What Is a Stage 1 Racing Clutch?by John Hume
A stage one clutch is an aftermarket upgrade to the transmission system of a car. An aftermarket clutch allows for quicker gear engagement while shifting and is a necessity if your car's horsepower has been upgraded.
The main function of a clutch is to engage and disengage the engine from the drivetrain. The clutch is a friction plate that, when the clutch pedal is not depressed, transmits the power of the engine to the wheels. By depressing the clutch pedal the friction plate disengages from the engine, and the engine is left to rotate on its own until the clutch plate is engaged again.
A stage one racing clutch upgrade is a clutch with more pressure and friction. The benefits of such a clutch will be decreased lap times when racing and less frequent clutch replacement. Upgrading your car's horsepower will increase the grip requirements of your clutch; if the old clutch can no longer handle the horsepower of your car, a stage one clutch will be a necessity.
While a stage one clutch is an upgrade to the stock clutch, it still has its limits. The stage one racing clutch is designed for street and light horsepower track use. This means that if you are interested in constantly racing your car on the track and have more than just a couple of horsepower upgrades then you should consider another clutch upgrade such as stage two or three.
Installing a stage one clutch is not a simple do-it-yourself job. The process will require a mechanic's level of knowledge and the removal of your transmission. This is not recommended unless you are a proficient mechanic.
The price of a stage one clutch depends on the make of your car and the aftermarket company that you choose, but the range is normally $300 to $500.