Kit Masters now offers Auto Lock on K-Series fan clutches
One of the benefits to a spring-engaged fan clutch is that the fan clutch is considered “fail safe.” This refers to the fact that, unlike an air-engaged fan clutch, if you lose your air pressure the fan clutch fails in the engaged position.
In older, air-engaged fan clutches, when you lost air pressure the fan clutch failed in the OFF position. Because of this, air-engaged fan clutches were designed with a “Come Home” feature. You could manually bolt the friction plate to the pulley, thereby manually locking up the fan clutch. The fan clutch would operate fully locked up until the driver could return to the home terminal, where the fan clutch could be repaired or replaced.
When the fan clutch industry switched from air-engaged to spring-engaged they eliminated the “Come Home” feature. Presumably, because the fan clutch already fails in the engaged position when you lose your air supply.
However, the term “fail safe” only refers to what happens when you lose your air pressure. What happens to the fan clutch when you lose your friction material?
All friction material will eventually wear to the point where it can no longer engage the fan clutch. This may happen naturally due to normal wear, or this may happen prematurely due some fault in the fan clutch. Either way, when you lose your friction material, the clutch fails in the OFF position, and there is no longer a manual come home feature designed into the fan clutch.
For this reason, the industry has been asking for a manual lock-up feature in the modern fan clutches. Kit Masters did the industry one better, and invented Auto Lock.
Auto Lock is a system designed into their GoldTop fan clutches, and now in their K-Series fan clutches, that will automatically engage the fan clutch when the friction material is worn near the end of its life.
As the friction material wears, the two main components of these fan clutches move closer together. Eventually they will move far enough to come into contact with the internal Auto Lock seal. When this happens, the surface area of the internal air chamber is reduced to a point that the clutch will not accept enough air pressure to overcome the spring that is engaging the fan clutch. Without enough air pressure to hold the spring back, the fan clutch remains engaged.
In short, when the friction material nears the end of its life, the fan clutch becomes fully engaged, and stays fully engaged.
The driver may return to the home shop, at their own convenience, to have the fan clutch replaced at their own controlled cost, by their own trusted labor. No tow bills, no out of town shop rates, no unapproved parts installed, and most importantly, no downtime.
Auto Lock is the patented “come home” feature designed exclusively by Kit Masters.
Click here to learn more about Auto Lock come home technology.