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Old 12-07-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
Polishbull
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Default Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

What would be my best choice, Alto Reds or Raybestos blues or something else? Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

Who's building the trans? Every builder has a preference and it may not be either red or blue.


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Old 12-07-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

I was told they like to use Green for the release time on the brake but I'm not sure they will last and perform like the red's, overall I'm clueless and this is why I seek your wisdom!!!
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

I use what works for me. I would not say a trick clutch style has ever been the secret to success with me. Green waffles have been around forever and some guys like them. Use what works well for you (and your trans guy) but don't look for miracle fixes or better performance from a fancy clutch color. The OEM style plates seem to hold for hundreds of thousands of miles so they can't be all that bad.


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Old 12-09-2010, 12:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

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Originally Posted by Polishbull View Post
I was told they like to use Green for the release time on the brake but I'm not sure they will last and perform like the red's, overall I'm clueless and this is why I seek your wisdom!!!
What green clutch ?

Raybestos, as is in an allison transmission, or
Raybestos or Borg-Warner, as high energy,

One is slick, and the other is aggressive. both are green.

I'm not picking on you, just trying to make a point. These guys that come on saying they want all the good parts, kevlar bands, alto reds, blue plate special's, etc. Ive seen transmissions built with OEM replacement clutches that run circles around some of the "trick of the week" stuff.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

Raybestos or Borg-Warner, as high energy I belive these are the ones they wanted to use. I just didn't think they would be enough to last.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

The BW hi-energy are good clutches, as are the others mentioned.

I ran mid-low 5's in the 1/8 and 3000-3050lbs(went mid 8's on a 800-1000' shut-off) with a bunch of mixed-n-match clutches from 3 different 400's I had torn down at the time; some reds, some stock type, some Raybestos blues, just whatever got me the stack clearance I was looking for. - Pulled the driveline for inspection/sale after around 40 passes and they still looked just like they did when I put them in.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

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Originally Posted by Polishbull View Post
Raybestos or Borg-Warner, as high energy I belive these are the ones they wanted to use. I just didn't think they would be enough to last.

Honestly , the only clutch that really works is 2nd and 3rd. You could put shoe leather in the fwd clutch and it would work.
If those oem clutch's don't last , changing to another brand won't fix anything. The trans is simply a clutch eater and it will always be regardless of clutch brand.


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Old 12-10-2010, 09:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

The only time I could think of the fwd clutch taking a "beating" is in a turbo car going up up on the converter/brake to get spooled. - Even then, it's already fully engaged, should never be an issue unless something else causes it to be.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

In my personal experiences with the gm th400 ,nothing works better or lasts longer than plain tan paper clutches,or Borg Warner stock 4l80e high energy frictions .The high energy is a good choice for cars that do entended wheelstands that are prone to having the filter possibly suck air.The paper doesnt recover well from burns.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

I agree,i like the BW plain tan in all the clutches.Maybe sometimes the green hi energy in direct and the 4l80e green hi energy in intermediate depending on application.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

I use red alto's and kolene steels in everything i build, not that i havent had success with others, I've pulled tranny,s apart that were set up rite from the get go after 4-500 runs and would have no problems putting them right back in the unit! Don't normaly do this unless the customer is on a budget..My freshion up prices include new materials,but I still hang on to the used stuff if they measure no wair!

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Old 12-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

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Originally Posted by JShelton View Post
I use red alto's and kolene steels in everything i build, not that i havent had success with others, I've pulled tranny,s apart that were set up rite from the get go after 4-500 runs and would have no problems putting them right back in the unit! Don't normaly do this unless the customer is on a budget..My freshion up prices include new materials,but I still hang on to the used stuff if they measure no wair!
How do you read clutches with kolene steels?

My experience with reading clutches is reading the steels.

Tumble the steels (new or used) till all the surface is textured even by the media. if any of that texture gets polished off and the steel, and begins to shine, then your clutches are dragging when they aren't supposed to. If you have hot spots you are way off.

I suppose the kolene steels are OK, but they looks burnt out of the box. also a waist of money.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

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Originally Posted by grinertech View Post
How do you read clutches with kolene steels?

My experience with reading clutches is reading the steels.

Tumble the steels (new or used) till all the surface is textured even by the media. if any of that texture gets polished off and the steel, and begins to shine, then your clutches are dragging when they aren't supposed to. If you have hot spots you are way off.

I suppose the kolene steels are OK, but they looks burnt out of the box. also a waist of money.
ya read a Kolene just like ya would a std steel.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best Clutches for a 8 sec 3100lb TH400

To take this discussion further ,I will add something.About 5 years ago I purchased 50 Raybestos Blue Plate frictions and Kolene steels of the 2 standard thickness type with turbulator holes to use in the direct clutch on some high end th400 transmissions I was preparing to build.This was my results.After installing each trans in my test truck,a 4.3 v6 Chevy Blazer and putting about 40 miles on the 1st unit (plenty of 2/3 upshifts)I had a longer shift than I had with stock Borg Warner hi energy frictions.Shift didnt slip but took longer from start to finish to complete.After putting 2 more units together and having the same type of results I pulled each 1 apart to inspect the clutch pack.All 3 had a black ring in the center of the clutch plates about 3/8 to 1/4 " wide.The Kolene steels had most of the material worn off of them where the clutch plate rubbed or came in contact with them.This was @ .060 " clutch pack clearance.I put the BW hi energy back in and the shift got shorter again,just like previous builds will all other variables that could change the results being equal.Ithen explained it to Frank Slocum @ Raybestos powertrain like this"Frank,it feels to me similar to when you have a car with a properly functioning brake system with brand new rotors,but the car doesnt stop right away,because someone installed cheap brake pads.I am uncertain if the bonding agent is coming to the surface and wont hold or what but I am not happy with them."His answer was that the ring in the middle was normal and it was the best friction money could buy.I threw the ones I used in the garbage and returned the rest.As for the steels I was told the salt bath created an ugly finish and that is why they were black oxide coated.I later found out that the steels were never treated but treated to a black oxide finish,so the benefits of the treatment could never be realized if they were ever there to begin with.
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