Performance power clutches with low transmission losses.

Car tuning tips:Performance clutch tips"

Performance clutch tips Guide

The clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the engine from the drivetrain.  The clutch comprises of a spring mechanism, and a friction surface.  When the two friction surfaces are engaged the power from the engine is transmitted through the transmission to the wheels.

Thinking of the trick where you pull the tablecloth from a table and leave the cups and plates in place you start to appreciates the job of the clutch.  When you increase the power output of the engine, often weaknesses in the clutch are highlighted and manifest themselves as clutch slip.  When a clutch is slipping you will notice the revs increasing at a greater rates than the engine speed. 

This situation can accelerate the clutch wear, reduce your fuel economy and be a general pain on hills or when towing. Slip also results in loss power to the driven wheels and is often referred to as transmission losses although in reality more power is lost elsewhere in a typical cars transmission. 

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There are a number of materials used in clutch design to maximize the effectiveness of the friction surface.  These include steel, carbon fibre and other hi tech material composits.

Another way of increasing the friction surface of the clutch is quite simply to increase the surface area.  Where you have a fixed diameter for a clutch due to the housing, you still have the option of a multi plate clutch. A multi plate clutch has two or three friction surfaces. Look for a triple plate organic clutch for the best grip characteristics.

Bear in mind that a heavy duty clutch will require a stronger release spring and more leg muscle.  In a car I had with the power clutch fitted, I went through clutch cables at an alarming rate.  In the end I solve the problem by getting a heavy duty clutch cable.  The inherent problem with any tuning project is that when you upgrade to one component weaknesses are shown up in others requiring a knock on efforts to maintain reliability.

Ideally you match the clutch release spring with the weight of the clutch. You may also need to adjust the clutch pedal to allow easier gearchanges. A new clutch will usually take a couple of hours to bed in properly so avoid high engine speeds whilst this happens.

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One Response to “Performance clutch tips”

  1. MOYO KUDZAI says:

    im having 98 polo classic 1.6 gear box 5 speed using a jetta 3 two litre engine 98 model do i increase my gear ratio or how to covert the gear box to have 6 gears foward