Manual Transmission Bell Housing & Scatter Shields
A bellhousing is a component of the transmission, that is either bolted on, or permanently fixed to the transmission. Most manufacturers produce the bellhousing from cast aluminum,in order to reduce weight. The bellhousing is what encases the flywheel and clutch, and bolts to the engine. Most manual transmission vehicles also have the starter motor attached to the bellhousing, which allows it to engage the flywheel. The bellhousing name was derived from its shape, it looks like a bell.
A scatter shield is a replacement to the bellhousing. Some companies call it a scatter shield, a safety bellhousing, or simply, a bell housing. A scatter shield is designed to meet certain regulations provided by the sanctioning body, which is most commonly the SFI 6.1, 6.2 or 6.3 specifications. Each specification has different requirements, however they all serve the same purpose. The purpose of a scatter shield, is to keep the contents of the flywheel and clutch inside the scatter shield, should one or both fail. If a vehicle has enough power, it can cause the clutch to break apart sending pieces through a standard bellhousing. The pieces could move with so much force,that they could cause grave bodily harm. The scatter shield is designed to prevent this type of damage.
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