Hot Clutch

Hey Group, I'm getting a hot clutch when I try to horse my boat into the lake. I'm well under the max towing load, but stopping and starting on the boat ramp is causing my clutch to overheat. It really got hot the
first time I tried this. It's not slipping or chattering, but it also got hot the second time I tried to do this. Don't know if it's ruined or not. Would a Spec2 Clutch or a RhinoPak clutch solve the problem? '99 Ford Ranger 2.5L 5 speed. Regards, Solar^
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Get a truck with an automatic, practice backing with out stop\start or purchase a underdrive gear splitter transfer case.

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Doc wrote:

He has no torque there so he's smoking the clutch. A better clutch won't help an awful lot. Knowing how to use it would do wonders or else the automatic with a cooler would solve his problem. There is a very good chance that the clutch is now cracked and heat degraded and won't last much longer.
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wrote:

Appreciate the reply. "Knowing how to use the clutch" > Am I overreving the motor and heating it up? Regards, Solar^
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There are so many variables here, it's hard to know where to start. First of all, how much "horsing" would one have to do to simply put a boat in and out of the water on a ramp? Is it even a ramp we're talking about?
Why do you need to stop and start so much? Seems to me that you put the ramp and boat in the water and stop. You unhook the boat, and you pull back out of the water. That's only one stop and start. The same would be true on taking the boat out of the water, but you'd have a lot heavier load coming out. Either way, I only see one stop and start each way. That's excluding the turnaround before you back in, but that should be on flat ground, and a minimal strain on the vehicle.
If the problem is that you're not so competent backing the trailer, that would explain all the starts and stops. It sounds like you may be starting and stopping so much because you're having trouble backing straight. If that's the case, get on flat ground somewhere, i.e. a parking lot, and practice, practice, practice. You'll get the hang of it eventually.
Now, let's assume that your problem is not with backing (although I think that's a big part of it). What do we do about the clutch. You asked in another place if you're overrevving the engine. There's no way that any of us could know that from here. It's entirely possible that you're doing so. The thing is, you're going to have to slip the clutch a little more than normal to get it started because you're: a. On an incline, and b. much more heavily loaded. But from here, it's impossible to know if you're doing it too much. I have a hunch that you are, though. What you want is to get the clutch fully engaged as soon as possible without stalling the engine. That too will take some practice, maybe a clutch's worth of practice...
The third and final possibility is that your truck, with it's 2.5 Lima, really is overloaded for this task. Frankly, if you have anything more than a 12 or maybe 14 foot aluminum boat, you have too little truck for this task. We have no way of knowing how you determined the towing capability of your truck. I can tell you from experience (I have a '97 with 2.3) that the towing ability is limited. I have no problem with a 4x7 utility trailer towing my riding mower, etc., but I don't think there's a fiberglass boat made that would be a safe tow for my truck.
I hope I haven't discouraged you. Perhaps with more information from you, we could narrow this down a bit.
Thanks,
CJB
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 15:44:46 GMT, "CJB"

Thanks CJB for the reply. I've had a couple of ramps that are fairly expansive, and well inclined in order to accomodate the deep draft boats. I have a 15ft Aluminum Grumman with a 10 horse Merc. I make at most 2 corrections on these boat ramps. The boat trailer is rated at 1300 lbs max capacity, so I'm sure that the boat fuilly outfitted doesn't go more than 1000 lbs. I did really heat up the clutch the first time out. It was a long Army Corps of Eng ramp at Table Rock in Missouri. Is the clutch suspect at this point? The Ranger is rated at 1600 lbs tow capacity, so I think that I'm ok there. What do you think? I'm thinking that if I don't get it down the ramp the first time, I'd better get it as close the water as I can and get out and shove the thing in sideways. :) Regards, Solar^
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Down is easy - it's the up and out that really strains things. That tow rating is on a flat highway, not a steep boat ramp with the drive tires under water.
If you are smoking the clutch getting the boat backed IN the water, you've got clutch troubles that have nothing to do with the boat...
Pulling the boat and trailer out of the water is a lot more work, and the truck simply may not be up to the task. Doing heavy work with a manual transmission vehicle requires one of two things - either a LOT of experience driving stick, or frequent new clutch changes.
If it takes you longer than 1 second of clutch slipping to get moving, you are doing it wrong - even if you have to chirp the tires a bit while getting the clutch out, and applying just enough gas to get moving and keep moving.
Once you get moving, you should have your foot all the way OFF the clutch pedal. Leave it in First, and just grind it up and out. You have two choices: Keep moving or stop, do NOT slip the clutch trying to go slower.
--<< Bruce >>--
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