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Chevy Corvette Clutches - Clutch Performers

Vette's Official Guide To Corvettte Clutches

Christopher R. Phillip Mar 8, 2010
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EVER HEAR the old saying, "Give me a Corvette with any transmission, as long as it's a manual?" If so, you already understand one of the greatest feelings one can experience in America's sports car: grabbing the stick, rushing to redline, slamming your left foot mercilessly to the floor, quickly shifting into the next gear, accelerating to redline again, and repeating the process until you finally run out of gears.

Your factory clutch, however, was not designed to withstand the brutal forces exerted on it when you push your Corvette to its absolute limit, whether in drag racing, road racing, or even spirited street driving. Rather, it was designed to offer comfort and reliability under moderate driving conditions.

But let's face it: You don't own a Corvette because you've settled for "moderate driving conditions," do you?

That's why we're bringing you our official guide to Chevy Corvette clutches. Modern clutch technology can handle as much power as your Corvette can dish out, giving you clamp-load capacities of 600, 800, even 1,000-plus hp/lb-ft and beyond. In addition, an aftermarket high-performance clutch can give you more confidence during shifting, a firmer pedal feel, and greater service life than an OE unit.

Along with a new clutch, you might consider installing a fresh flywheel. Since it's easier to change both during the same service visit, it's common practice for manufacturers to offer flywheels that are specifically designed to complement their clutch offerings. These units typically provide stronger construction, better cooling, and, for racing, less unsprung weight than a factory cast-iron piece.

Because choosing the right clutch and flywheel for your Corvette is a personal choice based on price, planned driving conditions, and numerous other factors, we didn't favor one of these manufacturers over the others. Instead, we've listed them all and allowed them to state their case. All that's left is for you to decide is which of them is right for your car.

Fidanza Engineering Corporation
(440) 259-5656

Brief Description: Fidanza offers four different performance levels in its Single-Disc clutch kits, all of which come with a pressure plate, a disc, a throw-out bearing, and a pilot tool. The Fidanza 2.1 clutch kit is manufactured with carbon and Kevlar, combined with a steel backing for a long-lasting street design. The torsion damper and marcel cushion engage smoothly yet quickly, making it perfect for those who drive their vehicle every day, in all conditions.

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Engineered with 100-percent Kevlar friction for improved grip and longer life, the Fidanza 3.2 clutch has no marcel cushion, thus sacrificing a bit of its smooth engagement. Though more performance-minded-it can hold 60 percent more torque than stock and requires a 100-mile break-in-this clutch can be installed in a daily driver.

Fidanza's 4.3 clutch kit is for drivers who spend more time with their Corvettes at the strip. A ceramic-facing design provides extreme grip upon engagement, with more power planted straight to the pavement.

Not for street use, the Fidanza 5.4 clutch kit has no torsion damper or marcel cushion. The pads are made from sintered iron, allowing the clutch to deliver instant engagement and power.

Fidanza also offers its 6.5 Carbon Organic Twin-Disc and 7.6 Ceramic Twin-Disc clutch kits (for C5 and C6 only), designed to hold up to 900 lb-ft of torque, while maintaining stock pedal feel and driveability.

Trademark Features: Our twin-disc clutch kits come complete with a balanced steel flywheel, a pressure plate, both discs, and a floater plate that's strapped to help eliminate the rattle common to twin-disc configurations.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Fidanza offers a range of lightweight aluminum flywheels separately. These are made from the highest-quality 6061 T6 aluminum, for superior strength, heat dissipation, and weight reduction. Steel flywheels, meanwhile, are crafted from 1050 billet steel, an incredibly strong high-carbon alloy. To further distinguish them from the competition, these flywheels are made with a replaceable 1050 billet-steel friction-surface plate to make them serviceable. Aerospace fasteners are used to secure the friction-plate insert, and Grade 8 button screws fasten the hardened ring gears.

Quote from Company: "From nearly stock options to product for drivers who desire a fully modified, track-ready race vehicle, Fidanza delivers a complete range of clutches and flywheels to serve today's enthusiasts."

Advanced Clutch Technology
(661) 940-7555

Brief Description: ACT recognizes that every driver and engine setup is unique, so a variety of complete clutch kits and flywheels are offered to match virtually any situation. ACT's complete clutch kits include a pressure plate, a disc, a release bearing, and, in most cases, a pilot bearing (or bushing) and alignment tool.

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Trademark Features: ACT pressure plates are manufactured from new units, not rebuilt from worn-out parts. We're one of the few clutch manufacturers who have the ability to design and produce diaphragms, and we use an exclusive four-stage heat-treat process for unparalleled performance. ACT street and race discs are manufactured in-house using premium materials and dedicated tooling equipment. We also use thicker retainer stampings and better hub materials for increased strength and reliability.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? ACT offers one-piece, forged chrome-moly flywheels for the most popular applications. All our twin-disc clutch kits for C5 and C6 applications include a flywheel.

Quote from Company: "Extra steps are taken with virtually every ACT part to provide added value. Some of these steps include improved design, hardening on critical wear points, computer balancing, and SFI certification. ACT products not only outperform the competition, but outlast them as well. Rather than take shortcuts to cut cost, we insist on quality. ACT adds value that you may not initially notice, but will appreciate thousands of miles later."

Exedy Globalparts Corporation
(800) 346-6091

Brief Description: There are three units in the Exedy range of multi-plate Corvette clutch sets: the triple carbon (834 lb-ft), the twin cerametallic (574 lb-ft), and the new twin cerametallic (850 lb-ft). The new twin-cerametallic clutch set has a thicker friction surface area on the clutch disc to absorb and displace heat better. Friction-surface diameter has increased from 8 1/2 inches (215 mm) to 8 7/8 inches (225 mm).

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Unlike most other twin clutches in the market, which are lug driven and rattle during clutch disengagement (caused by the metal separator plates striking the drive-lug posts), our new twin-clutch set is a strap-driven unit, which does not have this rattle. The clutch-cover assembly design has been changed with more bolts holding the diaphragm spring for increased clamp-load stability.

Trademark Features: All torque ratings listed above are to the wheels, assuming a 20 percent driveline loss. Single and twin plates are strap-driven and feature a sprung hub for quiet and smooth operation.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Chrome-moly flywheels are included with our Corvette clutch kits and are burst tested at 17,000 rpm. In addition, the ring gear is an integral (milled-in) part of the flywheel, which prevents it from ever coming off.

Quote from Company: "Durability by advanced engineering."

Centerforce Clutches
(928) 771-8422

Brief Description: Centerforce offers five different single-disc levels, with the Dual Friction, DFX, and Light Metal Clutches (LMC) being most commonly used in the Corvette. The Dual Friction is a performance-matched pressure-plate-and-disc combination. Its pressure plate features our patented centrifugal-weight system and specialized machining processes to provide a performance clutch that offers exceptional street characteristics, while offering outstanding holding capacity and durability. The Dual Friction disc has a full facing on the pressure-plate side for driveability and longevity, while a carbon-composite puck-style (segmented) facing is used on the flywheel side for a positive engagement and increased holding capacity.

Vemp_1004_04_o Chevy_corvette_clutches Centerforce_clutch 5/14

The DFX series is aimed at high-end applications that continually demand increased integrity and holding capacity. It provides some of the best driveability from a race-inspired clutch. DFX retains an easy pedal effort, thanks to Centerforce's patented ball-bearing-actuated diaphragm, for smooth engagements without detriment to the vehicle's thrust bearing and release components.

The Centerforce LMC Series is a specifically designed, low-inertia performance clutch that dramatically reduces engine rotating mass. This is a lightweight, SFI-approved competition clutch that also utilizes our ball-bearing technology. The LMC-series friction disc utilizes a dual-segmented carbon-composite lining for improved cooling and excellent torque capacity. When used in conjunction with Centerforce's aluminum flywheels, LMC Series brings the term "lightweight" to an unparalleled level.

Trademark Features: Centerforce currently holds nine exclusive patents pertaining to automotive performance clutches. We use our patented processes and more than 25 years of experience to create the best clutch-and-flywheel package for your application. These processes include the famous Centerforce weight system, Dual-Friction discs, ball-bearing-actuated pressure plates, precision billet flywheels, and more. Each application is developed to provide the right amount of clamp load, friction, and durability for ultimate clutch control.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Centerforce manufactures the best in SFI-approved performance flywheels by using high-strength billets, not castings. Our aluminum flywheels are made from aircraft-grade billet aluminum for light weight (low inertia). They also feature mechanically retained starter-ring gears, as well as replaceable steel-friction surfaces that have been heat-treated for abrasion resistance and long life. Centerforce billet-steel and aluminum flywheels are CAD/CAM designed and then CNC machined to strict tolerances for perfect fitment and hassle-free, bolt-in performance.

Quote from Company: "Centerforce strives to be the leader in clutch technology, quality, and value!"

McLeod Clutches
(714) 630-2764

Brief Description: McLeod manufactures clutch parts for all Corvettes, from '53 to '10. We also offer SFI safety bellhousings for '55 through '88 models, as well as hydraulic throwout bearings for all Corvettes, including the C5 and C6. The most-popular clutch McLeod manufactures today is the RST dual-disc clutch, which is for the owner who has added more power to his Corvette but still desires a light pedal and smooth engagement.

Vemp_1004_05_o Chevy_corvette_clutches Mcleod_clutch 6/14

Trademark Features: McLeod has always believed in light pedal pressure when possible, and was the first aftermarket company to build a street dual-disc clutch, back in 1978. This technology has since become a clutch standard, with more new-car manufacturers using dual-disc units in today's muscle cars.

Do You Offer Flywheels for corvettes? McLeod makes both steel and aluminum flywheels for the Corvette. We also make a replacement for the dual-mass flywheel used in the '89-'96 models.

Quote from Company: "We are perhaps best known for our clutches. In fact, we're often referred to as 'the best known unknown clutch company in the business,' a statement we take as a compliment. Ask any respected engine, transmission, or race car builder. When it comes to which clutch they want or recommend, inevitably they ask for 'those red ones'-McLeod clutches!"

F1 Racing (Speed Solution International)
(562) 905-3233

Brief Description: F1 Racing clutch kits come with all major components, including a pressure plate, a performance clutch disc, a release bearing, a pilot bearing, and an alignment tool. Our staged clutch systems utilize a heavy-duty pressure plate paired with a performance-staged disc suited for different applications. These kits are the most economical solution for stock-to-moderately-modified vehicles.

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Trademark Features: F1 Racing staged clutch systems are a superior upgrade in performance and quality from other clutches in their class. They can be easily recognized by their distinctive blue pressure plates that feature a special single diaphragm to increase clamp load. They're manufactured with an induction-hardened diaphragm, CNC-machined castings, and stronger drive straps and rivets. They provide a smooth and precise feel with easy modulation.

All F1 Racing pressure plates are load-tested on a special testing tool for quality assurance. Our most popular performance/race disc is our six-puck copper ceramic, also known as MIBA. This disc features 12 high-coefficient friction pads that are resistant to slippage and ensure long-lasting life. The heavy-duty sprung center unit boasts heat-treated springs and retainer rivets for maximum power and durability. Torque capacity on this style setup for the C4 is 459 lb-ft, or 547 lb-ft for the C5. All F1 Racing clutch systems come with a 12-month or 12,000-mile manufacturer-defect warranty.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? An F1 Racing lightweight chrome-moly flywheel is an excellent performance upgrade over a stock flywheel. It provides significantly improved throttle response and acceleration by enabling torque to be transmitted to the wheels faster. This flywheel can be resurfaced at a machine shop without having to purchase additional parts. The chromemoly-steel material allows for a high heat capacity and strength, preventing your clutch disc from overheating under extreme use. Special design features help enhance airflow to improve the cooling. All F1 Racing chrome-moly flywheels have passed engineering tests to 12,000 rpm. These are offered for the C5 model only. They also carry a 12-month or 12,000-mile manufacturer-defect warranty.

Quote from Company: "F1 Racing clutch-and-flywheel packages start at $425. Contact our sales department for more information on any of our setups. Group buy-ins will be considered for wholesale pricing. Contact our wholesale department with any questions regarding these opportunities."

(216) 688-8300

Brief Description: Hays clutches are backed by more than 50 years of developing, testing, and building clutches. This extensive experience can be seen in all of our high-performance Corvette clutch kits. Each kit is manufactured using premium materials and includes a pressure plate, a disc, a throwout bearing, and an alignment tool. Corvette clutches are available for street, street/strip, or all-out racing applications. We also manufacture billet-steel and aluminum flywheels for the ultimate horsepower-holding capability and street driveability.

Vemp_1004_07_o Chevy_corvette_clutches Hays_clutch 8/14

Trademark Features: Hays performance clutches for Corvettes are available with our street pressure plate, which exceeds OE specifications for material, construction, and performance. Our street/strip pressure plate features a ductile-iron friction ring and a belleville cone spring for quick releases and positive engagement, while maintaining light pedal pressure. Our clutch discs feature either an organic or a more aggressive, proprietary, woven friction material with a marcel backing for chatter-free smooth engagement and increased holding power. We also offer multi-disc adjustable clutches for custom racing applications. Each race clutch is made to order to your specifications.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Hays offers flywheels for small-block and big-block Chevrolet V-8s, as well as the popular LT1 and LS1 engines. Flywheels are available in billet steel or T6 aluminum and are SFI 1.1 approved. Our flywheels are also available made to order to your custom specifications.

Monster Clutch Co.
(817) 750-2000

Brief Description: Monster Clutch Co. offers more than six different clutches to fit the needs of all C5 and C6 Corvette owners. We have everything from a stock replacement to a twin-disc capable of handling more than 1,500 hp/lb-ft. Basic packages include a flywheel of your choice, a pilot bearing, an alignment tool, a clutch disc, a pressure plate, and a release bearing. Premium packages also include a slave cylinder.

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Trademark Features: Made here in the USA, our clutches use proprietary friction materials that have been proven to hold tremendous power (425 to 1,750hp ratings) and torque. They are rated in controlled environments, as well as on the street and track. They come with a 12-month warranty and outstanding customer support.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? We offer two different SFI-certified flywheels. One is a 28-pound unit, and the other is an 18-pound piece. Both are manufactured from U.S.-made 1045 billet steel and are machined and manufactured right here in Texas.

Quote from Company: "We have proven to the clutch industry that we are a force to be reckoned with. Everything-from the quality of our product to our outstanding warranty and customer service-speaks volumes to consumers. We stand behind our product because we've tested it, proven it, and it just plain works!"

RPS Clutches
(818) 993-9174

Brief Description: RPS offers a full line of multi-disc clutches, from our Organic Street Twin to our Triple-Disc Carbon for the C5 and C6 market. All kits come complete with a billet flywheel, discs, a floater, a pressure plate, and flywheel and cover bolts.

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Trademark Features: We're the only clutch company with multiple U.S patents protecting our unique use of Formula One-style carbon-carbon materials. Our carbon discs and floater will never warp, glaze, or gall. Our products are proudly made in the USA.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? All our clutch kits come complete with a billet flywheel that is machined in California.

Quote from Company: "We're so proud of our carbon-carbon friction design and how it allows our customers to go faster in their Corvettes, that we offer this bottom line: You will go faster with a RPS clutch."

RAM Clutches
(803) 788-6034

Brief Description: Our DirectFit StreetDual is a twin-plate high-performance clutch-and-flywheel assembly for the Corvette C6 and C6 Z06. Designed for use in street applications with healthy increases in power (via blowers, turbos, or nitrous), this new clutch arrangement is a true bolt-in, twin-plate replacement assembly. Similar in dimensions to the OE original, its overall height is 3.0 to 3.1 inches (measured from the crankshaft flange to the fingertips of the cover assembly), and its diameter is 10.5 inches.

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Trademark Features: The DirectFit StreetDual clutch is equipped with a strong, 2,400-pound clamp-load diaphragm cover, a nodular pressure ring for strength, and RAM 300-series organic-disc friction material. The chief advantage of using organic friction material is its superior holding power and improved driveability, without chatter on takeoff.

The clutch disc springs are also stiffer. By encasing them in urethane, their compression rate increases to approximately four times that of an uncoated spring. As a result, this clutch assembly distinguishes itself by not only having the capacity to handle up to 1,000 hp at the rear wheels, but also providing stock driveability.

Since this clutch has to combat greater rotational forces, steel friction backing is added. The facing is riveted steel-to-steel, in contrast with factory non-backed facings.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Our flywheel is constructed of billet aluminum and contains a 1/4-inch-thick steel friction insert. This insert, regarded as the thickest in the industry, contributes sufficient mass to dissipate heat, yet maintains a flat friction surface. Thinner inserts are prone to warping.

Quote from Company: "RAM keeps up with all the current-model Corvettes as they come out, and stays on the leading edge of providing the best holding power and driveability."

SPEC Clutches and Flywheels
(800) 828-4379

Brief Description: SPEC manufactures seven stages of single-disc and six stages of multi-disc clutch-and-flywheel assemblies for any engine or driveline combination that can be fitted to a Corvette chassis. These kits are comprehensive and include hardware, bearings, and even billet hydraulic upgrades in some applications. SPEC products are specialized, so we can cater to any torque capacity/driveability requirement and offer proper inertia for any form of racing, street driving, or combination. We even offer a stock-appearing, lightweight pressure plate that drops 9 pounds from the clutch assembly.

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Trademark Features: SPEC clutch kits are manufactured in-house in the USA and can accommodate high clamp loads up to 1,800 lb-ft. Our multi-discs are all-billet, rebuildable, upgradeable, and downgradeable, while our single-discs have a billet, rebuildable, lightweight pressure-plate option. We utilize the highest-quality aircraft-grade aluminum and high-carbon steel. In addition, a 0.001-inch machine tolerance ensures optimum balance, wear life, rotational integrity, performance, and driveability. We offer unlimited daily tech support and a diagnosis-based warranty.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? SPEC manufactures single-disc and multi-disc flywheels that are tuned with specific inertia requirements for different driving environments, modification levels, and types of racing. Our billet-aluminum flywheels are machined from tempered aircraft-quality aluminum alloy with replaceable friction plates, while our billet-steel flywheels are machined from the best high-carbon steel for incredible wear and heat resistance. Some steel flywheels also feature replaceable friction plates. Our flywheels feature stepped dowel pins; heat hardened, pressed and fastened ring gears; precision balancing; and include hardware for most applications. Contact us for a flywheel recommendation that best suits your needs.

Quote from Company: "SPEC offers a custom, made-in-the-USA, comprehensive clutch-and-flywheel solution for every Corvette driveline-original or aftermarket-with an on-the-shelf lead time, fair cost, and unlimited technical support."

Textralia, Inc.
(866) 874-3650

Brief Description: The Oz700 Series is the answer for LS-Series Corvettes. From effortless, non-shudder bumper-to-bumper traffic right up to that mid-1.4-second 60-foot blast, this clutch delivers the goods. The components within our clutch assemblies have been perfectly matched, digitally machined, and zero balanced for instant use. The pressure plate houses a specifically designed, high-leverage diaphragm capable of delivering high clamping forces just when it's needed. This gives the driver a progressive feel under foot, while maintaining near-stock pedal travel and pressure for easy street driving.

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Trademark Features: Our Oz700 comes with either our X-Grip or Z-Grip Series disc. The X-Grip combines a carbon-ceramic disc on one side with a high-performance organic facing on the other and is designed to have a smooth initial engagement. The Z-Grip uses a carbon-ceramic facing and is an excellent clutch for moderate to severe-duty applications. Regardless of which disc you choose, the entire assembly is balanced from the factory, and includes a billet-steel flywheel, our pressure plate, and an alignment tool. (The Z-Grip-rated at 700 lb-ft of torque-is by far our most popular unit. We also have an HD version of the Oz700, which is rated at 800 lb-ft.)

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? We manufacture our own flywheels in-house. They are designed to our specifications out of premium billet steel.

Quote from Company: "Your satisfaction with our product is our goal. We strive to ensure each and every customer is happy, not only with our product, but with the support after the sale."

Zoom Performance Products
(440) 259-5656

Brief Description: Zoom has been building performance clutches for more than 43 years. We offer single-disc and street twin-disc clutches for Corvettes from '53 to '10.

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Trademark Features: Almost all of our clutch kits include a clutch disc, a pressure plate, an alignment tool, and release bearings. From mild street modifications to all-out racing, we have a clutch to fit the application.

Do You Offer Flywheels for Corvettes? Zoom offers both aluminum and steel performance flywheels and replacement inserts for '67 to '10 Corvettes. We also offer nodular-steel OE-replacement flywheels for many applications.

Quote from Company: "Zoom has been building high-performance clutch products for 43 years. Even before we called it Zoom, we were in the performance-clutch business. In fact, Perfection, the company that owns Zoom, has been in the driveline business for more than 91 years."



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