SOUTH BEND CLUTCH
Browse South Bend Clutch Parts Online by Make, Model, and Year. South Bend Clutch makes arguably the best Cummins, Duramax and Powerstroke replacement clutches on the market. Diesel Power Products is ... read more
Browse South Bend Clutch Parts Online by Make, Model, and Year.
South Bend Clutch makes arguably the best Cummins, Duramax and Powerstroke replacement clutches on the market. Diesel Power Products is proud to offer their complete line up of clutches from stock to extreme. South Bend has a reputation for quality and customer service, two things that we require before we will consider offering a product to our customers.
HISTORY OF SOUTH BEND CLUTCH
South Bend Clutch was created By Harold Palmer in 1967, and from that day forward has continued to provide customers with quality and service they have come to expect for over 30 years. South Bend has revolutionized the clutch industry with its expansion into the field of cryogenics. The material being treated is exposed to extremely cold temperatures in a controlled atmosphere to basically align the molecules of the metal to eliminate stress points and make the metal stronger and more durable than ever. You won't see this process with any other clutch out there. South Bend offers clutches for the guys that are looking for a good stock replacement to the guys that are looking for a clutch for their sled pull or drag race truck.
SOUTH BEND CLUTCH OPTIONS
As you browse clutch kit options for your specific diesel truck, you may notice there are at least a few different options to choose from depending on your particular truck, so how do you choose which one is right for you? First and foremost, most clutches have a horsepower rating and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the clutch with the highest power rating is best for your truck. Instead, that clutch is best used in a truck within a close proximity to that stated power range. Next, what do you use your truck for? Do you commute to work with it every day and pull a camp trailer or boat on the weekends? Is it a dedicated sled pull truck that’s never driven on the street? Or maybe its somewhere in between. The next question would be, how much power does your truck have? This question isn’t how much power do you want your truck to have one day, but how much does it have now, or in the very immediate future. Again, you don’t want to “overclutch” an engine, otherwise, it will be nearly impossible to drive or tow with.
SINGLE DISC VS. DUAL DISC
Based on your above answers will determine what is the right clutch for you, and we will sum that up next. If your truck is in excess of 450 rear wheel horsepower and you regularly tow 15,000 pounds or more, you need a dual disc clutch that is intended for the street, such as one having a diaphragm style pressure plate. While there are single disc options with metallic style facings that will easily support this power level, the clutch will be very “grabby” when trying to tow, and worse yet when backing up a trailer, feathering the clutch. Probably the only caveat to this would be with the G56 6 speed found in 2005.5-2018 Rams. From the factory, these trucks have what is known as a dual mass flywheel, as opposed to a traditional solid one piece flywheel. Unfortunately, the factory clutch has a very high failure rate and these trucks tend to have the best street manners with a dual disc clutch, even at power levels below 450 horsepower.
CLUTCH DISC FACING OPTIONS
Most of South Bend Clutch’s offerings also have several options for the material on the face of the clutch disc, ranging from an organic compound, to Kevlar, Ceramic, and Feramic, and sometimes even a combination of these on the same clutch. Okay, so how do you break these down into what will work best? Organic material is essentially the same type of material used on the factory clutch or what you would find at your local parts store as a direct replacement. Not to say that the South Bend version isn’t superior to these, but just the facing is similar. The benefits of an organic facing is how it reacts to normal daily driving and towing as it allows for slippage without being jerky as other materials can be. Using the above G56 example, one of our most popular options is a Dual Disc with organic facings as it can hold a considerable amount of power, but still has great street and towing manners. The next most popular facing is ceramic. Ceramic facings have been used for years in the clutch industry due to the fact that they are capable of holding considerably more power compared to organic without slipping. Before the days of dual and triple disc clutches, many trucks in the 650 RWHP range were sporting single disc ceramic clutches with success. For those daily driving and towing a considerable amount with their truck, we tend to steer people away from a ceramic, though, because a ceramic facing has a higher tendency to want to “grab and go” compared to other options. This is great, again, for holding power, but when you’re shifting gears or anytime you’re trying to control the truck from surging at take off or backing up, the momentum will transfer much faster and can be excessively jerky for some.
Next up is the facing that arguably put South Bend on the map, Feramic. For those that have been around the diesel industry a while, you may have heard of folks running a “South Bend Con-OFE” as it was probably the most popular clutch throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s at least. The “OFE” was an organic-feramic clutch, combining the two surfaces. To keep it simple, “Feramic” is an iron based (for those that like to geek out on this stuff, notice the “FE” like you’d see on the periodic table) that can handle a good amount of power, typically averaging 550 RWHP, and deliver better street manners in comparison to a full ceramic. When paired with an organic facing, making it a true “OFE” you’ll have the best of both worlds in a single disc, but the power rating will drop.
And the final option is Kevlar, yep, just like in a bulletproof vest. Just as when used in other applications, the Kevlar facing is added to deliver added strength and durability typically to an organic facing. Kevlar provides the pulling capabilities of ceramic, but adds a layer of enhanced pedal engagement performance.
For a concise overview of the different types of clutch disc facings utilized by South Bend, here's a breakdown and even used in their part numbers for identification:
- O - Using 2 Performance Organic Facings
- OHD - Using 2 Extra Wide Performance Organic Facings
- OFE - Using 1 Performance Organic & 1 Feramic Facing
- FE - Using 2 Feramic Facings
HEAVY DUTY HYDRAULICS
South Bend offers replacement hydraulic assemblies for nearly every manual transmission clutch kit. But the question is why would you need to replace the hydraulics? The first, and most obvious, is that the factory cylinder is leaking, not able to build pressure in order to engage the clutch. Beyond the obvious, the replacements from South Bend are inevitably stronger than the factory unit, so for those with a heavier plate load on the clutch pressure plate, installing heavy duty hydraulics will make the clutch pedal easier to push. Finally, the case where the majority of our customers replace the hydraulics would be on Rams equipped with a G56 manual transmission, found on the 2005.5-2018 model years. The factory clutch on these trucks is whats called a dual mass flywheel. Nearly all aftermarket replacement clutches for this truck, including all South Bend, converts this clutch to a single piece flywheel. In doing so, the physical depth of the clutch when measured from front to back is not the same as the original clutch. When this happens, the “throw” of the hydraulic rod must be altered, which is not possible with the factory hydraulics. The South Bend Heavy Duty Hydraulics does feature an adjustable rod so you’re able to adjust to gain the proper throw of the clutch, delivering accurate engagement and disengagement.
Now that you’re fully versed in clutch technology, if you’re still wondering what is the right South Bend Clutch for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call, send an e-mail, or hop on a live chat to discuss your truck and the options we’d most recommend.