Some of you may have been inspired to get that all wheel drive turbo vehicle after watching the ever so popular videos on the Youtubes. And while doing donuts, bouncing off the revv limiter, and doing launches sounds like a good idea, the fun will be short lived. If you haven’t learned yet, you gonna learn’ today. You gonna learn what a burned up clutch is today.
Like sandwiches, some people might like their clutches toasted. But with that said if you haven’t blown the welds off the intake manifold, chances are that your clutch has taken most of the beating among other things.
Okay now that this is established, how can we identify whether or not your clutch is going bad? Well you can always check for slippage. Before we get into how to identify slippage, let’s identify the key components of a clutch.
Now a clutch is a wear and tear item on your car just like your brake pads.
Here you have a flywheel. The flywheel bolts onto the block and it’s got a friction surface to it. Just like your brake rotor.
So when you replace your clutch, it is recommended that your flywheel gets resurfaced or replaced so that you will have good surface contact between the flywheel, the clutch disk, and the pressure plate.
Now the clutch disk will have contact patches on both sides to make contact with both the flywheel and the pressure plate. The clutch disk always has contact with the flywheel and will rotate with the flywheel. The disk is made up of several components, and you will see a hub and rivets holding the hub onto the disk itself.
Notice the springs on the clutch disk. These are on the disk to help absorb impact to the gearbox, and have a smooth operation while operating from a stop.
The pressure plate is used to engage, and disengage the clutch disk.
The pressure plate installs on the flywheel usually with an equal amount of bolts, and a few dowel pins. It’s going to rotate with the flywheel and disk. However when you actually depress the clutch pedal, there is a release bearing on the pressure plate that will either push or pull on the springs, or fingers of the pressure plate releasing the friction side of the pressure plate from the disk, and will allow the disk to spin freely from the flywheel and the pressure plate.
The wheels will only move when the clutch disk is in contact with the flywheel, and the input shaft of the transmission. So the job of the pressure plate is to create enough distance for the clutch to spin freely, and this allows you to change gears.
So now that you hopefully know how a clutch mechanism works. What happens when your clutch goes bad? The most common component failure in a clutch will be the clutch disk. When the clutch pads wear down, there will be no friction between the flywheel or pressure plate. This is known as clutch slippage.
Clutch slippage can happen from a variable list of problems. You could just have a lot of miles on the disk. And choosing the right clutch kit for your horsepower numbers is imperative to having your vehicle perform at optimum levels. If you’re making 700 H.P, and are running a factory clutch kit made to handle 325 max pound feet of torque, the flywheel will simply out handle the disk, and you will glaze the flywheel and lose the clutch really fast.
What does clutch slippage feel like? The next time you’re on the highway, mash the gas pedal down while you’re in 5th or 6th gear. If the RPM’s jolt to the red line, and your car isn’t going any faster, the clutch disk is slipping. If you are having a hard tie getting the car into gear, you could have clutch related problems. If you’re trying to go uphill and your RPM’s and boost are raising, but you’re not matching the speed then again your clutch disk is slipping. Other factors fan cause your clutch to slip like greasy chemicals getting into your transmission bell housing, or you could have issues with your clutch master cylinder or slave cylinder. But also if you have a malfunctioning master or slave cylinder, you could be causing premature wear on your clutch.
So ask yourself a few questions before replacing your next clutch. Consider what upgrades you have, and will have in the future. Do you plan on tracking your car, or do you have an inherent aggressive driving style? Either way, www.rallysportdirect.com has really wide selection of clutch packages from single disk clutches, mutli disk clutches, and complete packages that include the flywheel.