Most enthusiasts drive their cars pretty hard on the street, especially the weekend warriors who take their street car out to the track occasionally. C’mon, you know you can never really get all that extra adrenaline out of your system when you know your car is a killer at the track. While we don’t condone racing on the street, some people wonder if they can use a puck style race clutch on their street driven vehicle.
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) explains the differences and the reasons in their website’s FAQ section. It almost seems as though we’d want a better clutch for the street, and we know how well ACT’s puck-style clutch discs work, so why not use them for a street driven car? Most people figure better clamping force with more aggressive compounds is good for their street car, but not using the proper clutch disc for your application can actually perform worse than expected.
Think of most cars when they stage at the dragstrip: very high rpms, clutch disengaged, and the violent launch when all that horsepower hits the drivetrain. You want that on the street, right? No, actually, you don’t. “The race disc is a very aggressive disc that offers a no-nonsense performance action,” says ACT. On a street car, you aren’t typically launching at a very high rpm and slamming the clutch. The engagement is so harsh with a race disc that if you’re on the street and try to use this disc, low rpm launches can cause a bit of clutch chatter and most likely stall the car.
Clutch chatter is caused when the clutch is trying to grab the flywheel but instead of gripping the disc it slips randomly and doesn’t engage properly. In order for proper engagement the race clutch needs to grab quickly, you can’t ease into it like you would with a street clutch. A race clutch also may not last as long as a street clutch, and ACT states that a race puck-style clutch disc should only be used in a professional race setting.
While clutch chatter may not affect the performance of the clutch or on the driveline components, ACT recommends using an organic disc on the street because it offers a smoother engagement, and it lasts longer – providing more performance and value for your money. To find out more about questions like this, be sure to check out the FAQ section on ACT’s website.