Frequently Asked Questions

APPLICATION AND PRODUCT VERIFICATION

Yes!  Different clutch combinations offer varying amounts of holding power.  Clutch combinations are engineered to provide optimum holding power and driveability for a given application.  A sticky tire will put more load on the drive line.

Review the clutch set listings on this website to find the product that matches your horsepower level. If you intend to race the car select one level higher.

Review the clutch set listings on this website to find the product that matches your horsepower level. If you intend to race the car, select one level higher. If this is an engine, transmission swap you will need to select from our component listings.

 Complete instructions for all ram products are listed on the instructions page of this website.

Review the clutch set listings on this website to find the product that matches your horsepower level. If you intend to race the car, select one level higher. If this is an engine, transmission swap you will need to select from our component listings. 

CLUTCH OPERATION

All high performance clutch discs have friction material with a high coefficient of friction. They are more aggressive on engagement and can cause chatter. Chatter is aggravated by gearing and tire size. For example,  a car with a 3.08 to 1 rear gear will have chatter. This car is essentially in second gear when  pulling off and it will chatter with any clutch. Many factory performance cars  have high gearing to meet emissions and gas mileage requirements that will tend to cause chatter. If you install a performance clutch in a car with less than 3.78 to 1 rear and 2.60 to 1 first gear ratios you probably will experience some clutch chatter .  If you have this problem you may have to change your driving technique to minimize the chatter. Or better, change the rear gear.

LT1 applications are notorious for wear on the pivot tee/fork assembly that will affect release.  Replace these components if the clutch is not operating properly.

Horsepower ratings are intended only as a guide to clutch selection, and to be able to compare RAM units to other brands when making your clutch choice.  They are not going to be exactly perfect for every application.  Other factors affect the holding power of the clutch including using a sticky tire or slick, high rear gearing, excessive slippage on takeoff, power adders, usage at the track, and excessive use on a chassis dyno.  

Check that the  linkage is properly setup and adjusted and that the release bearing is not riding on the release levers.  If the bearing is adjusted to touch the levers it will unload the clutch and cause it to slip.  If the adjustment is correct, the clutch setup is incorrect and you will need “more clutch” to correct the problem.  

The clutch itself will not cause a shifting problem. Improper release adjustment, faulty operation , or a transmission problem are probable causes. To test the clutch system, put the car in first gear with the clutch disengaged and bring the engine up to the rpm where the problem occurs.  If the clutch wants to pull or move the car, more release travel is required for the fork or slave cylinder. If there is no tendency to move the car, the problem is in the transmission.

Check your setup dimensions for the bearing to make sure you have set the clearance properly.  Also verify that you are getting adequate travel from the bearing by testing the system with the bearing hanging under the car.

The first issue is determining if the clutch will release properly. With the clutch and flywheel out of the vehicle: bolt the clutch assembly ( including the disc ) to the flywheel. Using an arbor press, hydraulic press, or other suitable means, depress the release levers or fingers and check that the disc releases cleanly and will move about between the flywheel and pressure ring. Note the amount of travel required to release the disc.

If the clutch releases properly, the problem lies in the mechanical or hydraulic release system. Refer to the vehicle maintenance manual for  proper inspection and maintenance of the release system, or on older vehicles or racecars, disconnect the cable or linkage from the fork, then check that the  pivot ball is positioned so that the fork  is positioned perpendicular to the  centerline of the driveline when the release bearing is resting on the release fingers. If necessary adjust the position of the pivot ball to get the fork into the optimum position.  This positioning is critical  for proper release action.

If you are doing an engine, clutch & flywheel, and/or transmission/ bellhousing swap make sure the pivot and fork position or  hydraulic slave travel is correct , and there is adequate additional clearance to keep the bearing off the clutch fingers in the released position.

In some Mustang cable operated systems, it may be necessary to adjust the pivot ball height in order to correct release issues or a situation where the pedal is ‘too low’.

If you are doing an engine, clutch & flywheel, and/or transmission/ bellhousing swap we are unable to assist you with information concerning the engine, transmission, bellhousing, or aftermarket release system  you may have, and may not be able to supply dimensions or technical data.

We have seen numerous incidents of firewall flex on these cars over the years when using an upgraded clutch.  This problem shows itself as non-release and stiff pedal.  Best way to check it is to have someone operate the clutch from inside while another watches the cable right at the point it pokes through the firewall on the engine side.  Helps to put your had in this spot also.  Watch and feel for the firewall to move, and/or for the cable to bind or move side to side.

If the car has an aftermarket cable and quadrant, make sure that where the cable is coming through on the inside, that the quadrant is properly aligned so that the cable is pulling straight in line and not possibly a little from one side or another.  This can cause the symptom you are describing.  Still need to check for flex.

If the firewall is flexing, there are a couple of companies that make a firewall stabilizer that helps spread the load out to keep the firewall from moving.  We offer this under pn 566, but I also helped a local guy with this issue once and we simply made a support out of a piece of 1/4 inch steel about 3" x 3" and placed it between the cable and the firewall.
 
Finally, inspect the clutch fork and pivot ball very carefully for wear.  This is especially an issue on 01-04 model cars.  Can also cause a noise that seems like a bearing 'squeal'.

If you want to assure the problem is not in the clutch, it can be checked by bolting it all up to the flywheel and then putting the complete unit in a press.  The fingers should be moved about .400", if the disc turns loose at that point and you can move it around, you will know the problem is not in the clutch. 

WARRANTY

Go to: warranty information/ determination on the technical page  for complete information on evaluating warranties and warranty handling procedures.

HYDRAULIC RELEASE BEARINGS

Some specialized applications are simply not going to provide enough room for the RAM hydraulic bearing.  If you must use this product, you will need to reduce the overall setup height of your clutch assembly, possibly with a thinner flywheel or shorter clutch cover, or the transmission will need to be spaced back from the bellhousing to increase bearing clearance.

If your hydraulic bearing is leaking, the first thing you must do is determine the cause of the leak.  Is the fluid leaking from the fittings or lines?  Is it leaking from the seals/o-rings?

If the fittings are leaking, make sure you have used Teflon tape to seal the fittings in the bearing.  Liquid and Teflon tube sealants WILL NOT hold the pressures this bearing sees and will ultimately leak.  Re-check the tightness of the fittings and the hoses.

If the seals/o-rings are leaking, why?  Double check your setup heights on the bearing to make sure the bearing is not traveling to the snap ring and overpressurizing the system.  Other possibilities include:

Re-read the instructions located here to review other possibilities for the leakage.

When using a Long style pressure plate you must replace the straight fittings at the base of the hydraulic bearing with 45 degree fittings.  This will keep the levers of the pressure plate from contacting the hydraulic lines.

BILLET RACE CLUTCHES

The drag racing 3 lever dual disc has been out of production for over 15 years and we cannot provide technical assistance for these units.

We need to know: spring color, ring height measurement, lever weight, disc friction material compound, last SFI date, and general condition. Enter this information in the information box and completely fill out the e-tech page  found under technical on this website. Submit the page and we will help you as best we can via e-mail.

Go to technical on this website to find installation and setup instructions on all ram products.

A minimum of 7 1/2 inch bellhousing is required for a dual disc, 8 1/8 inch for a triple disc clutch.  RAM recommends an 8 5/8” depth for all applications as you will have two adjustment windows to work on the clutch between runs.

CUSTOM CLUTCHES

One off products will require an estimate from engineering. Typically we need to make drawings, write two cnc programs, make tooling, and make two machine setups. This can be an expensive process.

FORCE 9.5, FORCE 10.5, RTRACE STREET DUAL DISC CLUTCHES

Verify that you have proper preload on the factory slave/bearing in hydraulic applications. 

On fork applications, make sure you have proper release fork angle and adequate travel for disengagement.

If all of these checks are performed and the clutch still will not release, remove the unit, bolt it together, and test release in a press.  With .400” travel at the fingers you should be able to move the discs freely in the clutch.  If it releases with this test, there is a problem with the release mechanism in the vehicle.  If it will not release, contact the factory via the e-techform.

If you used the composite stands, the torque on the nuts is critical.  Exceeding the torque specification can cause the stands to expand and grab the floater plate, which will keep the clutch from properly releasing.

Verify that you have proper preload on the factory slave/bearing in hydraulic applications. 

On fork applications, make sure you have proper release fork angle and adequate travel for disengagement.

If all of these checks are performed and the clutch still will not release, remove the unit, bolt it together, and test release in a press.  With .400” travel at the fingers you should be able to move the discs freely in the clutch.  If it releases with this test, there is a problem with the release mechanism in the vehicle.  If it will not release, contact the factory via the e-techform.

Yes, provided the proper fit can be attained.  Review the information on factory hydraulics in the instruction section for information on measuring for fit and proper installation.  In cases where the factory bearing will not fit, a RAM hydraulic bearing may be available that will facilitate the installation.

Dual disc clutches require slightly more travel than single disc clutches.  The maximum that should be required for any application is .425”.

Because the RTrack drives the floater plate off the steel stands, it does tend to have a rattle at idle particularly when the steel stands are used.  By switching out 3 of the stands to the included composite stands, this noise can be greatly reduced.

PRESSURE PLATES

If your clutch is new, it is already set on the low side pressure. The adjusters turn counterclockwise, one turn on one spring = 20 lbs, so if you turn out all six one turn you add 120 lbs. to the low side base. Max turns is 6. When starting, turn the screw until you feel some resistance and begin your count from there.

If the clutch already has been adjusted, you need to return the adjusters (clockwise) to the base. Turn them in slowly until you feel the pressure relieved from the screw. Don't go past this point or you may lock the screw in the adjuster and it will not come back out without disassembling the plate.

Some specialty units may have a different pressure form one turn (ie one turn may equal 15 or 10 lbs), be sure to check the instruction sheet that came with your clutch for this number.

There is no break in required. That said, just as in a brake system, it does not hurt to put the clutch though several heat cycles of usage before subjecting the clutch to severe use such as chassis dyno tuning. 

Typically the clutch fingers will vary slightly, so small differences are not a big deal.  If you have more than about .030” variance, you could experience uneven release or chatter on takeoff.  If the levers are uneven, make sure:

1.        The pressure plate mounting flange is not bent.  A bent flange will cause the pressure plate to bolt down unevenly.

2.        If the clutch disc is new, it may have small variances until it is seated, so a minor difference may be noticed.

3.        Unbolt the pressure plate and move it one position and re-install.  If the lever difference moves with the turn, the problem may be in the pressure plate.

As a general rule, .010” of disc wear will move the clutch fingers .040-.050” closer to the release bearing.  Taking into account that most clutch discs wear a total of .030-.040” over the life of the clutch, the minimum clearance you should run is .150 - .200”.  If you have an externally adjustable release mechanism, you can run a little tighter bearing gap but readjustment will be necessary over the life of the clutch.

Most single disc clutches require between .300” and .400” travel AT THE FINGERS for full disengagement.  Remember fork travel is not the same as travel at the fingers as the ratio of the fork and pivot also come into play.  Multi-disc clutch like the street dual disc units require .350” to .450” travel.

For GM or Chrysler applications, Borg and Beck lever style and diaphragm pressure plates will interchange.  So if you have a 10.5 or 11 inch Borg & Beck, you can use a 10.5 or 11 inch GM diaphragm pressure plate.  In early Ford applications, the 10 and 10.5 inch long style covers have a diaphragm substitute in 10 inch that may be used, although holding power will suffer by making this move.  11.5/12” Ford lever style clutches have a diaphragm substitute available.  Please see the RAM applications for further information. 

Chrysler used several clutch configurations in early model cars, including a special 10.95 clutch which is essentially an 11 inch pressure plate in a 10.5 inch cover.  The best way to tell is to fist measure across the bolt circle of the flywheel.  The 10.5 and 10.95 inch patterns measure 11.375” center to center across the bolt circle.  True 11 inch patterns measure 12.375”.  If your bolt circle is 11.375 and the pressure ring measures just under 11 inches across, you have a 10.95 pressure plate.  Also note that 10.95 clutch sets utilize a 10.5 inch clutch disc.  Finally, if you application uses a 130 tooth flywheel, you must choose between the 10.5 or 10.95 clutches as an 11 inch will not fit the flywheel.

5/16” cap screws torque to 26 ft# in steel or  22 ft# in aluminum. Red locktite recommended in both materials.

3/8”” cap screws torque to 45 ft# in steel or  33 ft# in aluminum. Red locktite recommended in both materials.

Centerforce clutches rely on centrifugal assist, or additional plate loading as the engine RPM increases, to add holding power to the clutch.  RAM clutches in most cases use either higher static plate loads or more aggressive friction materials to increase the hold.  This is critical because the bulk of a street engine’s torque load in generated at RPMs under 5000; centrifugal assist does not even begin to be a factor until about 6000 RPM…

DISCS

Is my clutch disc 1 5/32-26 spline or 1 1/8-26 spline?

You will see spline sizes for 26 spline listed as both 1 1/8 and 1 5/32.  Both of these are the same; there is only one 26 spline made.

RAM 900 series discs were developed and tested using RAM flywheels.  Since introduction of this disc we have discovered material differences in both factory and other manufacturers flywheels that make them incompatible with the 900 series material.  We recommend using 900 series ONLY with a RAM flywheel.

 

Discs using metallic facings are usually more aggressive on engagement than organic or composites.  Check the clutch disc ‘barometer’ in the RAM catalog for descriptions on each friction material.

In 99% of the cases, the disc mounts with the sprung side (the side the hub and retainer are assembled to) facing the transmission.  The flatter side of the disc faces down to the flywheel.  There are a few cases, such as 93-97 Camaro/Firebird where the sprung side of the disc faces the flywheel.  This will usually be apparent due to a deeper recess in the flywheel flange area of the flywheel, or markings on the disc indicating mounting direction.

RAM does not recommend lubricating the clutch disc splines as excessive grease can be slung off the input, contaminating the friction material and possibly causing slippage.

No, the pad will hang off due to the fact it is a stock production pad.  Wear on this type of disc is so negligible that it will never be a factor.  No loss of holding power will result.

All 6000 series discs measure undersize.  11 inch discs are 10 5/8 inch, 10.5 inch are 10 ¼ inch.  The reasoning here is that if you were ever to loose a front transmission bearing or a pilot bushing, the disc could run out and catch on the pressure plate, causing catastrophic damage.

RELEASE BEARINGS

First make sure that you have proper adjustment.  If the release bearing is adjusted too close to the fingers, eventually it will spin out all of the grease and cause the bearing to make noise.

Also check the fork and pivot ball for wear.  Wear in these parts will cause a noise that is often mistaken for bearing noise.  We have seen this particularly lately in 01-04 Mustang applications.

The bearing you describe is a self aligning release bearing.  The bearing is designed to move about on the collar and find its own center on the pressure plate fingers the first time the clutch is disengaged.  Most late model applications use this style of bearing.

FLYWHEELS

The crank pattern on Ford SB and modular engines is not evenly spaced and will only align one way.  Place the flywheel on the flange and slowly work around the pattern until the holes align.  Install the bolts with only a couple of threads until you find the proper alignment.

All RAM Mustang flywheels are drilled to use the factory step dowel pins utilized on 86-95 5.0L engines/flywheels.  The RAM part number for these dowels is 563.

RAM recommends using red loctite or similar compounds to lock the flywheel bolts into the crank.  Star washers will tend to eat up the flywheel around the bolt holes and eventually make it difficult to get the bolts in or out of the flywheel.  This is especially true with aluminum flywheels.

Blanchard grinding is simply resurfacing the flywheel with a stone cutter that spins opposite the flywheel and leaves a ‘cross hatch’ type pattern on the surface.

YES!  In order for the new clutch disc to properly seat to the flywheel, it should be resurfaced using a flywheel grinding machine.  Do not lathe turn flywheels!  This can cause a taper in the face that will not allow the disc to seat properly. FAILURE TO SURFACE THE FLYWHEEL CAN NOT ONLY CAUSE PREMATURE FAILURE, IT WILL VOID ANY WARRANTY.

All RAM flywheels are factory balanced to zero or the proper imbalance for the engine from the factory.  If your engine was balanced by adding or taking weight from the flywheel, you will need to have the RAM flywheel match balanced to your old one.  Otherwise they are ready to install out of the box.  BE CAREFUL to select the proper flywheel or engine-destroying vibrations could occur!

Every ram flywheel is: 1. Precision machined in house on the finest CNC  equipment, 2. The friction surface is accurately ground to the ideal rms finish for optimum performance with the clutch disc friction material, 3. Each flywheel is precision balanced to better than factory tolerances , and 4. every flywheel is SFI certified for competition use.

There is no horsepower in a light flywheel, all of the horsepower is in the engine. The advantage of a lighter flywheel is that it takes less horsepower to accelerate a lighter flywheel so more engine power is available at the drive wheels. Also see: clutch university…. Flywheels.

Go to clutch university…. Flywheels  on this website to determine what you should use.

ASSAULT WEAPON/7.25 SERIES CLUTCHES

There are several possibilities: 

1.        Make sure you are using a rounded or angular face throwout bearing.  Flat face stock bearings do not push on the finger tips of the clutch and will often cause non release and extremely stiff pedal effort.

2.        Check the fork angle in relation to the engine.  Ideally, the fork should be angled to the front of the car when the bearing is just touching the clutch fingers (drivers side pivots only, this is opposite if the fork pivots on the passenger side).  This angle can be adjusted using different length pivot balls, or by making a spacer for the fork bracket.

3.        Is the bellhousing properly aligned?  Most aftermarket bellhousings are ‘less than perfect’ when it comes to alignment.  Follow the bellhousing manufacturers instructions to align it to the engine.  IN ADDITION, just because a bellhousing is aligned to the current motor, don’t assume it is correct for any engine.  This varies from motor to motor…

4.        Make sure the shim washers are placed on the stands BEFORE the cover is bolted down.

Yes.  The internals of the clutch are all the same so you can go to our online store and purchase the replacement button for your new application.

Use an automatic transmission flexplate that matches your tooth count for starter engagement and matches the balance of your engine.  A stock flexplate is acceptable as it is only used to start the engine.

You COULD, but this might not address the problem.  The steel plates should all be checked for flatness.  Warped or hot spotted plates will not allow a new disc pack to seat properly.  Check the cover plate to make sure the diaphragm spring (fingers) is tight on the rivets.  Loose springs will cause the clutch to release erratically.  WHEN THE CLUTCH HAS WORN TO THE POINT THAT YOU HAVE REMOVED THE SHIMS, CONSIDER SENDING THE CLUTCH FOR REBUILD.

The determining factor is the overall ‘stack height’ of the clutch.  To check this, install all of the parts into the clutch housing and set the cover on but DO NOT BOLT DOWN.  At this point the cover should be sitting up off the shoulder of the mounting studs.  The distance between the top of the mounting stud and the bottom edge of the cover is the stack height.  New clutches ship with a stack height around .110 inch.  The clutch could slip once this gap reduces to around .050 inch.  If you have shim washers in your clutch on the studs, measure the gap with them in place first.  If the stack is at or below .050 inch, you can remove the shims which will restore the stack back to about .110 inch.  Once it wears the next time, it is time for a rebuild.

RAM COUPLER

Because the Coupler gears are not synchronized like a transmission, the engine and input speeds must be ‘matched’ in order for the direct drive to engage.  In other words, the engine RPM will need to be falling to match the output speed – once the gear engages jump back on the throttle and go!

Several possibilities: 

1.        If you are using a transmission with some of the gears removed and starting in 3rd or 4th gear, it will be much more difficult to get the car moving than if you have a low gear in the trans.  This is especially critical when you are learning to use the Coupler initially.

2.        The Coupler cannot be ‘slipped’ like a regular clutch to get moving.  The pedal should be bumped in and out AT LOW RPM until the car is moving.  If you try and drive it like a regular clutch, the friction cone will wear very quickly.

3.        Inadequate travel at the release bearing will not allow for the full range of movement between the clutch portion of the unit and the direct drive.

Any standard or hydraulic release mechanism may be used provided it has at least ½ inch travel AT THE BEARING, not at the fork.  For internal hydraulic release bearings, look for .700 inch travel.

RAM recommends using the coupler in vehicles under 2600 pounds.  Using the Coupler in heavier cars will result in accelerated wear to the friction lining of the unit.

STREET STOCK CLUTCHES

The RAM 1535 is designed for use with older 2000/2300 Pinto style engines and will not work on later model applications.

Not recommended.  Street Stock components are manufactured to be as light as possible and will not stand up to the rigors of day to day driving.

SINGLE IRON

Your launch RPM is too high.  Because centrifugal is not a linear function, the higher the launch RPM, the centrifugal loading is compounded.  The weights are trying to push back and engage the clutch centrifugally.  This will become evident usually above 7000 RPM.  In order for the sintered iron clutch to ‘slip’ off the line, you must launch at a lower RPM than you are probably used to.

All Long Style clutches inherently apply additional clamp loading as engine RPM increases, whether they are true ‘counterweighted’ clutches or not.  Counterweighted levers allow you to use less static pressure to leave the line, and have more pressure apply as the engine accelerates in RPM.  True counterweighted levers (drilled with a hole to add weight) are used in ‘non-shifting’ applications such as clutchless transmissions, or when the engine RPM will not exceed 6500.

The nature of the sintered material is a very high coefficient of friction, or ability to hold and withstand heat.  They simply do not require the higher pressures and are able to tolerate slippage where other friction materials fail.

For safety reasons, we recommend a maximum of 75 runs on an iron disc.  It is not that you necessarily wear it out in this time period, but the carrier of the disc rivets that hold the clutch hub in place see very high stress during use, and ultimately stress cracks may form on the carrier over extended use that could cause the clutch disc to come apart.

The factors that determine this answer are: 

1.        Is your current clutch combination too aggressive?  In other words, do the tires spin excessively off the line or on the gear change?

2.        Is the vehicle over 750 horsepower?

3.        Is there a need to ‘slip’ the clutch off the line in order for the vehicle to launch cleanly?

4.        Are you in a class that greatly limits chassis modifications?

These are the most important factors to consider.  Sintered clutches tend to be less aggressive on engagement and gear changes, allowing the clutch to slip some rather than spin or shake the tires.