Technology Makes the Difference
Historically, high performance clutches have been a compromise. While improving holding or clamping pressure, manufacturers nearly always increase pedal pressure to an uncomfortable point, especially for stop-and-go driving.
Besides drivability concerns, additional pedal pressure can adversely affect stock clutch linkage and cause premature thrust bearing wear, leading to missed shifts, damaged clutch components, and even engine damage
Today, thanks to the advancements we have been able to make through development, testing and fine tuning, Clutch Masters has been able to increase the overall holding pressure of a clutch without the increased pedal pressure and the problems that can arise from that. We have accomplished this feat by developing and implementing our Hi-Leverage™ technique on all of our pressure plates across the entire lineup of clutches we manufacture.
Excessively increased pedal pressure, which is commonplace in most high performance clutches, places an unreliable amount of pressure on the delicate crankshaft thrust bearing found in most of today's sport compact automobiles. Placing undue stress on the thrust bearing typically causes the bearing to wear prematurely or fail altogether. This failure can lead to catastrophic internal engine damage.
A clutch, simply put, is a friction device that disengages and engages the engine from the transmission to allow for transition from motionless to movement and for gear changes. For street applications a smooth transition of power is essential while still being able to transfer all the power of the engine to the transmission. As the power output of modified engines increases and demands on clutches become greater, the holding and clamping capacity of a clutch must also increase. This is where Clutch Masters' innovative engineering comes into play.
Clamping Force vs. Pedal Pressure
Designing heavy duty and high performance clutches with a very high clamp load and incredible coefficient of friction is a fairly simple engineering task. To do so without increasing pedal pressure has not been so easy. Even the education process of changing opinions that an increase in pedal pressure must accompany a high performance clutch with increased clamping force has been difficult.
Through decades of experience and engineering we have developed our line of performance clutches to address these problems. This engineering breakthrough has been proven for many years now in high performance street, drift, drag, and circuit racing with people opting to use our clutch kits for their projects time and time again. We hope that by educating consumers such as yourself on the benefits of running our clutch kits, that you too will choose to run a Clutch Masters clutch and or flywheel.
The following are ways of increasing clamp load. The methods vary in sophistication and effectiveness:
The diaphragm, or spring, is heat treated to increase spring tension for 10-40% more clamping force. Clutch Masters has perfected a precise method of heat-treating our diaphragms to maintain consistent clamping force without compromising structural integrity.
The double diaphragm is a method of increasing clamping force by stacking two diaphragms on top of each other. This will typically achieve the desired clamping force but will also increase the pedal pressure to a very high rate. For FX500 and Multiple Disc set-ups, Clutch Masters uses two separate heat treating processes - one for each diaphragm - to ensure perfect compatibility between the two diaphragms. Additionally, there is a special friction-reducing material between the diaphragms to provide optimum clamping force while maintaining an ultra smooth operation.
A thicker (than stock) diaphragm allows extra clamping force but is considered to be an on or off style clutch. Smooth engagement is severely compromised with the thick diaphragm due to the reduced elasticity of the thicker material. Clutch Masters does not use this technique.
Hi-Leverage™ Pressure Plate
By re-engineering the pressure plate leverage ring (moving it closer to the pivot point), Clutch Masters solves the clamping vs. pedal pressure problem in a unique way. By moving the pressure ring, Clutch Masters Hi-Leverage™ Pressure Plates take mechanical advantage of the leverage principle. By moving the leverage ring closer to the pivot point, the pressure applied to the plate is increased significantly without unnecessarily increasing pedal pressure, as is typically the case in other clutches. This Hi-Leverage™ feature is unique to the high-performance clutch industry.
****By combining these various methods of increasing clamping pressure with our re-engineered discs, Clutch Masters has developed a unique way of substantially increasing clutch performance without any of the negative side effects usually found in the typical high performance clutch.****
Engineering with Purpose:
Clutch Masters clutches are true high performance clutch systems and are technologically superior to anything currently on the market.
To develop a clutch with all the desired performance characteristics for intended applications is the challenge of a high performance clutch company. The Clutch Masters clutch system is unique in the industry. As you’ve just learned, we use our Hi-Leverage™ technology in all of our pressure plates, which significantly increases clamping force with no unnecessary increase in pedal pressure. Our clutch discs are specifically designed to take advantage of our pressure plates. The combination of these cutting edge technologies creates the finest clutch systems on the market.
Since we have specialized in the performance clutch industry for as long as we have, that has allowed us to research and test hundreds of different types of friction materials. From organic to ceramic, sintered iron and everything in between, we only utilize the best materials available for each intended application. By combining the optimum clamping force with the finest friction materials - each with their own unique coefficient of friction - Clutch Masters has developed a line of clutches that provide ultimate performance in virtually any severe environment.
Specialized and Focused Use
All Clutch Masters clutches are specifically designed for varying stages of high performance and/or racing uses. From the street performance enthusiast who requires more grab than a stock unit while retaining everyday drivability, to the racer who needs a clutch to survive under the grueling conditions of competition, we offer complete clutch systems as well as billet aluminum and steel flywheels for every level of performance modifications and power increases.
The friction material found on all OEM clutch discs and many high performance discs is simply riveted to the disc center section. Under severe use and/or high RPM applications, the disc material can fragment and break apart, becoming dislodged from the disc center section. Once this occurs, the clutch has failed completely and is rendered inoperable. Clutch Masters has solved this common problem on our street and street/strip discs by bonding a special steel backing plate to the friction material. This unique feature provides significantly increased heat dissipation properties - heat is the #1 enemy of the clutch - and very high structural integrity to keep the disc intact under severe applications.
Racing Only discs use solid center sections to give all the reliability and performance they need on the track. Warning: These solid hub discs are not meant for street applications as they transfer very high shock loads to the transmission, causing premature transmission failure, and will chatter upon starting from a stop.
The Weakest Link
In the battle of Man vs. Machine, whenever possible, engineers build into any given mechanical system a point of failure, or weak point, which is designed to wear or fail, therefore preventing damaging major components or even catastrophic failure of the entire system.
In the battle of Engine vs. Transmission, the clutch is designed to be that weak link. It is ultimately less expensive to replace a clutch than an engine or transmission. The challenge in building a high performance clutch is to build the unit for different intended heavy duty or severe applications which will hold the power; not break the transmission or internal engine components and retain an overall smooth operation of the entire system (whenever possible). This is the balancing act that Clutch Masters has perfected.
Investing in the USA
Our progress in perfecting our clutch kits has been accompanied by our focus on bringing all of our manufacturing under our roof here in the USA. Through the years we have invested millions of dollars in high end CNC machining centers, digital balancing machines, custom built machinery, anodizing, computer modeling and engineering, laser engraving, and packaging. We take pride in having the ability to design, manufacture and test all of our products to verify that we are selling the highest quality drivetrain products on the market for your project!
Manufacturing with a Conscience
In this day and age, and the pace at which we are manufacturing flywheels and clutch kits, it is a challenge for us to maintain an environmentally friendly footprint. A challenge however we feel we have excelled at keeping a leg up on. We stay very aware of the inevitable fact that in the world of manufacturing there will be waste and there are no perfect systems. Through the years we have invested in equipment with the sole purpose of lessening our waste, ranging from the packaging our parts are shipped in, equipping the shop with LED lights, acid recovery systems for our anodizing baths, and specialized machines that help us recycle our scrap aluminum and steel. From the inception of Clutch Masters Industries Inc., we have never used asbestos laden friction material in any of our clutch kits. As technology advances and the capabilities for us to continue to lessen our ecological impact expand, we will consistently make efforts to do so. We feel that, as a US manufacturer we stand with other US based companies in leading the way and setting the best example possible of how to balance our footprint we leave, as well as produce the highest quality products we possibly can.