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Hot Rods Any body use one of these bells?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ShortyLaVen, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. ShortyLaVen
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 602

    ShortyLaVen
    Member

    Does anyone have any experience with this Southwest Speed bellhousing? I was just looking through the clutch explosion thread, and it got me thinking about all the stoplight launches and burnouts I have done in my heavy car, with factory aluminum bellhousing, and 60s vintage clutch parts. I really don't have the budget for a Lakewood, as used they go for over $400 (new closer to 7!) but now I'm nervous about beating on that car come springtime. Would they really contain an explosion well enough to keep shrapnel out of the interior? I see they don't have a bottom.

    https://www.southwestspeed.com/?sec=view_part&id=3175

    I have a tighter budget than ever, due to having a little one on the way, but for the same reason I am starting to give a smidge about safety. Would you trust one of these things? I will try to Budget in an SFI rated piece later on, but as it is buying this one for $200 would bump something else off the bottom of the list .
     
  2. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,506

    porknbeaner
    Member

    My guess would be if it will pass tech it will work for you on the street.

    I gave 50 bucks for my Lakewood used here on the HAMB, yes I shopped and got a deal. It will probably not pass tech as it is used and has not been recertified. A new Lakewood is only about 500 and change.

    All that said if you are using a stock GM aluminum bell and are not launching @ 7K you are probably going to be alright. ;)

    Oh the logic on being open in the bottom is that if the clutch comes apart the pieces will follow the path of least resistance. That will not be acceptable with some sanctioning bodies. The reason I mention it is that a long time ago I was running a '64 Chevelle on an outlaw track with a corvette aluminum bell. The tech said that he would pass me if I removed the inspection cover because it would give my clutch someplace to go if it scattered. LOL

    Note: in the class ads they are running in the 2-300 dollar range depending on what you are running.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/search/172701141/?q=scatter+shield&o=relevance&c[node]=47
     
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  3. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 767

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make sure its not from the Hoffman Group.
     
  4. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,506

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I think the Hoffman group owns the world at this point. I even found replacement parts for vintage motorcycles recently and they were under the umbrella of the Hoffman Group. :D
     
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  5. ShortyLaVen
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 602

    ShortyLaVen
    Member

    That's pretty funny about taking the bottom off! I guess I can see his thought process. The bell that is in my car now is a Corvette one like that, it came from a '64 that was resto-modded where I worked in AZ. I definitely don't launch this car at 7k!! I don't think this engine is any good past 6 or so... With the tires I have on there now (and it was open diff last summer) around 3,500 is the sweet spot. That said, I have got up into the 6k range while smoking tire.

    I guess they did use aluminum bells in all the factory hi-po stuff, right? Maybe it's just overkill for my app.
     
  6. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,506

    porknbeaner
    Member

    A lot of the old scatter shields were aluminum.

    The thinking on it is along the lines of using Lexan for making bullet proof glass. The aluminum is soft and will trap the pieces or slow them down to the point of not being dangerous. A lot of older scatter shields were aluminum like this old Ansen unit for example.

    PB150321.JPG

    Clutch explosion can be two fold, RPM and inferior pieces. We had one happen at the HAMB Drags a few years back behind a 6 cylinder for example. The reason was probably because the builder got a little heavy handed when he was lightening the flywheel.

    Actually clutch catastrophes are pretty rare. They can be pretty gnarly when they happen but it is not an everyday occurrence.
     
  7. ShortyLaVen
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 602

    ShortyLaVen
    Member

    Porknbeaner, thank you, man. Kind of puts my mind at ease, maybe I will just save my bucks until I really need one. FWIW I emailed a place that sells those ones I was looking at, they said they wouldn't run one on the street because it's not 360°. I've been running my stock one without the inspection cover this whole time, is the issue there just road debris getting in there?

    What about at the track? If I went to a street-legal event would they let me race with a stock piece? I would be surprised if I went faster than like 14s.

    I am also looking at a vintage RC cast one on the auction site, it's got the bottom piece with it
     
  8. Chevrolet was the one with the most issues with exploding flywheels. If you go back and look at the early NHRA rulebooks, manual-trans Chevys were required to use one regardless of class, while 'other' makes didn't need one unless running in Super Stock or higher classes.

    I'd be leery of the linked bellhousing. It's advertised as 'light weight' which makes me wonder how thick the steel is. Any flex in the bell and you may have issues with clutch operation and excessive wear in some bearings. It doesn't appear to be 'approved' either. If you don't already have one, investing in a SFI-approved flywheel and pressure plate may be just as cheap.
     
    mgtstumpy and saltflats like this.
  9. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 667

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    Not a place I'd take a chance on possible low quality if you are planning on silly stuff with the clutch. Had a clutch/flywheel explode in a Boss 302 back when I knew everything(1971) and thanks to Lakewood I don't walk funny. Crazy Steve is right about the SFI approval on the clutch/flywheel combo.
     
    Hollywood-East likes this.
  10. Right on! If you may get crazy you better have strong SFI parts. Not worth losing a foot or worse. I had one explode in a blown sbc 69 nova when I was 17 . Blew a hole in the floor not 3 inches from my ankle.
     
  11. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,157

    56sedandelivery
    Member

    *. I had a long, drawn out, explanation of using scattershields and SFI approved parts, but really, it's already been discussed many times before here on the HAMB. Responsibility comes with not only ones-self, but also with others around us. JMO.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  12. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,037

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    Do you have enough room to put an " exterior " scattershield around your bell housing? If you have a steel supplier/ jobber in your area they could roll you a piece of 1/4 inch plate if you made a paper template....
     
  13. ShortyLaVen
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 602

    ShortyLaVen
    Member

    I also found a '70s era Ansen stamped/hydroformed steel bellhousing, would one of these be considered safe? It looks similar to a Lakewood 77-150 in that it doesn't appear to use a block plate. Being behind an SBC it's not really the end of the world if the block cracks as long as it keeps parts out of the inside of the house car.
     
  14. The Lakewood 77-150 style is not SFI approved, but if you don't need the rating, as in track use, you should be fine with it. It is a definite step-up from the aluminum ones, which I don't use. I have an iron one from a '55 Chevy with the forged truck fork behind my 355. The cast iron housing is another option and they are easy to find.
     
  15. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 2,833

    jnaki





    Hey S,
    Having gone through this scattershield experience with our 1940 671 SBC Willys Coupe in C/Gas, I can tell you that there is no amount of money that should prevent you from covering your @$$ in your car. Back then, we had the two piece approved scattershield that was sold by most speed shops. So, we bought one for our Willys Coupe. Several years later, Joe Shubeck made a 360 degree coverage shield that saved countless lives everywhere. But, it was too late for us in 1960.

    HAMB from 2016
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/scatter-shields.1020013/page-2

    Expanded story with Joe Shubeck's company;
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...hear-some-stories.185297/page-6#post-12622005

    With your new arrival, you now have something other to care for and protect to the utmost. We can all relate to that feeling of the new guy in your family. (The world seemed complete.) Most of us took extra precautions on everything we did when our little guy showed up. So, if it is important to you and your wife, save for full protection scattershield from a reputable dealer or manufacturer. No need to skimp and who cares what it looks like, it will be under your car. But for your family's sake, a decent one will be extremely helpful for safety's sake.

    Jnaki
    There are a lot of hot rods that do not have scattershields for everyday use. But, safety first was ingrained into us after our explosion and resulting fire. Of course, our Willys was not your ordinary daily driver, although that was our plan for the future. Of course, it is your choice. But, skimping, and not knowing the reputation of any company, just because it is less expensive... is no reason for eliminating safety.

    Your family will thank you in the long run. Smidge or not, just get the best for protection. $700 should not be a barrier for your family's satisfaction and safety. It is only $58 a month spread out over the whole year. You have life insurance/car insurance for you and your wife. So, this is added insurance for everyone.
     
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  16. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 71

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Spoken like a true Gentleman!!! Very true, sir. Very true.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    jnaki likes this.
  17. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,506

    porknbeaner
    Member

    The problem with the bottom being open has to do with starter life. Dust water dirt knocks the bushing, eventually.

    I have not had a clutch come apart that migrated into the cab with me personally. But I did grab some pieces of foot and race to the hospital with them when I was in high school. Blown Gas Coupe, the guy was actually in pretty good spirits (could have been the Morphine talking) for a guy that was missing part of his foot. He asked me how bad his car was and I said, "Well its gonna need a new toe board at least." He said, "Cool, I think I'll build me a fuel coupe out of it."

    @Crazy Steve that's cause Ford don't make enough zot to explode one. :rolleyes: :D I think that GM was building their flywheels too light in a certain period of time. I had a friend and mentor named Danny when I first started racing. He always recommended the truck flywheel over the car flywheel for his customers.
     
  18. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,411

    jimmy six
    Member

    I'd use it on the street in a second. The old cast iron and cast aluminum flywheels were the real trouble. Today it's rare to see a flywheel come apart and I believe it's because guys don't drag race sticks like they did in the past...It's all automatics now. On the street, how many guys are going to pound the hell out of their $30-70K SS 454 Chevelle 4-peed anyway. If your NHRA or any other sanctioned body racing you need to follow their rules which usually means a SFI rated part every 6 months to a year so their manufactures can make money. I've had the same Lakewood style bellhousing in my car for 35 years.
     
    jnaki likes this.
  19. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,506

    porknbeaner
    Member

    My Lakewood won't pass tech on any sanctioned track it has probably been out of date since gawd knows when. I got it for two reasons, one is that I needed a bell anyway and the other is that painted up it will pass tech on most outlaw tracks. LOL

    I seldom throw more that 400 hundred ponies at anything I run. I am happy with a healthy street motor and if you build one light enough you don't need as much zot. ;)
     
  20. My car is pretty stout for power ~ 430 HP give or take. But with the 4-speed I have yet to pull a hole shot with it. That's when you find the weakest link in the drivetrain. Drive it like an almost normal person and you should live to be 100... maybe.
     
  21. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,411

    jimmy six
    Member

    Not pointed at one these, but we ran a Lakewood on our 3000# Super Stock 1/2 mile dirt car ( called Pro Stock or Wissota other parts of the country) and broke the welds on 2 of the inner nuts. We will only use a Quick-Tims which has a 1/2" welded plate for the trans mount....
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019

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