Are you a manual transmission car enthusiast who enjoys upgrading and enhancing your personal vehicle? If you are, then you probably have already started looking into various clutch kits for purchase and installation.
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What is a Clutch Kit?
Simply put, these are manual transmission pieces that can be purchased together as a set, vs. being purchased as each separate piece. This can make the purchase and assembly much easier, and cheaper. These kits typically include a plate, disc, and some sort of bearing.
Some applications require an additional pilot bearing and some sort of alignment tool. Most kits you will find will be in line with your car’s original parts, but you can also find kits that are for specialty vehicle upgrades.
Why Purchase the Kit?
The kit is a convenient way to purchase all of your pieces at once, to repair or replace your vehicle’s transmission clutch. Over time, the clutch discs will wear and need replacing. Other parts of this transmission system might not yet technically need replacing, but it’s recommended that you replace them all at the same time anyhow, as the work involved to remove your transmission is going to be labour-intensive.
You may discover other parts that could use replacing during this process, and the alignment tool you will find in many kits can be used repeatedly (assuming the tool fits your particular part). The kit you purchase, if the alignment tool is included, will be the correct tool for all parts included in your kit. This can make it a little easier and less time-consuming.
How do I Know Which Kit to Buy?
In a nutshell, think of these four main categories when you think of your vehicle and consider which fits your situation: standard, mantic performance, 4×4 offroad, and heavy duty. Next, let’s break it down to what sort of vehicles qualify for each of these categories. First, choose your kit depending on the current stage of your vehicle.
- Stage 1: Your car is around 50whp overstock with a torque of 25-50%. This kit will come with “organic discs” that help give you a higher mileage.
- Stage 2: For a torque of 50-75% your kit will include a carbon-Kevlar disc which is very durable.
- Stage 3: For a torque of 75-125% your kit will include Kevlar discs. This can be installed in supercharged vehicles that go to 350whp.
- Stage 4-5: (Top shelf stages are stages 4 and 5.) For horsepower of 400-500whp, your kit will have 6-punk cera-metallic sprung/unsprung discs which provide sharper engagement.
Next, choose your kit depending on your vehicle’s usage.
- Personal Use: Your vehicle is used mainly for daily travels and personal trips. The best kit for this situation is the most basic version, as it will not be too expensive. It is recommended you check for a warranty.
- Work-Related: Your vehicle is most likely a truck, frequently used to carry more weight than normal. In this case, you would need a long-lasting material, which would most likely be a kit that is a stage 2 or 3 of the basic model.
- Street Performance: This type of vehicle can be very modified, and the vehicle limits can be pushed. The clutch kit for this type of vehicle would be the same recommendation as the trucks, stage 2 or 3 of the basic, or a stock version flywheel.
- Racetrack: For this type of vehicle, you want to be very knowledgeable about its needs, and make sure you have the assistance of trustworthy people. These vehicles will cost much more to maintain, after every race, and you will want to be sure you’re using the best products and consulting with the best professionals in this situation.
When Clutch Kit Installations Go Wrong
Besides choosing the wrong kit for your particular vehicle, what else could go wrong during installation, and what effects could that have on your vehicle? One of the most common errors that result in a faulty clutch is over-greasing the shaft, which causes excess grease to spill onto the plate causing further issues.
Similarly, if the cover is not properly secured and aligned, it will prevent the clutch plate from clamping correctly. Damage will also be the result of using the wrong equipment to lift and put the transmission into place. Even a slight misalignment will cause a problem.
Can Just Anyone Install Their Own Clutch Kit?
In conclusion, it’s strongly recommended you have this done by a professional. If you decide you must go the route of installation yourself, you must take the time needed to properly research everything about your car’s specific needs, and how to do this properly. Improper installation or usage of incorrect kits can result in expensive damage.
Automotive websites like Clutch Direct do make it fairly simple to search for the correct clutch kits you need for your vehicle and purchasing the kits can save you a lot of money. Many of these websites have many makes and models listed, as you do your search, and this can be a good place to start.
Just don’t waste all that money you saved, by creating a greater, more expensive problem for yourself in the end! Deal with only professionals and mechanics you trust the most, from the purchasing steps to the final installation steps, and always check for a warranty.
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