"Over the years, Centerforce has continually updated and improved its product line to meet the needs of a variety of different applications. Our Centerforce I clutch system is a good stock replacement over OE clutches and features better wear characteristics. The Centerforce II series is designed for the vehicle with basic performance bolt-ons, and for the 4x4 market where additional holding capacity is needed. The Dual Friction family of clutches is designed for vehicles with substantial power increases over stock while retaining excellent street manners. It uses a patented ball-bearing design coupled with a clutch disc that incorporates an aggressive lining on the flywheel side for excellent grip, and a less aggressive lining on the pressure plate side for smooth engagement. The DFX is designed for all-out performance vehicles and features a six-puck ceramic-metallic friction disc that can handle some serious torque. Its pressure plate is also a ball-bearing design with reinforced drive straps and a nodular friction ring. Lastly, the Light Metal Clutch, or LMC, was designed for circle track race cars but is now used widely across the board. It has an aluminum ball-bearing pressure plate that reduces weight by 5-6 pounds, and it uses an organic dual-puck disc."
Although modern piston ring technology has turned breaking in a fresh motor into somewhat of a formality, the same isn't the case with clutches. "We know what it's like to want to go out and test the clutch immediately, but the break-in period is the most important part of a clutch's lifecycle," Baty advises. "We suggest normal around-town driving or just cruising the town for the first 500 miles. An improper break-in can drastically reduce the clutch's holding capacity and life. The old method of burning in a clutch is not recommended at all since this will glaze the friction material and greatly diminishing the holding capacity of the clutch."
Mixing & Matching
Wear on a clutch disc is easy to spot, but wear on a pressure plate isn't. This tempts many hot rodders to reuse their existing pressure plate from one manufacturer with a performance clutch disc from another, but there are some potential pitfalls to keep in mind. "All clutch manufacturers have different ways of achieving clamp load, so some companies use thinner or thicker discs to work in conjunction with their pressure plates," Baty explains. "They may also suggest using shims, and the problem is that one brand of pressure plate requires a specific disc thickness. So even though it may be for the same vehicle application, if a disc from one manufacturer is used with a pressure plate from another, the required specs for disc thickness will be off and the potential for failure is high."