Hydraulic release bearings: operating with the correct gap.

Hydraulic release bearings: operating with the correct gap.

By Alfie Bilk, December 5, 2014 Unlike OEM clutch release bearing mechanisms that operate in constant contact with the clutch diaphragm fingers, high-performance aftermarket release bearings function only when the clutch pedal is depressed. Typically, these release bearings operate with 0.800in of potential travel. But more importantly they must be positioned with the correct gap when the pedal is not depressed; that is, the gap between the contact face of the release bearing and the clutch fingers. Excessive gap causes improper release; inadequate gap can cause the bearing to over-travel and collide with the snap ring or encounter slippage as the clutch wears and the fingers move back, making contact with the bearing. Single-disc clutches operate best with a gap of 0.150in while dual-disc sets require a gap of around 0.200in. Because the clutch fingers automatically travel toward the release bearing as the friction disc/s wear, an additional clearance of 0.050in is assigned to the dual-disc arrangement. Click to enlarge illustration. To establish the correct position of the release bearing on the input shaft, these measurements are required. Click here to access them: or to watch the video click here. Source: Ram Clutches Columbia,  SC 29203 (803) 788-6034 www.RamClutches.com...
How to make a Street Stock racing clutch survive

How to make a Street Stock racing clutch survive

By Freddie Heaney, Photos by Moore Good Ink: Racers frequently face the inconvenient fact that some clutch-flywheel assemblies are so light they fail prematurely, often during the taxing process of getting the car into the trailer. Curiously, most professional clutch makers agree that you quickly reach a point where the ultra light clutch unit has no advantage at all and instead its arch attribute, lightness, undermines the process bringing decreased durability. A stroke of marketing brilliance some might say! Racer purchases ultra light clutch, racer quickly destroys ultra light clutch, racer purchases successive ultra light clutch. You may think racers would resent these dubious practices, but there is no evidence to suggest they do. In all likelihood if you added a little strength to the unit you would probably gain 50 percent greater clutch longevity without any perceptible loss in power. In either case, to reduce these often unnecessary costs here are a few tips intended to prolong the life of the racing clutch. Persistent clutch killer Probably the most persistent clutch killer strikes when the racer is on his own. Without crew members or a winch to assist, he is often obliged to load the car by himself. So he slips his thin, thin lightweight clutch a couple of times and as it colors dark blue its end is nigh. To minimize clutch damage during loading and unloading without crew members it pays to use a winch. Of course, the amount of wear on all racing clutches is largely determined by how much the slippage is provoked during takeoff.  Excessive slippage will cause premature warping, especially in lighter...
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. 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. 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. 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. To facilitate even greater increases...
How to keep your poise when installing a gearbox with an upgraded clutch

How to keep your poise when installing a gearbox with an upgraded clutch

Installation Tips from Ram Clutches: Disengaging the quick-connect feed line when installing a new clutch system with an existing internal slave cylinder/bearing, ensures the bearing assembly remains partially filled with fluid. As a result the release bearing compresses against the clutch fingers as the transmission is being installed and requires more force to slide it in place than desirable. To avoid this hardship, alleviate the unwanted pressure by reconnecting the feed line before sliding the transmission fully into position. Thus the fluid trapped in the bearing can now return to the master cylinder. As the transmission is installed the bearing is preloaded into place. For further information contact: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034...
Why introduce metallic-sintered materials to a regular clutch assemblies?

Why introduce metallic-sintered materials to a regular clutch assemblies?

Written by Moore Good Ink Columbia, SC: Launched in 2010, Ram’s Force 9.5 dual-disc units are not new. What is new, however, is by combining it with their 900 series friction disc, the clutch assembly’s capacity is increased from handling around 700hp to around 950hp. These new clutches fit all popular applications, including Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, and early muscle cars. Using a metallic-sintered iron-based material that is compressed under high heat to bond it to the backing plate, the 900 series disc has a higher coefficient of friction than the standard organic materials. Thus it combats heat better and offers increased holding power. Also relevant is its light weight and that it operates with a six-spring hub instead of eight. The Force 9.5 is small and remarkably light—weighing approximately 38lbs compared with, for example, the standard LS arrangement, which weighs around 57lbs and measures 11.750in. This combination of compact size and light weight hastens engine response. The effects of faster acceleration and deceleration are unmistakable. Devised as an economical, entry-level unit, Ram’s Force 9.5 is guaranteed to meet the exact height dimensions of the original factory clutch-flywheel assembly, thus it’s a direct bolt-in fit. The Force 9.5 cover assembly with metallic-sintered 900-series clutch plate is priced around $1175 while the organic version is $950. For further information contact: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034...
How to Become an Indispensable Clutch Man

How to Become an Indispensable Clutch Man

By Sam Logan:   It’s no secret that the modern day racing clutch has morphed into a pretty significant piece of engineering. Of course, all that became possible thanks to evolution. In short, constant increases in horsepower, ongoing trends in tire technology, nitrous oxide developments, better superchargers, and that all-important “need for speed” are responsible for wholesale changes in clutch design and application. Single-disc street-type clutches gave way to multiple-disc units, while at the same time clutch facing (or friction) materials went through a whole series of upgrades and changes over the years. You know the story – nothing stays the same in life. We thought it would be interesting to shed some light on just how these clutches operate in the intense arena of PDRA competition – namely, in the highly competitive world of Pro Nitrous and Extreme Pro Stock. In order to do that, we contacted the pros at Ram Clutches, based in Columbia, South Carolina., which seems to be the clutch of choice for many of today’s top racers. Intriguingly, most of these eighth-mile PDRA Pro Stock cars also compete in the MMPSA (Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association) championship, which run twice the distance with little or no changes to their specifications. Similarly eighth-mile PDRA Pro Nitrous cars regularly compete in quarter-mile NHRA Pro Mod events.   Clutch Basics — Pro Nitrous and Extreme Pro Stock Looking at the numbers, there is no minimum weight requirement for Pro Nitrous cars, although they typically weigh in the 2,350 to 2,400 pound range. These cars can trip the 60-foot timers in .950 to .970-seconds and run from 2.55...