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Bell housing, Clutch and Pressure Plate Recommendations for TKX Swap

Charlie Brown

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Trying to get all my ducks lined up for my TKX conversion (currently automatic) in my 64 Dodge. I will be dealing with SST for most, if not all the necessary components if applicable.
I’ve done a lot of research on this conversion but, not ever having a stick car before (except my 73 Vega), I still have several questions.
Current engine in my car is a 426 wedge, which is probably in the 450 HP/ 450 Torque range.
One important concern I have is clutch pedal pressure. While at 70 years young I’m still in decent shape and plan to drive this car for a long time yet, I’d be looking for something “leg” friendly if possible. Having said this, my questions would be about the clutch / pressure plate / bell housing combo. So, more specifically -
Bell housing - SST has a reproduction Titanium-Aluminum OEM-type bell housing - dual starter mounting (130 / 143 tooth fly wheel) - Do I need or want a steel bell housing?
Flywheel - lots of chatter on the web about steel vs aluminum - since I have no experience with either, I would be looking to here from this fine community about their views. Also, 10.5 vs 11 inch units. SST offers steel Mopar Hemi 426 - 0 balance 30 lbs 143 teeth.
Pressure plates - Lots of options here - dual friction, twin disk or other? SST kit includes McLeod Super Street Pro Clutch Kit - GM / Mopar 11 inch x 1 1/8 x 26. Looks like I’ll need a diaphragm type clutch.
Lots of questions and not likely all answered at the same time and I appreciate any feedback. I know that there are other members that have done a TKX conversion. Some people only purchase the trans and source the rest elsewhere because of personal preferences, so perhaps I could learn from their personal experiences as well as other members who drive 3 pedal cars.
Product names and recommendations appreciated.
My goal is for ease of driving and reliability as well as the doing some spirited driving on occasion. I’ll not be dumping the clutch at 5k from a standing start.
As a note, I will be using a hydraulic slave cylinder and not a hydraulic throw out bearing.
I have other questions regarding this swap - but will save for later posts. I will start a thread when I get into this conversion project.
 
SST Has what you need. I've done two Tremec conversions in B body cars using the hydraulic throwout bearing. The first was my own '70 Charger with the last of the TKO series. The second one was me helping a friend with a TKX in a '69 Coronet.
The SST kit had everything.
I'm over 500 HP in mine and the TKO is holding up just fine with a steel flywheel and aluminum bell housing.
 
Use a 143 tooth steel flywheel. Lakewood makes a aftermarket aluminum bell housing with both starter bolt patterns and accepts A833, and Tremec Ford style bolt pattern and uses concentric rings for different input bearing retainers. A 130 tooth flywheel cannot use a new modern starter on a big block without modifying the starter case, or engine block, which I would not recommend modifing the block.
Use a full 11" clutch on the 143 tooth and you will not have to get a killer pressure plate due to larger diameter clutch plate.
 
Go with the hydraulic clutch.. The difference in pedal effort is unbelievable... I've heard some race guys don't like the feel of the hydraulic... But I'm not racing & the reduction in pedal effort is huge...

I've fought a QT bell with .070 runout, I would (and have) used the Silver Sport Aluminum bell with great results...
 
Use a 143 tooth steel flywheel. Lakewood makes a aftermarket aluminum bell housing with both starter bolt patterns and accepts A833, and Tremec Ford style bolt pattern and uses concentric rings for different input bearing retainers. A 130 tooth flywheel cannot use a new modern starter on a big block without modifying the starter case, or engine block, which I would not recommend modifing the block.
Use a full 11" clutch on the 143 tooth and you will not have to get a killer pressure plate due to larger diameter clutch plate.
Great point about the newer style starter - I do have a mini starter.
 
SST Has what you need. I've done two Tremec conversions in B body cars using the hydraulic throwout bearing. The first was my own '70 Charger with the last of the TKO series. The second one was me helping a friend with a TKX in a '69 Coronet.
The SST kit had everything.
I'm over 500 HP in mine and the TKO is holding up just fine with a steel flywheel and aluminum bell housing.
Thanks for the reply. The thing that sways me from going with a hydraulic throwout bearing is if there is an issue with the bearing assembly (leaking), it's a lot of work to change. A slave cylinder is a lot easier to service. What Is the difference in clutch performance between the two that you have noticed?
 
The feel of the hydraulic unit is very much like a newer car. The stock system of rods & levers and stiffer pressure plates is okay but after driving mine with the hydraulic setup, I see no reason to use the old stuff anymore. I had a 4 speed in a Duster that worked fine but I like the hydraulic stuff better.
If a throwout bearing fails, you're pulling the transmission whether you have hydraulic or traditional style levers and rods. The hydraulic bearing idea has been around for quite awhile, it isn't something that just came out yesterday.
 
One important concern I have is clutch pedal pressure. While at 70 years young I’m still in decent shape and plan to drive this car for a long time yet, I’d be looking for something “leg” friendly if possible.

Hence the reason to buy a hydraulic clutch.... Dramatically less pedal effort... The slave cylinder/throw out bearing combo has been used since the late eighties with very few issues.... Don't cheap out, buy the Wilwood from Silver Sport.... You won't regret it..... I have a Cuda in my shop right now with a dual disc McLeod RXT, the pedal doesn't feel much different than a Toyota...

I have a buddy with a 69 Coronet R/T 440 4 spd... He hasn't driven the car much in the last five years since we did a road trip & got caught in traffic... His knee was sore for a month after that... He stopped by the shop last week & I had him step on the clutch pedal in the Cuda.... He ordered a Wilwood clutch slave & master..

For my own vehicle I bought a McLeod Super StreetPro, they rate it at 500 Hp, my engine makes 420 so it should be fine..
 
Hence the reason to buy a hydraulic clutch.... Dramatically less pedal effort... The slave cylinder/throw out bearing combo has been used since the late eighties with very few issues.... Don't cheap out, buy the Wilwood from Silver Sport.... You won't regret it..... I have a Cuda in my shop right now with a dual disc McLeod RXT, the pedal doesn't feel much different than a Toyota...

I have a buddy with a 69 Coronet R/T 440 4 spd... He hasn't driven the car much in the last five years since we did a road trip & got caught in traffic... His knee was sore for a month after that... He stopped by the shop last week & I had him step on the clutch pedal in the Cuda.... He ordered a Wilwood clutch slave & master..

For my own vehicle I bought a McLeod Super StreetPro, they rate it at 500 Hp, my engine makes 420 so it should be fine..
I note that there are several slave cylinder bore sizes available - what size are you using? Also, I'm using Doug's headers - any potential issues with clutch fork / external slave interference?
 
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Using 3/4" on both cars... Not using a fork, the cylinder is directly attached to the bearing..... Like I mentioned previously, auto manufacturers have been using these since the late eighties with very few problems... If they were having problems they would have either solved the problem, or gone a different direction...


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2800 lb pressure plate, no wonder.
Yeah, not to mention whatever "high performance" friction materials they used on it.
What's going in to replace it is an old stock (but brand new) asbestos "parts store"
clutch and pressure plate, along with a flywheel resurfacing.
That ought to get it. :thumbsup:
 
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