06 June 2011
If you have been in the Sport Compact game for a while then you or someone you know has run an ACT clutch at some point. Back in the day, there wasn’t a wide selection of clutches available. ACT realized there was a void in the rapidly rising Sport Compact scene, so in the early 1990s, it developed many clutches as an alternative to high-dollar Japanese items that were hard to find.
Today, ACT has proven themselves on racetracks and drag strips around the world. Their catalog features over 1,200 high-performance clutches for over 700 different platforms. For example, there are four different varieties of pressure plates available for popular Honda and Acura upgrades. The pressure plates can be ordered in Sport, Heavy Duty, Xtreme and Maxx Extreme. Couple that with the huge variety of: full face, 4-puck and 6-puck discs and there are 24 different possible combinations.
The Honda / Acura line will harness torque anywhere from 219lb-ft all the way to over 1,000lb-ft! When you select a clutch, you always have to order on the basis of what torque you produce and add a bit more for future mods. Selecting the right clutch will maintain drivability and won’t put unnecessary stress on your drive train that is associated with heavy clutches.
ACT clutches also have all of the necessary equipment for smooth installation, including the clutch disc, pressure plate, alignment tool and a release bearing. While some clutches have included junk bearings, ACT offers high quality bearings that meets or exceeds manufacturers’ standards.
By searching the catalog, you’ll also find another pivotal part for you new clutch: a new flywheel. The twin-disc clutches come with the integrated lightweight flywheel but ACT also offers two versions of their aluminum XACT flywheels, the Prolite and the Streetlite. The 8.8-pound Prolite flywheel is not fun on the street since it is low inertia and your car will feel like you are applying the brakes every time you let off the gas. But for street and the track use, the 12.5-pound Streetlite flywheel is perfect with its improved momentum and lightweight design which actually improves throttle response and acceleration by freeing up torque. We suggest an ACT flywheel upgrade rather than resurfacing the heavy OEM and never attempt to lighten your stock flywheel at a machine shop.
While the hardcore twin-disc setups will affect your drivability with a harsher engagement and some chatter, the HD Pressure Plate with Performance Full face disc combo is a dream to drive. The sprung hub clutch has plenty of dead pedal and your left leg won’t get a work out everyday. After the recommended 500 mile break-in, the clutch grabs hard during a launch and while banging the gears. At high RPMs, the clutch can be dumped with just enough slip at engagement to prevent damage to driveline parts, but it’s direct and hooks hard. Plus, with a 219lb-ft torque rating, it is more than enough for your average NA Honda motor guy!