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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Sachs Performance 4-puck clutch with stock flywheel = stock-like driveability. Review



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      10-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
cstavaru
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Sachs Performance 4-puck clutch with stock flywheel = stock-like driveability. Review

Today I replaced my former ACT Street clutch (it begun to slip at 7000 miles - but it was used for drag racing) with a Sachs Performance 4-puck sintered clutch disc and cover. This clutch is rated at 670Nm (500lb-ft) at the flywheel but I ordered the further reinforced clutch plate (more pedal pressure) which upgrades the rating to 770-800Nm (570-590lb-ft) at the flywheel. I managed to get the clutch kit at reseller price (430EUR excluding VAT). I also used a new OEM flywheel, but my former flywheel was in good shape.

I realized that using an organic clutch for hard driving and especially drag racing is a nonsense. Especially with the ACT Street, it seems that the pressure plate springs cannot cope with repeated extreme heat and the pedal becomes a bit soft after 5-6 launches in a row (it hardens again after the clutch cools down), which is a sign that the pressure plate spring metal soften with heat. The organic disc looked quite worn too.

From my research I concluded that 4-puck cluches are almost undriveable in traffic, yet most of the Sachs 4-puck reviews stated that the clutch drives quite well. I am sure the clutch material is very important in driveability, and I imagined that if someone would make a good puck clutch material, that would have to be Sachs.

You cannot imagine how nervous I was installing a 4-puck clutch. I like to drive my car around town and on holidays, I sometimes daily drive it so I was secretly hoping that the clutch would not be undriveable in stop and go traffic.

To my huge surprise, this clutch DRIVES ALMOST LIKE STOCK. I think I need to make a video for you to believe this It doesn't even shudder when you engage the first gear, except in the first 2-3 kilometers after I left the service shop, where it had a very faint shudder, almost imperceptible when starting in 1st gear. I can go in reverse with no shudder whatsoever, I can park the car without any problem. Pedal effort is lower than ACT (but higher than stock), I really have to ask (the 3rd time) the vendor if they did reinforce my clutch plate. I guess I didn't notice that the ACT pedal was quite stiff (I do bodybuilding). The engagement point is higher, stock-like (I think that I can reinstall my clutch stop now). Now I really think that the majority of driveability problems with puck clutches come from the use of lightweight, single-mass flywheels. Or maybe there are many people who talk about puck clutches and few actually using them ? Not sure.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that the driveability of the car was not altered by the clutch. How well it holds it remains to be seen, but I think it can't last shorter than the ACT. 20000 miles would be great. Before spending a huge amount of money on a HPF clutch or a ClutchMasters twin-disc, you may want to consider this one.

Posted are some pictures of the worn parts and the new clutch.
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      10-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
GeorgiaTech335coupe
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Nice post. You have me intrigued. I will definitely look to this option when my ACT gives out.

So you can confirm that the engagement point is definitely higher than the ACT?

I laughed about the bodybuilding comment of why you didn't notice the ACT requiring a lot of effort.
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      10-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaTech335coupe View Post
So you can confirm that the engagement point is definitely higher than the ACT?
I can definitely confirm this. But I am not 100% it is as high as stock because I don't remember the stock very well, however it engages a few centimeters (4-5 maybe even more) from the floor.
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      10-04-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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How does the cost compare to ACT? Nice review!
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      10-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boost! View Post
How does the cost compare to ACT?
In Europe the prices are comparable, with the ACT slightly cheaper (470 EUR total price if you import it from the USA and pay the customs in full, while the Sachs is around 580EUR).

But in the US, I am not sure if there are any dealers of Sachs Race Engineering clutches, so you will have to import from Europe, which means you won't pay the VAT, so the clutch kit will cost 630USD + shipping. But if you can get it at reseller price, you will pay a bit less, like 570USD + shipping.
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      10-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the review, definitely an interesting option
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      10-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about throwing a race disk in with a stock flywheel and PP rather than doing something like the CM 850. Problem is I really hate how heavy the stock flywheel is. I wish the 1M flywheel was a bolt on for my car.
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      10-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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The full disc and reinforced plate maybe a very good option to ACT street.
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      10-09-2012, 12:58 AM   #9
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Hi all,

if there are any questions to these parts do not hesitate to ask me
iŽam the vendor for these parts...

Greetings
chefsache
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      11-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #10
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Follow-Up

Here is a 2-year follow-up on my cluch review:

The clutch behaved flawlessly over this time. It never ever slipped. But I did not launch it with drag radials more than 10-15 times. However, I did abuse it while daily driving it quite a lot.

Today, 2 years later, I decided to replace my Sachs Performance 4-puck setup with a Sachs Performance organic setup with reinforced clutch cover. Why ? The main reason is that I gave up participating to drag racing events due to increasing costs of bringing drag radials from the US into my EU country (basically the price more than doubles), etc. The other main reason is that the clutch became a little grabbier than I would like and it's not ideal in the stop-and-go traffic that I am facing everyday to work. Basically it became tiring to drive, the window of slipping the clutch is very narrow and you always have to take care of this while driving. An (intermittent but mostly present) screeching sound when taking off (only in 1st gear) was also present, sometimes people look at your car and you think that they are saying "dude, your car is broken"

So of course, after two years of stop-and-go driving, I expected a puck cluch to be worn, and the flywheel to be shot due to the shocks, as I read on other forums.

Well, guess what: everything was in "like-new" condition (pictures below). Not the slightest heat mark on the flywheel, the clutch disc was worn 1/2mm max. and the clutch plate looked like new. What suprised me the most is that the flywheel had no play at all compared to the new one ! I guess LUK improved their flywheels recently, my previous two flywheels had quite a lot of play when removed. I almost felt sorry for the money paid to replace it - but after I drove off from the car shop the ease of driving with the new organic clutch made the switch worth it for me. However, I am not sure how much this new setup will last until slipping. If if does slip over time, I will probably replace it with the puck setup again.

So basically, if you want a racing clutch that can be driven daily without getting worn, and don't mind the added grabby-ness over an organic setup, this clutch is a very good option.

Pictures of the removed clutch parts below.
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      11-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #11
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By "organic clutch" are you referring to the Sachs Performance Clutch +540 nm? Are you still running your RBs with this clutch? Any slipping? I have been looking at this clutch but was concerned that it wouldn't hold up to the 600+ nm tq I am running.

Tks.
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      11-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerotest View Post
By "organic clutch" are you referring to the Sachs Performance Clutch +540 nm? Are you still running your RBs with this clutch? Any slipping? I have been looking at this clutch but was concerned that it wouldn't hold up to the 600+ nm tq I am running.

Tks.
Yes, I still have the RBs and I am referring to that disc, but combined with the reinforced clutch cover option provided by the shop that I have purchased it from. They take the SRE clutch cover and modify it by altering the leverages. The pedal feel becomes stiffer but there is a 15-20% increase in torque rating. I ran the same setup with the puck disc and I didn't mind the extra stiffness. I can't comment about slippage since I just installed it.
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      11-23-2014, 08:37 AM   #13
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Thanks.
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