By the staff of Trucks & Guns Magazine

When you are hauling close to or at the load capacity of your truck the factory clutch is not going to be happy. Not only will it be slipping under the weight but the extra strain will cause your clutch to wear out quicker than normal. Even if you are only hauling or towing, on most occasions an upgraded clutch can really improve the performance of your truck. When you think about performance clutches South Bend Clutch may not be the first clutch you think of it, but it might be after you see this.

THE SOUTH BEND STORY

The South Bend Clutch is a monster compared to a factory clutch. With over ¾ of an inch extra surface area for the clutch to engage and a much larger sealed roller pilot bearing, this clutch kit needs to be installed on every truck that hauls. The kit includes the pilot bearing already pressed into the flywheel, and this roller pilot bearing makes the factory bearing look like a joke. The factory clutch uses a smaller needle bearing that when it fails can cause damage to other components; this is why SBC uses a sealed roller bearing.

The organic disc material is the key element that gives this clutch a near factory feel with much better engagement. The extra wide surface area is designed for heavy towing, allowing the organic clutch to have strong engagement. Everything about the SBC just screams quality; guys hauling loads everyday are getting 70,000- 90,000 miles on these clutches. SBC has been torture testing their clutch for years. Installing them in their shops and letting as many people drive them as possible. This way their clutches get tested under real world situations with as many different driving styles as possible. Their current Dodge Diesel shop truck is also running the NV5600 with 500 horsepower on a 400 horsepower clutch. 12 different drivers test this truck daily often towing 23,000 pounds.

The 1947-OK-HD Dyna Max Organic Clutch Kit that we installed on our 2005 Dodge with NV5600 does not make any extra noise and bites with the power of a pit bull! Beautiful, smooth shifts, engagement with huge reliable bearings and the extra surface area makes this clutch worth every penny! This clutch is rated for 350-425 horsepower and 900 foot-pounds of torque. They do offer higher power rated clutches, but you do not want your clutch to be over rated to your engine. Make sure you choice the right clutch for your truck. South Bend Clutch has a guide about choosing the right clutch for your truck on their website: www.southbendclutch. com/rightclutch.html.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Right out of the box you can already see the quality of the South Bend Clutch kit.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

You will need to drain the oil in the transfer case because it will make your life easier to take it off the transmission.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Remove the driveshafts.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Remove the shifters.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

We found that we needed to move the exhaust back to give the transmission enough room to come out.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Drop the transfer case

EDITOR’S NOTE: Always have a professional, certified mechanic perform and check all installs. No vehicle/driver/driving style/terrain combination is identical. Your experience and performance changes from using this unit may vary from ours.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Remove the cross member.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Drop the transmission, if you did not drain the fluid out of the transmission it is going to leak out as you can see here.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Remove the presser plate.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

The SBC kit includes a new throwout bearing, which is good because ours has seen better days.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Attach the new throwout bearing to the clutch release.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Remove flywheel.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Factory flywheel next to SBC flywheel

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Factory bolts next to SBC bolts. Also you can see the sealed roller pilot bearing that is used on the SBC flywheel.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Factory vs. SBC, notice how much bigger everything is on the SBC vs. factory.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Install new flywheel

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Make sure to use thread lock on all bolts.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

The SBC clutch measures two and half inches wide where the stock measures one and ¾ wide.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Make such to torque all bolts to factory specifications.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Clean the flywheel, to make sure no oils or contaminants are left on it.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Reinstall pressure plate.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

New throwout bearing installed

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Reinstall transmission, transfer case, exhaust, and driveshafts.

South Bend Clutch installation on 2005 Dodge 3500

Our 2005 Dodge often tows loads up to 23,000 pounds. With the factory clutch we often would feel the clutch slip. Since installing the SBC we have not felt the clutch slip once. We can also feel the extra engagement of the clutch during towing and normal driving. Although it still engages and operates smoothly like the factory clutch, you can really feel that there is more power being transferred to the ground as it should be.