Circa 2004, a much skinnier Shawn owned a beloved 92 Civic EG hatch. It was a quick little car and packed a built “all motor” B18 (LS) engine. My girlfriend Whitney, now awesome wife, would tell me to “drop that b*tch in second”. As you can imagine, my factory clutch would slip a lot. I had to buy my first performance clutch. All of my friends at the time were running Clutch Masters clutches, and I still remember that iconic orange and yellow logo slapped on everyones car.
Fast forward 15 years years and the Z needed a clutch. Only one brand came to mind… Clutch Masters. I reached out to my good friends over their and discussed what I had planed for the Z. Their first question was what power I expected to make. After the guys schooled me on clutches, we landed on the FX400 clutch and Lightweight Steel flywheel.
It’s always a great idea to replace your slave cylinder, and I love how they include it in the clutch kit, along with an essential clutch alignment tool and bearing.
I sat down with Kevin Gomez from clutch masters to learn a little more about Clutch Masters and some common misconceptions. Hopefully this helps clear up any questions that you might have.
Shawn: Hey Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. It’s an honor to be apart of the Clutch Masters team!
Kevin: Not a problem! Glad to be here.
Shawn: Let’s get right into it. Clutch masters has been around since 1976, has Clutch Masters always been a performance clutch company?
Kevin: Originally back in 1976 we were mainly a clutch remanufacturing company that would rebuild clutch units for agricultural applications, however in early 90’s we began to offer performance clutch units for the imports. There was a demand for performance clutches especially for Honda’s here in southern California, so we jumped on the opportunity and we have been expanding ever since.
Shawn: There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about clutches. What would you say is the biggest misconception?
Kevin: “The higher the stage the better the clutch.” For example, when customers who want to buy a “stage 5” or FX500 for their stock vehicle since its the highest stage we might have available, when really the best clutch kit for them would be a stage 1 or FX100. Choosing the incorrect disc material or “stage” will result in a unsatisfied customer, so it’s definitely a important step that we try to share with customers when they order.
Shawn: I’ll be honest, I went straight for the 850 twin disc. I just assumed that it was the best for my application. After consulting with you, it was apparent that it was overkill for my current set up. Do you find that people typically pick an overkill clutch?
Kevin: Definitely! Many times customers unintentionally choose a clutch that’s over kill, but that’s where our tech support team comes into play and takes the time to go over different options available.
Shawn: I’ve seen a lot of times that people will just throw a new clutch in a car without resurfacing the flywheel. Why is it so important to install a new flywheel or have your flywheel resurfaced?
Kevin: Resurfacing a flywheel is very crucial when installing a new clutch kit. The best example I can give is when changing brakes on a car without turing or replacing the rotors. The symptoms you might experience are a slight vibration, lack of stopping rate, a chirping sound, and so on. I know someone reading this will say “I never resurface my rotors when I change brakes on my car”, but truth be told the correct way and procedure is to resurface or replace your rotors. You have to realize that when you push down on the clutch peddle of your car the amount of travel on the slave cylinder is no more than 3/4 of an inch! So you have to make sure you have a perfectly flat clutch and flywheel for proper release.
Shawn: It’s not really a question, but you guys have a wide array of clutch kits available. From the performance street duty FX100 clutch kit, all the way up to the insane horse power capable FX-1200 twin disc. It’s a very impressive line up, seems you have everyone’s clutch needs covered.
Kevin: We try our best to offer a clutch kit for every scenario and for as many applications as possible. We want to be able to offer a clutch kit for a car that is stock as well as for an all out race car. Having the clutches made in house here in our Southern CA location allows us to offer such a wide variety for each application.
Shawn: Let’s be honest, there are a few good clutch companies out there. What separates Clutch Masters from the rest of herd?
Kevin: There is definitely a wide variety of aftermarket clutch complies out there, but I do honestly believe that we are ahead of the competition. A couple things do stand out specifically such as the quality in materials we use, having our units manufactured in house here in the US, all our units are tested multiple times before leaving our facility, and having a combined clutch experience of 35+ years in just our tech team alone. We take pride in our work and try to offer a superior product at a reasonable price.
Shawn: Well Kevin, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you and having you drop some knowledge on me. You guys are the best in the business for a reason. I look forward to flying the Clutch Masters “flag” up Pikes Peak next year.
Kevin: It was a pleasure Shawn! Very excited for the build.
If you’re in need of a performance clutch, don’t hesitate to contact my good friends over at Clutch Masters!
Phone: (909) 265-9031
Address: 267 E. Valley Blvd. Rialto, CA 92376