What Does A Clutch Brake Do?

You might have heard and seen various parts of the transmission system in your car, but do you know what does a clutch brake do? It’s a very gear-shaped object that helps you transition from neutral to first gear. Read on to know more about transmission systems.

Clutch brakes are disc-like structures with friction material on both sides and are fitted between the clutch and transmission. You will find them on the input shaft of a manual transmission system. They are mainly found in all vehicles with a synchronized transmission gearbox.

So, what does a clutch brake do? The clutch brake is activated when you press the clutch pedal. It helps in slowing down the rotation of the input shaft of the manual transmission gearbox, which finally makes the shifting of the gear from neutral to the first gear easier without any clashing or grinding.

The article discusses more clutch brakes. So, keep on reading the article for more information.

What Does A Clutch Brake Do

How Does the Transmission System Work In Your Vehicle?

The manual transmission system in your vehicle consists of essential components like the engine, clutch, clutch brake, gearbox, and differential.

#1. Engine

The piston moves up and down while burning fuel inside the internal combustion engine. The piston is the reciprocating part of the engine, and the crank is the rotary part of the engine. They both are connected by a connecting rod and help in converting the reciprocating motion into rotary motion.

#2. Clutch

The clutch receives power from the engine. It is a circular disc-like structure between the flywheel and pressure plate and has a friction lining on both sides. It helps transmit power from the engine to the gearbox and disengage it when you don’t require shifting gears. There is a spring inside the clutch, which helps in compensating for the damping.

The diaphragm spring holds the pressure plate in its position. After the diaphragm spring is connected to the clutch pedal, you will find a release bearing. 

Whenever you don’t press the clutch pedal, the power from the engine goes straight to the input shaft of the gearbox. The engine shaft and the input shaft of the manual transmission system of the gearbox also rotate at the same speed.

When you press the clutch pedal, the diaphragm spring and the pressure plate start moving outward, and your vehicle’s clutch disengages from the flywheel. So now, power is not transmitted from the engine to the input shaft of the gearbox. Now you change the gear to achieve the required speed or torque.

You might like to read: What Happens If You Hold The Brake And Gas? Why Do Racers Do It, And Should You Do It Too?

#3. Clutch Brake

The clutch brakes are found between the release bearing and the transmission system. When you press the clutch pedal down to the floor, the clutch brake slows or stops the rotation of the input shaft of the gearbox when your vehicle is standing still. But to shift the gears, your clutch pedal should be a few inches above the floor.

If the input shaft of the gearbox rotates at the engine idle speed, it may cause the gears on the main shaft and countershaft to grind or clash. So, in short, the clutch brake help in preventing the toothed gears from being damaged. It also makes the shifting of the gears easier.

What Does A Clutch Brake Do

#4. GearBox

The gearbox consists of two shafts, i.e., differential shaft and layshaft. You will find gears on both the layshaft and differential shaft.

The size of the first gear in the differential shaft is larger than the second gear. The second gear is similarly bigger than the third one, and likewise, the arrangement continues.

It is so because we want high torque and less power from the first gear.

The collars are inside the gear and connected to the gear selector fork. Whenever you press the gear selector handle, the collar moves and meshes with the first gear, and we achieve high torque and less power.

#5. Propeller Shaft

The gearbox is connected to the differential in the rear wheels by a propeller shaft—the propeller shaft helps in transmitting the power from the gearbox to the rear wheels.

#6. Differential

The differential is a set of gears that can transmit the engine’s force to the wheels at the back of the car while still letting them rotate at different speeds as your car is turning

When Does A Clutch Brake Fail?

#1. Worn Out Frictional Material

The friction material in the clutch brake may wear out with time. So, it may lead to the failure of the clutch brake.

#2. Worn Out Release bearing

If the release bearing is not greased within regular intervals, it will wear out. So, when you press the brake pedal, the release bearing cannot come closer to your vehicle’s transmission system. As a result, the clutch brake cannot slow down the input shaft of the transmission system.

#3. Pressing The Clutch Pedal Down To the Floor

 If you are pressing the clutch pedal down the floor when your vehicle is moving to shift gears, you are abruptly trying to cease the engine, which has a bad effect on the clutch brake. It may also damage permanently, and you need to replace it with a new one.

You might like to read: What Happens If You Hold The Brake And Gas? Why Do Racers Do It, And Should You Do It Too?

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What happens if you press the clutch and brake at the same time?

When you press the clutch and brake simultaneously, you are stopping your car all of a sudden. For instance, a dog suddenly comes on the road on the way you are driving. Then you press the clutch and brake together to stop your car instantly. But remember that damages your vehicle badly. The clutch pedal disengages the engine power to transmit into the gearbox whenever you press the clutch pedal.

But you need to apply more effort to the brakes to stop the car. Remember, when you apply more pressure on the brakes, then it will damage quickly and may put your life at risk while driving.

What Does A Clutch Brake Do

#2. How do I know if my clutch brake is worn?

  • Slipping
  • Burning smell
  • You will hear various noise
  • Trouble in shifting gears
  • Sticky or stuck pedal

A Few Final Words

Clutch brakes are a pretty important component of your vehicle. The teeth of the gears remain in good condition because of the clutch brakes. So you need to maintain it from time to time. 

If you hear any grinding noise or have difficulty shifting gears, please take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic. If the clutch brake mechanic is broken or has no friction material, then replace it with a brand new one. We thank you for reading this article and hope you like it.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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