9 Forms of Friction: Raybestos Clutch Plates Explained

Unless you are trying some seriously elastic underpants on for the hell of it, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to selecting clutch plates.

The automotive masterminds over at Raybestos Powertrain get it, which is precisely why the brand has rolled out nine different premium quality friction clutch plates, all of which are intended for a broad array of platforms and performance needs.

Thousands of hours of research and dynamometer testing are applied to ensure that our friction product solutions perform to their utmost in every application.- Raybestos Powertrain

Engineered from raw materials forward, these various clutch plates all pack their own unique performance perks and price points. Each of the following is available in either “OE Replacement,” “Enhanced Performance,” or “Performance Racing” pedigrees and comes with Raybestos-grade quality and grip in ample supply.

1. STAGE-1 Street & Strip Performance (Performance Racing)

Raybestos Stage-1 Performance frictions are a fantastic option for those looking for additional gearbox performance or durability in high-stress environments but aren’t in need of something super hardcore race-oriented. Raybestos Stage-1 friction plates are an affordable solution for heavy-duty applications that see high-temperature scenarios.

An ideal product for when heavy towing, routine off-roading, and street/strip performance shenanigans are in order. Popular transmissions supported by this clutch plate include the Ford 5R110W Torqshift, GM 6L80, Honda/Acura4 Speed M4TA, Mercedes 722.6, and Toyota A340.

2. GPZ FRICTION CLUTCH PLATES (Enhanced Performance)

Raybestos Powertrain GPZ friction clutch plates are ideal for what the brand refers to as “heavy-duty vehicles and high-stress driving.” Intended to surpass the tolerance levels of the stock clutch plate in a slew of applications, this high stress, high temp, and repeated cycling resistant compound utilizes a friction material that Raybestos claims “…outperforms OE materials by as much as 20%.”

Platforms that will benefit the most from a GPZ friction clutch plate include heavy-duty work vehicles, commercial vehicles, and automobiles that see high-stress environments on a consistent basis. Notable available applications include the Chrysler 68RFE, Ford 6R80, Ford 10R80, GM 10L80, Mercedes 722.6, and ZF Chrysler 8HP90.

3. GEN2 BLUE PLATE SPECIAL (Performance Racing)


Here at Power Automedia, Raybestos Powertrain’s Gen2 Blue Plate Special remains one of our all-time favorite race-oriented clutch plates, and for damn good reason. This power clutch absorbs pretty much any level of power or form of abuse you throw at it, making it the perfect clutch for virtually any form of racing imaginable.

With nary a sign of wear to be felt, this proprietary Raybestos-exclusive material offers grip well beyond that of competing racing clutches, without all of the vibrations, as it absorbs energy at an astonishingly high rate. With its outstanding fatigue resistance, insane longevity ratings, and silky smooth yet snappy shifts, the Gen2 Blue Plate Special remains a top pick for an array of race teams.

Recommended for serious racing applications only, this clutch plate caters to transmissions like the Chrysler AS69RC, Ford E40D, Ford 4R70W, GM TH250, and GM 4L80E above all others.

4. (HT) – HYBRID TECHNOLOGY (OE Replacement)

Relying upon a Raybestos Powertrain blend of OE friction materials, embedding a groove pattern to both reduce shift stress and keep things running cool is what makes (HT) – Hybrid Technology friction clutch plates such a long-lasting and engaging transmission upgrade.

Combining the fluid flow dynamics of a segmented friction lining with the strength and durability of a full friction ring, the HT line is a fantastic option for anyone looking to upgrade from an OE clutch plate. HT plates are intended to be used as an OE replacement option on passenger vehicles with transmissions like the Allison HT740, ZF Chrysler 9HP48, 948TE, Ford 6F35 Gen 2 (2012-ON), GM 6T40, and Toyota/Lexus K313 CVT.


While the whole Honda/Acura side of the performance segment may not be for all of us, the fact that these reliable vehicles make for outstanding daily drivers cannot be ignored. This is precisely why Raybestos Powertrain released its “Global Performance Extra” friction material, as it is designed with this duo of Japanese automotive manufacturers in mind.

Intended to “outperform any other Honda/Acura friction plate,” Raybestos took a friction material engineered exclusively for these platforms, and gave the GPX line a groove design pattern that reduces internal temperatures, encourages smoother shifts, and boasts far greater longevity ratings over OE plates.

Typical applications include the Honda/Acura 4 Speed B7XA, Honda/Acura 5 Speed M/BAYA, Honda/Acura B36A, Honda/Acura BLJA, BLKA CVT, and 6 Speed MT4A(10-11).


High static friction plates from Raybestos rely upon a genetic composition with “maximum breakaway torque capacity” in mind, all while still being constructed from OE-approved materials. Intended to be used in high-stress holding applications, these friction plates are a top choice for those in search of securing “static” clutch positions in high-performance applications, or require increased holding capacity when a trans-brake is initiated during racing.


High Energy friction materials take the best that Kevlar, ceramics, graphite, and carbon have to offer to provide smooth engagements and tolerance toward high friction-to-steel surface temperature scenarios.  Intended to be installed on modern transmissions with specified internal calibrations that favor OE performance and wear requirements, the High Energy line from Raybestos is a real winner if you are looking for the best of both worlds in a daily beater. Ideal for late-model domestic and import passenger cars and trucks with either static or dynamic transmission configurations, with dynamic applications seeing the most benefit.


When it comes to loading limited-slip differentials, undertaking some off-road driving, and piloting buses and big trucks, resiliency tends to be considered far more vital than shift quality. Raybestos Powertrain’s Graphitic friction clutch plates release heat slowly and evenly to reduce the risk of warping and capitalize upon a hardcore “friction-resin matrix” to bolster clutch strength.

This paper-based friction material comes infused with a fat dose of graphite for increased heat storage, which is subsequently released once engagement is complete. This allows heat to slowly and evenly escape, thus reducing the chance that warping will occur, a common problem with traditional heavy-duty clutch friction plates.


Finally, there is Raybestos Powertrain’s line of Tan material friction plates. An OE-approved solution for those looking to slap an affordable yet dependable internal upgrade into a daily driver or restored classic.

They are recommended to be used in standard or “stock” rebuilds, ordinary passenger cars,  light trucks, and an array of “static” applications.


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About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
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