Video: Ford Mustang Clutch Review (96-14)
Published on 2014-10-27
These Mustang clutch kits from Latemodel Restoration are a great way to get your American muscle car in gear! These kits from top brands such as Exedy, Spec D, Ford Racing and Ram include everything you need to replace a chattering, slipping, or worn out clutch. We have various stages to get the perfect performance and feel in your Fox Body, SN-95, New Edge, and S197 Mustang. Choose from stock factory replacement, stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, twin disc, high performance, and extreme performance Mustang clutch kits for your setup. These clutch kits are offered in a variety of kits with options such as flywheels, cables, alignment tools, and throwout bearings. Get everything you need to finish your installation like Mustang clutch forks, alignment tools, pressure plates, and many other clutch related items.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] If you're in the market for a new clutch for your 1996 to 2014 Mustang V8, well, we're going to cover some of the differences in clutches throughout those model years and some of the things you need to look out for. That way you can pick out a new clutch for your Mustang and get the right one the first time.
The first set of differences we want to cover is going to be stages, starting out with Stage 0, or stock replacement. And those clutches are just that-- a stock replacement for a stock car that's doing stock things. Not a clutch that you're going to want to put in a performance car. These clutches are going to have stock pedal effort, and they're going to have perfect driveability characteristics. So this is a clutch that you want to put in your daily driver car that has no mods.
Stepping up from that, you're going to go to your Stage 1. And your Stage 1 clutch is going to have a little bit firmer pedal effort than stock, but not harsh by any means. And the friction material is going to be a little bit more aggressive . These clutches are going to handle up to 400 rear-wheel horsepower, so it'll cover a lot of your bolt-ons and some of your heavier mods. However, a Stage 1 clutch is not going to live very long if you're running drag radials or full slicks. And it's definitely not the clutch you want to put in your car if you're taking it to the track.
Stage 2, that's going to get you into the 500 rear-wheel horsepower capability range. The pedal effort is going to be comparable to a Stage 1, but your disc friction material is going to be upgraded. Typically those clutches either have an aggressive, organic friction material or a dual-friction type, where it's organic on one side, semi-metallic or ceramometallic on the other, or even just a full-on ceramometallic on both sides. These clutches are going to chatter a little bit when taking off, but they will handle some limited use with sticky tires, like drag radials or slicks, at the track. So this would be the clutch that you would want to look at hard if you frequent the drag strip a lot.
Now for your big power-handling capabilities, you can go to a Stage 3, which is still a single-disc clutch. But it is going to have a hard pedal effort. It is going to chatter. It's going to handle up to about 600 rear-wheel horsepower. These clutches, Stage 2 and Stage 3 both, you're going to want to run a billet steel or billet aluminum flywheel, because the aggressiveness of the friction material is going to eat up a stock-type flywheel pretty quickly. Beyond your Stage 3 single-disk, you get into your dual-disk, which that's a whole other video. We're focusing just on single-disc right now, as that is pretty much your most popular.
Now we'll talk out differences in diameters. As you're '96 to 2000 all used a 10 and 1/2-inch diameter clutch, even some of your early 2001s would've still had a 10 and 1/2-inch diameter clutch. Starting in 2001 and carrying all the way through 2014, all your V8 cars are going to have an 11-inch clutch.
On your spline counts, pretty much everything from '96 to 2010 is all going to be a 10-spline, except for like your GT500s, which did have a 26-spline from the factory. Starting in 2011 to 2014 in your Coyote cars, you ended up with an oddball 23-spline. And that comprises your factory-type spline counts.
Now if you're upgrading to a TKO or a Magnum T-56, or even have a '03-'04 Cobra that you've upgraded the input shaft on, then you're going to want to get a 26-spline clutch. And that doesn't matter what year you're running, from '96 to '04, any one of those transmissions or your '03-'04 Cobra upgrade, it's going to require a 26-spline disc.
Any time you install a new clutch, you'll either want to resurface your existing flywheel or purchase a new one. That way you've got a nice true mating surface, so you don't have any defects or performance issues with your new clutch.
Accessories in the box at a minimum. For your '96 to '04 cars, it's going to include a clutch alignment tool and a release bearing. Some clutch kits even include a new pilot bearing. Now for your '05 to '14 cars, most of them only come with an alignment tool.
Now some clutches do include a new performance-style release bearing. And if you see a difference in price on clutches, that's typically what it is in the '05 to '14 range, is the inclusion of that new hydraulic release bearing. A new hydraulic release bearing typically is not required with your Stage 1 or Stage 2 clutch upgrades. Getting into a Stage 3, you might want to look at something like a performance unit from either Exedy or RAM.
Finally, I want to talk about differences in pressure plate bolts, and even the number of bolts. Your 10 and 1/2-inch clutches are all going to be six-bolt pressure plates, and they're going to use a smaller standard-thread bolt. Starting with your 11-inch clutch, you're going to retain a six-bolt pressure plate, but you're moving up to a larger metric bolt.
That metric bolt carries all the way through to early 2011, while in late 2011, Ford went to a nine-bolt pressure plate. It kind of threw things off a little bit. Nobody was used to seeing that. But that nine-bolt pattern did carry through to 2014. A lot of your aftermarket flywheels are going to be the nine-bolt pattern. Don't worry-- a six-bolt pattern, '11 to '14 clutch, will bolt right up to a nine-bolt pattern flywheel with no issue.
For more clutch information and to pick up a new clutch for your Mustang, be sure to check out latemodelrestoration.com.