Author Topic: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks  (Read 364 times)

TS69GT500

  • Newbie
  • *
    • View Profile
Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« on: February 21, 2024, 09:27:37 PM »
Curious, with very few manufacturers producing 3 finger Long pressure plates I'd like to know
what clutches other big block owners are running.
I was thinking of a McLeod diaphragm.
Also, I currently have a Ford rebuilt long style 11.5 in my GT500.
Is it wise to  have the pressure plate rebuilt?
Who would be best for a rebuild, Fort Wayne Clutch for example.

Thanks,
TonyS.   

Bob Gaines

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Original Posts:14706
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2024, 10:43:42 PM »
Curious, with very few manufacturers producing 3 finger Long pressure plates I'd like to know
what clutches other big block owners are running.
I was thinking of a McLeod diaphragm.
Also, I currently have a Ford rebuilt long style 11.5 in my GT500.
Is it wise to  have the pressure plate rebuilt?
Who would be best for a rebuild, Fort Wayne Clutch for example.

Thanks,
TonyS.   
I wouldn't be afraid of having the Ford one rebuilt however finding someone to do it locally may be a problem.
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby

Peter L.

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2024, 08:06:19 AM »
 I have been running a Centerforce clutch behind my Cobra Jet for years and highly recommend it. The ease of pedal effort alone is worth it. I have a '69 Fairlane Cobra and those cars use a weak 2 piece equalizer bar in the clutch linkage. After many broken/ welded pieces I finally went with the Centerforce and have had no problems since.
              Pete.
KR 4052
1969 Fairlane Cobra formal roof drag pack

TLea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2024, 08:08:30 AM »
I'm sure I'll get some push back on this but diaphram clutches create what I call "spaghetti pedal" Feels like wet noodles even if you remove equalizer spring.  My first choice would be rebuilding original if, like Bob said, you can find someone to do it. Second choice based on my own experience would be RAM 3 finger. We've probably used 30+ of them, I had 1 bad right out of the gate but beyond that good experience. We have customers that drive their cars regularly and no issues

BDT 739

  • SAAC Member
  • Jr. Member
  • *
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2024, 09:25:10 AM »
I installed a Ram 88883 clutch kit for my 428.

FL SAAC

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts : 22147
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2024, 09:51:20 AM »
I have been running a Centerforce clutch behind my Cobra Jet for years and highly recommend it. The ease of pedal effort alone is worth it. I have a '69 Fairlane Cobra and those cars use a weak 2 piece equalizer bar in the clutch linkage. After many broken/ welded pieces I finally went with the Centerforce and have had no problems since.
              Pete.

+1 we also have run the centerforce diaphragm clutch it is effortless and clamps down much better than your original 3 finger

Your knee will thank you and your clutch link components will too

Remember in the end technology wins

Good luck with what ever choice you make
Home of the Hertz Musketeers

These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. not just the look of it when its all clean.CS

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.It's jolted by every pebble on the road

I have all UNGOLD cars

Life is short B happy

shelbydoug

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2024, 12:00:13 PM »
I agree with Tim on the diaphram thing. They work fine and have less effort but you will never get the clutch pedal to be at the correct height. It is always too low.

The other thing is that the Centerforce in particular will push the pedal up when you are over about 5,000 rpms and I'm used to it but it always catches me by surprise and distracts me from the job at hand, which is paying attention that you don't wreck the car and kill somebody while you are at it.

The stock long three finger is what everything in the clutch pedal system is designed to operate. The diaphram is good but definitely an alien device to a vintage Mustang.


IF for some inexplicable reason that you let someone else drive the car with the diaphram in it, they are going to ask you "what's wrong with your clutch?"
« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 12:01:54 PM by shelbydoug »
68 GT350 Lives Matter!

vtgt500

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • View Profile
Re: Clutch recommendations for Big Blocks
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2024, 12:38:56 PM »
Recommendation?  Like most every top loader owner I was plagued with linkage wear, Z-bar twist and having to use my toe to pull the clutch pedal fully back.  Used Ram, Schiefer, and McLeod products.  Twenty Five years ago I upgraded my GT500 side oiler clutch, and remain thrilled with the result.  Only wished I did it sooner.

The clutch is a CenterForce diaphapm with their dual friction disc.  Linkage is now stainless steel shafting with stainless rod ends.  The pedal pivot shaft was removed.  A hardened and cylindrically ground, shaft was TIG welded to the pedal arm.  The arm is supported by drawn cup, needle roller bearings.

Smoothly modulating the clutch for hill starts and parallel parking is a dream.  The car is an absolute pleasure to drive in every respect.