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Does a Solid Mass damage a Td5 engine? Pro’s and Con’s:

We have been asked lots recently about the solid mass conversion kits for the Td5 engine since releasing our version in March 2019! In the last 3 months we have sold 150 of our LOF ‘SMF’ kits with very good feedback and results for all applications Discovery and Defender.

So why does the Solid mass flywheel have such a bad reputation? Well in simple form, the common SMF kits available on the market up until now have been designed Incorrectly! These type of kits tend to Rattle, Vibrate and drive not very nicely! Hence why we designed the LOF SMF kit to remove all these issues.

So why do the other SMF kits Vibrate & Rattle? The springs in the cheaper SMF kits are from a Rover V8 clutch kit- A very balanced refined engine with little to no need for dampening. When this ‘V8’ Clutch plate is fitted into the Td5 conversion, it does not have the ability to dampen the vibrations of the engine, therefore causing ‘Gear chatter’ and ‘Drive train vibration’ under load. The V8 clutch plate has an angular displacement of only 5 Degrees. To put it into perspective the original Dual mass has an angular displacement of over 60 degrees!

What makes the LOF SMF kit so special and better? Simple! The LOF SMF kit has been designed correctly, using the following features:

  1. Our flywheel assembly is the EXACT same weight as the original dual mass set up, not a lightened flywheel like the others (Done for cost reasons)
  2. The LOF Driven plate has a ‘Long Travel Idler dampener’ within the centre which dampens the vibration at idle, leading to a ‘chatter free’ drive train with no excessive noise.
  3. The LOF Driven plate also has a 2 stage dampening system which acts to provide the same dampening as provided by the Valeo DMF. The springs used in our plate have the same torque Vs Angular displacement as the DMF meaning it absorbs the vibrations created by the Td5 engine.
  4. Our Flywheel is machined to a very high tolerance of 50 Grams/ Centimetre meaning that it is perfectly balanced.
  5. Other SMF kits use a longer release bearing to compensate for the thinner (Lighter) flywheel, whereas our flywheel is the standard depth as the DMF, meaning a standard FTC5200 release bearing can be used (Ideal if one is needed to be sourced in the middle of nowhere!)

So what are the benefits of fitting a solid mass flywheel compared to the Dual mass? There are many benefits to a correctly designed Solid mass kit:

  1. Cost, the SMF kits work out around £100 cheaper than the equivalent DMF kit. This is because the LUK/ Valeo DMF are just so expensive out of the factory.
  2. Reliability, The SMF has no moving components therefore it will not fail or become noisy when compared to the DMF.
  3. Long term upkeep, The SMF will not need replacing, it is re-usable, therefor if you ever need to change your clutch again, you will only need the clutch cover and driven plate!
  4. Drivability, with the Td5 we have found that there is a ‘sponginess’ to the clutch pedal, and a slight delay/ lag of transmitted torque. Replacing it with the SMF gives a more ‘direct drive’ almost as if the gearbox and engine are more connected together, there is a noticeable difference in how quick the Torque from the engine can be transmitted to the wheels!

What are the Drawbacks to fitting a solid mass flywheel kit? None! The only thing we have concluded is that it is not strictly original, but other than that we see no reason not to fit one!

Solid mass flywheel to suit Td5 Defender and Discovery 1998-2006 22kg SMF
TD5 solid mass flywheel kit from LOF clutches for Defender and Discovery

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