We always take the little things for granted, but imagine what the world would be like without them. For instance, the touchtone telephone, something so common, so simple, so user friendly, yet it's an object that's overlooked day in and day out. Imagine a day without them-we'd still be cranking away on a round dial going dun...dun...dun...three...dun...dun...two! In the time it takes to dial one number on a rotary phone, we can now dial seven on a touchtone. Of course, we would still get by, but things just wouldn't be as easy and simple. The same philosophy goes for hydraulic clutches.
Driving a classic truck with a mechanical clutch has just about one cool aspect: a nostalgic feel. But give that a few minutes of stop-and-go traffic and the only thing cool you'll be thinking about is when the road opens up because your left leg is locked in a stationary position. The physical work it takes to pilot your ride starts to take a toll on the fun factor of cruisin' in a classic truck. What's the alternative? Simple: park the truck. Shaaa...as if. Actually, there's a much easier way to improve your truck's drivability: convert the mechanical clutch to a hydraulic clutch.
Exactly what is a hydraulic clutch? First off, let's start with a mechanical clutch, which is hooked to the clutch disengagement lever, aka the clutch pedal, via linkage. In order to disengage the clutch, it's all about leg power. That's why when driving a classic truck the pedal is so firm, stiff, and sometimes hard to push. Nothing is assisting the clutch, which means it's all up to the driver to disengage the clutch by pressing the pedal. In a hydraulic clutch system, the clutch is assisted by hydraulic fluid. When the clutch pedal is pushed down, the arm on the pedal operates a piston in the clutch master cylinder. Once the piston in the master cylinder is pressed, it releases fluid through a line to the throwout bearing, which puts pressure on the fingers of the clutch diaphragm, which then releases the clutch plate. Although the driver still has to work the pedal, the hydraulic fluid is doing most of the work in terms of disengaging the clutch. What does all that mean? It means that when driving a truck with a hydraulic setup, you won't have to worry about getting dead leg and you can concentrate a little harder on what matters-looking cool.