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Some Clutch Questions

This is a discussion on Some Clutch Questions within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; I've been doing some research on clutches and am wondering a few things. I was searching the forums to find ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Some Clutch Questions

    I've been doing some research on clutches and am wondering a few things.

    I was searching the forums to find out how much horsepower I could make before I needed to upgrade the clutch and came across the Ram Powergirp.

    Now, I have driven a few different stick shift cars in my life and my Camaro is for sure the trickiest one to get smooth shifts (I get it perfect about 65% of the time, good enough about 34% and a I really mess it up about 1%). Other cars I've driven just seem to engage a lot smoother with no concentration required. Also, at low rpm, I get chatter in all my gears. I read the following on the product overview of the Powergrip:

    Powergrip sets feature increased clamp load pressure plates and a 900/300 series combination facing. Good street manners in properly geared cars, some chatter on takeoff at low RPM. Good for street/strip
    How can I verify without taking it all apart whether my clutch is actually after-market (I am the third owner, and have service records from 2nd owner, but not first; no record of clutch replacement).

  2. #2
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    No way to really verify if you've had a clutch change without tearing it down. Unfortunately these T56's don't have a convenient inspection cover that can be removed like the good old days.

    These T56's are just notchy peices of,,,well, I'll keep it clean
    We've had 3 T56 cars, and currently on our 4th one. They all acted about the same,,,notchy shifts, and very difficult to get a full blown power shift. I've used various clutches from Ram, to LS6 etc...as well as 3 different types of shifters, adjustable hydraulics, you name it.

    I've been able to make the trans shift a little better with these changes, but never comfortable enough to feel like I could really throw the shifter around at 6500 rpms. I chuck it up to the internal design of the trans with crappy factory blocker rings and sincros, along with a very notchy rail style shifter mechanism. Without actually tearing the trans itself down, and modifying blocker rings, better internal parts (which it needs anyway), the shift feel really isn't going to change.

    I'm like you, I have other stick cars here, namely classic stuff with good ole muncies. Power shift all day without a problem. With adjustable linkage, a good shifter, and adjustable mechanical clutches, there just isn't anything better in my opinion. I'm so used to the butter smooth shift feel of a muncie I'll probably never get used to the T56. 14 years of trying and I still don't like them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Interesting... so it would feel similar on a C5 then? I don't supposed you've driven a Viper version of the transmission, have you? I'd be interested to hear the comparison. One of my main points of comparison is a 94 Baretta... which I would have figured would have a "lower quality" transmission in it than the Camaro...

    But what you're saying makes sense, considering that even with the clutch fully pressed to the floor, when idling, the stick just won't go into gear smoothly (after a warm up), I have to kinda force it or go back and forth to N a couple times before everything wants to "line up" right in there...

    Sometimes on an up-shift I feel like it slams into gear despite easing off the clutch...

  4. #4
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    As to your first paragraph, I haven't driven a C5 vette or any other vette with a hydraulic system. I would assume they are designed a bit different since the trans is mounted in the rear of the car. They may or may not work better. I've only driven a viper version of the trans that was in a 4th gen, so again, same clutch system that was no different.


    Your second comment about the difficulty shifting with the clutch fully depressed sounds to me like the clutch isn't quite releasing all the way. That's the problem I had with my wifes car and a new LS6 clutch. Even with the bearing spacer installed it was horrible to drive. She tried it once and said she wouldn't drive it again until I fixed it.
    Rather than yank the trans again for a different clutch setup, I installed an adjustable master cylinder so I could incorporate more clutch pedal free play. I have the clutch grabbing about half way up now, much more pleasurable to drive. Still not what I would like it to be for any aggressive driving however. But my wife is happy with it for now.

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