Best Clutch for Dodge Cummins: Our Top 5 Picks for 2021

Without the best clutch for Dodge Cummins trucks, you risk an erratic ride. Shift smoother with our top choices.

Clutches aren’t widely talked about and often go unnoticed. Yet, the clutch in a Cummins truck is doing all of the hard work. It gets you moving after being stopped, it allows the truck to accelerate and handles all of the hard towing. When the time comes to replace the old one, you want the best clutch for Dodge Cummins trucks.

Best Clutch for Dodge Cummins - clutch disk

Whether you are driving a Dodge 6.7 or you need help with your 5.9 Cummins truck, we’ve got the reviews you are looking for. Our Ram clutch review is going to show you the top models and help you get them installed.

What is a Dodge Cummins Clutch?

The clutch is widely underappreciated and often misunderstood. Many people believe it is only found in a manual car, but that’s not true. In a manual transmission setup, the clutch is responsible for connecting and disconnecting two rotational shafts that engage or disengage the transmission.

Without the clutch, it would be impossible to change speeds without coming to a stop or shutting off the engine. The clutch temporarily shuts down the connection between the wheels and engine. As the clutch pedal applies force to the pressure plate, this part releases the clutch plate.

This plate bolts to the truck’s flywheel. As motion is transferred to the wheels, they turn simultaneously. With a manual transmission, the driver is responsible for making this happen. However, the same process occurs with an automatic transmission, it just does so without any driver input.

Diagram of an automotive clutch
How a Car Works

Dodge Cummins Clutch Replacement Buying Guide

Before you purchase a Dodge Cummins clutch kit, consider these important factors.

Pilot Bearing Material

The pilot bearing is an essential part that supports the input shaft of the transmission. The older types are constructed from sintered bronze or brass, while newer transmissions use a roller-bearing design to comply with newer laws. The roller bearing is going to create less drag, allowing you to shift faster. They also won’t become deformed like the bronze and brass counterparts.

Pressure Plate Style

This vital component is considered essential to a well-working clutch. It supplies the clamping force that’s needed and prevents slippage of the clutch. While there are several styles of pressure plates, you are looking for a diaphragm style for the Cummins. This type offers the best engagement, extends the life of the clutch and offers a natural action.

Flywheel Material

The flywheel effectively stores energy from the clutch. It also supplies the mounting required for the ring gear. The majority of flywheels are created from billet steel, which provides smooth engagement. However, some drag racers will opt for an aluminum flywheel instead because of the lighter weight.

Clutch Disc Design

Typically, the clutch is going to be replaced because the disc has worn down. You have two disc types to choose from, either the sprung hub or solid hub. Most Cummins owners prefer the sprung hub because it absorbs shock during engagement better. The sprung hub will also dissipate shock before other parts become damaged.

The clutch disc can be constructed from several materials. Organic materials are used to provide the best drivability, but they can also lose friction and slip, especially when heated up. We don’t recommend replacing your stock clutch with this material. The Kevlar clutch disc provides better friction control, but you will lose some drivability. There could be chatter when in Reverse or a lower gear. However, this is a good upgrade from the stock clutch.

The best option is sintered iron. This material doesn’t suffer from slippage or a loss of friction often. It’s the best option for high horsepower needed, plus is completely maintainable. When the clutch begins slipping, you can resurface it for future use.

Price

We understand that you want a cheap dual disk clutch for Cummins, but you can’t skimp on quality. If you buy a subpar clutch today, you will end up needing a new replacement down the road. Instead, invest a good amount of money and purchase your Dodge Cummins clutch from a reliable brand that provides a warranty.

Best Clutch for Dodge Cummins: 5 Top Products Examined

1. South Bend G56-OKHD Review – Best Dodge Cummins Clutch Kit

South Bend Clutch G56-OKHD Clutch Kit

When discussing the top brands, whether you want the best clutch for a 7.3 Powerstroke or you need one for your Cummins, South Bend is going to be the best option out there. The G56 clutch is comparable to what we’ve read in the Phoenix Friction clutch reviews and blows away the Power Torque clutch review.

With this G56 clutch upgrade, you can overcome any obstacle. The brand has an amazing reputation for durability, so you won’t be replacing it again anytime soon. Plus, this clutch is perfectly designed to work with up to 425 horsepower motors, giving it a broad range of compatibility.

While the reviews are stellar, it is worth noting that some users found the pedal a little harder to push. You might need to apply a little more pressure than you are used to, but it should quickly become second nature.

Features:

  • Compatibility: 2005.5-2013 Dodge 5.9/6.7L
  • Flywheel Included: Yes
  • Disc Material: Organic
  • Hub Style: Sprung
  • Pilot Bushing Material: Steel Roller Bearing
  • Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Warranty: 12-Month/12,000 Miles
  • Highly Rated
ProsCons
Superior customer reviewsPedal might require more effort
Durable construction 
Works with a variety of vehicles 
Includes warranty 
South Bend Clutch G56-OKHD Clutch Kit
  • Package Weight: 120.0 lbs
  • package height : 8.0 "
  • package length : 19.0 "
  • package width : 18.0 "

2. South Bend SDD3250-GK Review – Best Dual Disc Dodge Cummins Clutch

South Bend Clutch SDD3250-GK Clutch Kit

If after reading some Rhinopac clutch reviews, you decided you wanted something high-quality, we would recommend this option from South Bend instead. It might be one of the most expensive on the market, but you get what you pay for.

South Bend creates this clutch kit to be extremely durable and ready to handle tough situations. Not only is it compatible with several trucks, but it also helps you achieve maximum performance out of your Cummins.

Every aspect of this clutch kit is created with durable, high-performing parts that are built to last. You won’t have to replace it anytime soon, and you will be amazed at how much more enjoyable the ride is. Plus, you are covered by South Bend’s warranty, thereby guaranteeing that nothing should go wrong.

Features:

  • Compatibility: 2005.5-2008 Dodge 5.9/6.7L
  • Flywheel Included: Yes
  • Disc Material: Organic/Ceramic
  • Hub Style: Sprung
  • Pilot Bushing Material: Steel Roller Bearing
  • Weight: 100 lbs.
  • Warranty: 12-Month/12,000 Miles
  • High-Performance
ProsCons
Designed to be high-qualityExpensive
Exceptional customer reviews 
Compatible with many trucks 
South Bend warranty coverage 
Sale
South Bend Clutch SDD3250-GK Clutch Kit
  • NOT recommended for stock applications
  • Ft-Lbs:650 hp 1300 tq

3. LuK 05-182 Review – Best Cheap Dodge Cummins Clutch Kit

Schaeffler LuK RepSet 05-182 Clutch Kit, OEM Clutch Replacement Kit

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent clutch replacement for your Cummins truck. This ready-to-install clutch is a perfect OEM replacement, offering the same level of performance you have come to expect from your Dodge truck.

LuK is a leader in the industry, so you can be sure that this clutch won’t give you any trouble. However, it will need to be changed sooner than a higher-end model simply because it is constructed with cheaper materials. If you aren’t sure how long you plan to keep your truck, this might be the best way to get by for a minimal amount upfront.

As with the other options, this clutch will fit a variety of trucks and comes with everything you need for installation. Some users have mentioned a little noise as the clutch is breaking in, but this seems to go away after a little use.

Features:

  • Compatibility: 2005.5-2018 Dodge 5.9/6.7L
  • Flywheel Included: Yes
  • Disc Material: Organic
  • Hub Style: Sprung
  • Pilot Bushing Material: Bronze
  • Weight: 41 lbs.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • OEM Replacement
ProsCons
Constructed to OEM specificationsLower quality construction
Limited lifetime warrantySome noise while breaking in
Includes everything for installation 
Low cost 
Schaeffler LuK RepSet 05-182 Clutch Kit, OEM Clutch Replacement Kit
  • OEM Clutch Replacement Kits: Our clutch kits suit a huge variety of vehicles, including Cars, Trucks, SUVs,Vans, Motorcycles, & Scooters, as well as ATVs & UTVs. Every LuK product is 100% functionally tested to meet applicable OEM performance specifications.
  • Replacement Clutch Kit: As an original-equipment supplier, LuK develops the performance specifications for individual vehicle applications. Each OEM part is carefully crafted to suit the exact needs of a vehicle, keeping in mind its year, brand and make!
  • Complete Clutch Kit: This clutch repair kit comes with replacement drive train parts for clutches, and each LuK RepSet is 100% functionally tested, guaranteed to meet applicable OEM performance specifications!
  • LuK RepSet: This package of clutch replacement components contains everything you need to get the job done right, a new clutch, disc, and related components. Each component is engineered and manufactured for flawless performance.
  • Our LuK clutch replacement parts can be used for various models of Cars, Trucks, SUVs,Vans, Motorcycles, & Scooters, as well as ATVs & UTVs. Please check for the correct build, year, and model before buying.

4. Valair G56 Spring Hub Dual Disc Review – Best Performance Clutch

Valair Performance G56 Spring Hub Dual Disc Clutch (Ceramic)

If you are looking to invest in a high-performance clutch for maximum horsepower and towing support, this option from Valair is sure to impress. The company is known for constructing high-quality clutch kits, and this model is no exception.

Even if you enjoy heavy towing, you will find this to provide the shifting power you desire. With the dual disc, you get a wider range and superior holding power when compared to the single disc. Still, you will experience many of the same driving characteristics.

The kit comes with the flywheel, throwout bearing and pressure plate, so you have everything you need to get started. The company even includes a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty, ensuring that you are well protected during the drive.

Features:

  • Compatibility: 2005.5-2018 Dodge 5.9/6.7L
  • Flywheel Included: Yes
  • Disc Material: Organic
  • Hub Style: Sprung
  • Pilot Bushing Material: Steel Roller Bearing
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Warranty: 12-Month/12,000-Mile
  • High-Performance
ProsCons
Meant to handle large loadsExpensive
Durable construction 
Long service life 
Complete kit 
Valair Performance G56 Spring Hub Dual Disc Clutch (Ceramic)
  • Ceramic/Ceramic (rated to 650 HP) Suitable for modified trucks needing the extra holding power of a dual disc and the quick shifting characteristics that a diaphragm clutch has to offer. If you are going to drag race with a manual truck, this would be a great choice.

5. Ultim8 Stage 2 Performance Clutch Kit Review – Runner Up

Ultim8 Compatible with Stage 2 Clutch kit Dodge Ram 2500 3500 1998-2003 5.9L Cummins L6 V10 5-SPD (05-092-2)

If none of the other kits seem to suit you, then it’s time to take a look at this newer option. Yes, the company doesn’t have as long of a reputation as some of the other brands, but you don’t want to overlook the value of being the little guy.

For a reasonable price, you can have this high-performance clutch kit on your Cummins truck. Saving money is always a good thing, especially when you don’t need to sacrifice quality. This clutch kit is designed to handle heavy towing situations and lots of abuse without needing a replacement anytime soon.

Customers haven’t been able to say enough good about the kit. Plus, the company offers a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for additional protection. We can’t imagine that you will need to file a warranty claim, but just in case, we also hear the customer service team is extremely helpful.

Features:

  • Compatibility: 1998-2003 Dodge 5.9L
  • Flywheel Included: Yes
  • Disc Material: Organic/Ceramic
  • Hub Style: Sprung
  • Pilot Bushing Material: Steel Roller Bearing
  • Weight: 36.9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 12-Month/12,000-Mile
  • Solid Construction
ProsCons
High-performance for lessMight be slightly noisy
Fits older truck modelsCompany not as well-known
Reliable construction 
Helpful customer support 
Ultim8 Compatible with Stage 2 Clutch kit Dodge Ram 2500 3500 1998-2003 5.9L Cummins L6 V10 5-SPD (05-092-2)
  • NODULAR (DUCTILE) CAST IRON W/GERMAN STEEL DIAPHRAGM SPRINGS FOR LONGER LIFE – Ultim8 pressure plates are manufactured using maximum strength nodular cast iron, which provides significantly higher impact & wear resistance vs. standard gray iron. Ultim8 diaphragm springs made from German steel are designed to last longer than 1 million cycles.
  • DUAL FRICTION – Our Ultim8 dual friction disc features an alloy back organic and segmented ceramic for optimal performance and comfort.
  • MADE IN USA – Ultim8 offers industry leading 12 MONTH OR 12,000 MILE LIMITED WARRANTY. Every Ultim8 clutch product comes standard with comprehensive limited warranty that covers issues related to performance, fitment and function. Buy with Ultim8 confidence!
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE KIT – (1) Nodular cast iron pressure plate, (1) Dual friction clutch disc, (1) High-Temp throwout bearing, (1) Pilot bearing, (1) Clutch alignment tool, (1) Clutch installation guide, (1) High-Temperature grease pack
  • CHECK VEHICLE FITMENT, IMPORTANT FITMENT NOTE – Fits NV4500 5 Speed Manual Transmission – Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Diesel I6 (98-03), Ram 2500 8.0L Gas V10 (98-03), Ram 3500 5.9L Cummins Diesel I6 (98-03), Ram 3500 8.0L Gas V10 (98-03). Please verify vehicle fitment by entering the year, make, model and additional specifications using Amazon’s ‘My Garage’ tool above.

Signs of a Bad Dodge Clutch

How do you know if you need a Dodge Cummins clutch replacement? Here are a few symptoms to watch for.

Manual transmission shifter

Engine Revs, but Acceleration Lacks

This issue is referred to as clutch slippage. This problem occurs when the clutch generates friction but it is reduced because of old age or abuse. Without the right amount of friction to turn the flywheel, it must work harder to transfer the same amount of energy.

Noisy Truck in Neutral

When the input shaft bearing gets worn out, it will create more noise when the truck is in Neutral. You should notice the noise decreases when you press the clutch pedal down.

Other Strange Noises

Additionally, you might hear chirping or squealing after the clutch pedal is depressed. This problem comes from a pilot bearing or throwout bearing going bad. As the lubricant dries, valuable parts begin rubbing together. However, if you can catch these problems early, you might avoid costly repairs later.

Another noise to be aware of is the dreaded grinding sound. This dragging clutch sound often indicates trouble with the release mechanism, throwout bearing or pressure plate. When the clutch can’t release during gear changes, you could create major damage to the transmission.

Can’t Get Truck in Gear

If you push the clutch pedal down and it feels loose or it doesn’t catch properly, you will have trouble getting the pickup into gear. Sometimes it’s just a part that isn’t fitting right, especially if you just installed an aftermarket Cummins clutch. There could also be air in the line if the system is hydraulic.

Issues with the Pedal

The final clue that something might be wrong can be felt in the pedal. When the clutch is going bad, you might notice changes when you step on the pedal. These changes could be a vibration, pulsation or chatter. It could also become stiff or harder to push. On the other hand, a bad clutch can create a pedal that goes straight to the floor and stay there, or it might become spongy. If you notice something doesn’t feel right with the pedal, you want to have the clutch looked at right away.

Installing a Dodge Cummins Clutch Replacement

Changing out your own Dodge Cummins clutch is not a simple job and should not be taken lightly. Without the right tools and shop environment, you could cause major damage to the vital systems of your vehicle. While we will provide you with the basic steps, you should consider getting a professional to help if you are unsure what to do.

  1. Read any instructions that come with your new clutch kit.
  2. Use your floor jack to get the truck lifted.
  3. Secure it on jack stands.
  4. Drop the driveshaft.
  5. Remove the starter.
  6. Disconnect the transmission.
  7. Remove the transmission.
  8. Take off the clutch assembly from the flywheel.
  9. Inspect and replace any worn parts.
  10. Reassemble the clutch assembly.
  11. Replace the throwout bearing.
  12. Reattach the transmission.
  13. Install the driveshaft.
  14. Make adjustments as needed.
  15. Test drive your truck to see how the new clutch responds and feels.

Here’s a helpful video if you prefer visual explanations.

Dodge Ram 1500 Clutch FAQs

Can I replace a Dodge Cummins clutch myself?

Once you have diagnosed a bad Cummins clutch, it’s not difficult to find the best replacement. However, the installation is complex and takes some time. If you are not mechanically included and don’t have the right tools, you should not attempt to replace them yourself.

How many miles should a clutch last?

Most clutches have a service life of around 60,000 miles. However, depending on how you drive and the type of clutch you use, it could only last 30,000 miles or make it over 100,000 miles.

How can I make my clutch last longer?

To get more life out of your clutch, make sure you aren’t riding it. Only use the clutch when necessary and avoid using it as a footrest. If you plan to slow down, don’t downshift simply out of habit, but wait until it is necessary.

What is a Cummins diesel engine?’

Rudolf Diesel created the original diesel engine in 1897. Cummins was a brand that improved upon this initial design. In modern vehicles, Cummins engines provide superior torque and top horsepower. The Cummins engine comes in several varieties, which include the 5.9L and 6.7L. 

Conclusion

Finding the best clutch for Dodge Cummins models isn’t difficult if you know what to look for. Our guide broke down the best options and showed you what factors are important. With a Dodge Ram 1500 clutch replacement, you can expect to travel many more miles with ease.

Here’s a recap of our top 5 clutches:

South Bend Clutch G56-OKHD Clutch Kit
  • Package Weight: 120.0 lbs
  • package height : 8.0 "
  • package length : 19.0 "
  • package width : 18.0 "
Sale
South Bend Clutch SDD3250-GK Clutch Kit
  • NOT recommended for stock applications
  • Ft-Lbs:650 hp 1300 tq
Schaeffler LuK RepSet 05-182 Clutch Kit, OEM Clutch Replacement Kit
  • OEM Clutch Replacement Kits: Our clutch kits suit a huge variety of vehicles, including Cars, Trucks, SUVs,Vans, Motorcycles, & Scooters, as well as ATVs & UTVs. Every LuK product is 100% functionally tested to meet applicable OEM performance specifications.
  • Replacement Clutch Kit: As an original-equipment supplier, LuK develops the performance specifications for individual vehicle applications. Each OEM part is carefully crafted to suit the exact needs of a vehicle, keeping in mind its year, brand and make!
  • Complete Clutch Kit: This clutch repair kit comes with replacement drive train parts for clutches, and each LuK RepSet is 100% functionally tested, guaranteed to meet applicable OEM performance specifications!
  • LuK RepSet: This package of clutch replacement components contains everything you need to get the job done right, a new clutch, disc, and related components. Each component is engineered and manufactured for flawless performance.
  • Our LuK clutch replacement parts can be used for various models of Cars, Trucks, SUVs,Vans, Motorcycles, & Scooters, as well as ATVs & UTVs. Please check for the correct build, year, and model before buying.
Valair Performance G56 Spring Hub Dual Disc Clutch (Ceramic)
  • Ceramic/Ceramic (rated to 650 HP) Suitable for modified trucks needing the extra holding power of a dual disc and the quick shifting characteristics that a diaphragm clutch has to offer. If you are going to drag race with a manual truck, this would be a great choice.
Ultim8 Compatible with Stage 2 Clutch kit Dodge Ram 2500 3500 1998-2003 5.9L Cummins L6 V10 5-SPD (05-092-2)
  • NODULAR (DUCTILE) CAST IRON W/GERMAN STEEL DIAPHRAGM SPRINGS FOR LONGER LIFE – Ultim8 pressure plates are manufactured using maximum strength nodular cast iron, which provides significantly higher impact & wear resistance vs. standard gray iron. Ultim8 diaphragm springs made from German steel are designed to last longer than 1 million cycles.
  • DUAL FRICTION – Our Ultim8 dual friction disc features an alloy back organic and segmented ceramic for optimal performance and comfort.
  • MADE IN USA – Ultim8 offers industry leading 12 MONTH OR 12,000 MILE LIMITED WARRANTY. Every Ultim8 clutch product comes standard with comprehensive limited warranty that covers issues related to performance, fitment and function. Buy with Ultim8 confidence!
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE KIT – (1) Nodular cast iron pressure plate, (1) Dual friction clutch disc, (1) High-Temp throwout bearing, (1) Pilot bearing, (1) Clutch alignment tool, (1) Clutch installation guide, (1) High-Temperature grease pack
  • CHECK VEHICLE FITMENT, IMPORTANT FITMENT NOTE – Fits NV4500 5 Speed Manual Transmission – Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Diesel I6 (98-03), Ram 2500 8.0L Gas V10 (98-03), Ram 3500 5.9L Cummins Diesel I6 (98-03), Ram 3500 8.0L Gas V10 (98-03). Please verify vehicle fitment by entering the year, make, model and additional specifications using Amazon’s ‘My Garage’ tool above.