KING OF KLAMP

KING OF KLAMP

Ram’s single- and dual-disc assemblies for the Mustang 3.7 V6.

By Ro McGonegal:

It wasn’t that long ago (2008) when Ford’s 3-valve 4.6 Modular V8 produced 315 horsepower. Now, the 24-valve 3.7 liter V6 in the (2011-13) Mustang generates more than 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. To us, that indicates a very sturdy platform for safely increasing output. Concurrently, the ever-rising cost of fuel will likely be a natural promotion for the smaller displacement engine. Invigorate it with a supercharger or some other type of aggressive power enhancement and you’ll be experiencing nearly twice the engine’s original output.

install 1

After disconnecting the slave cylinder line and clearing the driveshaft and the exhaust system from the work area, remove the shifter stick mechanism from the tunnel by extracting the two bolts and the U-clamp.

install 2

Next, remove the transmission-bellhousing bolts.

install 3

The gearbox is massive. Before you begin its removal, isolate the system by putting a transmission jack beneath the case to relieve the weight then remove the four crossmember bolts. Space is tight at the top of the bellhousing, so you’ll have to lower the engine/tranny slightly to access the bolts.

Since it is highly unlikely that the OE pressure plates and clutch cover could handle such largesse reliably and repeatedly, Ram offers seven new clutch sets (see chart), each with progressively increased clamping loads that facilitate torque increases from 450 to an amazing 1200 lb-ft.

install 4

After securing the transmission to the jack, slide the assembly to the rear and out of the way.

install 5

The transmission and shifter are removed as one unit…and the unit is very heavy!

install 6

Here, the factory hydraulic slave remains in position as per production. Since this assembly is compatible with the Force 9.5 it does not require a spacer or any other modification.

Three are single-disc designs and another four that maintain dual friction discs. All are engineered as direct fitments and each is paired with a billet Ram flywheel. Note that none of them require modifications to the factory release mechanism.

install 7

The factory unit is 11 inches in diameter and uses a dual-mass flywheel. Overall weight is a whopping 57 lbs.

install 8

Side view of factory unit reveals the dual-mass flywheel and mounting surface.

install 9

Overall weight of the Force 9.5 flywheel, discs, floater plate and clutch cover is just 38 lbs. The 19 lb lighter rotating mass invites quicker acceleration.

Ram’s 10.5-inch single-disc clutch sets are offered as HDX, Powergrip and Powergrip HD and accommodate as much as 650 lb-ft of torque. All Ram flywheels are available in billet, either steel or aluminium. By nature, billet material weighs less than cast iron, so replacing the heavy factory dual-mass flywheel with a Ram billet unit reflects substantial weight savings: 10 lbs for the steel and 22 lbs for the aluminium version. And as everybody knows, a lighter rotating mass invites quicker acceleration.

install 10

Removing the stock clutch and flywheel reveals the timing ring on the crank flange and the sensor to the left. Installing the Force 9.5 does not require re-flashing the vehicle computer.

install 11

To secure the flywheel to the crank flange, apply some blue Loctite to the Ram bolts and torque to 70 lb-ft. To ensure that the transmission will slide in easily, align the splines of the twin discs by using an accurate clutch disc alignment tool.

install 12

Install the innermost clutch disc and floater plate. Torque the floater plate strap bolts to 23 lbs-ft.

To facilitate even greater increases in torque, Ram employs the Force 9.5 (700 lb-ft) or Force 10.5 (900 lb-ft) dual-disc assemblies. All dual-disc variations were developed to deliver light pedal feel and smooth engagement in street applications. The highest ratings of dual-disc assemblies (1,200 lb-ft) are achieved by the inclusion of Ram’s 900-series discs, which are metallic varieties used for higher clamping capacities in race or high-output forced induction applications.

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install 13

Apply the outer clutch disc and align it with the inner disc using the alignment tool.

install 14

Be mindful that the alignment tool slides freely back and forth while tightening the fasteners in a crisscross pattern, attach the clutch cover to the flywheel and torque to 30 lbs-ft.

install 15

Finally, replace the transmission. Use a suitable bleeder and vacuum pump to bleed the clutch via the reservoir. By applying a vacuum to the clutch hydraulics the trapped air dissolves in the fluid and evaporates at the top of the reservoir.
Alternatively, continue to depress and release the clutch pedal until the air bubbles exit the system. When the air is completely evacuated the pedal effort will be consistent and positive at the top of the clutch pedal travel. Check the fluid reservoir and test the system for normal operation.

Lastly, weight of the Force 9.5 clutch assembly is reduced by 19 lbs—from 57 stock to 38; at 47 lbs, the 10.5 version reflects a 10 lb weight saving. Perhaps the best news of all is that the Ram repertoire costs less to replace than the stuff that comes from the original manufacturer.

SOURCE:
RAM Clutches
201 Business Park Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29203
Telephone (803) 788-6034
www.RamClutches.com               

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