Read these 7 Clutches Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auto Accessories tips and hundreds of other topics.
Basically, all clutch kits contain the component parts: a clutch pressure plate, clutch friction plate, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing/bushing, and a clutch alignment. Depending on what kind of performance you said you wanted out of your clutch, you will get a clutch pressure plate that should increase clamping forces over your stock clutch. Many clutch friction plates, such as those from ACT, feature heavy-duty organic materials designed to increase holding power and extend the life of your clutch.
As for clutches, since you drive like nobody else, you should look for a clutch that matches your driving style. Do you like the smooth take-up and quiet operation of a stock clutch? Or, do you prefer hard shifting and high-slippage like of a racing clutch? The great thing is that most aftermarket distributors, like ACT and Exedy Clutch will have a clutch kit that fit the way you drive exactly.
When it comes time to replace your clutch, you are going to be faced with an important decision. Which combination of Clutch and Flywheel is best for your driving style?
You choose wrong (or is it wrongly?), and you could end up very disappointed at crunch time. To keep you from disappointment, here are a few clutch tips that will help you come through in the clutch with the right decision.
- Lightweight flywheels are used in most 2WD applications such as street, circle track and drag racing (factory Toyota flywheels range in weight between 22 and 24 pounds). A lighter flywheel carries less reciprocating weight, which in turn, allows a driver to raise engine RPMs more rapidly and shift through the gears more quickly.
- Heavy or High-Torque flywheels are recommended on 4WD applications such as street, off-road racing, and handling rocky terrain. A heavy flywheel has a greater inertia bank and allows the engine to stay within its torque range, making it the best choice for vehicles with large tires and tall gears.
If you have driven an American or Japanese car with a manual transmission over the last two decades, chances are the clutch was made by Exedy. What's so special about Exedy? Automakers don't want you coming back for warranty claims, so they put products they can trust in the cars they build. That's why they choose Exedy clutches. And why you should look for an Exedy clutch kit at clutch-replacing time. You'll find Exedy clutch has aftermarket replacement parts for most domestic and import vehicles on the road. If you want to upgrade to a higher-performance clutch, you will find you'll find plenty of high-performance clutch products, such as carbon friction discs, the twin-plate Exedy clutch and ceramic-metallic Exedy clutch discs.
Whether it's your Porsche 911 that has a performance clutch upgrade or your Geo Metro that possibly needs a replacement, knowing how to diagnose your clutch is always essential to saving money on repairs or upgrades. Here are a few ideas that will help you diagnose some potential clutch problems,
Typically, racing clutches allow for a quicker or smoother shift. All racers generally need more holding power with less heat. There are many types and styles of clutches. And though all clutches have the same purpose, they do not all perform the same. Some are made for your everyday driver, while others are made for racing or off-roading. When certain performance criteria is not met, your overall vehicles performance will diminish greatly. While your family car is probably seeing more miles and has the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) specified factory or aftermarket clutch, the racer will have a much higher performing clutch.
Whoever came up the phrase "coming through in the clutch", must have been driving at the time. The clutch is one of the toughest and hardest-working parts of your vehicle. Think about it. When you've got your motor running, roaring down the highway, the clutch goes through hell to keep you, lookin' for adventure.
When you make those rapid gear changes, all kinds of variables have to come together in just the right way. If they don't, you're going nowhere. You are relying on a disc that's a mere 5mm to 8mm thick to get power to the transmission. That skinny sucker takes all kinds of abuse. It's at a standstill one moment, and then it's spinning at 4000 to 6000 rpm stuck between two pieces of aluminum. This creates shock, friction and heat that would destroy a lesser component.
That's why selecting a high-quality aftermarket clutch kit from a creditable manufacturer is so important to the life of your car. Your basic clutch is a one-trick pony in a two part sub-assembly, namely a clutch disc and a clutch cover. Connected to the flywheel, the clutch cover contains the all-important pressure plate and diaphragm spring, where all sorts of mechanical things go on.
The clutch disc resides between the flywheel and the pressure plate which has friction material on the front and back surfaces.(The better to grab you with, my dear.) The transfer of power between the engine and transmission takes place at the disc, which is connected to the transmission input shaft by means of splines in its center section.