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Installing a Centerforce DYAD DS On An LS3

Words & Photos: Chadly Johnson

First and foremost please let me state that I am not a master mechanic, I am a shade tree wrench at best, so this article with be written from that perspective.   Since I’m stronger with a camera than a wrench, I will let photos do most of the talking in the installation process.  My hope will be that you can take what you see, and allow it to assist you in your own installation, or aid you in your choice to pursue having a shop handle the install for you.

I recently witnessed the joining of a wicked 632 hp “Blue Print” 427 LS3 engine to a TREMEC T56 six speed transmission at MetalWorks Restoration Shop in Eugene, Oregon.  The crew at MetalWorks has done a number of LS conversions for customers, as well as in the shop's own full blown restoration projects, so they are definitely an authority.  I had often wondered what components were being used to transfer the crazy amount of power generated by today’s LS platforms to the transmission without breaking something every other time you dumped the clutch.  The answer came in the form of a Centerforce DYAD DS (Drive System).  The DYAD multi-disc clutch design allows for vehicles with up to 1300 ft/lbs of torque to still be driven daily.  That is CRAZY, but it is becoming less and less uncommon to hear about street cars putting out over 1000hp with torque ratings to match.

As you can see in the images each DYAD system arrives ready to install, and with every clutch balanced and dyno tested.  The install was very smooth with nice features like decals indicating the proper directions components should face each other.  All torque specs are provided, and the clutch system arrives assembled in the order in which you install it, so it’s pretty simple.  In fact the only part of the process that would have made me nervous was the hydraulic throw out bearing since a non-GM bearing was utilized.  The team at MetalWorks made it look easy, but anytime this guy sees math involved with installing anything, I get a bit uncomfortable.  Precision measurements need to be made to calculate the number of shims used when installing the bearing, as seen in the photos.  An American Powertrain HYDRAMAX hydraulic system was chosen for this application and worked out very smoothly.   Next, came the installation of the TREMEC 5 speed transmission, which again crew at MetalWorks made look easy. 

All in all the process took less than an hour, and I feel confident that most skilled mechanics would handle the process just fine.  If, on the other hand, you are less than confident in your mechanical skills like I am, I might leave this one to the pros like MetalWorks.  I prefer the peace of mind of a job being handled by professionals, but one thing is for sure, this combination of components will keep your dream ride burning rubber reliably for years to come.