​How to Check the Operating Clearance in Your Power Grip Clutch

Proper maintenance is crucial to getting the performance and life from your WPT industrial clutches. During normal operation of the clutch, the friction discs will wear slowly over time. This wear increases the space between the center plates and frictions and reduces the maximum torque available. Below we will show you how to check the operating clearance in your Power Grip clutches. 

Safety First

If the clutch is still installed on the machine, make sure the equipment is off and proper lockout/tagout procedures for the specific equipment have been put into place before working on the equipment. 

Tools You will Need

WPT recommends an analog or digital dial indicator for the most accurate measurement of industrial clutches. If you do not have a dial indicator, then a small straight edge or rule will work in a pinch. 

Measuring Clearance – Dial Indicator Method 

To measure the clearance in a Power Grip clutch with a dial indicator, secure the base of the dial indicator to the air tube holding plate. Next, place the tip of the dial indicator on the pressure plate.  

Ensure the dial indicator is set to zero. Engage the clutch with the recommended operating pressure for your equipment. Once the clutch is engaged, record the total indicator movement on the dial. This is the clearance for the clutch. 

Measuring Clearance – Straight Edge or Rule Method 

To measure the clearance in a Power Grip clutch, first take the measurement from the bottom edge of the air tube holding plate to the top of the pressure plate (see image). Record this measurement. 

Next, engage the clutch with the recommended operating pressure for your equipment. Once the clutch is engaged, measure the distance the pressure plate has moved (see image). Record this measurement. 

engage & disengage clearance
Calculating the Clearance – Straight Edge or Rule Method 

The clearance in a Power Grip clutch is the difference between the engaged measurement and the disengaged measurement. So, subtract your first measurement from your second measurement to get the clearance. 

Comparing Your Clearance

Compare this value to your WPT manual or clutch assembly drawing. The clearance value should fall within the range specified for your clutch size. If the calculated clearance is beyond the maximum clearance, then it is time to remove shims from the clutch. If the calculated clearance value is below the minimum clearance, then an additional set of shims is required. 

Need More? 

For more information, please visit the WPT Power website or call us at 940.761.1971.