2002 Dodge Ram 3500 Upgrade - Harnessing Horsepower

Project 24-Valve Gets A Serious Clutch Upgrade

Mike McGlothlin
Dec 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
Any time you come across a family run, small business in the midst of its fourth-generation of success, you get the feeling they're doing something right. That company is South Bend Clutch in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Photo 2/18   |   2002 Dodge Ram 3500 Upgrade south Bend Clutch
With more than 1,000 clutches leaving its shop each month, we'd say its products are in high demand. And for good reason: Every unit is checked, then re-checked over and over as it makes its way through an extremely efficient assembly line. A timely, but necessary process ensures each clutch is perfect before being boxed up and shipped off. Offering American-made products that are superior in quality while providing outstanding customer service has helped South Bend Clutch become a leader in the clutch industry.
As with any project vehicle we put together here at Diesel Power, we wanted to install some of the best parts money can buy. So we paid South Bend Clutch a visit with our '02 Dodge Ram 3500 24-valve and sought out its expertise in an area that happens to be its bread and butter: diesel pickup clutches.
Following our trip over to Scheid Diesel ("Midwest Tour: Stop Three," October '09), where we proceeded to add more than 200 hp and double the truck's factory torque rating, our stock clutch was having a hard time handling the Cummins' newfound power. After a consultation in which the truck's current and future power plans were discussed, South Bend convinced us that its Street Dual-Disc 3250 clutch would be the perfect match. Read on to see how our install went.
Post-Install Driving Impressions And Break-In
After the install, the clutch pedal was a little stiffer, but not much more than stock. With instructions to put at least 200 city miles on the truck (and to use First gear) before testing its true holding power, we left South Bend and began the proper break-in process. After 150 miles the pedal relaxed more, the gears were easier to grab, and we could feel the clutch settling in for the long haul.
Once we'd broken in the clutch completely, we put it through its paces on the street, and it performed flawlessly. No more blowing through the clutch in Fourth and Fifth gear while on the throttle-now the truck just pulls and keeps pulling until you're ready to upshift, or back off the go pedal.


South Bend Clutch
Mishawaka, IN 46545



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