Do It Right the First Time!

Mar 7, 2024 | Clutches, Tech Help

When you are doing a clutch replacement, it pays to make sure you do everything possible to ensure a successful installation that will last for years.  

This is definitely not the time to skimp out, only replace specific components, or not do the necessary checks and measurements. And while some of these seem obvious, they’re always good reminders. 

Analyze the Old Clutch System 

If you are replacing the clutch due to a failure of the previous unit, it helps to understand what caused the failure to help avoid the same thing happening again.  

Inspect the clutch fingers for wear that indicates the release bearing was tight and could have caused slippage. 

Look at the friction surfaces for unusual wear or warpages. Finally, make sure you are replacing the clutch with one that is capable of supporting your application—has the power level increased, or is the vehicle’s use now more aggressive?

Replace or Resurface the Flywheel 

The flywheel is an integral part of your clutch system since it provides one-half of the mating surface for the clutch disc.  

You need the surface to be flat and clean with a nice surface ground finish so the new disc can properly seat during the break-in period.  

If you install a new clutch on a used flywheel surface, the resins and glazing from the previous disc will not allow the new disc to properly seat and could cause premature wear or slippage.  

Don’t assume it is ok just because it ‘looks ok.’ RAM Billet Flywheels provide an optimum surface right out of the box. 

Replace the Release Bearing or Internal Slave Cylinder 

If you purchased a clutch kit for a mechanical linkage vehicle, you should have received a new release bearing.  

Most late-model vehicles that use an internal slave cylinder/bearing do not include this bearing. RAM offers replacement OE-style slave cylinders and our RAM hydraulic release bearings.

Do the Setup Measurements 

Hydraulic clutch systems require extra attention to ensure they are properly set up with your new clutch system. 

Factory hydraulics work on a system of ‘preload’; RAM bearings are set up with a ‘gap.’ 

We offer full instructions for both, including videos, in the instruction area of our website. Do not skip these steps—a few extra minutes here can save a ton of time on the back end if you have any problems!

Break It In 

Do not overlook the break-in procedure! 

Your clutch system requires some heat cycles and easy driving to give the clutch disc the best chance to properly seat to the pressure plate and flywheel friction surfaces. 

We put together an informative video on break-in to help you understand this procedure better, or check out this previous blog.