It was Peter Parker that said, With great power comes great responsibility. And while he was waxing poetic about the superhero gig, he just as well might have been talking about hot rodding. The fact is that this hobby isn’t just about building big-power engines, it’s also making sure that the rest of the car can handle the extra ponies. When GM built our ’10 SS Camaro, now officially named Project CP/28, it was their responsibility to ensure that the drivetrain could support the stock power output of the LS3. Once we boosted the power up to 660 rear-wheel horsepower, that responsibility fell on us. Since dropping in the 416 stroker, we’ve upgraded the axles and felt that our single-disc Centerforce clutch was still up to the challenge of launching a 4,000-pound car spitting out 609 lb-ft of torque.
All was well with the new engine and we were looking forward to some drag racing at the Holley LS Fest last September. Yancy Johns, the car’s owner, was having a blast and pretty much beating the ever lovin’ snot out of the SS. But after a few runs he started having trouble getting the car to shift. The problem got progressively worse until Yancy proclaimed, Just one more run! Well, that was the proverbial straw and our Camaro decided to sit out the rest of the event. At first we thought that the sticky tires and VHT-prepped drag strip had simply overwhelmed the single-disc, dual-friction clutch, so we made a call to Will Baty over at Centerforce clutches. He told us about a new twin-disc clutch they were getting ready to release. The problem was that we had another event to run the next week, so Centerforce built us one of the first units and pony expressed it out to the event in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Now Will was pretty pumped up on this new twin-disc clutch and regaled us with stories about how it required very little pedal effort and how quiet and rattle-free it was. We’ve dealt with a lot of twin-disc clutches in the past so these claims were filed in the we’ll believe it when we see it category. According to Will, The DYAD DS Drive system is a unique patent pending design in the world of multi-disc clutches. This new clutch system is rated to hold 1,300 lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft.
With a new clutch on the way, we set about doing an autopsy on our stricken Camaro. What we found vindicated the single-disc clutch we were running, and to be honest it embarrassed us a bit. Turned out that when we installed the new stroker we used the wrong pilot bearing. This left the TR6060’s input shaft poorly supported and that’s what led to the failure. In our defense, it was the first ’10 we had done, and all of our other LS-equipped cars ran the smaller pilot. Live and learn as they say. Since the new clutch was on the way, we figured we would see if it lived up to the high praise that Will had heaped upon it. Besides, our 416 LS3 is pumping out in excess of 700 lb-ft of torque at the crank and the extra holding capacity of the new clutch was needed anyway.
With this new clutch, maybe we'll dial up the boost just a touch.