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Clutches Get A Workout


4/4/2013
By Larry Carley

Riding the clutch increases the temperature of the clutch and accelerates wear. As wear increases, the clutch may lose some of its grip and start to slip.
 
Manual clutches are waning in popularity, but are still found in many performance-oriented cars and trucks. The clutch mates the engine with the transmission so engine torque can flow to the drivetrain. The clutch gets quite a workout because it has to be engaged and disengaged every time the vehicle starts, stops and shifts gears.

Riding the clutch increases the temperature of the clutch and accelerates wear. As wear increases, the clutch may lose some of its grip and start to slip. A clutch that fails to release or engage may be the result of a misadjusted or broken clutch cable, a linkage problem or a failed hydraulic master or slave cylinder.

Replacing any of the three major mechanical clutch components (the pressure plate, clutch disc or release bearing) usually involves quite a bit of disassembly labor. That’s why the pressure plate, clutch disc and release bearing should all be replaced at the same time on high-mileage vehicles.

Selling your customer a complete clutch kit guarantees the parts are properly matched.

On applications where a pilot bushing is used in the center of the flywheel, the bushing should also be replaced to assure trouble-free and quiet clutch operation.

For performance, heavy-duty and hard-use applications, upgrading to a higher temperature metallic/ceramic friction material can improve wear resistance and torque transfer. A higher load capacity pressure plate may also be recommended.












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