ORDERED A HEAVY DUTY CLUTCH, WHY IS MY PEDAL SO EASY TO PUSH?
- In the past, heavy duty clutches were associated with a
clutch pedal which was harder to push. We have combined leverage
ratio technology with premium friction material to achieve
a higher capacity for torque in our clutches, without increasing
the pedal effort. Replacing worn forks, pivot balls, bearings
and hydraulics will also help. Many people are unaware that,
as a clutch wears out, it gets harder to push. Used to the
way the pedal feels, most people are surprised by how easy
the new system works.
TO A FACTORY CLUTCH, WHY IS A PERFORMANCE CLUTCH MORE AGGRESSIVE
WHEN IS IS ENGAGED?
- Any time you increase the torque capacity of a clutch by
using high torque friction material, you can expect this.
A factory clutch, which engages smoothly, will slip when additional
power is introduced. We have spent considerable time, effort
and money in an attempt to provide the best possible material,
in order to minimize this effect. Sadly, this is one of the
many aftereffects that come from turning up your power. One
thing you can do to help is to (ever so slightly) increase
the RPM of the engine while engaging the clutch.
DOES MY CLUTCH “CHATTER” WHEN I BACK UP A LOAD, AND IS THERE
ANYTHING I CAN DO TO STOP IT?
- First of all, the term “clutch chatter” is often
misused. Generally, what people are describing is drive train
shutter. This phenomenon is most common in trucks equipped
with the G56 transmission. Usually, there are many related
issues that can cause this problem. For one thing; if you
have turned up the power of the engine, and now have a clutch,
which transfers that extra power more abruptly, the drive
train (which is not built for that) will respond by shaking.
Worn mounts, u-joints, rear ends and springs can exaggerate
this effect. Instability in the rear end, coupled with resistance
from a load, are the main reasons this happens. One of the
other things that made matters worse is the fact that (for
fuel economy) Chrysler began using 3.43 and 3.55 gears in
the rear end. They’re great when you’re cruising
down the road in overdrive, but backing up from a dead stop...not
so much. There are a few simple and effective things you can
do to address this problem.
“axle wrap”, or twisting of the axle and rear
end housing, are the main culprit, the addition of ladder
bars is one of the best things you can do to stabilize things.
your truck is equipped with 4WD and low range...use it!
since your new clutch is a little “grabbier”,
a slight increase in RPM will help to smooth things out.
you are using oversized tires, realize that they are making
matters worse by increasing the amount of resistance on
the drive train.
HAVE A LATE MODEL DODGE WITH A G56 TRANSMISSION AND A SOUTH
BEND DUAL DISC CLUTCH. WHY DO I NOW HAVE NOISE IN MY TRANSMISSION
WHEN MY TRUCK IS IDLING IN NEUTRAL AND IT GOES AWAY WHEN I
PUSH IN THE CLUTCH PEDAL?
- The noise is a result of the vibration your engine creates,
being transferred into your transmission. When you depress
the clutch pedal, it disconnects the engine from the transmission.
Due to the fact that the original clutch assembly used a sprung
(dual mass) flywheel to dampen that vibration, there was no
noise. The extra power that it takes to slip a factory clutch
is also what over- torques the flywheel, resulting in a system
failure. In order for our clutch to handle increased horsepower
and torque, a solid flywheel must be used. Considerable effort
has been made (by us) to dampen as much of the vibration as
possible, while still maintaining the integrity and longevity
of the clutch. Again, I remind you that there are some concessions
to be made when you turn up your power.
MUCH NOISE CAN I EXPECT, AND WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE IT?
- The exact same clutch, put into two different trucks, can
produce completely different results. There are two primary
reasons why the level of noise can vary.
engines vibrate. When they are idling, they vibrate more.
If they are not tuned properly, they will vibrate excessively
and cause a tremendous rattle in your transmission.
G56 transmission has an aluminum case, which under excessive
torque and resistance, will stretch and twist, accelerating
the internal wear. A loose and worn transmission will tend
to make more noise than a sound one. Though you may not
be able to totally eliminate these sounds, there are some
things you can do that will improve it.
and tune your injectors, and generally, keep up on the service
to your engine.
is a well-known fact that Chrysler does not put enough fluid
in these transmissions. Change the oil, and add an additional
quart of fluid. There are a number of good synthetic oils
on the market that will do just fine.
there is a rattle in your transmission, the aluminum case
tends to resonate that sound into your cab. By placing some
type of insulation under your console, you can significantly
reduce the noise.
THE NOISE I HEAR HURT MY TRANSMISSION?
- Although the gear rollover noise does not sound good, no
one has ever proven that it causes excessive wear, or ruined
their transmission. Keep in mind that most of the trucks with
this symptom have exceeded the torque and/or the towing capacity
that the transmission was designed for...which is most often
the main cause of accelerated wear and/or failure.
DO I HEAR NOISE AND FEEL A VIBRATION WHEN I LUG THE ENGINE?
- When the wheel speed of your vehicle does not coincide with
the proper gear in your transmission, the RPM of the engine
drops too low and causes a violent shaking of the engine and
drive train. Imagine what would happen to an automatic transmission
if it wouldn’t shift out of fifth gear, and you drove around
town that way...it wouldn’t last long. Downshifting into the
proper gear and keeping the RPM of the engine up is the most
important thing you can do to assure you get the most out
of your engine, clutch and drive train. If you own a truck
with a factory equipped G56 transmission, you may have noticed
that the dual mass flywheel dampened most of that vibration
(if driven that way), but I can assure you, that is what ruined
your flywheel. I know shifting can be a hassle...but you chose
MIGHT MY CLUTCH SLIP IF I TRY TO ACCELERATE IN OVERDRIVE?
- Too much torque at too low an RPM. I go back to the automatic.
If you were driving down the road in automatic overdrive,
with the cruise control on, and approached a hill, the system
(in order to keep a constant speed) would need to accelerate.
The transmission would automatically downshift in order to
do so. By keeping the RPM up while accelerating, it is preserving
its life. There is a misconception about fuel consumption.
People believe that the lower the RPM, the better the mileage,
when actually, the opposite is true. All that black smoke
you get when you step on it in overdrive is unburned (and
therefore wasted) fuel. Keep the RPM up by downshifting into
the right gear, and your truck will run much better.
IT WRONG TO TOW IN OVERDRIVE?
- This is a very good question, because most people do just
that. The trouble is, it is too hard, with all the variations
in terrain, to keep a constant speed. Therefore, you end up
accelerating too much in that high gear. Many trucks, with
automatic transmissions, set up for towing, will include a
button for “tow mode” which locks the transmission out of
overdrive. The main reason for that is, the transmission would
be constantly downshifting. The best answer is to say; watch
your RPM, if it starts to drop too low, rather than stepping
down on it in 6th, drop to 5th ...and maybe stay there.
HAVE A TRUCK WITH A G56 TRANSMISSION AND I BOUGHT ONE OF YOUR
CLUTCHES. WHY DID I HAVE TO CHANGE THE HYDRAULICS? THEY WERE
RELATIVELY NEW AND WORKED JUST FINE.
- When Chrysler redesigned the clutch system in 2005, they
used a self-adjusting pressure plate designed by LUK. This
unit, in order to work and adjust properly, used a hydraulic
assembly with a limited (shorter) amount of stroke or throw-out
bearing travel. When we started using the solid flywheel and
earlier style clutch, hydraulics with a longer stroke were
THAT I HAVE YOUR CLUTCH, IT’S HARD TO GET INTO GEAR
WHEN MY TRUCK IS AT A STOP. WHY DIDN’T IT DO THAT BEFORE?
- There are many reasons why it’s hard to get your transmission
into gear at a stop. Faulty hydraulics, installation errors,
worn transmission parts and even bad parts from us, could
be the problem. Once the truck is back together, it is very
difficult to figure out where the problem lies. We go to great
lengths to make sure each and every clutch is tested before
we sell them to try and eliminate the chance you get a “bad
one”. Though we are not infallible, it is very rare that we
just built the parts wrong. Though the installation of a clutch
may seem rudimentary, we see countless examples of mistakes
made by unqualified “mechanics”, the most common being a lack
of understanding of the principles of a clutch system. Many
people do not realize how (things like) motor mounts, transmission
mounts, crankshaft end-play, drive train slop or worn hydraulics,
etc., can affect the way a clutch works. Someone who says
“yeah, my tranny’s fine”, may not have the knowledge to properly
inspect one. If a person doesn’t realize that: as a clutch
wears out, so do MANY critically related parts, they should
not be working on that truck. I can say this in all honesty;
the places that buy clutches from us and are experts at installing
them...never seem to get a “bad one”. This doesn’t mean they
don’t run into problems, it just means they understand the
process enough to consider all possible factors before blaming
the new parts. Let’s assume for a moment, that a clutch was
installed properly, yet there’s still a shifting issue. We
have seen cases where everything checks out, yet it is still
difficult to drop into 1st or reverse. The only explanation
is that, sometimes, the factory transmission and the aftermarket
clutch just don’t seem to work well together. It may have
to do with some level of worn parts inside the transmission,
coupled with the fact that there is a clutch that weighs three
times more than the original one hanging on it. The inertia
created by that spinning mass can make it hard for the input
shaft to slow down enough to stab those low gears. Rarely
do we just say to a customer, “well, that’s how it is”. If
it comes to that, all we ask is that they understand...things
aren’t always going to be perfect.
DO I KNOW IF MY HYDRAULICS ARE BAD?
- Many people do not realize that a hydraulic system wears
out. It does not need to be leaking fluid to signify that
it is bad. The internal seals, which are necessary to build
the proper pressure, can be worn, allowing the system to lack
the original amount of stroke. The first indication that there
may be a problem would be the inability to get the transmission
into gear. Too often we hear the customer say that it worked
fine with the old clutch. This is another example of someone
who doesn’t really understand how the whole thing works.
When a clutch wears out, the levers of the pressure plate
work their way toward the transmission, causing the slave
cylinder rod to compress into the body of the cylinder. When
the new clutch is installed, and the levers are back down
(closer to the flywheel), the slave rod is then re-extended
and will often lack the original amount of total travel needed
to disengage the clutch. If you start your truck with the
transmission in gear, and it doesn’t want to creep (or
lunge) forward, slowly let out on the pedal. If the clutch
engages when the pedal is a couple inches off the floor, your
hydraulics are functioning properly. If it grabs right at
the floor, consider replacing it.
IT OK TO USE MY CLUTCH AS A BRAKE?
- What you are talking about is the age old practice of downshifting.
Even though we all learned that this is an acceptable way
to slow down...it’s really not. If a person is in the habit
of driving this way, they will wear out the drive surfaces
of their clutch well before they should. A little known fact
is that a clutch is designed to torque in one direction only.
When you downshift, you send a reverse thrust through the
drive train, which causes the dampening portion of the clutch
disc to torque in the wrong direction. This will accelerate
the wear of the clutch.
I SLED-PULL WITH MY STREET DUAL DISC CLUTCH?
- The simple answer to that question is...no. The SDD was
not designed for that purpose. That being said; I know people
do it anyway. Some get away with it, and drive home (with
both their feet), and some do not. The risk is that the amount
of heat produced when you launch with a sled behind you, can
fracture (and fragment) the cast iron plates in the clutch.
Competition clutches are made out of steel for that very reason.
Safety is a factor that should be considered above all.