- Clutch Reviews

F-Body Clutch Review

Well we have all pretty much asked or answered the question "WHAT CLUTCH DO I NEED" sometime or another Well I decided to do a review of some of the most popular clutches that are out there for the LT1 F-Body in hopes to clear up this FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION. These tests were done on my own personal LT1 Camaro and the opinions expressed are from my own personal experiences with these clutches.So having said that, on with the good stuff - Stock Replacement Clutch

Stock Replacement Clutch
Well I tried dealing with this clutch as long as I could, having a LIFETIME WARRANTY with a FREE REPLACEMENT from Autozone and all But between breaking the disk from the hub and slipping only after miles of replacements, it was time to retire the stock clutch. From my experience with this clutch, it's a great clutch for pretty much a STOCK to mildly modded car. Mildly modded meaning exhaust, headers, mild cams. Once you try to add in some BOOST or SPRAY on this clutch with some sticky tires and other mods listed, it won't be long at all before you send this clutch out the bell housing More than likely you will just start to slip here and there, and that's if your lucky You will see in one pic below where I actually tried launching out of the hole at probably 4K RPMS and the entire hub became separated from the disk itself Mainly due to the hub NOT completely solid with the disk which makes for a VERY WEAK LINK in this disk.

So try and deal with this clutch as long as you can, best thing to do is go to Autozone and get PN# NU31265 $270 w/ a LIFETIME warranty and use it as LONG AS YOU CAN

Here is the STOCK REPLACEMENT clutch that Autozone sells for $270 PN#NU31265

When your disk starts coming out like you see above, then you know FOR SURE it's time for an UPGRADE - Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch

Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch
This was my next choice from the STOCK replacement BUT ONLY because my buddy had one BRAND NEW that he never used before he ended up selling his car. So I decided to pick it up from him for $100 Couldn't pass it up, even with all the horror stories I have heard. What's funny is that I never had ONE PROBLEM with this clutch, my HP level simply came too high and this clutch started slipping. Pedal feel was about a 2 out of 10 where the stock clutch is at about a 1. I have heard of all kinds of horror stories with this clutch but I can't seem to figure out why? Personally I think that people just don't align the pressure plate correctly with the flywheel when they install this clutch. See these clutches along with the stock clutches have a little yellow DAB on the pressure plate, which HAS to be lined up with the X on the flywheel in order for the clutch to be BALANCED. If you don't line them up then it will cause premature failure for the clutch disk.

Personally I would NEVER buy one of these clutches simply because they are WAYYYY over priced. $547 OVER PRICED to be exact But to be honest if your trying to retain the stock pedal feel and get a little extra holding power it's a very good clutch, IF you can get it at a good price The limit for this clutch seems to be about 380 RWHP which is pretty good but for the price of this clutch there are other choices that are cheaper and better.

Here you can see the centerforce clutch compared with a stock disk. Notice how the centerforce is completely solid around the area that ties the disk to the hub VS the stock disk where it's not completely solid. Kinda hard to see in this pic but if you look above at my broken stock disk you will see what I mean by it being a weak link since it's not completely solid. - SPEC Stage 5 Clutch

SPEC Stage 5 Clutch
After overcoming the HP barrier on the Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch, it was now time to find something a little better. Getting tired of all these clutch replacements all the time and knowing some extreme mods that were going to be going on the car at this point in time, I decided to get a little extreme with my next clutch purchase.

The SPEC STAGE 5, well where do I start? Picked this clutch up for about $500 brand new. Wanted something that wasn't going to break or slip anymore and this was the clutch to get for that lemme tell ya There is NO SLIPPING OR BREAKING to EVER be done with this clutch. It's a IRON disk with an solid unsprung hub. While I was excited to get this clutch in, little did I know I would be taking it BACK OUT only after 20 miles of driving.. NO JOKE. This clutch was the craziest thing i've EVER tried to drive. I'm a pretty tolerable person but this clutch was NASTY. There is NO SLIPPING this clutch. Pedal feel is about a 10 out of 10. While the grabbiness of the clutch was one of the problems, the worst was the CHATTER. Sounds like I was screeching tires EVERYTIME I left from a dead stop. Even chattered a bit going into second gear. I installed the clutch, pulled out of my driveway, got about 2 miles down the road and knew right away this thing was coming out the next day. I called SPEC to see what they had to say about it because I could SWEAR I put it in right, done clutch installs plenty of times. But by the noises that this clutch was making I was starting to wonder. So with SPEC on the line, they basically told me that the chatter I was getting was COMPLETLY NORMAL, and the reason for the chatter is because of the METAL rubbing against METAL. So with the EXCELLENT customer service SPEC has, they offered to replace my clutch with their STAGE 3 clutch since I didn't actually put any REAL miles on the clutch yet. After taking it out you couldn't even tell that i'd had it in.

So if your looking to do a STRICTLY DRAG CAR, and I do mean DRAG as in TRACK ONLY, want a clutch that IS NOT going to SLIP OR BREAK, then this is definitely the clutch for you - SPEC Stage 3 Clutch

SPEC Stage 3 Clutch
So after spending a whole 5 miles with my SPEC STAGE 5 CLUTCH, I decided on the SPEC STAGE 3 instead. My first impression was kinda skeptical but SPEC assured me that this was their NEW style clutch that is a 6 PUCK Sprung disk with ceramic & kevlar mixed pads. So I decided to give it a try. Pedal feel was great, felt like about a 4 out of 10 where's the stock clutch is at like 1 and the STAGE 5 is at like 10 It's really not too grabby at all... Just something to get used to. Haven't had ANY problems with slipping. Only thing I found wrong with this clutch is when I pulled it out after only 7K miles, the hub around the springs was starting to crack Only after 7K miles kinda worried me a little bit. Can't blame it on the clutch because I'm sure that pulling 1.4's at the track it's so easy on that hub. The cracks weren't TOO major, but for the times that I pull and the crap my clutches have to go thru at the track, it was definitely something that I had to take into consideration. So another call to SPEC to see where to go from here...

Personally I think this is a VERY NICE clutch, but if you are even considering this clutch, I would DEFINATELY recommend the STAGE 4 clutch over this one, simply because the stage 4 isn't on a sprung hub and you don't have to worry about every breaking it. - SPEC Stage 4 Clutch

SPEC Stage 4 Clutch
Well finally after all the clutches i've been thru I bring you to the SPEC STAGE 4 CLUTCH
This clutch is exactly like the Stage 3 clutch, with the exception that there is NO SPRUNG HUB. Meaning there is no more worrying about cracking the hub or popping springs from the hub anymore. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good replacement clutch with some HP numbers in the 380-420 RWHP range. Then on top of that someone planning on running slicks and either wanting to spray out of the hole and/or someone running boost. What's VERY VERY interesting about this clutch is that I upgraded to this clutch from my Stage 3 clutch because of the hub starting to crack on my stage 3 clutch. Pulling 1.4's at the track isn't the nicest thing on these clutches, this I know :) So I was really kind of concerned going to an UNSPRUNG hub. See the sprung hub is supposed to take up some of the torque from a dead stop, that way its easier to pedal. Well I figured what the heck, might as well give it a try. Boy am I ever glad I did. Finally after all the clutches i've had, I think this one is finally the one ill be holding on to for awhile. This thing feels EXACTLY like my stage 3 did pedal wise, I honestly CAN NOT tell ANY DIFFERENCE in pedal feel. But not I don't have to worry about any slipping or breaking any hubs etc. Personally from my own experience, this clutch can hold about 700-800 HP maybe even more without a problem.

You can see here that this clutch compared to the Stage 3 clutch, there is NO springs in the center and no hub to crack or break anymore. Along with the ceramic/kevlar mixed pads, makes this the ultimate street/strip clutch i've ever driven with