By: Edge Autosport on December 12th, 2022
Need a New Clutch for Your Turbo Honda Civic?
2017 Honda Civic Si | 10th Gen Honda Civic | Car Parts | Aftermarket
As I get deeper into the Honda scene, and spend more time at the top end of my rev dial, I can appreciate taking some extra time to find the right clutch for your build. Honda Civics are famous for being over engineered and seem to love being thrashed, but finding a clutch with the same sentiments can be tricky. So get out your pad and pen, and let's get to work.
What is the best clutch for my Honda Civic?
If you plan on turning up your Honda motor to its true potential, all your parts need to be stout and paired well for an enjoyable experience. Every build has unique needs, so we are going to talk about some of the most popular designs and what to watch out for when making your selection.
How much torque am I making?
There is nothing wrong with being optimistic, but if you spec your clutch to harness 500 ft/lbs of torque and you only generate 250, you're gunna have a bad time. Yes you want your clutch to be able to handle more than your car makes, but overkill will ruin your commute, so let's be realistic with these numbers. Talk to your tuner about the mods you are planning, ask them what the expected torque will be and go from there. As a rule of thumb you want your clutch to be rated for at least 20% more torque than you make.
What am I using the car for?
Chances are, if you are modifying your car, you like to drive it. Let's keep it that way. When talking about the balance between performance and comfort, it's important to remember you can't have a lot of both. Please refer to the Edge Autosport, spicy build scale below.
If you are commuting your daily and need a new clutch, make sure you know what you are getting into when considering more aggressive components like segmented clutch plates. The further up the scale you go, the more aggressive your clutch will perform. This is great for the track, not for rush hour traffic.
Which clutch designs are which?
Understanding how different components perform will help you determine how they will work when grouped in different combinations. Every kit is made up of a clutch plate, flywheel and pressure plate. A clutch with organic material is less aggressive than metallic, ands a segmented six puck design is more aggressive than any full face style.
Commuter friendly, making more power than stock.
Here we find our full face organic compound kits. Don't forget there are a lot of factors that go into the feel of a clutch: surface material and design, strength of the pressure plate, and flywheel type. If you run a full face organic clutch like the Spec Stage1, you can use the OEM flywheel and keep a very stock feel. This kit will only handle a claimed 236 ft/lbs of torque, so it's not the right choice if you are going to upgrade your turbo.
Best of both worlds.
Striking a balance in the middle of our scale, we start to move away from the easy OEM feel. Pairing a hybrid material, full face clutch with a more powerful pressure plate is going to support a fair amount of power. I'm referring to The Clutch Masters FX250, a great balance when you pair the rigid version with a new OEM flywheel, supporting up to a 100% torque increase over OEM.
NOTE: because of how dual mass flywheels are designed, they can not be resurfaced and need to be replaced when upgrading the clutch. Many people take this opportunity to upgrade their flywheel to something lightweight. An aluminum flywheel will dramatically affect the characteristics of your engagement. So again, if you are sitting in traffic, maybe stick with a steel flywheel for the extra comfort it provides.
It is possible to hold significant torque numbers on an steel flywheel, allowing you to maintain some level of smooth shifting comfort in a high output build. The ACT Sprung 6 Puck kit is rated to support builds generating up to 464 ft/lbs of torque using a lighter steel flywheel for a bit more comfort. This the kit we are running on our own Civic Si, Project FC3. The journey was long, but we learned a lot from all the units we installed.
Race cars belong on the track.
Some of you might disagree, but the fact is, components that are designed for race tracks are not as focused on driver comfort. Such builds are a chore to drive around town and make getting to and from the meet quite the challenge. If that's what you are into, get yourself a twin disc setup on a lightweight flywheel, but don't say I didn't warn you.
A final note...
You can do all the research, pay top dollar for premium parts and install, but if you don't take the time to carefully break in your new clutch, it will all be wasted. These high tech components still rely on a very simple form of power transfer, and the condition of the various surfaces in your clutch will make or break the performance at the end of the day. Remember folks, slow in, fast out. Happy shifting.