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Nuts & Bolts: Clutch for a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500

Posted in How To: Tech Qa on June 1, 2016
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Photographers: Trenton McGee

’Mericlutch
I am looking to replace the clutch on my 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500, and I was not wanting to install anything other than an American-made product. I checked out Centerforce, but they are a little pricey for me, and I really don't need a “performance” product, as my truck is pretty much stock. Any info or advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Paula P.
Via nuts@4wheeloffroad.com

We think it’s awesome that you have a relatively late-model Silverado with a manual transmission, as those are pretty rare these days. We also appreciate your wanting to be sure you install a quality product that is made right here in the USA. Unfortunately, much as your American-made truck has a bunch of components on it that were not sourced in the U.S., clutches (and most other products these days) do too. There are basically four major clutch manufacturers in the world, and all four of them use globally sourced components. As a result, you might get a clutch disc that’s made in the U.S. but a pressure plate that was made in Germany or somewhere else abroad. Or a U.S.-made clutch and pressure plate but a throwout bearing made overseas. Performance clutch manufacturers such as Centerforce (centerforce.com) and other well-respected brands offer products that are designed in the U.S., and the majority of their components are built in-house, but there’s a chance that not everything that makes up a clutch assembly is sourced and manufactured here. Quality often comes at a premium, and the strict quality control procedures that performance clutch manufacturers use help ensure that the product is excellent regardless of where the individual components were made.

Though we have had excellent luck with Centerforce and many of the other performance clutch brands, we understand that your mostly stock truck might not need the extra holding power and other features that a performance clutch offers. Also, the extra performance usually has an extra cost to match. Since cost is a concern, we recommend going with a high-quality stock replacement clutch. Luk (shaeffler-aftermarket.us) has made clutches for a wide variety of OE manufacturers for many years, so there’s a strong chance the stock clutch in your truck was manufactured by Luk. If you were happy with the longevity and performance of your original clutch, then Luk would be a good choice. The company has all of the quality controls in place to make components that meet or exceed OE standards. We have used Luk clutches quite a bit in the past and have been very happy. Luk also frequently private-labels its products for other brands, and sometimes those brands are significantly cheaper. For example, we recently purchased a very affordable Napa-branded clutch assembly that contained all Luk components. A good parts store counterman will be able to tell you which company manufactures the clutch components, so it’s worth asking because you could save some money.

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