Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. Stephanie with americanmuscle.com, here with a review of the McLeod Street Extreme clutch kit, for the late '01 to '04 GT, Mach 1, and the '99 to '04 Cobra. The McLeod Street Extreme clutch is a ceramic disc clutch that can support up to 700 horsepower and 700 foot-pounds of torque. The ceramic material can withstand very high heat levels without fading, which makes it a perfect clutch for racing situations, where there's repeated engagement and disengagement that leads to high temperatures. The engagement of the ceramic clutch is abrupt, and it'll wear the flywheel surface faster due to the harsher material of the clutch disc. This is especially true in traffic situations. So if you're shopping for a clutch for a daily driver, just know that a ceramic clutch isn't you're best option, because it's going to wear much faster. This clutch is more for a high-performance car that sees track or dragstrip time, and some street time too. But just to be clear here, this clutch is for a street car, but not so much for a daily driver, for the reasons that I already mentioned. This isn't a track-only clutch, and a ceramic clutch offers you a way to upgrade your clutch to one that can handle higher horsepower and torque numbers while still keeping a single disc design, so without spending an arm and a leg. When you start upgrading clutches over the stock clutch, but still maintain only one disc, like this clutch here does, you see things like different compounds of discs, and different designs that are more heavy-duty and able to handle more horsepower and torque, and high clamping load. As you start to change compounds and materials of the clutch disc, you get a different type of engagement and disengagement, and a stiffer pedal feel. Just know that a heavier-duty clutch doesn't mean that the clutch will have a longer life, just like as in the case we have here. This particular clutch is still a single-disc design and it keeps the same overall design as the stock clutch. The difference is that the disc is made from a ceramic compound, which happens to be a tougher, harsher compound. The clutch gets its higher clamping load from this compound, but you do have your tradeoffs here with that. The ceramic material will change the pedal feel of the clutch. It's going to have an abrupt engagement and it will wear the components faster. But all this means is that it's not ideal for a daily driver, but more for a streetcar that sees track time. If you're looking for a smooth pedal feel or something for a daily driver, you should be looking at an organic compound disc. Because that's what's going to give you what you're looking for, and there are a handful of options, like Exedy, Ram, and Centerforce. This clutch is designed specifically for the 10-spline T-45, TR-3650, or T-56 trans. If you need a 26-spline, McLeod does make the same clutch for a 26-spline trans, so you can check that out if it's applicable. The clutch is going to come with your pressure plate, your clutch disc, an alignment tool, and a throw-out bearing. I recommend also picking up a hydraulic bearing, because it's something that you should consider replacing, while you're down there replacing the clutch, especially in this case with the higher clamping force. If your stock bearing has a good amount of miles on it, then it's going to be a really good idea to replace it. Speaking of that, you need to figure out what you plan on doing with the flywheel. You can always resurface your current flywheel. But I recommend purchasing a new McLeod flywheel, because you know it'll mate with the new clutch perfectly, and allow your clutch to function to the best of its ability. As far as price for this clutch, you're looking at spending just south of the $500 mark. More horsepower and torque in a clutch can support the more expensive the clutch is. The next step above this clutch would be a twin-disc clutch, and you're looking at spending a few hundred dollars more for a twin-disc. But don't forget about your flywheel, and depending on if you resurface yours or buy a new one, and which material flywheel you want, you're looking at spending a few hundred dollars more. I'm sure you guys already expected this, but the install here is not easy. It's a lot of work, so you need some experience to get this done yourself, and a lift is going to be your best friend. If you don't have those things, it might be best just to take the car to a shop for the install. Overall, this is a three out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter here, and it's going to take about four hours to complete. You've got to drop your trans, which means you need to unbolt your exhaust and drop it from the mid-pipe back, and your driveshaft as well. You have to drop your starter and unbolt the bellhousing to get the trans out of the way, so you can get to the clutch. Once the stock clutch is out of the way, McLeod does tell you exactly how to assemble the clutch properly, so you don't have to worry about that. After that, you're looking at needing to bleed the clutch line, which can take a little bit of time, but it isn't difficult. The only other thing that I wanted to mention here is to make sure you follow the break-in period with the clutch, if you want the clutch to be smooth and have a long life. McLeod recommends a break-in period of 500 city driving miles. Wrapping things up here with the McLeod Street Extreme clutch kit, this kit fits late '01 to '04 GT and Mach 1s, and '99 to '04 Cobras. You can check it out more online right here at americanmuscle.com.