As the miles have racked up on our '05 GTO, we began to notice the clutch was wearing out. Though the factory clutch on the LS2 GTO has served us well for over 58,000 miles, it began to show signs of slipping with a few of our recent power additions and some heavy use at the track.

To better wade through all the clutch choices available in the aftermarket, we sought some direction. We got in touch with James Pogrebetsky of Billet Prototypes on LS1gto.com and explained our situation to him. The GTO is constantly at autocross events and occasionally the road course. It sees street duty nearly every day and there are plans for some more power. There's nothing worse than investing money in a new clutch and finding that it won't hold the power.

Which Clutch?
After hearing our concerns, James suggested the Monster Level 3 clutch with one of the company's lightweight billet-steel flywheels. "The Level 3 features a fine balance of perfor-mance and comfort," he says. "It's not uncom-mon for people to experience clutch chatter and poor driveability on a high-performance clutch, but the Level 3 has been great at minimizing that. When properly broken in, chatter is kept to a minimum." As a distributor for these clutches, he has a lot of experience with them.

Clutch chatter is no fun. It occurs when you begin to release the pedal and the clutch disc pucks are trying to grip the pressure plate as it rotates, constantly gripping and releasing. This causes the car to shudder or vibrate when you take off from a stop. It's embarrassing, and can be destructive to the clutch and drivetrain. Sometimes it's just inherent in the design and can't be prevented with a break-in procedure. Monster claims its design minimizes it or eliminates it all together.

A quick look at the Monster lineup shows an impressive cast for increased power support. Level 1 is designed as a stock replacement that can handle a little more grunt, around 425 hp. Its carbon-organic compound does this with the help of the Monster heavy-duty pressure plate and SFI-certified flywheel options. The next option is Level 2, which has a claimed holding power of around 525 hp/tq. It's a dual-friction design and is marketed as having a smooth engagement.

The Level 3 is the most popular clutch that Monster makes; it has a reputation for holding big power in heavy cars. The claim is that 700 hp/tq is no problem for this cera-metallic-material clutch. It's also a multi-puck design, unlike Levels 1 and 2. Level 4 was designed for engines over 700 hp/tq to 775. To take things even further, Level 5 was introduced for cars making 825 hp/tq and for those pushing 900 hp/tq, there is the insane Level 6.

Since our GTO was putting out less than 400 rwhp, the Level 3 would allow for a substantial power increase in the future. For this clutch and flywheel upgrade, we originally wanted to include before-and-after dyno testing, but our factory clutch was slipping too much on the dyno, so we were forced to leave it out.

Why Choose A Lightweight Flywheel?
The lightweight billet-steel flywheel's reduced weight over the stock steel one is a big plus for our intended application of autocross and open track use. The benefits go a little deeper than just rotating mass, however.

On a road course, you're constantly rowing through gears. Typically 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts with 4-3 and 3-2 downshifts. The more responsive your engine is, the better your chances are of achieving that perfect downshift with a crisp rev-match. Bolting Monster's lighter flywheel behind our engine reduces rotating mass by roughly 10 pounds, which is a considerable amount.

The downside is that an already "grippy" clutch has less rotating mass to clamp onto thanks to the lighter flywheel. This, in theory, could cause the clutch to react differently than drivers are used to, but it can be overcome with some seat time.