Diaphragm clutches are much lighter in pedal effort for a given clamping force, have no centrifugal effect, and don't use ridged release levers, using flexible spring-steel levers instead. Generally, the diaphragm clutch is considered too delicate for full competition use. On the other hand, Long pressure plates have a quicker-releasing 4.8:1 lever ratio and is the preferred style for true competition use. Long's operate through a combination of static and centrifugal clamping, gaining centrifugal assist directly from weighted levers imparting the additional clamping load. Since the conventional Long cover won't fit in a Mopar application, this is where the McLeod Borg and Beck/Long fills the gap. The McLeod B&B/Long combines the operational features of a Long clutch in a heavy duty B&B-style hat. Though the Dart isn't a race car, with the way it's continually hammered on, a B&B/Long was the choice for our application. The McLeod B&B/Long pressure plate will accept either a 10.5- or 10.95-inch disc on a common Mopar 10.5-inch B&B bolt pattern flywheel.

The last choice was in the clutch disc. Again, McLeod offers a wide range of discs, from street replacement types to iron-faced, to multi-disced street/strip and race units. We consulted McLeod's tech line and let them pick the disc for our combination. We went with a No. 260821 Dual Performance 10.95-inch disc, which features a combination of Kevlar(tm) and asbestos facings on the flywheel and pressure plate sides, respectively. Though it's a high-performance disc, the marcel layer under the friction lining provides a smooth take up. Rounding out the parts list was a new throwout bearing, which comes from McLeod already installed on a new slide collar.

The McLeod components bolted-up with the ease and fit of OE replacement parts, but on the road the Dart's new clutch setup bites like no OE clutch ever could. The performance grip was there, but what really got our attention was how smoothly the performance clutch engaged and disengaged. Off-the-line chatter is nonexistent with this combo for silky-smooth starts in normal driving. Sidestep the clutch, on the other hand, and the bite is right now, setting the tire ablaze. Okay, Comet dude, bring it on now....

McLeod Industries
1600 Sierra Madre Cir.
CA  92870