Best Clutch for G56: Several Quality Options
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Experts have called it ‘the last of a dying breed’. Sure, the G56 saw the sunset falling on truck manual transmissions…
It’s not like all the Dodge Ram running on it suddenly disappeared or something. And where there’s a manual trans, you know there’d be a clutch too.
The best clutch for G56 options come from two brands – South Bend Clutch and Valair. Here are their most popular kits:
Of course, there are other cheaper options too. I’ll discuss them later on, though none of them would be able to match what you get with South Bend or Valair.
Let’s first discuss something important, though. It has to do with the purpose and limitations of the truck setup you plan on running.
Single disc vs dual disc clutch:
I covered this in my post on NV4500 & NV5600, the predecessors of the G56 transmission. Let me say it here too:
Going big & heavy isn’t always the best option for your vehicle.
Double discs can get noisy during neutral to idle times, and they are notably more expensive. If you plan on just commuting around the city, you have zero need for a DD clutch.
On the other hand, trying to tow heavier stuff around on a single disc will be a challenge.
Single-disc G56 stock clutches, for example, can handle anything up to 10k capacity. Once you go beyond that and throw in some extra HP, you’ll start facing some real struggles with your truck.
The same applies to many single disc replacements when you throw in heavy towing. Trailers will jerk or even worse, actually slip.
Extreme towing warrants a dual disc clutch – the most popular is South Bend SDD3250-GK, a fine piece of machinery.
Talking about single vs dual disc usage, here are the results of a CumminsForum poll:
Which is in line with what I’ve seen too. Most people running a G56 transmission prefer double disc clutches, simply because they want to haul stuff a lot.
Best clutch for G56 transmission:
Three best picks
Raw power focus:
South Bend SDD3250-GK
As I pointed out earlier, the most popular dual-disc clutch you’ll see people running is the SDD3250-GK.
This one’s the G56-specific variation of South Bend’s best-selling SDD3250 series. Two factors that help it stand out in its niche are:
- This clutch is an absolute monster capable of towing 30k with no sweat. Made for hard-working trucks.
- At 650 HP and 1300 torque, you’ll be covered no matter what setup you run.
Admittedly, the power has a trade-off. You’ll hear more gear rollover noise, especially on lower RPMs and at higher gears.
This clutch kit is not recommended for stock applications or racing/competition uses. Keep that in mind and don’t try to force things – otherwise, you’ll just compromise your Dodge Ram 2500 diesel (or alternative G56 truck).
Regarding the noise, I’ve seen some people experiment with using thicker oil. Seems to be a hit or miss, though – works in some cases, while on some other trucks, it hasn’t made a big difference.
In any case, this clutch blends a reasonable price with guaranteed performance for your extreme towing needs.
Striving for balance:
Valair Quiet Street
This Valair lives up to its name, as it packs a punch while reducing the amount of gear rollover noise or rattling.
Unlike the SDD3250-GK, the Quiet Street GQ56DDSN runs well on stock applications. It shifting feels the closest to OE shifts, and there’s little to no reverse bucking going on.
At the same time, the Quiet Street dual disk kit vastly outperforms any stock clutch parameters:
- A respectable range of 500 to 650 HP of optimal operation. The 550 HP middle ground seems best.
- While not as powerful as the South Bend SDD3250, it’s still towing-ready for anything from trailers to average-sized boats.
Quiet as it is, you will still hear some noise.
The rules still apply: lower RPM while being under heavier loads, or idling will cause noise. However, it’s way better than its South Bend counterparts in this price range.
Recommended single disc clutch:
If you want to skip on towing trailers, boats, whatever there is…
Well, you don’t really need a dual-disc clutch kit for your G56 transmission, right?
This Valair single disc is a worthy successor to any OEM clutch. It builds on the OE foundations and buffs up your engine with some much-needed power and durability improvements.
First of all, the calibration parameters here are 400 HP and 900 ft of torque. Respectable amounts for a single disc, making the Valair a more heavy-duty option.
This means that you can use it for light towing. Don’t expect it to be perfectly stable if you back up a trailer, though. There will be some jerkiness.
The NMU70G56-01 comes with an extra perk: you also receive a full HD hydraulic kit with it. The serial number of the hydraulics is NMU70HYD-03 and it costs a pretty penny by itself.
This justifies the higher price of this Valair compared to other single-disc clutches from the brand.
Any cheaper brands?
There are plenty of cheaper options for G56 clutch kits.
I’ll be honest, though: clutches are the last place I’d be looking to save money. This is too crucial of a truck part to throw in some dubiously manufactured replacement.
There’s a reason why South Bend Clutch and Valair are the go-to recommendations whenever you go to any Dodge Ram forums. These are established sellers with decades of history, awesome customer support, and expert consultation sessions if you need them.
To sum it up a bit…
Well, I hope I got my main points across. First, don’t overdo it if you don’t plan on using your truck for towing. A single disc clutch kit will be just fine for casual street driving.
Second, don’t cheap out when it comes to replacement parts. I’d understand it with something smaller like ball joints or other components. For clutches, though? Never recommended.
And as always – let me know what clutch option you decided to run in the end.
Don’t forget that both Valair and South Bend Clutch are open to consultation. They’re a friendly bunch of fellas who respect each other a lot. You can find the Valair site here, and the South Bend site here.
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