As a natural progression of Clutch Masters’ capabilities and components we offer, it was a simple decision for us to venture into the realm of dual clutch, automatic transmissions. With our initial sights set on developing parts for the Audi DSG Quattro, BMW DCT and the Nissan GT-R, we are happy to offer unique performance solutions for these applications. We have done extensive R&D to get things right being that these transmissions were a new foray for us. As we delved deeper into the development process though, we realized just how similar these parts are to what we currently manufacture for manual transmissions and are confident we have been able to develop parts that will meet the demands and expectations of those with street driven vehicles and highly modified builds as well.
We’ve got to hand it to the engineers who sat down and came up with the idea to build a 7 speed transmission that shifts gears in 50 milliseconds. When BMW implemented their new dual-clutch transmission (or DCT), purists were up in arms that they could no longer row through the gears using an H-pattern gearbox. As time went on and more drivers got to experience the feeling of driving a car with a DCT, many came around to the idea. So much so that it is quite commonplace now to see DCT swaps bolted up to Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet and many other manufacturers' engines swapped in all sorts of different platforms.
From the factory these DCT equipped cars utilize a dual mass flywheel to help dampen drivetrain shock and protect the expensive clutch baskets. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to develop a robust flywheel with a sprung hub to accomplish what the OE dual mass flywheel does, but cut back significantly on the rotating mass. As we were developing this sprung hub and some flywheels and adapter plates for a few select applications, word spread quickly as to what we were up to. Our sprung hub DCT flywheels and adapter plates can be found in many different applications that we have designed in house as well as have helped design for customers coming up with their own DCT adapter plate kit solutions. We have even developed OE replacement flywheels for BMW owners wanting to ditch the dual mass flywheel and upgrade to something significantly more robust.
If you have your own DCT project and need a custom flywheel or adapter plate we are happy to help get you sorted out!
The flywheels, flexplates and clutch kits we’ve developed for the manual Audi Quattro transmissions have been huge hits with those customers wanting drivetrain components that can take the additional abuse from higher power outputs and more aggressive driving environments. We took everything we’ve learned from developing components for the manual Audis, and applied it to the automatic parts we now make.
From the beginning we knew we wanted to develop a dampened flywheel for this application. There’s a reason Audi engineered these flywheels to be dual-mass from the factory. Having a dampened flywheel helps absorb harsh harmonics being transferred from the engine to the drivetrain, thus in turn, helping extend the life of the transmission and the precious, and sometimes delicate, components that exist inside of them.
The factory dual-mass flywheel is a heavy chunk of steel, weighing in at around 24lbs. We have 3 weights available for different applications. A 16lb street version, a 13lb version, and an extremely light 10lb race only version.
Along with our dampened steel flywheel, another piece of the automatic puzzle is the flex plate. Factory flexplates are stamped steel that are prone to crack over time under high heat and extreme stress. For cars making factory power the factory piece most likely works fine, but as we all well know, as soon as you start adding more power, those weaker pieces get stressed much quicker and we have heard several instances of the factory flexplate cracking. Our flexplate is made from a single piece of billet steel with the ring gear welded on. It does weigh just slightly more than the factory piece but you can have confidence knowing that your Clutch Masters' flexplate is significantly more robust then the stemped steal factory piece.
Ahh yes, the formidable GT-R, what a car this has proven to be for Nissan. Over a decade after it originally launched and it still is a weapon on the street and the track. With tuning shops pushing these cars to once unfathomable limits, it doesn’t seem to surprise you now when you see one making 1500whp or more, that just seems like the bare minimum these days.
When you push a car to make double or even triple the power the original equipment was designed for, you’ll find the weak points fast. The steel flywheel that comes from the factory is very thin and prone to cracking. Our GT-R flywheel is made of billet 4140 steel to ensure it can withstand the power these GT-Rs are making. Like all or our flywheels, they are made right here in the USA on precision CNC machines. They are then assembled by a Clutch Master technician that inspects each flywheel to make sure they are leaving our facility built and assembled to 100% accuracy.