giving unsatisfactory characteristics with either grab or excessive slip.
Occasionally the 'cracks' can be so severe that the structural integrity of the material becomes potentially dangerous, and a burst flywheel is not a pretty sight (and can do a lot of damage).
I COULD tell you how to ruin a clutch within a few seconds (Mexican Overdrive) with a manoeuvre that seems innocuous but does the deed.
So a new flywheel? Not unusual. The cost? Well some flywheels are composite (I don't mean carbon fibre) with rings being shrunk on, mass-damper systems incorporated and inserts to support spigots, so it really doesn't surprise me. Remember also that vehicle manufacturers make their money from replacement parts, which may have to be manufactured 'off-line' in batches before being inspected (production line parts are frequently just 'sampled') before being packaged (with preservation applied to prevent corrosion during storage), labelled (for identification and differentiation from similar products), and racked for protection in transit. Remember, also, that production might be a constant development of design, so the vehicle or engine requiring the spare might not be identical with what is currently running on the production line. Finally, the dealer (and/or the spares distribution depot) has to provide space to hold those components AND have a structure to know where they are. In simple terms, expect to pay three-times what you think reasonable, expect for high-turnover parts (such as brake-pads).
C'est la vie. Blame the French (except in this instance I believe it's Ford, so maybe the Germans to blame.

Lon More
8th Dec 2006, 01:55
Mexican Overdrive aka Scotsman's fifth? tried that once on Beatock, definitely not going to be repeated:ooh:

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 02:06
Sounds like it.
For those who don't know (don't try this at home, folks, it can seriously damage your clutch), having climbed an up-gradient in a low gear, you leave the low gear engaged on the down-gradient whilst 'simply' depressing the clutch pedal. Through the gearing of the lower gear, the clutch driven disc reaches several-times its usual engine speed, resulting in a structural failure of the friction linings through centrifugal/centripetal forces as the elements fly-off outwards. For engines with a recessed mating face, the fractured pieces often jam the clutch solid such that no disengagement is possible whatever you do with the pedal. At best you'll need a new clutch driven disc (and recovery to garage, unless you can shift gears without using the clutch, and, of course that includes selecting neutral whenever you need to stop).

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
8th Dec 2006, 02:44
a satisfactory mating texturesnigger


Ten points to Pigboat. BBC7 did a remake from the original scripts and it was really quite funny.

brain fade
8th Dec 2006, 08:32
Gee Captain, that's a great idea!

Why T F would anyone want to do that?

RE your flywheel.

Do what any reputable car trader would do. Stick a new friction plate in the sucker and flog its ass down on the block!:E

SyllogismCheck
8th Dec 2006, 08:38
A quick google reveals, "Several reports of flywheel failure on 2.0 litre models and diesels. 'Dual mass flywheel' failures...", the first part of which would suggest that it's a common problem and the 'dual mass' bit would go some way to explaining the cost of the replacement flywheel. According to an information CD I have here, you can also reckon on a bill for 4 hours and 40 minutes of labour to fit the part. That's 'book time' however and probably generous. So consider 4 and 2/3 times the prevailing hourly labour rate the absolute maximum you ought to pay.

Before spending any money though, is the car less than 6 years old? If it is, and hence falls within the more black and white areas of the sale and supply of goods acts, I'd certainly have a lean on Ford on the grounds that the part has failed to live up to a reasonably expected standard of durability. Especially given that it's a component which shouldn't need replacement during the entire lifetime of the car. In addition, the fact that they've had a history of problems with the flywheel just lends more weight to your argument. I'm sure someone has taken them to task, on the basis of their consumer rights and beyond the limitations of any warranty, on this before if it's a common problem. If they conceded to that customer on the basis that they didn't want to mess around in the small claims court, they'll likely follow their own precedent again.

At the end of the day, the failure of a component which should never need replacing is, you'd have to imagine, likely to be considered unreasonable so they'd be on thin ice in court anyway, they have customer relations interests to protect and, of course, what costs £400 to you costs nothing of the sort to them.

Have a lean on them before spending any money.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 08:40
Gee Captain, that's a great idea!
Why T F would anyone want to do that?
Extreme laziness - can't be bothered to shift into neutral - but it doesn't take long to speed-up the clutch disc to bursting-point. I'm also talking about SEVERE up-gradients requiring 'crawler' gear with a heavily-laden truck. Once over the summit, some drivers 'relax' and take the opportunity of a 'free-ride' down the other side. Believe me, I've dealt with numerous cases by so-called 'professional' drivers. They try to deny what they did, citing 'clutch failure', when in fact, it's 'driver failure'.

brain fade
8th Dec 2006, 09:45
Oh, I see wot you mean now. Simply pushing the pedal in but too lazy to change into neutral.
Agree. Deserve what they get.

A flywheel should last as long as the car does tho, IMHO. (driving with a worn out clutch excepted of course).

It's a bit like popping into your local Ford dealer to be told your car needs a new crankshaft. I agree with the guy who suggested this one should be down to the manufacturer.

Sounds like this eng is externally balanced- typical Ford. My Ford has this too, but its just a macined profile on the flywheel. There is a harmonic balancer on the front too. Sounds like this eng has a harmonic balancer built into the flywheel- now that's clever! 'til it goes wonky.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 10:11
Searching (numerous) sites about the Ford Focus Duratorq TDCi 1.8L Diesel engine confirms that it is fitted with a dual mass flywheel - "For ultra-smooth engine operation", however, "Number of reports of flywheel failures on diesels", and "By design, the dual mass flywheels acts as a shock dampener during the overstressing power stroke. When the clutch wears, the flywheel wears. They need to be replaced together....."

You COULD try a non-Fomoco source, such as ebay even (a full kit for a Transit seems to be half the price).

http://www.jdwautomotive.co.uk/index.asp?function=DISPLAYPRODUCT&productid=455

Dual Mass Flywheels are purchased to order and have a lead time of 3 to 5 working days.

AcroChik
8th Dec 2006, 11:03
An expensive Flywheel or is the seller a Shyster And selling a Flywheel at a Marxed up price. Does he have any Brothers?



ten points for the (obscure) reference :8

In Socialist Britain it's actually a two-pronged pun. Deduct five points for that guy in Texas not gettin' his own joke.

PS: Sorry 'bout the cost of the part. Sounds mighty steep. SyllogismCheck's post sounds like good advice.

Lon More
8th Dec 2006, 12:48
Just a thought, tried contacting "Which?" or "Watchdog"?

carbheathot
8th Dec 2006, 15:13
Peanuts.... try a Landrover Freelander TD4 , 957 english pounds for a replacement, on a vehicle which has done less than 27K and its in a vunderbar BMW engine.
Ill buy Ford next time..............:confused: come to think of it.......

Loose rivets
8th Dec 2006, 17:00
A bit of a drift, but to some extent germane to the thread.

I had a Northstar engined Caddilac that had an "harmonic balance" belt drive wheel on the crank. This was for the Serpentine belt and was on the outside of the engine. I noticed that this wheel was not running true, with a circa 3mm lateral wobble. The inner part was true however, and I discovered that the outer rim was bonded to the inner by a rubber buffer. It was just shy of $200 for the part, so for the next 30,000miles I just monitored it. No probs.

I'm interested in the chemical layer that is transferred onto the flywheel side of the clutch. Could this be the reason for the need for the flywheel?

In the US, many people have their brake rotors/discs ‘skimmed'. IMHO, once you do this the disc is bu$$ered. Thems in the know say that some of the pad is melded into the metal of the disc and that this is not even. The result gives the impression of a warped disc and the customer is sold the skim. ( I now don't sit with the brakes on when the discs are hot.)

Just an aside. The Hunter machines that skim discs use cutting tools. The only way to resurface such a work hardened metal would be to grind it with long periods of cooling between passes. Cutting it is just plain daft, yet it is becoming a world-wide practice.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 17:21
I'm interested in the chemical layer that is transferred onto the flywheel side of the clutch. Could this be the reason for the need for the flywheel?
I don't understand your point, LR.

Fresh brakes (and clutches) must be 'conditioned' (avoiding severe applications) until new rotors (discs or flywheels) become coated with 'goo' from the friction material. It is this chemical couple which gives the characteristic performance. A 'clean' metal surface will either grab or slide (relatively to normal performance). This is not normally a major problem if brake discs are renewed in pairs, as the driver will compensate accordingly by varying pedal pressure. Changing just one side can result in 'pull' which MAY persist as a variation across the axle for much longer than 'bedding-in' for matched replacements.

Rotors (discs or flywheels/pressure plates) that have been 'abused' can acquire a baked-resin coating (or 'glaze') which might need 'glaze-busting' using mechanical or chemical means (wire brush or solvent).

ExSimGuy
8th Dec 2006, 17:29
Might be simpler explanations - if she slips the clutch excessively, this heats the flywheel and can also be the cause of cracks in the structure (usually radiating outwards from the centre).

If she drove as far as she could with a worn clutch, and the linings were riveted on, she could have worn a groove in the flywheel that was too deep to safely machine off (assuming that it's a plain steel or iron flywheel, and doesn't have any "fancy facing", in which case any machining would be out of order anyway)

Hopefully I'm wrong, and it turns out to be a "manufacturer liability defect"!

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 17:36
Might be simpler explanations - if she slips the clutch excessively, this heats the flywheel and can also be the cause of cracks in the structure (usually radiating outwards from the centre).


I hesitated (nay refrained) from suggesting such behaviour (though it was one of my first thoughts) as I didn't want to cast nasturtiums. I HAVE known drivers who have controlled the speed of their vehicle using the clutch, although if a trailer (caravan or horsebox) is towed, hill-starts can be of their nature 'abusive'. I would enquire whether unusual circumstances such as a steep exit from the usual parking location exists.

Loose rivets
8th Dec 2006, 18:07
What I'm getting at I suppose is, is there a possibility that there is an uneven chemical surface on the flywheel that is simulating warping. Thousands...millions of discs are cut here because of this uneven transposing of chemicals simulating a warped disc.

According to the guru (he was a test engineer and driver on the GT40 in the 60s,....(bet you would have liked that to test G-C ) He post a lot on the Caddy forum about brakes. He goes into the molecular levels and says that it is difficult to rub it off as it is some molecules deep. The best way is not to get it there in the first place. Creep forward when waiting at lights etc. However, should you want to rub at the disc, emery is a no-no as it too will get embedded. I forget what paper he uses.

I'll try to find the link but it was ages ago. It's about five pages of detail.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2006, 18:18
We used to call such conditions 'walnuts' as there was usually visible patches of discolouration on the metal. Indeed, replacement was the safest solution, as distortion was probable. Steel wool was the best method of glaze-busting. 'We' never employed skimming on prototypes (or production test vehicles either).

ShyTorque
8th Dec 2006, 20:49
Dual mass flywheels do have their problems. My BMW had one and at idle it sometimes rattled like a snake. When I first bought it, the car suffered from clutch judder to the extent that first gear was unusable, if the weather was hot. The dual mass part seemed to exascerbate the problem, by ricocheting around its springs. I thought my car had a particular problem but I learned it was by no means uncommon. The original clutch was still in the car when I sold it some 70,000 miles later.

It is possible to drive a car with a completetely jammed clutch. I once got a Volvo 240 estate 160 miles in that condition, towing a caravan (the clutch went "bang" as I reversed the car out of a soft field).

To set off, the car is put in gear before starting the engine, turning the starter gets the whole show moving. Best way to change gear or find neutral is to flick the ignition off to very briefly offload the drive train (you steer with your nose during gear changes unless you have three hands). Having got the car and caravan home, I booked the car in for a new clutch and drove it another eight miles to get there. The young mechanic couldn't even get it up the forecourt, so they were going to push it! He was impressed when I showed him how to do it. Most difficult part of the trick is to stop by turning off the ignition before going through the back wall of the garage :eek:

mini
8th Dec 2006, 23:13
Ford TDCI engines have dual mass flywheels. This unit in various guises is fitted to Transit, Mondeo & Focus. They are notorious for flywheel problems - ie breaking up. The first symptom is usually starter motor failure - the starter is fitted with permanent magnets & attracts all the debris during initial breakup - leading to jamming. Buying a new starter allieviates the problem for a short while but the flywheel will have to be replaced to cure it eventually. Seems to be more common in vehicles that the clutch has had a hard time ie Transits towing trailers etc but will effect all sooner or later.

Whirlygig
8th Dec 2006, 23:34
My BMW had one and at idle it sometimes rattled like a snake. When I first bought it, the car suffered from clutch judder to the extent that first gear was unusable

I tell ya, you wanna go Italian! Never had a flywheel prob with an Alfa!

Cheers

Whirls

ShyTorque
9th Dec 2006, 18:40
No, but at least me lights stayed on (and in place) when I shut the door........ :p

I've now got something far more sensible than an Italian job.......the flywheel is definitely no problem.......an automatic, with all six cylinders in a nice straight line, of course. :)

Whirlygig
9th Dec 2006, 19:32
an automatic, with all six cylinders in a nice straight line, of course.

Automatic? How nice :rolleyes: And as for a straight six? V to you!

Cheers

Whirls

Rick Storm
9th Dec 2006, 19:41
Ha-ha suckers......You should drive the Peugeot 106 like I do...Cool

Rick

ShyTorque
9th Dec 2006, 19:42
Oh, how rude! An' there was me, thinking it was only blokes that got all protective about their "steeds" ..... :ouch:

Oh yes, and proper, rear wheel drive :p

Lon More
9th Dec 2006, 20:00
now,were we to place the flywheel directly on the runway .....

ShyTorque
9th Dec 2006, 20:03
Icy runway? :8

Holy $&1t, what am I saying? Not again! :=

Romeo Charlie
9th Dec 2006, 20:07
S'alright Whirls, I have a V6 Manual and a Straight 6 Auto and I know which is more fun......


Certain Volvo 940's had a dual mass flywheel and these have also been known to give trouble by grenading at inopportune moments. Luckily this doen't usually happen until about 250k miles, but unluckily the price of a new one makes the baby Jesus cry - £410 is very cheap in comparison!

matt_hooks
10th Dec 2006, 02:29
IF the flywheel needs replacing then the price sounds about right.

I would make absolutely certain it DOES need replacing before shelling out any money. It has been known for certain unscrupulous mechanics to suggest jobs need doing that really don't, especially when the vehicle is owned by a young woman who probably doesn't know her flywheel from her spare wheel. (Seriously, I have friends who are mechanics and that's EXACTLY what they think when a woman comes in...a nice easy sale for stuff that doesn't really need doing!)

I would certainly get a reputable garage, maybe a ford dealer or a friend to verify the fault before shelling anything out!

If the car is not driveable then go and talk to the garage that have told her it needs replacing and ask a few awkward questions. How do they know the flywheel needs replacing? I would want to take the gearbox and clutch out to verify if the flywheel was faulty. If this hasn't been done then I'd be more than a little suspicious! Of course I' ve not actually looked into these engines in detail, maybe there IS a way to diagnose this fault without having the box off? If anyone knows of a way then please enlighten us!

G-CPTN
10th Dec 2006, 04:59
maybe there IS a way to diagnose this fault without having the box off? If anyone knows of a way then please enlighten us!
Previous experience is invaluable in all cases.
I once had a vehicle with an unusual knocking noise within the (Formula Junior) engine which I suspected was a main-bearing failure, however a more-experienced mechanic (who ran his own garage) immediately remarked "Oh no, sonny, THAT'S a broken crank!" when he heard the noise and how/when it manifested itself, and he was right. Said 'mechanic' (RIP) became godfather to my son . . .

Is the price quoted for the flywheel only, or for the whole job - removal/refitting including labour and parts? As previously highlighted, the flywheel is available for £190 + VAT = £223.25.
(see http://www.jdwautomotive.co.uk/index.asp?function=DISPLAYPRODUCT&productid=455)
Of course any fitter will want his 'mark-up', but the quoted £410 seems to be excessive to me.
Then, of course there's carriage (in this case £6.80) giving £231.24 in total.
http://www.jdwautomotive.co.uk/index.asp?function=CART&mode=UPDATE&deliverymethod=1

There may be other suppliers more local to the vehicle who could match this price - try motor factors and/or independent garages.

Air-Geko
11th Dec 2006, 17:41
Don't you people have junkyards on that side of the pond? Simply go to the yard and find a diesel focus which was totalled by a rear-ender. They've probably started parting the sucker out and you might be able to find a used flywheel a lot cheaper this way... Many of the yards around here are linked via computer so if they don't have the part you're looking for they can tell you who should.

matt_hooks
11th Dec 2006, 23:51
Don't you people have junkyards on that side of the pond? Simply go to the yard and find a diesel focus which was totalled by a rear-ender. They've probably started parting the sucker out and you might be able to find a used flywheel a lot cheaper this way... Many of the yards around here are linked via computer so if they don't have the part you're looking for they can tell you who should.

Yes we do have scrap yards AG, but with a used, high load part like the flywheel I'd be more than a little dubious. Plus the fact that there aren't many of that particular model in scrap yards around here. Being a rep mobile and spending most of their time on motorways the ones that do get pranged tend to be fairly mangled, plus it is a fairly unusual engine size for the focus iirc? (could be wrong on that, and is also possible that other vehicles use similar parts, I know the transit connect vans use the same engine but nor sure about the clutch etc.)

Definitely worth grabbing a copy of the yellow pages and ringing round a few of your local scrappies I guess, long as you can find someone to actually fit it!

Paul Wilson
12th Dec 2006, 09:38
No need to switch off the ignition to change gears in a car with a jammed clutch, drove a Porsche 924 from Calais to LeMans (via the periferique) with no clutch. Start off as ShyTorque said then accelerate in first, apply back pressure to the gear stick and lift off the throttle, swiftly but not abruptly, gearbox should drop into 2nd. If it doesn't it will be in neutral, and simpy blip throttle to about 1000rpm over appropriate engine speed for gear and push the gearstick into gear.

Downchanges are similar, but you must follow the two step process off eg , 3rd to neutral, blip throttle select 2nd.

It very much helps having a friend in front of you making sure that you don't have to stop, and no one cuts in front.

Groundbased
12th Dec 2006, 15:54
Slightly off topic, but we have a 1999 focus 1.6 lx which has blown two valves in 6 months.

Last time it cost £500 to repair even with a deal from the garage. To me this is indicative of higher mileage than is on the vehicle (57,000), but Iu've phoned all the other owners and the MOT's stack up so it seems genuine.

I won't be buying another focus.

ShyTorque
12th Dec 2006, 21:22
No need to switch off the ignition to change gears in a car with a jammed clutch, drove a Porsche 924 from Calais to LeMans (via the periferique) with no clutch. Start off as ShyTorque said then accelerate in first, apply back pressure to the gear stick and lift off the throttle, swiftly but not abruptly, gearbox should drop into 2nd. If it doesn't it will be in neutral, and simpy blip throttle to about 1000rpm over appropriate engine speed for gear and push the gearstick into gear.
Downchanges are similar, but you must follow the two step process off eg , 3rd to neutral, blip throttle select 2nd.
It very much helps having a friend in front of you making sure that you don't have to stop, and no one cuts in front.

Depends on the car, the state of the gearbox/ gearchange and how rapidly the car responds to throttle..my car wouldn't change gear without the ignition being blipped. On the other hand, all of the motorcycles I've ridden would.

As for a friend driving ahead - none of my friends would admit to even knowing someone who drove a Volvo estate towing a caravan. ;)