Clutches get abused, whether it’s in a race car or in a street car it’s more than likely going to get abused. In some cases, the clutch never gets inspected and the only time it gets attention is when it completely wears out. But there are some telltale signs that can give you an indication that your clutch is on it’s way out – before you get to the point of no return.
Quarter Master is part of the COMP Cams family, and they’ve published a video to show you just how to inspect and service your clutch. While this video focuses on a rebuildable, race type clutch, there are some very good points in the video that you can apply to your daily driver, or your weekend warrior that sees street and strip use.
How many times have you seen someone sitting at a light on a slight incline, and they use their clutch to keep themselves from rolling back, instead of the brake? Yeah, that wears out a clutch in a hurry, and we’re sometimes guilty of that very same thing without even realizing it. The additional friction builds up heat, which can warp your pressure plate or crack your friction discs.
If you start to feel clutch chatter, where the clutch doesn’t seem to fully engage the flywheel, it’s time to inspect and/or replace your clutch. If your engine revs are are sporadic when you release the clutch, it might be time to replace.
Another thing to consider is the feel of the pedal. Many people think that if your clutch engages at the very top of the pedal that you have “plenty of clutch”, but that’s not necessarily so and can sometimes mean the clutch is wearing out. If the pedal isn’t in the same place it was when the clutch was first installed, it’s time for an inspection. These are all sure signs of clutch wear, whether your cars spends most of it’s time on the street, or at the strip.
Of course, if you’re racing your car, the clutch should be inspected on a regular basis, being sure that everything is to spec and not worn, warped or cracked. You don’t always have to replace the entire clutch, but there are things to look for when you’re inspecting it to help you determine whether it’s time to replace, or if it can go a few more rounds. Discoloration on the clutch cover or pressure plates are signs of excessive heat and it’s an invitation to a closer look at things.
Racing clutches with multiple discs can often be serviced, and you can replace only the parts that need it. Quarter Master’s video above shows you what to look for, how to inspect your clutch, and when it’s time to replace parts. They even provide some part numbers and show you what tools to use when inspecting your clutch. So if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, dig in and give Quarter Master a call if you have any other questions, because they’d be more than happy to help.