Clutches

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Automotive Clutch
Automotive Clutch

An automotive clutch is a mechanical device, which allows the transmission of power from the engine, to the transmission. There are many types of clutches, and most are on one or more friction discs, pressed together or against a flywheel, using springs. The friction material varies from one manufacturer to another. Generally a clutch for a passenger car would engage gradually and softly, where a clutch in a heavy duty truck or a race car would have a clutch that engages, and sticks more. This is because a heavy truck or race car can produce more torque, which would cause the clutch to slip if it was using the same friction material as a passenger car.

In a typical car with a manual transmission, the clutch is operated by the pedal on the left, using a hydraulic or cable connection, from the pedal to the clutch mechanism. The default state of the clutch is engaged, unless the driver presses the pedal to disengage it. If the engine is running with the clutch engaged and the transmission in neutral, the engine spins the input shaft of the transmission, but no power is transmitted to the wheels.

Clutches in typical cars are mounted directly to the face of the engine's flywheel. Some racing clutches use small multi-plate disc packs, that are not part of the flywheel. Both the clutch and flywheel are enclosed in a bellhousing, which typically forms the main mounting for the gearbox.

Related Items

Bellhousing Ball Studs

Bellhousing ball studs are screwed into the bellhousing and are used as the clutch release fork pivot. It is important to use the correct size for your application or your clutch may not work.Read More -->

Bellhousing Ball Studs
Bellhousing Ball Studs


Clutch Disc

The clutch disc is typically a steel plate covered with a friction material that goes between the flywheel and the pressure plate. In the center of the disc is the hub which is designed to fit over the spines of the input shaft of the transmission. When the clutch is engaged, the disc is pressed between the flywheel and pressure plate, and power from the engine is transmitted by the disc's hub to the input shaft of the transmission. Read More -->

Clutch Disc
Clutch Disc


Clutch Forks

The clutch fork and connecting linkage convert the movement of the clutch pedal to the back and forth movement of the clutch throw out bearing. To disengage the clutch, the throw out bearing is moved toward the flywheel by the clutch fork. As the bearing contacts the pressure plate's release fingers, it begins to rotate with the pressure plate assembly. The throw out bearing continues to move forward and pressure on the release levers or fingers causes the force of the pressure plate's spring to move away from the clutch disc. Read More -->

Clutch Forks
Clutch Forks

Clutch Linkage

A mechanical or hydraulic linkage usually operates the clutch in a manual transmission vehicle. Vehicles with a mechanical linkage usually have either a cable or shaft and lever style. The shaft and lever linkage has many parts and various pivot points, including a release lever and rod, an equalizer or cross shaft, a pedal to equalizer rod, a return spring, and the pedal assembly that transfers the movement of the clutch pedal to the throw out bearing. Read More -->

Clutch Linkage
Clutch Linkage


Clutch Sets

A clutch set is typically a kit to replace the clutch and all other required items on the vehicle. A clutch set will contain items like the clutch disc, pressure plate, throw out bearing, pilot bearing, alignment tool and anything else that is required to install a new clutch on a particular vehicle. Read More -->

 Clutch Sets
Clutch Sets


Pilot Bearings

The clutch pilot bearing is also called a pilot bushing as most vehicles do not use an actual bearing instead a bushing is used but functions as a bearing. The clutch pilot bearing connects the transmission input shaft to the engine crankshaft. The bearing allows the input shaft to rotate independently of the crankshaft. Read More -->

Pilot Bearings
Pilot Bearings

Pressure Plates

The pressure plate is a spring-loaded device that is bolted around the flywheel. It has a metal cover, release springs, a metal pressure ring that provides a friction surface for the clutch disc, a thrust ring or fingers for the release bearing, and release levers. The release levers lighten the holding force of the springs when the clutch is disengaged. Read More -->

Pressure Plates
Pressure Plates

Throw Out Bearings

The throw out bearing is what makes the clutch work. When the clutch is disengaged by stepping on the clutch pedal, the throw out bearing moves toward the flywheel, pushing in the pressure plate's release fingers and moving the pressure plate fingers or levers against pressure plate spring force. This action moves the pressure plate away from the clutch disc, which stops the transmission of power to the gearbox. Read More -->

Throw Out Bearings
Throw Out Bearings


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