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In a car’s clutch, a flywheel connects to the engine, and a clutch plate connects to the transmission.A flywheel is, quite simply, any rotating disk installed to collect and supply energy to a given system by storing this energy in the form of rotational Kinetic Energy. The flywheel has been used since ancient times, the most common traditional example being the potter’s wheel. In the Industrial Revolution, James Watt contributed to the development of the flywheel in the steam engine, and his contemporary James Pickard used a flywheel combined with a crank to transform reciprocating into rotary motion.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â In application of flywheels in vehicles, the phenomenon of precession has to be considered. A rotating flywheel responds to any momentum that tends to change the direction of its axis of rotation by a resulting precession rotation. A vehicle with a vertical-axis flywheel would experience a lateral momentum when passing the top of a hill or the bottom of a valley (roll momentum in response to a pitch change). Two counter-rotating flywheels may be needed to eliminate this effect.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well, to be quite honest, a flywheel system can be very simple. The perfect example of this is the old Smash-Up Derby Cars that were popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s as a child’s toy. These cars would race towards one another at great speeds and, when they hit, pieces would fly off. Collect the pieces and reattach them and you were ready for another run. But, what made them move. No, you didn’t have to push them. They ran on a simple flywheel design.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Located in the center of the car was a single wheel what was free to rotate with the axle perpendicular to the direction the car was facing. Give it a push, and it would roll. But, to get the best results, you placed a specially designed cord in a hole and pulled it out quickly. This cord was attached to a gear on the side of the flywheel. When the cord was pulled, the gear was rotated and the flywheel powered up. With this flywheel spinning, we have a simple flywheel engine, the only means of locomotion for the vehicle.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Flywheels are small motors that rotate with the help of magnets. A flywheel holder keeps the flywheel, rotor or sprocket still while you remove or tighten the nut holding each in place. It often looks like a bar with clamps at either end. Flywheel holders are useful when working on lawnmowers, scooters, motorcycles or anything else with a small engine.
Check before you buy. Know the make and model of your machine. Knowing these details will help you determine what size and style of flywheel holder you need. The holders come in different sizes, so be sure you know the size of your small motor flywheel before you purchase.
Determine which edge of your flywheel holder best fits your flywheel and always be sure to use that edge.
Use a block of wood for flywheels that are larger than 6 3/8″ in diameter. It’s difficult to find a flywheel holder that adjusts to any size larger than that.
Keep the flywheel steady with the holder as you turn the nut with a socket wrench. Remember as you turn, you may feel resistance. This is caused by the flywheel’s magnetic pull.
Remember that left-handed nuts must be loosened in the opposite direction of standard nuts. When the nut is loosened, remove the flywheel holder.
Return the flywheel and reposition the holder to keep the flywheel stable while you replace the nut after you’ve made your repairs.