Valair Clutch Vs. South Bend Clutch: In-depth Differences

When it comes to upgrading your vehicle’s clutch, two names that often come up are Valair and South Bend. These companies offer high-quality, performance-driven clutches that promise to enhance your driving experience.

But which one is the better choice?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into both Valair and South Bend clutches, comparing their features, performance, and overall value to help you make an informed decision.

So buckle up and get ready for an engaging, easy-to-understand analysis of these two popular clutch brands.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureValair ClutchSouth Bend Clutch
Company BackgroundFounded in 1996, based in TexasFounded in 1967, based in Mishawaka, Indiana
SpecialtyDiesel pickup truck clutchesClutches for various applications
Friction MaterialsKevlar, ceramic, and organicFeramic, Kevlar, and other materials
Diaphragm DesignUnique design reducing pedal effortMarcel design for smooth engagement
Towing ClutchesHigh clamp load, increased friction material areaHigh clamp load, increased friction material area
Off-Road ClutchesDesigned for rough terrain and extreme conditionsDesigned for harsh environments and reliable performance
PricingCompetitive, options for various budgetsHigher end, justified by quality and durability
NoiseDepends on application, generally low noiseSome high-performance models may produce more noise

A Little Background on Valair and South Bend Clutches

Before we jump into the details, let’s get a quick overview of each company.

  • Valair
Valair Clutch
Valair Clutch

Founded in 1996, Valair is a Texas-based company specializing in clutches for diesel pickup trucks.

They offer a wide range of clutches, from OEM replacements to high-performance options for towing, racing, and off-road applications.

Valair prides itself on delivering top-notch customer service and a commitment to quality products.

  • South Bend

South Bend Clutch, located in Mishawaka, Indiana, has been in the clutch manufacturing business since 1967.

They provide clutches for various applications, including street, race, and off-road vehicles.

South Bend’s reputation is built on quality, performance, and durability, making them a popular choice for car enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Performance And Durability

When it comes to performance and durability, both Valair and South Bend have impressive track records. However, there are some differences in their approaches to achieving those goals.

  • Valair’s Performance

Valair focuses on providing high-quality materials and innovative designs to deliver excellent performance. They use Kevlar, ceramic, and organic friction materials in their clutches to ensure longevity and optimal performance under various driving conditions.

Additionally, their clutches feature a unique diaphragm design that reduces pedal effort while maintaining a strong clamp load.

  • South Bend’s Performance

South Bend Clutch uses a combination of high-quality materials, such as Feramic and Kevlar, to deliver unmatched performance and durability.

Their clutches are designed to handle increased horsepower and torque, making them ideal for towing, racing, and off-road applications.

South Bend’s clutches also incorporate a unique marcel design that provides a smooth engagement, reducing wear and tear on the drivetrain.

Towing and Off-Road Capabilities

If you’re looking for a clutch specifically designed for towing or off-road use, both Valair and South Bend have options to suit your needs.

  • Valair’s Towing and Off-Road Clutches
South Bend Clutch
South Bend Clutch

Valair offers a range of clutches designed for heavy towing and off-road applications.

Their towing clutches feature a higher clamp load and increased friction material surface area, providing superior holding power.

Additionally, Valair’s off-road clutches are designed to handle the abuse of rough terrain and extreme conditions, ensuring durability and longevity.

  • South Bend’s Towing and Off-Road Clutches

South Bend also has a selection of clutches specifically engineered for towing and off-road use.

Their towing clutches feature a high clamp load and increased friction material, offering excellent holding power and torque capacity.

For off-road enthusiasts, South Bend provides clutches that are designed to handle the abuse of harsh environments while maintaining smooth engagement and reliable performance.

Pricing and Value

Both Valair and South Bend clutches come at a premium price due to their high-quality materials and performance capabilities. However, the value you get from each brand depends on your specific needs and preferences.

  • Valair’s Pricing

Valair’s clutches are competitively priced, offering excellent value for their performance and durability. They have options for various budgets, from affordable OEM replacements to high-end performance clutches.

  • South Bend’s Pricing

South Bend Clutch’s products tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but their reputation for quality and durability justifies the cost.

Their clutches are built to handle extreme conditions and deliver exceptional performance, making them a worthwhile investment for those who demand the best.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where are South Bend clutches manufactured?

South Bend clutches are manufactured in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA. They take pride in their American-made products and maintain strict quality control standards to ensure the highest level of performance and durability.

Is a South Bend clutch noisy?

Some South Bend clutches, especially those designed for high-performance applications, may produce more noise than an OEM clutch. This noise is generally due to the use of more aggressive friction materials, such as Feramic, which can result in some chatter or rattling. However, most users find the increased performance well worth the trade-off.

What type of clutch is best for towing?

When looking for a clutch specifically designed for towing, you’ll want one with a high clamp load and increased friction material surface area to provide superior holding power and torque capacity. Both Valair and South Bend offer clutches specifically designed for towing, so be sure to consider your vehicle’s specifications and towing needs when choosing the right clutch.


Both Valair and South Bend clutches offer impressive performance, durability, and value. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

Valair provides a wide range of options for various applications, while South Bend focuses on high-performance and extreme conditions.

No matter which brand you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting a top-quality, reliable clutch that will enhance your driving experience.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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