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RAM clutch am i screwed?

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Old 06-18-2017, 07:20 PM   #1
turbocvette
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Default RAM clutch am i screwed?

Just purchased a 94 6 speed with the RAM clutch setup with the hydraulic throw-out bearing> Looking for some advice.
Guy says he went to the drag strip made his last pass for the day 11.7et and put it on the trailer. He took it off the trailer the next weekend and noticed the clutch slipping and its pretty bad. You can move but if you get on it just slips. Here are a few questions I have and hoping someone can help.
Will any clutch that fits the zf fit and work with this kit or do I absolutely have to use RAM brand clutch?
Are there any known issues I might be missing?
Will the flywheel absolutely need to be resurfaced? I notice they use a friction plate that is riveted on the flywheel.
Am I better off going back to stock?
the owner wasn't very happy about this setup as it cost him over $1,000 new and he only got 4,000 miles out of it. And he wasn't even near the spec rating on it. I do realize he could have been slipping it him self causing the failure as well.
He also said the throw-out bearing is tight against the springs in there and he thinks its not supposed to be. Told me spec is 0.020 play??
I am wondering if the throw out bearing is hung up? and how would I be able to tell?
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:23 AM   #2
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I tried once to have a Ram setup put in LT-4 after the engine was rebuilt. Had to have it towed on three separate occasions with the throwout bearing going out. This was within 500 miles on rebuilt engine. Finally had enough and put a single mass stage 2 clutch in and back with the hydraulic system.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:53 PM   #3
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If the through-out bearing is putting pressure on the pressure plate that could be reducing the clamping force of the clutch contributing to the slipping. You need to find out why the through-out bearing does not have the recommended .02 clearance and then see if it is ok or needs to be fixed.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:14 AM   #4
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I agree, it seems more likely to be the throwout bearing holding the clutch partially disengaged than wear on the frictions surfaces. BTW, surely the friction surface on the flywheel is bolted on rather than riveted, so that it can be replaced without replacing the whole flywheel?
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:52 PM   #5
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When you get it apart you will have a better idea of what is going on. The disc can be replaced separately. He was racing the car so anything is possible.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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I did get a reply from RAM finally! Even though they weren't much help. Basically said the bearing is fine and likely a smoked clutch from drag racing etc. They said send us everything you have and we will send you a bill to pay haha no thanks. Anyhow, can anyone school me on the clutches/flywheel? I am having a hell of a time because the car and engine is 94 and the trans is a black tag zf and from what I understand that's 89-92? When I look for clutch kits either way year they wont match compatibility. Basically a 92 clutch wont fit a 93? So what's the difference in the clutches/Flywheel? I was able to ****** up the original dual mass flywheel in decent shape and ordered a new hydraulic throughout bearing that works with factory clutch set up. trying to go back to a factory setup without the $160 fork. I would like to use the single mass that's in there now but its part of that RAM kit and not sure if they messed with tolerances etc... Basically stuck ordering their parts.??
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:33 PM   #7
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The only difference I can think of regarding clutch setups for a black tag vs blue tag is that the transmission's input shaft diameter is a little different. I'm talking about the smooth part where the throwout bearing rides, not the splined part. AFAIK, the disk and pressure plate are the same, but the bearing is either different or has a think sleeve inside to take up the difference in diameter for the smaller shaft diameter. I can't recall which input shaft is bigger/smaller, though.

I do believe that if you want to keep using the RAM push-conversion kit setup (the one with the hydraulic bearing), then you have to use their flywheel. I was once told that its proprietary fitment by Jim Jandik. The only way to know for sure, I guess, is to measure the bolt pattern and friction surface dimensions.

You also can't "go back to a factory setup without the $160 fork." The factory setup is a pull-type clutch, meaning that when you press the pedal to disengage the clutch the fork pulls the throwout bearing and clutch diaphragm fingers back toward the transmission. The RAM hydraulic throwout bearing is a push-type bearing. When you push the clutch pedal, it pushes the clutch fingers forward toward the flywheel to disengage the clutch. You can't use the RAM hydraulic bearing with a pull-type clutch at all.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:53 PM   #8
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I would use the ram parts, just figure out what you need to do to get the recommended clearance between the through-out bearing and the clutch. I am not sure if I believe a clutch that just ran 11.70 can go from good to so bad that you cannot move the car without some sort mechanical failure.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:16 PM   #9
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To add to what bjankuski just wrote, I think the first thing you need to figure out is why the clutch is actually slipping. That will give you a much better idea of where to go from there. For example, if the engine's rear main is leaking oil onto the friction surfaces, then the clutch itself isn't the problem at all. That scenario is possible if the previous owner made a good pass and then the clutch slipped the next time he drove the car. You could get away with just a new disk and fixing the seal. If the throwout bearing doesn't have the required clearance to the clutch fingers, that was an installation error and could easily cause premature slipping. You would need to carefully check the disk, pressure plate (especially the fingers), and bearing itself (because it may be constantly under pressure from plate fingers) and replace whatever is worn.

BTW, I am looking at the installation directions for this clutch, and it says the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAM
Subtract the bearing face to transmission measurement from the bellhousing to finger measurement. You should have 0.135” to 0.200”. This is the required bearing to finger clearance when the transmission is in place.
You so need up to 0.2", not 0.02". Big difference! You can see the full set of directions here: http://www.ramclutches.com/instructionsspecialty7.html.
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