Wednesday Rewind: Choosing The Correct Clutch

 

There is a certain appeal to having a manual transmission in your Corvette, regardless of the number of cogs reside behind the bell housing. It goes without saying that many folks who opt for the option to row their own, may just have a little more hoon-anigans in mind than someone who chooses to set it and forget it.

There’s good reason why Chevrolet beefed up the drivetrain in the C4 generation Corvettes with the autos getting a Dana 36 while even the Doug Nash-equipped manual cars all got the hefty Dana 44 diff. There’s a lot of fury and authority flowing through that third pedal and at some point, if you’re one who prefers to side-step instead of lifting your left leg, you’ll be looking for a new clutch arrangement.

Once only a high-dollar option on exotic cars, now enthusiasts can choose between single, or multiple-disc clutch assemblies. Each one has it's benefits, and knowing how you are going to be using the car will help guide your decision. Don't simply opt for the exotic version expecting it to fit your needs.

These SOI’s (Significant Opportunities for Improvement) can also be an excellent time to upgrade to a more robust clutch assembly that is better suited to your driving style, your car’s current power and traction level and your expectations. If you take the time and are honest with each of these points, it is possible to install a new clutch that will give you, your tires and your driving style a long, happy relationship.

We recently ran a story aimed at helping enthusiasts choose the proper clutch assembly and design for their application. With the advent of new friction materials and pressure plate designs, it is possible to have a clutch capable of handling large amounts of torque and horsepower while still giving your leg a manageable pedal effort. While there is no golden egg for every application, if you are honest about what you want, how much power your car really has and it’s intended purpose, you can decide on the perfect clutch for your application.

In this story, we asked several folks in the know about some new technologies and their limitations. Being in the industry, they have acquired a vast knowledge about what works and we’ve tapped into that knowledge base to cut through all the marketing and let you decide where you reside in the clutch upgrade debate. Check out the story, and if you’re looking to upgrade the clutch in your Corvette, having a clearer knowledge of what works, and why, will let you enjoy your Corvette for years to come, no matter how you enjoy driving your Corvette.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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