If your 1979-1995 Mustang is in need of a new clutch, selecting the right kit can be a hassle. Luckily, Late Model Restoration has you covered with our great selection of top name brand clutch assemblies.
This article will guide you through the differences in 1979-1995 Mustang clutches to help you make the right purchasing decision. We will walk you through each stage to help you better understand which kit is right for you. All factory 1979-1995 Mustangs came with 10.5" diameter, 10 spline clutches.
Let’s start out with the “Stages” of clutches. Many of you may have probably asked yourself “I have a bone stock 5.0, should I run a stage 2 or 3 on my car?” This section will go over all of the different stages of clutch assemblies associated with power output and applications for your vehicle.
A Stage 0 clutch is a direct replacement clutch made for stock applications. If you have multiple bolt-on parts or plan on running drag radials or slicks, this is not the clutch for you. These will be designed for the “daily driver”, all stock cars. They will offer perfect drive ability and stock pedal effort for a comfortable feel.
The stage 1 Mustang clutch will have a slightly firmer pedal effort over stock, but not excessive by any means. The friction material will be upgraded and will normally support 400 HP applications. Some chatter may be evident on cars equipped with 2.73 gears. Each Mustang Clutch Kit includes a higher clamp load pressure plate, organic friction disc, Release Bearing, & an alignment tool. It is a warranty requirement to replace or re-surface your flywheel with the installation of a new clutch. The use of an aluminum quadrant with an adjustable clutch cable is highly recommend with these clutch kits. Use of drag radials or drag slicks with this clutch will void the warranty!
If you are regularly running drag radials on your Mustang, regardless of power level, Stage 2 clutch is for you. It offers up to a 500 rear wheel horsepower handling capability without breaking your leg with a hard pedal. Some chatter may be evident in street driving. Each Stage Two Mustang Clutch Kit includes a higher clamp load pressure plate, performance friction disc (either organic/metallic or full cerametallic facing), Release Bearing, & an alignment tool. The use of a billet flywheel is required with these clutch kits. The use of an aluminum quadrant with an adjustable clutch cable is required with these clutch kits. Use of full drag slicks with this clutch will void the warranty!
So, your Mustang sees regular drag strip duty wearing a pair of full on drag slicks. Or, you simply have thrown the book at your engine and are now making up to 600 rear wheel horse power. Maybe it's a combination of the two. The Stage 3 clutch is the benchmark all other single disc clutches are measured by. The clutch disc is lined on both sides with a centered iron friction material that offers a high coefficient of friction while still allowing for some slip for the clutch to engage smoothly. Chatter will be evident in street driving. Each Stage Three Mustang Clutch Kit includes a higher clamp load pressure plate, metallic puck friction disc, Release Bearing, & an alignment tool. The use of a billet flywheel is required with these clutch kits. The use of an aluminum quadrant with an adjustable clutch cable is required with these clutch kits.
With any clutch install, Late Model Restoration always recommends to have your existing flywheel re-surfaced or to purchase a new one. This way you will have a true mating surface for your new clutch to properly mate with. Warranties will require this across the board, and make sure if you have it resurfaced to keep your invoice for your records. Accessories at a minimum included with the 79-95 clutch kits will include a clutch alignment tool, release bearing and in some cases a new pilot bearing.
When doing a clutch install, this is the perfect opportunity to inspect all associated components and hardware with your driveline. Inspect the clutch cable, quadrant, fork and stud while you are in there. The driveshaft and shifter are another area to inspect as well. When checking out all hardware, look for the obvious flaws that may be a concern. Any rounded edges, cracking or signs of cross threading, you will want to replace them. When inspecting your existing flywheel you will want to check for bluing, heat checkmarks, or cracking. Replace if necessary.
For more clutch information or to pick up a new setup for your Mustang check out LMR.com