Which Clutch Disc is Better : Full Face or Puck Style?

It’s friction that causes a clutch to hold firmly to the flywheel. It’s mainly due to the friction material on the clutch disc, although the pressure plate plays a factor as well. You may be dealing with someone that needs to replace a slipping clutch on their stock compact car, someone who has enhanced their car’s performance significantly, or someone else who just blew up their clutch on their high-performance drift car.

Pairing the right clutch disc to the application is a critical step. You need to know a few important details including whether it’s for street or track use, what the horsepower rating is, and what type of driveability is expected. While a spring or unsprung disc is a major factor, and clutch material is important, it’s also vital to determine which style of clutch disc is required: a full disc or a puck-style clutch disc.


Benefits of Full Face Clutch Disc

You’ll find virtually all Original Equipment clutch discs are a full face disc design. That’s the most cost-effective style of clutch disc to use at the assembly plant. Readily available and a proven design, a full disc is reliable and performs well for most people.

The biggest benefit of a full disc for the average purchaser is the cost. A commonly-found full clutch disc is the lowest-priced option, hands down. Whether it’s from the OEM or an aftermarket supplier, it’s going to be priced the best.

A full clutch disc is almost always a sprung clutch disc, making it smooth to operate in street driving conditions. Some entry-level unsprung or rigid full discs are available for cars with light to moderate modifications and horsepower increases. These can be a good replacement option for normal wear and tear, but don’t serve the customer well if the old clutch has obviously failed due to aggressive driving. As well, rigid clutch discs are much less smooth to drive and can make street driving frustrating.


Benefits of a Puck-Style Clutch Disc

Puck-style clutch discs are exclusively high-performance clutch discs. They are meant for instances where instant clutch engagement is critical, such as on the race track or the drag strip.

A puck-style clutch disc has more force per square inch on your flywheel than a full clutch disc. The fewer pucks on the clutch disc, the better it grabs on the flywheel. Configurations vary depending on the vehicle and application however three-, four-, five-, six-, and seven-puck designs are around.

Because there is more force exerted on your flywheel with a puck-style clutch, it ‘hooks up’ almost immediately. That can cause that unpleasant jerking feeling on the street, which is why most puck-style clutches are used in racing applications. A sprung puck-style clutch disc helps alleviate it slightly, but it’s still much more aggressive than a full clutch disc.

Because of the extreme differences between a full clutch disc and a puck-style clutch disc, it’s very important to choose the right one for the application. In general, stay with a full clutch disc for street applications unless the car is heavily modified or chews up clutches. On racing applications, a puck-style clutch disc is the better choice.

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