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Thread: towing with a nissan x-trail

  1. #1

    towing with a nissan x-trail

    Hi back in 2005 i treated myself to a nissan x-trail 2.2dci i then bought an ifor willians twin wheel trailer to ferry materials and equipment to and from france, it was not long before the clutch began to smell especially when reversing, looking on the web i found it was a common problem with the x-trail due to the duel mass flywheel getting hot, further investigation found that this problem was not confined to x-trails in fact ford, volvo, audi, scoda, to name but a few were also having problems, but they overcome it by reverting to a solid flywheel, but not nissan, after a lot of searching i spoke to a company in leeds who make flywheel conversions , they have agreed to make a one off solid flywheel and supply a suitable cluch kit for my xtrail, the downside is i will need to send them the old unit to use as a pattern. if all goes well i will be pleased to use the vehicle again for towing as it has all the power needed and good fuel economy, but it would mean my trusty mitsubishi l200 animal would have to go as i cant justify keeping both.
    if anybody has the same problem call the clutch specialists, leeds 01132 426359 i spoke to linda who was most helpful.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    You might be lucky and have no more problems.

    A Duel Mass Flywheel is designed to take up shock acting as a buffer between the engine and transmission. Replacing with a solid flywheel conversion can lead to more problems, the worst being a snapped Crankshaft. There is a tolerance which can be measured on the DMF to confirm if it's worn beyond it's limit.

    These vehicle manufactures have spent tens of thousands developing these components, I'd be sticking with there manufactured items.......

    Good Luck,

    TJ
    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  3. #3
    Hi tartan jock

    When converting from a dmf to solid a recess is cut in the face of the flywheel to make room for a clutch plate with heavy duty damping springs to take up the initial torque, thousands have been converted without issue, lets hope mine is not the first casualty,
    cheers Geoff

  4. #4
    Geoffrey,

    My brother has just had his second clutch / flywheel replaced in two years. He usually tows a horse box with it and as you have found out it's a common problem with them. The first time it went he was given the option of waiting six weeks to get a specialized replacement flywheel from Oz, as the ozzies discovered this problem ages ago, but he couldn't keep the vehicle off the road for that long, hence normal parts and back to square 1 two weeks ago

    Told him to get an L200 like mine before he bought the damn thing!!

    Ade

  5. #5
    Yet once again the modern ideas prove to be not so good after all. Perhaps if they didn't lighten all the stress bearing parts so much then just perhaps they would not have needed these darned DM flywheels in the first place. Modern vehicles just seem to be fragile with expensive issues waiting to happen.

  6. #6
    can I just clarify a couple of misconceptions

    DMFW (Dual Mass Flywheels) have widely been implemented to modern drive trains to absorb 4 cyl engine pulses when used with gearboxes that now have much slacker tolerances for backlash/clearance etc
    These boxes are cheaper to produce but "chatter" at idle when the clutch is not depressed. The chatter is less noticeable with 6,8 and 12 cyl engines but can still be heard.

    An additional side effect is a perceived shock absorbing benefits of the rubber dampers.
    In actuality the rubber dampers are under full load on contact with the friction disc and there is very little perceived difference between clutch bite on a SMFW vs a DMFW.

    One issue with DMFW is the degredation of the rubber bushes internally will break down after high mileage producing a slack connection between flywheel and friction surface, this leads to unbalanced and noisy flywheels and eventually failure.
    A good reason to upgrade to a SMFW

    There is absolutely no reason why a DMFW would overheat when towing unless the spring rating of the clutch is too low and the clutch is slipping generating the heat.
    The clutch is a switch, once engaged without slippage the only heat it receives is from the friction of the gearbox and the latent heat from the engine itself.
    The 4wd system exacerbates the problem as the drive train is less likely to break contact at the tyres as is more often in 2wd system. (wheel spin happens before clutch slip, spinning the wheels on a 4wd takes spirited driving or high power!)

    I have a 4cyl Audi with an uprated clutch on the OEM dual mass flywheel, I have towed things well in excess of the recommended weights (a 16' twin axle Ifor Williams with 1500kg VW Golf and 600kg of Parts) without issue.
    My clutch is on its way out (normal wear on circa 80 miles) the DMFW has done 130k and I will be replacing it with a SMFW as they are cheaper and better.
    I used to distribute SMFW and clutch kits for VAG group engines and this is a particular interest of mine.

    Your new SMFW will give you a sturdier platform and better towing option IF the company have given you an uprated spring plate. if not you will experience exactly the same problem.....clutch slip and overheating
    Last edited by bewsher500; 28-07-2012 at 11:12.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
    Hi tartan jock

    When converting from a dmf to solid a recess is cut in the face of the flywheel to make room for a clutch plate with heavy duty damping springs to take up the initial torque, thousands have been converted without issue, lets hope mine is not the first casualty,
    cheers Geoff
    you cannot convert a DMFW to SMFW without significant welding and machining. no real benefit in doing so either.
    Possible but not practical when SMFW version of pretty much every DMFW version exist already.

  8. #8
    ok .mmm bugger i have a 2005 x-trail 2.2 and use it to tow my caravan...its a big bugger but all been checked with caravan club matching service and its suitable match for towing....

    i have been sticking the car in "auto" when im towing with it and driving ....witht he thinking that it would be better on the motor and clutch etc and would distribute power where its needed and work more efficiently......

    have i been wrong in doing so?....ive never had a clutch go in a motor eitther ...yet.....so what should i be looking for indicator wise?

    cheers
    paul

  9. #9
    Hi Bewsher500 thanks for your informative input,the problem with the dmf manifests when you are manovering especially up a slope in reverse, i have hunted high and low for a smf conversion for the x-trail 2.2 dci as far as i know it does not exist, nissan are so confident of the quality of there dmf that it is not covered by warranty, a replacement dmf including clutch kit and fitting is around 1000.
    The company i spoke to are going to make a one off flywheel by machining up a blank, thats why they need the old unit as a pattern the cost of this one off is considerably less than a replacement dmf, so i think its worth a gamble, As a matter of interest there is a company in northern ireland called exact engineering that will convert a dmf by shimming and bolting the two parts together before balancing, but this only solves part of the problem as you still need to find a suitable sprung clutch plate cheers Geoff

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffrey View Post
    Hi Bewsher500 thanks for your informative input,the problem with the dmf manifests when you are manovering especially up a slope in reverse, i have hunted high and low for a smf conversion for the x-trail 2.2 dci as far as i know it does not exist, nissan are so confident of the quality of there dmf that it is not covered by warranty, a replacement dmf including clutch kit and fitting is around 1000.
    The company i spoke to are going to make a one off flywheel by machining up a blank, thats why they need the old unit as a pattern the cost of this one off is considerably less than a replacement dmf, so i think its worth a gamble, As a matter of interest there is a company in northern ireland called exact engineering that will convert a dmf by shimming and bolting the two parts together before balancing, but this only solves part of the problem as you still need to find a suitable sprung clutch plate cheers Geoff
    Yes I can imagine, its the stop start process where most slippage occurs. (if your vehicle is rated for above what you are towing yet it still destroys the clutch I would argue that it is not fit for purpose and the warranty should kick in!)

    See if your company can match the new SMFW with a higher rated spring plate or even a "stickier" friction compound. Some of the aftermarket "organic" or similar compund friction discs help. I would be surprised if you couldn't find a similar spline pattern for a sporty Nissan like a 350Z in the range
    The only limiting factors of friction disc are spline pattern and diameter

    TTV racing will make you any FW you want out of CroMoly Steel. I had one made for a larger clutch housing but the correct stud patter for my crank to allow the use of a clutch designed for a higher power vehicle. very reasonable,

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