What are Clutch Kits?
A typical clutch kit normally consists of a clutch plate, pressure plate and release bearing. These are all fastened to the car's flywheel with robust mechanical fasteners. This makes it possible for them to rotate via the flywheel.
If you are a drifter, track day addict, drag racer or simply a car enthusiast you will know how important the clutch is in the functioning of your car. It is a vital part of your vehicle as a whole and enables easy, smooth gearshifts and provides the link between you and the engine power when you pull away.
Clutch kits works in tandem with the car's engine, delivering power to the wheels. Over the lifetime of the car you might need to replace the clutch kit when it begins to wear, since this impacts negatively on the amount of power received and makes gear changes increasingly difficult. Should this happen, it's time to get a replacement clutch kit.
Unfortunately there's a lot of marketing hype and technical jargon in the industry, which can make it very difficult to make an informed decision about the right clutch kit for your specific situation. Below we try to explain the differences between the different types of clutches in laymen's terms.
Different Types of Clutch Kits
There are different types of clutches on the market, aimed at people with different needs. Read the explanation below to determine which one would be the best for your particular circumstances.
A performance clutch typically differs from conventional organic clutches in three important ways. Firstly in the case of a performance clutch the clamping force on the pressure plate (via the diaphragm spring) is higher. Performance clutches also utilize different materials which do not suffer from performance loss at high temperatures because they don't absorb so much heat. Last but not least, performance clutches use a 'puck' design (6 puck, 4 puck, 3 puck etc.). This prevents slippage by increasing the pressure on the friction material.
Twin plate clutch
This type of clutch system is also known as a twin-disc clutch. In an era where car engines are becoming ever more powerful it is becoming more popular by the day. A twin disc clutch simply does the job of transmitting all that power to the wheels much better than a single clutch ever could.
Dual discs deliver double the clamping surface as a single disc, without needing double the pedal pressure - something that can make a massive difference in a vehicle that is used for purposes where performance is vital. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of a double plate clutch system is that it needs minimal pedal effort with a holding capacity that far exceeds that of most of the single-disc systems out there.
Triple plate clutch
If your car is mainly used to transport the kids to and from school it's unlikely you will need a 3-plate clutch. If you, however, are a car enthusiast and your vehicle is regularly used on the track or for drifting, a triple disc clutch might be exactly what you need.
The main benefit here is that instead of trying to hold the same amount of torque with only one clutch, you now use three clutches - each of which can hold the same amount of torque as a single plate. As long as the friction plate on the flywheel is able to withstand the pressure you can theoretically hold triple the torque.
The word 'organic' in this case refers to the type of material that is used in the manufacture of the clutch, which is metal fiber interlaced with organic materials. Organic facings are often manufactured from phenolic resins, compound rubber and friction modifiers such as metal oxides and metallic powder.
These type of clutches are suitable for a wide range of driving conditions, but they perform particularly well in city traffic. The top products in this category provide both smooth clutch engagement and excellent durability. Organic facings are typically significantly stronger than their molded counterparts, which means they don't only last longer but also offer improved performance.
This is a kind of clutch setup that employs multiple drive plates. The aim here is to compensate for torque loss that happens because of the slippage which is caused by the fluid in which the plates are immersed for lubrication, cleaning and cooling.
This kind of clutch setup is widely referred to as a wet clutch system, and is found in most ordinary cars' automatic transmissions. It's what makes it possible to shift gears up and/or down without interrupting power flow via the transmission.
Multi-disc clutches work in the same way as single-disc ones, but they employ several friction discs instead of the one disc found in most other cars in order to reduce slippage and torque loss.