46 MAY 2020 scca.comTECHNICAL
Some items on a competition car are easy to inspect – others, well,not so much. In the case of avehicle’s clutch and flywheel,the inspection hole in thebellhousing (if an inspectionhole is even there) is likelywoefully inadequate to actuallyperform a proper inspection.
Despite that fact, a correctlyoperating clutch is an essentialpart of winning, thus it’ssomething that needs regularinspection. But how regularly?
Come to think of it, how can youeven tell if the clutch is worn?
The big question: How oftenshould you check the clutch? Asyou would suspect, there’s no
Regular clutch inspections are the best medicine foravoiding a seat on the sidelines | WORDS Jason Isley
easy answer to that question.
“It really depends on the type ofclutch you are using,” explainsJesse Prather of Jesse PratherMotorsports, specifically talkingabout SCCA Club racers. “Ifyou are able to get through anentire season without havingto pull the transmission orengine, then you should atleast check the clutch once. Ifyou’re attending the NationalChampionship Runoffs, I wouldcheck it before the Runoffs,rather than assuming whatyou’ve run all year will be fine.
“What I try to do is get
my car prepped like new for
the Runoffs and, if I make it
through the Runoffs cleanly,
Jordan Aase of AASCO
Motorsports notes that if you are
involved in a busy race series
or using exotic clutch materials,
a specific game plan might be
in order. “A carbon clutch is a
high-maintenance clutch, so you
have to regularly inspect that,”
he says. “On a multi-plate clutch,
depending on the race series,
you want to inspect it at least
once a year. If it’s a high-volume
race series, you may want to
inspect it after the first race to
see what kind of wear you are
getting and develop a plan for
how often you want to inspect it.”
Drag racers, Aase notes,
need to inspect their clutches
quite often due to slipping the
clutch on launch. “Road racing
is more conservative on the
clutch,” he says, “but you are
going to get some wear.”
“ I see more damage doneto clutches with racerstrying to drive in and outof the trailer”