Proper Clutch Setup With Monster Clutches

Proper Clutch Setup With Monster Clutches

In the world of sports cars, muscle cars, and hot rods, some enthusiasts passionately believe these cars must have three pedals. And for many reasons, they’re not wrong. Who doesn’t enjoy the mechanical nature of a manual transmission and the feeling you get when your feet and hands are in perfect sync as you row through the gears? And with many options for aftermarket transmissions and performance clutches, there’s no reason not to have three pedals and stick in your car. To get those feel-good gear changesseveral things must first be set up properly within the transmission and clutch. One of the most important things to check is the tolerances to ensure you don’t have drivability issues down the road. To get the how and why details for measuring the clutch setup we spoke with the GM of Monster Clutches, Jason Worlitz. 

Measuring the gap between the slave cylinder and the clutch is vital to the operation of the setup as a whole. Without the proper gap, damage to the clutch and transmission can occur.

Not Too Much, Not Too Little

“The number one thing we get calls on is how to properly and accurately measure a clutch to find out the slave cylinder gap and determine if a shim is needed,” Worlitz says. “There are tolerances for every part made in an engine, transmission, and clutch. These tolerances can stack and cause you issues with the setup height of the clutch and hydraulic system.” According to Worlitz, two primary issues can arise from either not measuring the slave cylinder gap at all or from measuring the gap incorrectly. 

The first potential issue would be caused by not having enough shim in the setup. When there is not enough shim, there will be too large a gap between the slave cylinder release bearing face and the clutch diaphragm spring tips (sometimes referred to as the pressure plate fingers). In this situation, what you will experience from the driver’s seat is with the clutch pedal depressed, the clutch will not fully disengage from the flywheel. The result is that shifts will be difficult due to the residual clutch engagement.

Properly installing the clutch and flywheel is essential to getting accurate measurements for the slave cylinder gap. Here we are installing our twin-disc clutch from Monster Clutches on Project Dirty Bird.

Conversely, the second potential issue is caused when there is too large a shim in the setup. The shims serve to space the slave cylinder towards the…

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