As you cruise down the road in your C6 Corvette with a manual transmission the stoplight turns yellow. You hit the clutch and the brake pedal to slow down when it happens. The clutch pedal goes to the floor never to return after it’s released. With the car still in gear, your options are to throw it in neutral, stall the engine, or kill the ignition. If you have owned a manual transmission car, nothing is more frustrating than parts failure leaving you stranded on the side of the road forcing you to call a tow truck.
It’s no secret that GM has had its fair share of throwout bearing problems in the past. These infamous units have failed in both stock and modified street cars with little to no warning. According to Steve Addison, owner of Monster Clutch Company the entire throwout bearing assembly normally takes the blame, but the assembly is not the problem. Steve states, “Upon research, we discovered that the bearing itself isn’t the issue it’s the plastic piece upon which the bearing rides. This piece, when hot enough, disintegrates and causes some pretty catastrophic failures.” Not only does the failure kill the slave cylinder, but it also will destroy the clutch as well.
In the picture above, you can see where the black plastic bearing support failed due to excessive heat. When the release bearing gets too hot, it will melt the center part of the slave assembly. In this particular case, the fifth-generation Camaro unit also melted the internal seal which allowed hydraulic fluid to saturate the clutch disc. When the slave cylinder fails, you can no longer disengage the clutch assembly which can cause even more problems if you don’t act quickly.
After figuring out the problem with the OEM assembly, Steve and his crew came up with a solution. Their billet release bearing support is a simple upgrade and will take the vulnerable plastic part completely out of the slave cylinder. This new part offers tighter tolerances than OEM which allows for the reduction in bearing movement during rapid shifts and high RPM.
Changing out the bearing support provides a reliable bolt-on hydraulic system that does not have to be re-engineered. Which means you don’t have to measure and do all of the custom setup work that is often required with an aftermarket slave cylinder. Monster Clutch Co. offers their billet bearing support for C6 and C7 Corvettes, fifth-gen Camaros, first and second-gen Cadillac CTS-Vs, and the Pontiac G8 and GXPs.
If you have any questions regarding this part be sure and let Steve and his crew know. You can also check out their website for more information on the billet release bearing support and their full line of single, twin, and triple disc clutches and flywheels.