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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been reading a lot about clutches on the ricer forums lately and really can't decide what to get. I'm swapping engines as we speak and need to find something that can handle the "power" yet still be able to slip it a little bit off road. The stock engine had 200lb.ft of torque, new one has 320 or so. Once you get up into the "Stage III" and high end clutches to handle 300+ lb. ft of torque it seems like they are all race clutches with an on/off engagement.

What does everyone run in their high hp buggies to keep it driveable?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was looking at the Centerforce Dual Friction setup but really don't know what to think. Half the people who run Centerforce's claim they SUCK which seems odd since it seems like a company that specializes in clutches could make something decent. The other half claim they're good. Catastrophic failure seems common with centerforce clutches.

I've been looking at Exedy, ACT, and some others.
 

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What kind of motor? What size disk can you play with?

I do not like the center force clutches, but I do like a dual friction based clutch disk. They usually can take a ton of abuse and still not glaze over.

Sometimes these are referred to as autocross clutches.

Many manufacturers go for more pressure to make a stronger clamping force. A better method that has come a long way recently is to use better friction materials.

The problem with heavy pressure plates is that they can put a huge load on the crank shaft. Make sure your motor does not have issue with thrust bearing failures under these loads. (Mitsubishi and Toyota have both had issues with this.)

Unless you plan to drag race or tow heavy loads I would not worry to much about it..

-Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's a Nissan engine most people here probably haven't ever heard of. VH45DE.

Fortunately Nissan clutches are almost all interchangable so basically anything for a 300ZX, 350Z, of even a Skyline will fit. I can use up to a 250mm clutch disc.

What other clutches use a similar design to the Centerforce DF? I may take a risk and go with it.

Air Ride- How many lb. ft of torque does that motor have? Torque seems to be way more important when rating clutches than horsepower.
 

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Centerforce clutches blow goats on Nissan's. Go to the z forums and ask, I want to say it's an act clutch that most run.

Personally, I'm running the LUK pro gold. We probably installed 15 LUK clutches on the farm, and NEVER had one go before the engine. We're talking pickups with 454's pulling 20,000 lb water trailers, grain trucks hauling 6-800 bushels, etc.

I'm going with headers/cams/injectors/computer on my 3.3, and plan on getting a supercharger on it eventually. I'm not worried about the clutch, even with the 38.5's.

The factory clutch looked brand new after 200,000 miles. The flywheel was so true the machinist said to not even bother, and handed it back to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have heard of Luk clutches before...mainly for the big diesel applications and haven't heard anything but good feedback.

Good to hear from you too Jared...you know your Nissans. :D

Luk does make one of their Pro Gold Performance clutches that would fit. It's odd, they list the Gold clutch for the naturally aspirated Z but only their normal clutch for the turbo version. Different part numbers for the standard clutch from NA to turbo Z. Keep in mind the NA Z that the Pro Gold clutch was made for made nowhere near 320+ hp. They aren't the most expensive thing in the world to try out, just a pain to keep installing new ones so I want to choose a good one, the FIRST time.

I've heard everyone say that factory Nissan clutches last FOREVER. I got my Pathfinder with 105k or so on it, and had the dealer replace the clutch at 111K. I pulled the engine at 117k and a former Nissan tech saw a picture of the clutch and told me there is no way in hell that pressure plate is only 6k miles old. :mad3:

This is the best picture I have but the wear marks on the inside "fingers" of the pressure plate are fairly deep.

 

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Mine looked beautiful at 200k miles. Honestly, if the new clutch wasn't already in front of me then, I would've thrown the old one back in without a second thought.:laughing:

I also downshift instead of braking, which everybody says kills the clutch.:laughing::shaking: It's a throwback to driving truck, hard for me not to do it. I also get about 130k miles out of a set of brakes, that way. I changed the brakes in the nissan at 145k miles, the brakes in the eclipse were stock at 137k miles when I sold it.

I'm sure this will piss off the PBB, but the old hardbody routinely hauled 2200 lb spray shuttles, pulled our 4,000 pound skid steer on the trailer, recovered our dodge minivans (three times) from no less than 120 miles away, hauled the race car to the races every friday night on a 50 mile round trip, etc. Heck, it hauled our 3/4 ton gmc 45 miles on back roads. I never once felt the clutch slip.
 

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i rana transmission shop for 7 years and sold transmission components for another 5 years. i do not like centerforce clutches. they do have their place but it's in racing applications with high RPM and high torque/horsepower application. the friction materials used on the discs is extremely hard and grabby. it will cause extreme wear on the flywheel and lots of times you'll have to replace the flywheel or install a flywheel spacer ( if the flywheel is still within spec after being turned) to bring it back within tolerance.

i would run a LUK clutch and nothing else. i run them in my rigs. we only used LUk clutches at the trans shop except for toyotas, where we used their OEM parts.

i have installed and sold literally hundrets of LUK clutches and they have performed extremely well. i would'nt recommend anything else.

i also own an 07 cummins megacab. once the stock clutch wears out, i'm going to install a LUK pro gold series clutch kit.

btw, LUK is the OEM supplier for chrysler and gm. but they do not install the pro gold series in stock vehicles.

centerforce clutch kits use a LUk pressure plate (stamped right one them) and a re-worked disc with their spec friction materials).

just cause you see tons of adds for a certain product doesn't necessarily mean it's the greatest thing ever invented.........
 

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I've heard everyone say that factory Nissan clutches last FOREVER. I got my Pathfinder with 105k or so on it, and had the dealer replace the clutch at 111K. I pulled the engine at 117k and a former Nissan tech saw a picture of the clutch and told me there is no way in hell that pressure plate is only 6k miles old. :mad3:

This is the best picture I have but the wear marks on the inside "fingers" of the pressure plate are fairly deep.



well, it sure could be. looks to me like the throw out bearing was'nt adjusted correctly and caused the premature wear on the fingers on the clutch diaphram. this can also be caused by the driver resting his foot on the clutch pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Orange! Seems like you've got plenty of experience in the biz. Luk doesn't sound like a bad way to go. :D
 

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I posed this exact question to Novak a few years ago and they recommended a McLeod setup. It's been simply flawless for me. I like to slip the clutch and generally beat on my junk and I've never even felt it get hot or fade. If you do some research you'll see McLeod is one of the best clutch makers out there. Centerforce = overhyped bullshit.
 

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I have a Luk in mine. I had a Zoom in it before. I can't say that either was better than the other.
 

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Gearing? If your low enough you shouldnt have to slip the clutch much if any.

I would personally preferr a deeper gear option vs. overheating a clutch disk.


What are the specs on your rig?


Chris:cool2:
 

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looks to me like the throw out bearing was'nt adjusted correctly and caused the premature wear on the fingers on the clutch diaphram. this can also be caused by the driver resting his foot on the clutch pedal.
Hydraulic clutch, no adjustment.
 
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