I posted the following to the Southbend Testimonial page on their website:
"I had a single disc solid flywheel clutch installed in my Chevy on 02/15/10 by The PowerShop in Enumclaw, WA for $1855.03. The shop is 2 hours from my house, so I just drove down and waited for the clutch to be installed. After the truck was taken apart, the mechanic opened the box for the clutch and discovered two flywheels and no clutch plate. The PowerShop provided me with a rental car to get by for a couple days while they ordered a new clutch with the right parts. On 04/19/11, I noticed a clunking noise when shifting. I was able to find the cause of the noise, which was a loose transmission mount bolt, but the bolt had been stripped out. I also noticed a fluid leak from the transmission. There had also been a loud squealing noise coming from the clutch plate right while letting out the clutch. I hadn't ever had a heavy duty clutch like this, so I asked about it when I took the truck back to the shop. They checked it out and said everything was normal, fixed the leak, and couldn't find a problem at all with the mounting bolts. I crawled under the truck to show them what I was talking about, only to find 2 brand new mounting bolts that were tight. The owner of the shop offered me a discount, so I paid the $271.82 for the work and drove the truck home, but noticied a new whine noice at all times from the transmission. Even with the clutch pushed in, the whine would be there and change pitch as you ran the shifter through the gears. I called the shop, but at that point they said everything was fine and they were basically done with it.
Last month, I was driving from WA to MD. In the middle of WV, on the freeway, the RPMs climbed and I lost all power like the clutch was slipping. I pulled over tried reverse and a couple gears, but the truck wouldn't move and there was a good bit of grinding noise. I had the truck towed to the nearest shop that would work on a Duramax with a manual transmission to get it fixed. He found that the center of the clutch plate had "disintegrated." Since he didn't deal with anyone but Luk, he had to basically replace everything including the flywheel and put the truck back to stock. It cost over $1700 dollars on the repair, and I was able to finish moving across the country. The stock clutch is quiet, there are no strange squeaks or whines in it at all, and it's very smooth compared to the clutch I had installed in WA. The truck is used for everyday driving, with occational times I pull a trailer or truck bed camper. I've never heard of a clutch breaking so quickly and having so many problems under normal use. Would you guys like me to send it back so you can investigate what went wrong?"
I received this email back:
"We would like to see it. Please call us for an RMA so that you can send it in for us to check out.
SOUTH BEND CLUTCH
709 W JEFFERSON BLVD
MISHAWAKA, IN 46545
I then called for an RMA number, but they told me I would have to pay for shipping to send the clutch back. I know this clutch is out of warranty and I was willing to help them out by letting them take a look at it and improve on the design. Something major went wrong here.
I responded to Mary with the following email, but I haven't heard anything back:
I'm not going to be able to pay to send the busted clutch back. If you guys want to pay for shipping that's fine. Even if Southbend determined this to be a defect and sent me a new clutch plate, I wouldn't have the money to get it installed. Also, is there a reason my testimonial hasn't been posted to your website?
Since Southbend apparently only posts positive reviews to their website, I figured I would post mine on here instead.