Late-model Camaro owners have discovered that the GM 6.2L V-8 responds extremely well to supercharging.
It's quickly becoming the most common-and easiest-method for adding lots of power to these vehicles, which can exceed 550 rwhp without any other modifications.
While it's easy to make big power, harnessing it can be a challenge. This is especially true for Camaros equipped with the factory six-speed manual transmission. According to several supercharger manufacturers, the OEM clutch begins to slip in boosted applications around 580-600 lb-ft of torque. "Our clutch was slipping at 620 lb-ft of torque on a 680-rwhp dyno run," said Ken Crisley of Kenne Bell Superchargers. The company's R&D vehicle was a perfect example of the conditions brought about with the power generated by bolt-on superchargers. Crisley had to halt further testing of the new Camaro 2.8L twin-screw, water-cooled supercharger system until the clutch problem could be resolved.
In the past, the solution offered by clutch manufacturers was to use a racing clutch within a street-style pressure plate assembly. This provided enough clamping force for high-horsepower, late-model vehicles. But a high-friction, puck-style clutch chatters under low rpm engagement, making the drive unpleasant during normal street use. The same goes for twin-disc-style clutches that run off the center input shaft and have vibration problems; because twin-disc clutches also lack damping they don't engage smoothly and are difficult to drive on the street.
Utilizing new patent-pending technology, Centerforce recently redesigned its twin-disc clutch system as a solution for high-horsepower street cars. The company's new clutch for the 2010 Camaro provides enough clamping force to handle up to 1,200 lb-ft of torque, yet the clutch material is not as aggressive as those found on full-race-style clutches, making clutch engagement much more pleasant under normal driving conditions. The first clutch disc, closest to the engine, is driven off the transmission input shaft. The second clutch, however, is driven off six drive lugs that are riveted to the first disc. This technique provides full damping of both clutches and makes for extremely smooth operation while maximizing clamping force.
When Kenne Bell heard about the new Centerforce clutch, it provided an opportunity for both companies to further test the limits of this new clutch design with a powerful, supercharged engine. At the same time, it allowed us to follow along and take a closer look.
For this installation, both companies sought the help of Ricardo Topete at Rancho Cucamonga, California's GTR High Performance. Topete and his team began their business originally focusing on late-model Mustang performance, but in the past several years, they've earned an excellent reputation for installing, repairing, and R&D on other late-model performance cars such as Challengers, Chargers, and the 2010 Camaro.
While the Kenne Bell Camaro is undergoing further testing and is expected to reach the 1,000hp level, the Centerforce clutch remains a secure method to transfer lots of power to the rest of the drivetrain. What's also impressive is that the Centerforce twin-disc clutch assembly is nearly 10 pounds lighter than the factory clutch unit, reducing the engine's rotating mass and freeing up some extra horsepower. So, now that you can properly apply 600 hp or more to the pavement from your LS3 Camaro you may want to start stockpiling a few extra rear tires for the near future.
What Was installed
Centerforce's latest twin-disc setup
This is a must-have item for modified 2010 Camaros
$1,050 ($400, Clutch PN DF593010 and $650, Aluminum Flywheel PN 900142)