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"CM." Tries New Electric Clutch

28th October 1955
Page 39
Page 39, 28th October 1955 — "CM." Tries New Electric Clutch
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DEVELOPED for use in light delivery vehicles, but available as a private-car unit, the electro-magnetic clutch produced by LIelecs Vehicles, Ltd., has been fitted to a Morris Minor car for demonstration to Motor Show visitors. The main control units of the systeni. (to which -brief reference was made in last week's issue of The Commercial Motor) can be examined on Stand 54.

The makers have sought to evolve a semi-automatic transmission with No-pedal control for piston-engined vehicles, which will ease the work of the driver and reduce maintenance and fuel costs. It is claimed that incorporation of the system in new vehicles as original equipment would not increase their first cost.

The clutch is of the colts/en-clonal electro-magnetic type with friction engagement surfaces and is controlled by a variable-resistance master unit. linked to the throttle leverage. The coils of the clutch are energized after the throttle has been opened a predetermined distance, and the voltage increase is progressive, so that engine speed is, in effect, proportional to starting load. Maximum torque is, therefore, available on steep gradients and for a rapid get-away in traffic.

When the throttle is closed the clutch automatically disengages and acts as a free wheel until a gear-change is made. A control switch can be used to lock the clutch, cnergization being gradual to prevent shock loading of the trans mission if the engine is idling and the vehicle is travelling at a relatively high .road speed.

Other important features of the system include a gear-shift interlock, which prevents disengagement when the throttle is open, and a filter resistance, linked to the gear lever, which ensures easy gear engagement when the vehicle is stationary by creating a slight drag on the driven member. It also facilitates rapid gear changing.

The clutch is of British design, . employed extensively in America, and the control unit is identical to the one fitted to the concern's battery-electric milk-delivery vehicles.

After driving the demonstration Morris Minor, a representative of The Commercial Motor reported that the system was eminently suitable for use in light-delivery vehicles.

A " si ngle-pedal " control, incorporating a brake lever adjacent to the . throttle. actuation of which cuts out the .throttle, is under development.


THE Northern Licensing Authority granted a B licence on Monday to T. Place and Sons, Ltd., Northalterton, to carry poles for the Yorkshire Electricity Board. . During the rail strike, he was told, the Board found that unloading costs were reduced when road transport was employed instead of rail. Applicants sought to run two vehicles, hut the authority specified only one.

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