Hopefully, you will find the answers to all of your questions in this section of the website. If not, don’t hesitate to contact our technical sales team who are always on hand to help.
Below are the most commonly asked ZF Sachs questions click on the question to reveal the answer.
What is a Performance Clutch?
A Performance Clutch is an upgraded and stronger clutch that is capable of handling the extra power and torque produced by a modified / tuned engine. A remapped / tuned engine produces more power (measured in BHP) and more torque (measured in lb/ft or N/m) at the flywheel. The clutch transmits that power to the wheels.
Our Performance Clutches comprise an uprated ‘drive plate’ and an uprated ‘pressure plate’ which can be fitted with the standard OE quality release bearing.
Who are Sachs?
Sachs are part of the German ZF group of companies. They are one of the largest auto parts makers in the world and supply OE (original equipment) parts to most of the major car manufacturers throughout the world. Sachs Performance Clutches are manufactured in Germany to exacting standards.
Sachs supply high performance products into all areas of motorsport and are heavily involved in supply of race components into Formula 1.
I don’t really understand the difference between power and torque – please explain?
The power output of the engine is usually expressed in ‘brake horse power’ (bhp) or alternatively in kilowatt (Kw). For example a Golf 5 GTI is rated, in standard specification at 200bhp or 147Kw. Peak power for any engine is generated at high rpm.
The torque of the engine is the measure of turning force at the engine flywheel and this is the force which the clutch has to control and turn into useful ‘drive’ at the road wheels. In modern engines peak torque is generated at low rpm. The clutch will therefore very often be asked to handle high levels of torque.
The torque produced by petrol and diesel engines varies greatly. Diesel engines produce more torque and for that reason the clutches on diesel-engined cars have to be stronger.
For example the current Peugeot/Citroen 2.0HDI diesel engine produces over 230 ft/lb of torque wheras the 2.0 16V petrol engine produces only about 150 ft/lb. Both these engines have a power output of about 140bhp. This is why a modern diesel car produces faster acceleration from low rpm.
I am having my car re-mapped. Do I really need an upgraded clutch?
That depends on how much of a power increase you are having as a result of the re-map and also how you intend to drive the car. Your standard clutch will be able to handle a small amount of extra power – typically power and torque increases of 10-15% can be handled by the standard clutch. Above that level, and particularly if the car is going to be driven hard or used on the occasional ‘trackday’ you are likely to need an upgraded clutch to fully exploit the extra performance potential of your car.
What happens if I don’t change the clutch and the original clutch is not strong enough?
You will find that the clutch ‘slips’ and that the car does not accelerate as you would expect. A clutch that slips also wears out quickly so you could find yourself having to replace the clutch within a short time.
I have got some people quoting me in ft/lbs and others in N/m. What is the difference?
You must compare like with like. To convert a ft/lbs figure into N/m you must multiply the figure by 1.36, To convert N/m to ft/lbs divide by 0.74
If diesel cars have stronger clutches as standard do I really need to upgrade my TDI when I get it re-mapped?
Yes. The chip tuning / re-mapping of diesel cars in particular can lead to some very large increases in both power and torque output. For that very reason we actually sell more Performance Clutches for diesel cars than for petrol cars.
My re-map is costing £400 but if I change the clutch as well my tuner tells me it will cost another £500 on top. Is it really worth it?
If the power and torque increase is such that you need a performance clutch then it is a false economy to not fit one. Not only will you not be able to fully exploit the performance of your car (the reason you are getting it re-mapped in the first place) but you also risk early clutch failure requiring the fitting of a Performance Clutch. Depending what other work you may be having done on your car it is likely to be more cost effective to have the job done correctly in the first place.
Will a Performance Clutch feel any different to a standard clutch?
A Performance Clutch has stronger components than a standard clutch and so will take marginally more effort to apply. Whether this feels any different varies from person to person and from car to car.
What is a paddle clutch?
A paddle clutch has special clutch facing materials known as ‘sintered’ metal. These facings provide a higher level of friction than the friction materials used on conventional clutch drive plates. We recommend sintered paddle clutches only for motorsport use or if the car is used principally for ‘trackdays’.
I have seen a performance clutch on eBay for £150. Your Sachs clutches cost more – why and are they worth it?
We cannot comment on the specific clutch you have seen but we do know that a lot of the so called performance products sold on eBay are of Chinese origin. That does not mean they are all bad – but we seriously question whether the manufacturers of these Chinese products have the technical expertise of the established clutch manufacturers. Sachs are a long established German engineering company with a high reputation for technical excellence. If you buy a Sachs Performance Clutch you can be confident that it will do the job it is supposed to do!
Where can I buy a Sachs Performance Clutch?
Most of our clutches are sold through tuning companies. Some of our trading partners are listed here. For each make of car there are a number of well known specialists who are experts in tuning and modification and they can provide you with good advice and a competitive quotation for supply and fit of a performance clutch as part of any upgrade work.