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Odd Clutch Engagement Noise. HELP!

OrneryBear

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Not an installation issue whatsoever, the noise is coming from the design of the clutch disk.
Yes and I made that post before the owner of ACT chimed in, speaking to the design of the clutch.
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Actman

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Questions:

1. Was the groan noise an anticipated issue, given the instances in other applications?
2. Are the 4-6 instances you’re seeing here on the forums the first you’re hearing about it on the JL/JL/JT?
3. If it is documented in other applications, and it was a possibility in the JL/JK/JT installs, why would that not have been noted in the installation notes or purchasing details?
4. and what was the resolution in the instances involving other applications?
Great questions.
1. No it was not anticipated. All our 11" clutch discs for other applications use the same marcel segments and disc construction (LS, Mustang, HiLux, Tacoma) without noise complaints.
2. I believe the first I heard about it was a few months ago, then a couple more this past month. I can't tell you exactly how many people have called. If it were common I would hear about it, but of course I am not the one answering the CS calls.
3. Since it hasn't been prevalent on the JL/JT and it hasn't been an issue on the JK, we had no reason to note it in our instructions.
4. Adding a little more cushion to the clutch disc generally resolves the noise issue on an organic clutch disc.

I have been making and designing performance clutches for 45 years and have several experiences with the groan noise I won't take the time to share here, including recent friction material testing (cerametallic) a month ago and conversations with competitors. I mostly just want to make it clear this is not a new or a present danger to the vehicle.

I am not sure how much cushion we can get away with, and inevitably, if we change the cushion amount, we will either end up with a lower engagement point or less torque capacity. However Ia very small change should be enough to make the noise go away. This would involve introducing a new marcel (cushion) segment to our system. This is not a simple task but can be done. We would need to adjust our dies for the new cushion segments, ordering a new batch of stampings, which would take probably 2-3 months, travel testing the clutch assembly, deciding on any changes, then finally updating the bill of materials for the new clutch disc.
 
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Duece McCracken

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Great questions.
1. No it was not anticipated. All our 11" clutch discs for other applications use the same marcel segments and disc construction (LS, Mustang, HiLux, Tacoma) without noise complaints.
2. I believe the first I heard about it was a few months ago, then a couple more this past month. I can't tell you exactly how many people have called. If it were common I would hear about it, but of course I am not the one answering the CS calls.
3. Since it hasn't been prevalent on the JL/JT and it hasn't been an issue on the JK, we had no reason to note it in our instructions.
4. Adding a little more cushion to the clutch disc generally resolves the noise issue on an organic clutch disc.

I have been making and designing performance clutches for 45 years and have several experiences with the groan noise I won't take the time to share here, including recent friction material testing (cerametallic) a month ago and conversations with competitors. I mostly just want to make it clear this is not a new or a present danger to the vehicle.

I am not sure how much cushion we can get away with, and inevitably, if we change the cushion amount, we will either end up with a lower engagement point or less torque capacity. However I a very small change should be enough to make the noise go away. This would involve introducing a new marcel (cushion) segment to our system. This is not a simple task but can be done. We would need to adjust our dies for the new cushion segments, ordering a new batch of stampings, which would take probably 2-3 months, travel testing the clutch assembly, deciding on any changes, then finally updating the bill of materials for the new clutch disc.

So technically, a groany disc has more(very small probably) torque handling capacity?

It's a limited "extra torque" edition. Lmfao!
 

mudpup

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Which shop?
Milford and I see you’re in CT as well.
We should try and set up a meet in the late Spring and swap Jeeps to test out the others clutch.
Maybe not, they both can’t be perfect..lol ?
 

fczabala

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I mostly just want to make it clear this is not a new or a present danger to the vehicle.
This is what I wanted to hear.
I mean, it is annoying and not ideal but still better than the alternative (oem) in my opinion.

I'm definitely going to keep my eye on any revisions ACT makes in the future and hopefully they can do something for us at that time.

In the meantime, this is just one more noise to get used to lol SMH
 

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OldGuyNewJeep

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Milford and I see you’re in CT as well.
We should try and set up a meet in the late Spring and swap Jeeps to test out the others clutch.
Maybe not, they both can’t be perfect..lol ?
I grew up in Milford, and also had mine done there.
 

Mr.Klean

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So our ACT JP6-HDSS Clutch has a groaning noise in neutral that I noticed and we have close to 3k miles on the clutch. Jeep still drives great clutch works as it should and hopefully that doesn’t change.
 
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So our ACT JP6-HDSS Clutch has a groaning noise in neutral that I noticed and we have close to 3k miles on the clutch. Jeep still drives great clutch works as it should and hopefully that doesn’t change.
Only in Neutral?
 

Actman

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So our ACT JP6-HDSS Clutch has a groaning noise in neutral that I noticed and we have close to 3k miles on the clutch. Jeep still drives great clutch works as it should and hopefully that doesn’t change.
The noise you are describing is idle gear rattle, are caused by the solid flywheel design and stronger disc dampening springs.
 

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Actman

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It would be a long haul before we have different marcel segments and I haven't pulled the trigger on that yet. There is also no guarantee it will be a 100% solution either, since we haven't experienced the issue on the JL/JT ourselves or tested anything yet.

For a bit of background, I did a quick search for the same/similar noise for other clutches. I was mostly looking for race applications, but I was surprised how common this is on stock vehicles with an OEM clutch. Like I said, it was just a quick google search, but here are some applications that seem to have the same issue:

Toyota with ACT 6 puck: https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f2/act-6-puck-clutch-noise-28593/
Honda 9th Gen Civic SI stock clutch:
Mini with Stock clutch: https://www.psmini.org/forum/the-dreaded-chewbacca_topic10036.html
https://www.minitorque.com/threads/very-strange-noise-when-moving-off-from-the-clutch.12943/
Honda CRV stock clutch: https://www.civinfo.com/threads/clutch-sounds-like-a-wookie.151666/
Mazda 6 stock clutch: https://www.mazda6club.com/threads/chewbacca-noise.444525/
JL with Centerforce: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/centerforce-dual-friction-clutch-moan.58753/
Audi A4 stock clutch: https://www.vwaudiforum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php/73405-Clutch-noise-when-pulling-away
Honda with Unknown 6 puck: https://honda-tech.com/forums/acura-integra-6/new-clutch-squeaks-normal-1701277/
LS1 with Clutchmasters assembly and Centerforce clutch disc: https://ls1tech.com/forums/manual-t...eal-when-slowly-engaging-your-clutch-1st.html
Supra with Tilton and Spec: https://www.supraforums.com/threads/squealing-noise-from-tilton-clutch-setup.393671/
Southbend stage 2:
GTO with Monster clutch: https://www.ls1gto.com/threads/squealing-noise-during-clutch-engagement-when-cold.638401/
Hellcat with McLeod clutch: https://community.cartalk.com/t/mcleod-clutch-squeak-squeal/163178
Honda with Action 2MD clutch: https://honda-tech.com/forums/acura-integra-6/clutch-makes-very-irritable-noise-649599/
RX7 with unknown clutch: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/clutch-squealing-when-clutching-out/35209/page1/
Civic with Spec stage 2: https://www.civicx.com/forum/threads/spec-stage-2-clutch-noise.34011/
 

Actman

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After seeing how many other stock applications have this issue, the "chewbacca" noise is more common that I ever thought. I have thoughts on possible design changes such as increased marcel as mentioned before, narrower friction material, smaller disc, alternative friction material (all have various tradeoffs of course), but more data is needed first.
I cannot monitor this thread all the time so if you are experiencing the noise issue, please contact me directly either by DM or email at [email protected] so we can gather more detailed information to narrow down the options. I would specifically like to know:
1. Your name and when/where the clutch was purchased?
2. How many miles have been put on the clutch when the noise began?
3. Where does the clutch engage/disengage in the pedal travel?
4. How severe is the noise? Does it occur anytime other than in first and reverse?
5. How difficult is it to avoid the noise when engaging?
6. Gearing and tire size?
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