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Suggest Steel for antique tractor flywheel performance

560Dennis

Plastic
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Im a rookie in performance improvement to a antique Farmall C with stock 113 cubic inch engine Governor high idle of 1815 rpm.
Background : pulled three times with local and National pulls. And the tractor set up is very good in my opinion . Tractor Does not lose traction ,engine dies out,from lack of power.
My competition has much more cubic inch than I do and more torque.
At 3500 pound I’m up against tractor that have 160 to 200 cubic inches and why more torque.
My thought to try to improve torque by using a larger diameter steel flywheel as an improvement . The C113 has a nine inch clutch and cup design. Weighs approximately 27 lbs . If I design it to approx 12 inch outside diameter , that should help to improvement momentum.
I’m asking if you think this material change is safe, and will improve performance.
I don’t necessarily think I can beat the competition but want to improve what I have .

I seen but can’t find other post on the subject here ,that why I’m posting to see if the experience,you can help me improve.
 
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seiner

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Location
Valdez, Alaska
Antique tractor racing/pulling.. that sounds interesting and fun!
I think that while increasing fly wheel inertia works well for balancing out intermittent loads or power pulses. it doesn't help whith sustained loads hence all of the aftermarket efforts put into lightening fly wheels for performance at the cost of drivability.
 

magneticanomaly

Titanium
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Location
On Elk Mountain, West Virginia, USA
AS your tractor pulls and no-load speed drops slightly under the load, and the governor slowly opens the throttle, hp output is rising to carry the increasing load. Once the rpm has dropped enough for the governor to hold the throttle full open, and load still increases and engine begins to lug down, you are using the steady-state hp the engine produces, PLUS a little bit of stored energy "mined'; from the flywheel. There is an equation I would have to look up, to calculate from the FW's polar moment of inertia, exactly how many joules or ergs or hp-hrs a FW will store and release between two different rotational velocities, like between 1800RPM and whatever speed the engine stalls at. My seat-of-the-pants says it won't be much..may get you 3 or four more feet of pull.
 

gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
Its an old drag racing idea. You store energy in a flywheel before the light turns green, extract after the light turns green.

I don't see it working nearly as well in a tractor pull situation for a couple of reasons. One reason is V squared. 7500 to 10,000 rpm or more stores orders of magnitude more energy than your 1815 rpm Farmall. Another reason is the time required for the pull. The amount of energy stored in the flywheel will be absolutely insignificant compared to the engine output during the pull.

The best way for more power is rework the governor for more RPM.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Are you sure you can add 3" to the diameter of your flywheel and still have it fit?

I dunno on this flywheel issue....John Deere 2 cylinder tractors certainly seem to live by it. You can see them at tractor pulls, big R's with a ton of weight on each rear wheel. The engine fires a cylinder and you can see the flywheel spinning....then the next cylinder fires a while later...if it weren't for that flywheel, it woulda stalled a long time ago.

so here's my real-world opinion. On a V-16 with a 2" stroke? Forget it. But on a 2 cylinder with a 5" stroke? Bring on the flywheel.
 

gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
The OP is asking about a 4 cylinder with a 4" stroke. The R was a diesel with a 8" stroke.
 

PackardV8

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Location
Spokane, WA
Don't know the secret of his success, but OEM flywheels are cast iron. They will explode if revved high and strained with a stiff pressure plate.

Back in the day,I saw a '57 Chevy explode the stock flywheel at about 7,500 RPM, blew the bellhousing apart, shrapnel came through the floor and took off the driver's right foot.

Today, racers have to run a steel or aluminum flywheel approved by a sanctioning body. Good guess is he's making them for racers.

jack vines
 

1yesca

Stainless
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
so at what point will the crank , a rod , the main bearing supports [block ] or something in the drive train brake ?
 

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
Don't know the secret of his success, but OEM flywheels are cast iron. They will explode if revved high and strained with a stiff pressure plate.

Back in the day,I saw a '57 Chevy explode the stock flywheel at about 7,500 RPM, blew the bellhousing apart, shrapnel came through the floor and took off the driver's right foot.

Today, racers have to run a steel or aluminum flywheel approved by a sanctioning body. Good guess is he's making them for racers.

jack vines

One of my first jobs (around 1964) for an engine and truck maker was to destroy some flywheels. The "spin pit" was in a small separate building because of the noise created in using it. The pit itself was a big hole in a concrete floor lined with about 6 inches thickness in several concentric rows of vertical bevel-edged wood staves, like a straight-sided barrel. The test flywheel was suspended below a heavy steel bolted-down domed lid on a disposable mandrel mounted to a taper roller bearing spindle. Above the dome was a multi-groove V-belt pulley that was driven by a big gas truck engine. There was a state of the art digital (nixie tubes) electronic frequency meter to show the flywheel RPM. The operator slowly increased the engine speed until the test flywheel burst or we reached some arbitrary stopping point. I had only to watch the RPM to see where failure happened or that we hit the top speed without failure, then write a report.

If the wheel burst, the noise made it apparent. After the test, the dome was unbolted and lifted off the pit. The mandrel was removed along with the wheel or what was left of the wheel. If the wheel burst, there would be lots of little metal pieces to gather up for the metallurgists to examine. Bursting would destroy quite a lot of the wood pit lining, so the splinters and broken staves had to be removed from the pit and new staves carefully installed to get the pit ready for the next test.

It was kind of fun to watch, but the guys that did the work probably did not enjoy it much.

Larry
 

Straightedge

Hot Rolled
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Location
Germany/California
Contrary to people who think ferrous metals are an appropriate choice, you actually want to maximize stiffness per unit weight so that it doesn't deform as you navigate through the corners up to a full-pull. The obvious highest-performance choice is beryllium BILLET. On the other hand, if your team isn't sponsored with the proceeds of planeloads of CIA-brand cocaine, sintered silicon carbide would be the best low-budget option. I am dead effing serious. Everybody knows that only losers use flywheels made from iron.
 

dian

Titanium
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Location
ch
no idea if this helps, but for cars the rule of thumb is that one unit of weight of the flywheel equals to 25 unit of car weight. that is concerning acceleration.
 

Straightedge

Hot Rolled
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Location
Germany/California
no idea if this helps, but for cars the rule of thumb is that one unit of weight of the flywheel equals to 25 unit of car weight. that is concerning acceleration.

I just checked this and it is dead on. The flywheel in my tesla model S is exactly 190 pounds, working out to a ratio of 25. And yes, it's made from aerospace grade lithium billet.
 

bosleyjr

Diamond
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Location
SE PA, Philly
Don't know if this helps, but a flywheel is good for maintaining speed in the face of transient differences. Your engine adds energy to the wheel to get it up to speed. Then if (for example) your tractor went into a rut, the flywheel would add to the power of the engine and get you out of the rut. But this would lower the speed (energy) in the flywheel. Typically flywheels are used to smooth the speed and power delivery of an oscillatory (internal combustion or steam piston) power input. The transient power supplement might be required for perhaps half a second or so after which the engine has to get the flywheel back up to speed. So, for a brief period the flywheel plus the engine deliver more power to the wheels, but afterwards the flywheel sucks up energy from the engine and less power is delivered to the wheels.

So if your pull is more than a second, you need a really large, super fast flywheel that can store a lot of energy, and a really sophisticated transmission to allow you to add power to the wheels in parallel with the engine's power, or a bigger engine.

It's been done for cars and buses, but never commercialized. But if you want to put a titanium rotor flywheel spinning at 55,000 rpm, powered by a gas turbine engine, plus a highly modified transmission into your 70 year old Farmall C, go for it! But I think that in the C, there's no frame and the engine is actually the stressed part - hard to replace with a bigger motor. Maybe find a Super C engine? Are these bolt-in replacements?
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
At 1815RPM, there is no need for special material. Cast iron would work (though why would you want to use it??).

Actually, at 1815RPM, a good tight grain wood like Hickory would work, as well as most of the harder cheeses like cheddar and parmesan.
 

682bear

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
At 1815RPM, there is no need for special material. Cast iron would work (though why would you want to use it??).

Actually, at 1815RPM, a good tight grain wood like Hickory would work, as well as most of the harder cheeses like cheddar and parmesan.


Geez... now I'm gonna have to chuck up a wheel of cheese and see what it takes to explode it...!

Any ideas on how to best hold it on the lathe? Bore for an expanding arbor of some sort, maybe?

-Bear
 








 
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