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On the fence: SBC Stage 1 or 2 Daily Driver Clutch Kit?

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
After all the positive reviews I came across I decided to get a South Bend Clutch clutch kit for my '92 Talon TSi AWD to replace the generic one that's in it now and no longer working. I was all set to order the Stage 1 daily driver since my car is stock and I have no near-term plans to mod it, and even if I do someday, it'll likely be very modest, 250-300HP tops.

But several folks here (and reading comments and reviews elsewhere) have told me that I might be better off with their Stage 2 daily driver, even though I don't "need" it right now. More rugged, longer-lasting, better feel, etc., with a still stock pedal pressure feel (if not right away then after break-in).

The S2 is only around $100 more than the S1, so it isn't a question of money (although all else being equal I'd prefer to save money I don't need to spend and likely won't benefit from). It's more a question of which is more right for my situation.

I'm a somewhat aggressive driver compared to most everyday drivers, meaning that I'm faster out of a stoplight than most drivers, drive a little bit faster than most, like to merge or change lanes a bit faster, etc., but I don't race, on or off-street, and have no intention of doing so--even in a red light dare scenario. Maybe someday, if I mod the car, but definitely no time soon.

I'm wondering which will give me a better "feel" for my stock car and driving style, which is more forgiving of my not necessarily being the smoothest manual trans driver out there, and which will last longer if treated reasonably well and never raced, popped or launched, or engine-braked.

I've asked this before as part of a longer post, but I'm breaking it out here as I'd like to decide this week and place an order. I'm probably going to drop the trans in a week or two and want to have the kit ready.

Btw, Amazon is selling the S2 for under $220 through WCAPerformance. Has anyone heard of or dealt with them, and are they any good? Their rating is only 75% or so, so I'm leery.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Their prices start well above what I'm willing to pay or can justify, and appear to be geared (no pun intended) towards serious enthusiasts who've modded their DSMs well beyond stock, and I'm neither. But, I'm leaning increasingly towards the Stage 2 daily driver. Only $100 more and it appears to have a lot more going for it over the Stage 1 DD. I might never be able to appreciate most of its advantages, but it's not that far beyond my current needs compared to a Stage 3 or 4 racer.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,313
2,855
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I'm gonna catch grief for this but look at this.
Centerforce
https://www.extremepsi.com/store/Single-Disc-Clutch-Kits/

I ran several of those years ago.....the higher end southbend are superior but I liked the centerforce for what it was. Light pedal. Took some abuse etc.

I'll let the masses comment.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I give up. I'm selling my Talon and getting a mid-80's K car--sporty edition.

Seriously though, I forgot to mention that where I drive there can be a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Is an SBC Stage 2 DD going to make that an unpleasant experience, especially for passengers who won't necessarily appreciate my less than feathery touch with the clutch? And will that end up burning out the clutch faster than the Stage 1 DD? Again, not a money issue, but a which one makes more sense for me issue. My Talon and driving style are definitely not at the level of most folks here.
 
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1fastcolt

10+ Year Contributor
65
7
Jun 27, 2011
Tucson, Arizona
back in 03-07 I used centerforce dual friction clutch.. on 1 in just under 4 years.. lots of drag races on and off the track.. many launches from 5500 rpm... motor was stock 152k miles with evo 3 16g a front mount.. car was cruised 6 nights a week 4-7 hours a night.. stop and go like u are looking for.. felt stock.. ran great .. never had any issues at all.. if I didnt go twin disc on my new setup i would of gotten another CF... i heard good things about SB clutches but have never driven a car with one.. and dont know anyone who uses them either.. hope u find a compromise and answer for what you're looking for..
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,313
2,855
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I give up. I'm selling my Talon and getting a mid-80's K car--sporty edition.

Seriously though, I forgot to mention that where I drive there can be a fair amount of stop and go traffic. Is an SBC Stage 2 DD going to make that an unpleasant experience, especially for passengers who won't necessarily appreciate my less than feathery touch with the clutch? And will that end up burning out the clutch faster than the Stage 1 DD? Again, not a money issue, but a which one makes more sense for me issue. My Talon and driving style are definitely not at the level of most folks here.
I run the ss tz/b and its smooth. You won't have a problem with the clutches you've mentioned so far.
 

iugrad92turbo

Supporting Member
12,964
877
May 22, 2007
Kalamazoo, Michigan
South bend clutch on the list for next purchase to compliment my new built engine under way now, contacted tim several times and im set on getting the ceramic or kevlar disc tz/b series or full face sprung ceramic b series.
 

ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,470
509
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
I'm gonna catch grief for this but look at this.
Centerforce
https://www.extremepsi.com/store/Single-Disc-Clutch-Kits/

I ran several of those years ago.....the higher end southbend are superior but I liked the centerforce for what it was. Light pedal. Took some abuse etc.

I'll let the masses comment.
I had a Centerforce in my 1g for like 3 years before it started to slip, and after taking it out I'm pretty sure it was a defective TOB that was causing the problem, not the clutch. I loved it, super light, held power.

I have the Southbend Stage 3 Endurance in my 1g right now, pedal is awesome, barely heavier than stock.

TS, if you drive aggressively (don't we all?? :thumb: ) then get the stage 2 or stage 3. It'll be worth it.
 

97gsxIA

10+ Year Contributor
417
43
Apr 22, 2011
Des Moines, Iowa
I'm curious as to why some "daily driver" clutches never list the clamping force of their pressure plates. "Heavy Duty" pressure plate that is only rated to 320 ft/lbs must feel like pushing on paper in comparison to the heavier clutches out there.

Stop worrying, you'll be fine
- Guy with a gerthy left calf
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
So, I just spoke to a tech at SB and he convinced me that the Stage 2 was the better choice for me given my setup and driving style and needs, so I'm getting the Stage 2 daily driver. Since my car is currently stock I think that stage 3 would be overkill and I really don't see myself ever modding it past 250-300 if that, or racing it.

What convinced me was finding out that the Stage 1 disc was OEM, but the Stage 2 was upgraded. Same pressure plate. The OEM was fine but I went through them every 20-30K, so I think I'd be better off with a more rugged one (and maybe improving my shifting style).

I'm going to hold off on actually purchasing it until I drop the trans and have a look and confirm that the current clutch is shot and there's nothing more serious keeping the car from moving as far as the drivetrain is concerned (the brakes were also seized and there MIGHT be some transfer case leaks but I'm taking care of these myself).

I'm guessing not as there were no weird or crunching/snapping/grinding noises when the clutch gave out. It just sort faded out within the span of 3-4 miles, from full power transfer to no power to the wheels at all. That's how clutches usually die, right?

I've already ordered the OEM TOB, for a steal really from RockAuto at just over $20. Any suggestions for putting the SBC TOB to good alternate use, perhaps a lazy susan with the old clutch plate?
 

ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,470
509
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
So, I just spoke to a tech at SB and he convinced me that the Stage 2 was the better choice for me given my setup and driving style and needs, so I'm getting the Stage 2 daily driver. Since my car is currently stock I think that stage 3 would be overkill and I really don't see myself ever modding it past 250-300 if that, or racing it.

What convinced me was finding out that the Stage 1 disc was OEM, but the Stage 2 was upgraded. Same pressure plate. The OEM was fine but I went through them every 20-30K, so I think I'd be better off with a more rugged one (and maybe improving my shifting style).

I'm going to hold off on actually purchasing it until I drop the trans and have a look and confirm that the current clutch is shot and there's nothing more serious keeping the car from moving as far as the drivetrain is concerned (the brakes were also seized and there MIGHT be some transfer case leaks but I'm taking care of these myself).

I'm guessing not as there were no weird or crunching/snapping/grinding noises when the clutch gave out. It just sort faded out within the span of 3-4 miles, from full power transfer to no power to the wheels at all. That's how clutches usually die, right?

I've already ordered the OEM TOB, for a steal really from RockAuto at just over $20. Any suggestions for putting the SBC TOB to good alternate use, perhaps a lazy susan with the old clutch plate?
Be careful with the OEM TOB. A lot of them are off centered and are not useable. I bought an OEM when I put my southbend in, only to notice it was so off centered I couldn't run it, and went with the SBC TOB.

You must be logged in to view this image or video.
 
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pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,313
2,855
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Be careful with the OEM TOB. A lot of them are off centered and are not useable. I bought an OEM when I put my southbend in, only to notice it was so off centered I couldn't run it, and went with the SBC TOB.
If you still have that post some info please. OEM is obviously made by a bearing company. I'd like more info please. Start another thread.

Back to topic I think you'll like the southbend,. I bought the lowest SB the first time around and it wasn't enough. When you find a use for the other bearing let me know. Maybe an art project?

That bearing looks damaged. I want to know who made it.
 
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ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,470
509
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
That bearing looks damaged. I want to know who made it.
I think I still have the box, I'll see if I can find it. I had 3 of them that looked like that, bought years apart. I believe one of them caused premature wear/slippage on my Centerforce clutch.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
He didn't actually try to spin the bearing to verify that it was eccentric. I'm not doubting that it was defective, but it would have been nice to see to confirm it. In any case, if the one I ordered is like this, I'll just have it replaced, and if it too is defective, I'll either get it from another vendor or risk the SBC one. I'll post on it when I get it, either way. I don't see how a drivetrain even works with such a defect. The vibration and harmonics would likely kill it, like an off-center drill attachment.
 

ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,470
509
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
He didn't actually try to spin the bearing to verify that it was eccentric. I'm not doubting that it was defective, but it would have been nice to see to confirm it. In any case, if the one I ordered is like this, I'll just have it replaced, and if it too is defective, I'll either get it from another vendor or risk the SBC one. I'll post on it when I get it, either way. I don't see how a drivetrain even works with such a defect. The vibration and harmonics would likely kill it, like an off-center drill attachment.

What do you mean, spin the bearing? I'm not sure how spinning it would show its defect any more than I already did. I still have it though, I can post a new video if you explain what you mean. Like put it on the transmission shaft and spin it?
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
What do you mean, spin the bearing? I'm not sure how spinning it would show its defect any more than I already did. I still have it though, I can post a new video if you explain what you mean. Like put it on the transmission shaft and spin it?

Sorry, I didn't realize this was your video. I thought you got it off the internet. And I mean spin or turn the outer bearing race while holding onto the inner race, to show that it was in fact spinning in an eccentric manner. No need to post another video, I believe you. I'm supposed to receive the part on Friday so either way I'll post on whether mine has this same defect.
 

ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,470
509
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
Sorry, I didn't realize this was your video. I thought you got it off the internet. And I mean spin or turn the outer bearing race while holding onto the inner race, to show that it was in fact spinning in an eccentric manner. No need to post another video, I believe you. I'm supposed to receive the part on Friday so either way I'll post on whether mine has this same defect.
Oh I gotcha! Yeah that would be nice to see, I'll try that when I get home.
 

ChessmoDSM

Proven Member
468
203
Apr 22, 2017
Burlington, Vermont
I'm gonna catch grief for this but look at this.
Centerforce
https://www.extremepsi.com/store/Single-Disc-Clutch-Kits/

I ran several of those years ago.....the higher end southbend are superior but I liked the centerforce for what it was. Light pedal. Took some abuse etc.

I'll let the masses comment.

Another very very satisfied centerforce clutch customer here, so no grief from me sir.. OP, GL with whatever you decide to run with..
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,313
2,855
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I'll offer one more tidbit of info on centerforce. For whatever reason if I recall they have a pretty thin spec on flywheel machining. They provide a data sheet. If you go centerforce follow their instructions to the letter. Actually that goes for any clutch and the flywheel spec but as I said I thought centerforce was a little different than usual. No problem for a machine shop. Just don't let them skim off a few thousandths from both surfaces. That isn't proper. Would that work for a stock clutch? Probably but not always for non oem stuff.
Basically....follow the step height recommendations for whatever you buy and for sure get a measurement from the shop. They will not automatically provide it and they will follow your instructions if you give them some.
 

jed344

Supporting VIP
1,182
285
Jan 10, 2008
Waterville, Iowa
Interesting. Granted i haven't purchased a new TOB in about 7 years.. shows how many miles i put on my car. Is this a recent thing as i haven't seen one lopsided.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Just a follow up, spinning the bearing makes no difference, it's lopsided. I've seen 3 OEM TOBs like this, they're garbage.

You must be logged in to view this image or video.

Wow, that's weird. Very poor QC. There are eccentric bearings, like in a TB setup, but makes no sense in this application. Do you know the OEM maker? Apparently Mitsubishi sources them out. The one I ordered is made by NSK.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,475
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Well, I'll know in a few days, when I receive the part. Thankfully there's no rush as I won't be ready to replace the clutch for another couple of weeks. Lots of prep work to complete first.
 
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