Industry Insider: Inside ACT clutches
By Mike Kojima, photos by Jeff Naeyaert
We have been familiar with the ACT clutch line for many years. One of the race cars in the MotoIQ stable has been running an ACT clutch for the last 7 years which is probably over 20,000 racing miles with no problems at all. This is real racing mileage on a track, punishing use probably 5 times tougher than street driving. Perhaps the motorsport that is the hardest on clutches is drifting. Our friends on the Formula D circuit Joon Mang and Tanner Foust use off the shelf ACT clutches in the brutal, abusive clutch kicking world of Pro Drifting. For street use, ACT clutches are known to be great at holding torque with good smoothness and light pedal effort.
Before reading this article, you might want to learn how clutches work, you can read all about how they function here!
Ever wonder how a high performance clutch is made? Do you think that some high performance clutches on the market are simply existing parts from other applications sprayed a different color? Do you want to see the inner workings of a true performance clutch company? Well follow us and see.
|Stacks of received and inspected pressure plate covers await a trip to the powder coaters.
We recently visited ACT on a fact finding mission to see exactly how they make their line of excellent clutches. We got a tour of the plant and engineering department and were quite impressed with their processes and capabilities. The first thing we noted is that ACT has a Quality Assurance department. Although this is common in the OEM manufacturing world, it is pretty unusual for an aftermarket performance parts company.
|Pressure rings await assembly into pressure plates on the production floor.
ACT's philosophy is that a higher quality part actually improves profitably and poor quality costs money. The quality department analyzes warranty issues and feeds back information on every single failure to help improve the product. Often this results in an immediate design change and improvement to a line of clutches. Since ACT is a small company, these changes can be integrated quickly into production.
|Diaphram springs in stock await assembly .
|Semi metallic friction material sits in inventory waiting to be riveted to clutch discs.
|Lightweight flywheels are ready for shipping.