Advanced Clutch Technology Shifts into 25th Anniversary Year

Feb 15, 2019

Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) is celebrating its silver anniversary this year as it reaches 25 years of innovation in the clutch and flywheel market.

ACT currently has more than 45 employees strong, and 22,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

In 1994, ACT began as a performance and clutch company keeping pace with the huge sport compact boom occurring in the 1990s and early 2000s. With 15 years prior experience designing custom engine adapters and clutches for transaxles (primarily VW/Porsche), Dirk Starksen, president, had a vision to offer performance clutches to a broader segment of newer vehicles being largely overlooked.

“Over the company history, ACT has experienced exceptional growth and development by immersing itself into the sport compact, import, domestic and European markets,” Starksen said. “It’s not enough to make and sell products. I want a challenge, which is why we are always learning, always advancing. What we do is different. We design each clutch with an intended use in mind and specify the calculated torque capacity so the customer can make an informed decision. We don’t market our clutches in stages, misleading percentages or some good, better, best sales pitch, not useful to the customer.”

ACT is the only aftermarket manufacturer specializing in diaphragm springs, according to the company.

“It’s the life-blood of the clutch,” Starksen said. “ACT designs and manufactures unique diaphragm springs in-house, and we can do this in relatively low quantities if necessary. This requires expertise, investment and extra effort. To avoid this, instead we see our competitors use shortcut methods by using an aggressive friction material or simply changing the geometry of the pressure plate, with limited results and resulting tradeoffs. Advanced diaphragm spring technology allows ACT to accommodate a broad performance spectrum.”

By tailoring optimal spring rate, leverage ratio, disc features, friction material, and other features, ACT delivers a signature feel, high-torque capacity, and long clutch life while providing a positive connection between the driver and the road, according to the company.

In addition to clutches, ACT engineers and manufactures premium quality chrome-moly forged one-piece flywheels for many applications.

Throughout the company’s history, ACT Engineers have worked closely with top drivers and teams in drag racing, drift, road, rally and other forms of racing developing the very best clutch and flywheel combinations with winning results. Most ACT’s products are SFI certified and compliant with current racing requirements. ACT has worked with James Deane, Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck, Michelle Abate, Matt Field, Matt Powers, Larry Geddes, Brandon Alsept, RAD Dan Burkett and Kelsey Rowlings.

“Champions chose ACT for performance, feel, reliability and safety, but meeting the ever-changing needs of top race teams helps ACT perfect a great clutch for the street too,” Starksen said. “It’s an exciting time at ACT. We have so many upcoming ideas and products in store for our racers and customers. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years already.”

For more information on ACT please visit