Getting a clutch kit instead of buying clutch parts separately is always the better choice because with a complete kit, you're sure that all the components are brand new and will wear out evenly. As long as the new kit is properly installed and aligned, you don't have to worry about a certain clutch part breaking down prematurely. If you replace the parts of a clutch assembly separately, chances are the older components will wear out faster, which can then lead to more car problems. Plus, clutch components are usually replaced as a whole unit because getting into the different parts can be time- and labor-consuming.
Now once you've decided to buy a clutch kit, there are important factors you have to consider first before grabbing the first set you see. To help you make the right decision when buying a brand-new kit, here are some tips:
Take note of your vehicle's main purpose.
The right type of clutch kit for your vehicle depends on whether you use your mode of transportation for everyday driving, hauling heavy stuff or off-roading, or racing. If you use your vehicle as your daily mode of transportation, an aftermarket kit with OE components is a good bet?it's not too expensive but is designed well enough to withstand the rigors of daily driving.
Now if you regularly use your vehicle to haul or tow away heavy equipment, you need a heavy-duty kit. A kit made of materials that can withstand huge amounts of friction is the best choice. You should also consider any modifications you have done on your vehicle to increase torque and horsepower. Keep in mind that a vehicle designed for heavy hauling and towing will work harder than its regular counterpart, so it requires a clutch mechanism that can also handle such stress.
For a racing vehicle, invest in a kit with parts made from lightweight, low-friction materials. This kit is designed for better shift response and is more resilient against extreme heat and friction.
Consider the component material.
There are a variety of materials used when manufacturing the parts of a clutch kit. These include carbon, Kevlar, metal, and ceramic. Each material has its pros and cons. Carbon clutch parts are expensive but they can withstand extremely high temperatures. Kevlar parts offer smoother performance than their carbon counterparts, but overheating can cause serious damage. As for ceramic types, it can also withstand extreme heat but can cause flywheel wear faster than other kinds of clutch materials.
Get a new flywheel.
When installing a new clutch kit, the fly wheel is also usually replaced or resurfaced. Unfortunately, most kits don't include a flywheel. So if you're looking to replace this part, make sure that the type you buy is compatible with the new kit. Steel types, which are known for their durability, are best suited for heavy-duty clutch kits used on vehicles that usually haul heavy equipment. As for lightweight flywheels made of aluminum, they work best on race or street performance cars that are equipped with upgraded clutch kits.