Race & Rally Clutches

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A P Racing 5.5" I-Drive Metallic Race Clutch – Four Plate Pull Type

A P Racing 5.5" I-Drive Metallic Race Clutch – Four Plate Pull Type

The I-Drive clutch system is the latest in clutch technology from AP Racing which has been developed to tackle the issue of clutch drag encountered by sintered clutches when operating under demanding conditions. Making use of AP Racings asymmetrical design concept, the I-Drive clutches feature a lightweight design which also benefits from an increase in stiffness. Having been put through a rigorous programme of testing using both dyno and vehicle testing, the I-Drive clutches are now being used in WRC where they a faced with demanding conditions over a long period of time. In this environment they are maintaining their level of performance significantly longer than a conventional clutch design.Available in either triple or four plate options and either a push or pull type operation.  View more

$2570.17

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" I-Drive Metallic Race Clutch – Triple Plate Push Type

A P Racing 5.5" I-Drive Metallic Race Clutch – Triple Plate Push Type

The I-Drive clutch system is the latest in clutch technology from AP Racing which has been developed to tackle the issue of clutch drag encountered by sintered clutches when operating under demanding conditions. Making use of AP Racings asymmetrical design concept, the I-Drive clutches feature a lightweight design which also benefits from an increase in stiffness. Having been put through a rigorous programme of testing using both dyno and vehicle testing, the I-Drive clutches are now being used in WRC where they a faced with demanding conditions over a long period of time. In this environment they are maintaining their level of performance significantly longer than a conventional clutch design.Available in either triple or four plate options and either a push or pull type operation.  View more

$2456.68

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 0.875" x 10

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 0.875" x 10

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$159.68

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 1" x 10

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 1" x 10

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$138.72

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 1" x 22

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 1" x 22

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$112.50

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 20.3mm x 24

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 20.3mm x 24

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$122.09

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 20mm x 17

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 20mm x 17

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$112.50

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 22.2mm x 10

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 22.2mm x 10

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$112.50

1 retailer

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 23.3mm x 21

A P Racing 5.5" Sintered Drive Plate – 23.3mm x 21

These 5.5″ sintered drive plates have been designed with circuit racing in mind, with a metallic friction material that has been sintered onto a steel drive plate for a lightweight yet durable driveline solution. Because of it's lightweight, the sintered drive plates have a low moment of inertia, providing better responsiveness and increased acceleration capabilities.Designed to suit AP Racings' range of 5.5″ clutch cover assemblies, there are a range of different splines sizes and drive plate types to suit most applications.View more

$115.86

1 retailer

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Race and Rally clutches

How They Work and Their Benefits

The clutch is a vital part of any manual transmission. While the default clutch fitted by manufacturers is in most cases perfectly adequate for day-to-day driving, if you are into drifting, drag or track racing - or simply a true car enthusiast - you need something more robust.

Luckily clutch manufacturers offer a range of special rally clutches. A race clutch or performance clutch performs much the same purpose. One can, in fact, describe all these types of clutches as sports clutches.

How a Sports Clutch Differs from a Conventional One

A sports clutch works in a similar way as an ordinary clutch, i.e. as a contact medium. Sports clutches are, however, able to deal with much more torque and power, and can withstand much tougher operating conditions. To prevent slipping it provides better grip than a standard clutch.

Sports clutches normally involve different disc materials and heavier springs. The use of a heavier spring means that these clutch provide improved clamping force, so they can transmit more torque without slippage. This type of clutch is also much likelier to grab under clutch dumping or aggressive shifting.

The use of different materials provide these clutches with radically different characteristics compared to a conventional clutch. While for production cars organic compounds are very common because they offer smooth engagement and a decent lifespan, they are not necessarily able to withstand the high temperatures involved with sports driving. Ceramics, carbons and Kevlars offer improved smoothness, and they are at the same time able to operate at much higher temperatures.

Performance clutches will often use 'puck' designs, which feature openings between the clutch disc blocks. While this might be seen as a 'cool factor' there is more sense to it that might immediately be apparent. With the reduced surface area there will be more pressure on the clutch area, and certain types of materials will provide better grip at certain pressures.

Although the diaphragm spring will transmit the same force, there will be more pressure on the clutch disc. In some instances this could actually be beneficial. Having said that, some of the most powerful engines out there use full circle clutch discs with relatively small cutouts to make provision for expansion under high heat.

While on the topic of high power, those drivers who really want to go all out could find themselves in the world of sintered iron clutch discs. These are able to withstand incredibly high temperatures compared to other materials, and they can also effortlessly deal with high clamping forces.

Types of Performance Clutches

The standard clutches fitted by most car manufacturers are normally made from organic materials that offer a relatively long life, smooth engagement and low noise levels. These clutches are, however, generally not suitable for sports purposes because they can't handle the heat and the tough working environment.

Metallic disc clutches

Metallic disc materials offer better performance than organic discs. The materials they are made of conduct excessive heat away from the disk, which reduces the likelihood of glazing the disc material, thus offering better reliability and a longer lifespan.

Some lightweight metallic discs may also come with the added benefit of reducing the rotating mass. This enables the engine to 'rev-up' more rapidly since it has to accelerate less rotating mass. It also provides for more rapid 'rev-down', improving gearshifts under fast-shift conditions.

Kevlar and Carbon

These are two of the more unusual materials used by clutch manufacturers. Carbon clutch discs tend to become stickier the harder you push them, which offers smooth engagement under everyday driving conditions, while being able to deal with the higher torque and power levels of aggressive driving.

Kevlar disc's tensile and elastic strength improves longevity. It is also extremely lightweight which allows for greater physical dimension while keeping the inertial mass low.

The Benefits of a Performance Clutch

Below are a few benefits a sports clutch offer compared to a conventional one:

Work better at high temperatures

Sports clutches become vital when the temperatures or power levels experienced by the clutch system go beyond the levels at which a standard clutch can be expected to function. If the clutch is used for non-standard purposes, e.g. racing or drifting, it will most likely not be able to withstand the excessive heat.

As time passes, it will start failing to grab property, and this will result in even more heat being generated. As the temperature of the disc increases performance will drop more and more - until it eventually fails unless it is allowed to cool off. If between gearshifts it has problems grabbing, even while at normal operating temperatures, it is very likely that the clamping force is simply not sufficient for the power levels.

Launch control

For drag vehicles it is imperative that the clutch grabs well when pulling off. If it slips excessively you will have to start thinking of getting something with more clamping force. If a certain amount of slip is actually required during launch, it is crucial to choose a material which can withstand the heat.