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I just got a 1999 Dodge Cummins in the shop with a clutch issue. I got it pulled out today and this truck has a single disc ceramic clutch. The clutch has completely eaten a deep groove approximately 1/16" to nearly a 1/8" in the pressure plate and about 0.010 groove in the flywheel. Surprising there was zero hotspots in either face. The friction plate was still in good shape but it completely ruined the pressure plate and flywheel will need to be turned. This truck is stock for the most part other than Edge Juice tuner. So for those of you considering ceramic clutch I wouldn't advise it. As this happens to be the second ceramic clutch that the previous owner installed and neither of them last very long well the friction disc did but even the previous ate the flywheel. 

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Yikes.  I wonder why?  Not enough pressure or perhaps driving style?  

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Can't speak for the previous owner but the current owner said the first ceramic clutch wore flywheel out in like 40k miles. We are not sure of the mileage on this clutch. It's an aftermarket clutch either South Bend Clutch or Valair. It's a 13 inch flywheel with the heavy duty pilot bearing. 

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The ceramic clutch material is much harder than the steel of the pressure plate or flywheel.  The difference in the wear between the pressure plate and the flywheel  can be directly attributed to the material hardness of the components.

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I buddy ran a cheap single ceramic he got off ebay for a while.  When I pulled it out, it also had a 13" dual drilled flywheel with HD pilot bearing.  So it's not necessarily from SB or Valair.  

 

I threw a 13" Organic in in its stead and he couldn't be happier.

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My dad had one in his 1st gen from a local shop. Was a towing monster but was at a much lower power level. Worked extremely well for what it was.

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Yep ceramic clutches are very aggressive and hold more power but are not the best for a daily driver. My experience is that they grab harder and tend to chatter a bit too. The wear on the pressure plate and flywheel are normal running ceramics and is intensified if a dder. For an over the road load tugger there is no better.

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36 minutes ago, Wild and Free said:

Yep ceramic clutches are very aggressive and hold more power but are not the best for a daily driver. My experience is that they grab harder and tend to chatter a bit too. The wear on the pressure plate and flywheel are normal running ceramics and is intensified if a dder. For an over the road load tugger there is no better.

 

I wonder what the hardness and depth of hardness of a pressure plate and flywheel are.  

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I'm going to ask the owner to bring the parts back so I can get pictures of it.

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Ceramics are the absolute worst choice for frequent stop and go driving for that reason.

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I just pulled a south bend out of my truck which put this same 'groove' in the 13" flywheel purchased with the kit (disk, flywheel, pressure plate, throwout)... 

 

truck only pulls 5K of skiboat and driveability was much better with the stock unit.  Beyond the hopping in reverse, all of the driveline action resulted in multiple leaks from my transfer case... very happy to take some pics if anybody's interested...

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3 hours ago, Ralph said:

I just pulled a south bend out of my truck which put this same 'groove' in the 13" flywheel purchased with the kit (disk, flywheel, pressure plate, throwout)... 

 

truck only pulls 5K of skiboat and driveability was much better with the stock unit.  Beyond the hopping in reverse, all of the driveline action resulted in multiple leaks from my transfer case... very happy to take some pics if anybody's interested...

I'dlike to take a look 

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Posted (edited)
On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 9:01 AM, Wild and Free said:

Ceramics are the absolute worst choice for frequent stop and go driving for that reason.

When my first gen wore the oe clutch at 150,000 I took it to the guys that been around for a long time. When I asked about replacing it with a ceramic clutch they looked at each other and went on convincing me to stay away from the ceramic clutch. I'm glad I listened because with close to 300-350 k added miles and 18 years later the clutch was still good when I sold it.

Edited by JAG1
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Posted (edited)

Here I am again changing another ceramic clutch today. Nice to do it at the owner's house and he's got a two post lift. But the same problem clutch friction material is in good shape but the flywheel and the pressure plate are gone. No hotspots. This clutch barely made 40k miles and was slipping. Owner install just a stock rate clutch and called it good. 

 

20170802_115057.jpg

 

20170802_140430.jpg

20170802_140440.jpg

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Wow, nice shop I want one like that with a hoist. Sad thing is we could of got a place with a shop like that and a huge house with acreage for cheapper than what we got, with nice overlook on Mississippi but it was too far for everything and would of spent too much money on gas and vehicles in long run, maybe when kids are older and have their own rides.

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The shop is OK. Too small in my book. The two post lift is in the wrong placement on the floor and the vehicle can't be brought in far enough so you can get out of the truck without squeezing past the door jammed again the lift post. Very poorly setup. Then with the truck on the floor you can barely walk in front of it and no way to way behind it jammed again the door. So it looks impressive but poorly setup.

 

As for the ceramic clutches I'm totally shocked so many people are listening to the wrong hype on the market. "Oh, you gotta buy a ceramic clutch it will not slip one bit." This is true but it sure mills the pressure plate and flywheel down to nothing. Just like I'll never use ceramic brake pads because of the same reason you end up eating the rotors before the pads. 

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Call Ray at Custom Clutch and Joint in Cleveland.

(216) 431-1630

 

He has been making custom clutches for me for the last 40 years. Fabric, Composit, Ceramic, Double and Single Disc. They are very reasonable. Somthing everyone should know about ceramic clutches are very aggressive positive no slip clutches. Great for plowing and heavy towing. In reverse or backing up you will find the truck will tend to buck or jump. Be easy don't accelerate  backing up. If you have a ways to back up put it in reverse totally release the clutch add only as much power as you need to get the job done. and Do not ride or slip these clutches. I drove a semi for 20 years. I have always had good service life out of my clutches. The key is be easy on them and don't slip them. The clutch in my 1999 Dodge / Cummins 2500 is a fabric clutch it's the only thing I could get at the  time. I have 130,000 miles on it with very little ware. 

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