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      02-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
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6MT Enthusiast Needs Clutch Advice

My clutch is slipping pretty bad as I build boost from low RPM in higher gears, so I would like to get a new one within the next couple of weeks and want to put the right one in the first time.

Car has 45k, is AWD, and I'm running AP Stage 1 but plan on going to Stage 2+ in the summer, so I want to get the right clutch in anticipation of a potential max of around 400-450 WHP. This is my daily driver and must be reliable before anything else, so I don't see going further. I don't go to the strip, but I don't baby the clutch on the street either.

To me, the stick shift/clutch it is one of the integral parts of the driving experience and I feel disconnected when driving autos, even the dual clutch ones. I've owned a dozen cars in the past 10 years, all of them manuals. They could make a car that was otherwise perfect in every way and I would not buy one unless it came with a stick. I rev match every downshift, not using the brakes until I absolutely have to...unless I'm just tapping them to let the soccer mom behind me know I'm slowing down. I am satisfied, if not overwhelmed, by the performance/feel of the stock 6MT/clutch & pedals though I got rid of that ridiculous plastic shift knob within the first week I owned the car in favor of the leather M one.

In an aftermarket clutch I don't mind having to use a little more finesse in my engagement (, but I don't want to have to devote 90% of my concentration to keep from dying at every stoplight. If anyone wants to sell me on the merits of a lighter flywheel, I might be interested in that as well. I wouldn't mind noisy gear changes or chatter in neutral, but audible noise in tha cabin while crusing in gear would be frankly unacceptable in a daily driver.

Durability is not my most important consideration, but I'd rather spend more upfront if necessary than have the inconvenience of changing a clutch or related components every 20-30k.

Obviously I'm not sure what to go with or I wouldn't be posting this, so I'm looking for suggestions, taking into consideration the above.



Here is what I gleaned from other threads/forums regarding current offerings, which may or may not be accurate or relevant:

-Stock: Unsuitable to projected power levels and gives up performance to accomodate people who may not have much experience driving manuals

-HPF Feramic: Very good power holding and driveability but must use stock flywheel and can melt/fusing under extreme conditions.

-ACT organic: good driveability but can't handle high power and may be a poor choice for AWD.

-Clutchmasters FX400 - May wear prematurely on a daily driver/stop & go traffic

-SPEC - Good power holding and durability, but has on/off engagement and may be noisy.

Any advice is greatly appreciated
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      02-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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ACT Street has proven to be very reliable on my car after tons of runs, flat foot shifting action and drag strip fun...i'd definitely give it both thumbs up for anyone on stock turbos...anything above that definitely HPF Feramic although if you have the cash you could go with their Stage 1 and be done with it too
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      02-06-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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I've sold more ACT street then anything else but have them all. Unfortunately with the power level comes compromise so choose whatever suits you best.
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      02-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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+3 on ACT clutch....I installed one mid December after my stock clutch gave out (stage III procede aggressive maps). Its broken in well and drives about like stock. No issues with the clutch slipping and it has been holding everything I can throw at it. Make sure you properly resurface the flywheel or install a new one, that's the main install mistake that can cause issues
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      02-06-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
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One thing I learned: always go with the least clutch you can get away with e.g. don't put a twin disk or 6 puck ceramic on a stock car cause it sounds cool...
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      02-06-2012, 09:54 PM   #6
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Checkout HPF/ACT Versions
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      02-06-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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ACT Solid street disc..definitly
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      02-06-2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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Anyone have any opinion on southbend clutches?
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      02-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses! Seems there's a lot of praise for the ACT.

My concern with the ACT is it's rated at 456 ft-lbs... with the AP S1, I'm already over 400 at the crank and it would be more than adequate for now. But with stage 2 I would be close to (if not more than) 500 crank tq. Also, I'm concerned that the added drivetrain stress of being AWD will not do my clutch any favors.

Thanks dzenno for chiming in; I read your review on the HPF and was impressed not only by that clutch but by your experience with the ACT that seems to suggest that the torque rating is very conservative. Despite that, it sounds like you're saying it is worth the extra money to be safe and go straight to the HPF rather than assuming the ACT should be adequate for up to 450 wtq. Other than price, was there any advantage or disadvantage that you experienced or have become aware of in using the ACT vs the HPF?

I know you're stuck with a stock DM flywheel with the HPF, but I have gotten used to it at this point anyway.
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      02-07-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyniclaus View Post
Thanks for the responses! Seems there's a lot of praise for the ACT.

My concern with the ACT is it's rated at 456 ft-lbs... with the AP S1, I'm already over 400 at the crank and it would be more than adequate for now. But with stage 2 I would be close to (if not more than) 500 crank tq. Also, I'm concerned that the added drivetrain stress of being AWD will not do my clutch any favors.

Thanks dzenno for chiming in; I read your review on the HPF and was impressed not only by that clutch but by your experience with the ACT that seems to suggest that the torque rating is very conservative. Despite that, it sounds like you're saying it is worth the extra money to be safe and go straight to the HPF rather than assuming the ACT should be adequate for up to 450 wtq. Other than price, was there any advantage or disadvantage that you experienced or have become aware of in using the ACT vs the HPF?

I know you're stuck with a stock DM flywheel with the HPF, but I have gotten used to it at this point anyway.
1) If you're not planning on aftermarket turbos or nitrous go with ACT if you want a reliable clutch that doesn't cost much. If you have the money and/or plan on doing either nitrous or upgraded turbos or both go with the HPF one.

2) I'm not "stuck" with a dual mass flywheel. I ran a single mass lightweight flywheel on this car and won't do it again. Even though the clutchmasters one I ran (16lbs 2-piece) is better than the SPEC (12lbs) one in terms of chatter, for a daily driver chatter isn't acceptable to me and the car gets annoying to drive in stop/go traffic.

Again, if you're not touching your turbos or nitrous, ANY tune you throw on the car will work just fine with the ACT...I ran over 490ft-lbs at the wheels with the ACT without slip on RBs..
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      02-07-2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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One misconception about 'heavy duty' clutches is that they will last longer than a stock clutch. If you are considering one for your daily driver, don't expect it to be more durable than the stock clutch kit. If you have a particular need to repeatedly launch the car, it will give you better performance, and it's worth considering. If you are looking for a reliable, long-term replacement for your worn unit, stick with stock.
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      02-07-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric@helix View Post
One misconception about 'heavy duty' clutches is that they will last longer than a stock clutch. If you are considering one for your daily driver, don't expect it to be more durable than the stock clutch kit. If you have a particular need to repeatedly launch the car, it will give you better performance, and it's worth considering. If you are looking for a reliable, long-term replacement for your worn unit, stick with stock.
Same goes for modifying the car...if you're looking for ultimate in reliability, don't push the car beyond what it does stock...

i totally agree on the "heavy clutch last longer" comment...people get them so they'll hold the torque but it doesn't mean they'll outlast stock at stock power levels...in fact, mileage wise, they most definitely wont
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      02-07-2012, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
1) If you're not planning on aftermarket turbos or nitrous go with ACT if you want a reliable clutch that doesn't cost much. If you have the money and/or plan on doing either nitrous or upgraded turbos or both go with the HPF one.

2) I'm not "stuck" with a dual mass flywheel. I ran a single mass lightweight flywheel on this car and won't do it again. Even though the clutchmasters one I ran (16lbs 2-piece) is better than the SPEC (12lbs) one in terms of chatter, for a daily driver chatter isn't acceptable to me and the car gets annoying to drive in stop/go traffic.

Again, if you're not touching your turbos or nitrous, ANY tune you throw on the car will work just fine with the ACT...I ran over 490ft-lbs at the wheels with the ACT without slip on RBs..
You don't think the AWD will add significant stress?

I was considering going to the RBs, but I have a lot to put on in the next few months before I get to that bridge (FMIC, DP, TBE, intake, suspension, etc). In the interim, I wanted to research the cost effectiveness of the RBs and detriment on engine longevity and whether it would be worthwhile without adding meth.

Was the chatter you experienced just when shifting or also in gear? Did you perceive any benefit to the lighter flywheel? It was annoying in stop/go because of the noise or due to a more finicky engagement?

Sorry for the million questions, but since you have direct experience I value your opinion a lot higher than the hypothetical answers I often get.
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      02-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
i totally agree on the "heavy clutch last longer" comment...people get them so they'll hold the torque but it doesn't mean they'll outlast stock at stock power levels...in fact, mileage wise, they most definitely wont
If the new clutch lasts 40k, that'd be more than fine by me. I've no illusions that these are permanent parts. It's replacing one every 20k or so that I want to avoid.
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      02-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #15
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I have AWD also, I had the ACT organic on my car for 1 year (around 15K) drove great, just like stock with better/stiffer pedal feel, but it croaked. THen when I call act they said that if I had a AWD pushed around 400 ft-lbs, that I should have went to the ceramic pucked clutch because AWD added significant stress to the clutch, they pretty much comp'd me a new disc... BUT I HATE IT. It is a daily driver for me and it drives me insane, it is so grabby, and it chatters. I'm getting ready to spring for an HPF feramics myself. I was just trying to decide between stage one or stage two...
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      02-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyniclaus View Post
You don't think the AWD will add significant stress?

I was considering going to the RBs, but I have a lot to put on in the next few months before I get to that bridge (FMIC, DP, TBE, intake, suspension, etc). In the interim, I wanted to research the cost effectiveness of the RBs and detriment on engine longevity and whether it would be worthwhile without adding meth.

Was the chatter you experienced just when shifting or also in gear? Did you perceive any benefit to the lighter flywheel? It was annoying in stop/go because of the noise or due to a more finicky engagement?

Sorry for the million questions, but since you have direct experience I value your opinion a lot higher than the hypothetical answers I often get.
Why would AWD add additional stress on the clutch? You're putting down the same power with AWD as with RWD. If you're doing a ton of launches don't expect any clutch to last 40k miles, just the nature of the beast.

Chatter was there on idle between 600-900 rpm and then 1.5-2.5k rpm on take off...no chatter in higher rpms or at WOT...it was annoying due to both noise and on-off engagement with the 6-puck ceramic clutch i ran

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyniclaus View Post
If the new clutch lasts 40k, that'd be more than fine by me. I've no illusions that these are permanent parts. It's replacing one every 20k or so that I want to avoid.
ACT will last a long time if you're driving the car without launching

Quote:
Originally Posted by runthis View Post
I have AWD also, I had the ACT organic on my car for 1 year (around 15K) drove great, just like stock with better/stiffer pedal feel, but it croaked. THen when I call act they said that if I had a AWD pushed around 400 ft-lbs, that I should have went to the ceramic pucked clutch because AWD added significant stress to the clutch, they pretty much comp'd me a new disc... BUT I HATE IT. It is a daily driver for me and it drives me insane, it is so grabby, and it chatters. I'm getting ready to spring for an HPF feramics myself. I was just trying to decide between stage one or stage two...
well, there you go
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      02-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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I drive rather aggressive, and did no strip runs on my ACT.

Dzenno

How would you compare you ACT organic vs your HPF Stage 2?
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      02-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyniclaus View Post
Thanks for the responses! Seems there's a lot of praise for the ACT.

My concern with the ACT is it's rated at 456 ft-lbs... with the AP S1, I'm already over 400 at the crank and it would be more than adequate for now. But with stage 2 I would be close to (if not more than) 500 crank tq. Also, I'm concerned that the added drivetrain stress of being AWD will not do my clutch any favors.

Thanks dzenno for chiming in; I read your review on the HPF and was impressed not only by that clutch but by your experience with the ACT that seems to suggest that the torque rating is very conservative. Despite that, it sounds like you're saying it is worth the extra money to be safe and go straight to the HPF rather than assuming the ACT should be adequate for up to 450 wtq. Other than price, was there any advantage or disadvantage that you experienced or have become aware of in using the ACT vs the HPF?

I know you're stuck with a stock DM flywheel with the HPF, but I have gotten used to it at this point anyway.
There are many concerns with the rating but from the people who have purchased they have about that much torque and still have no problems. I would be hard pressed to believe at exactly 456 those clutches start slipping. Especially considering guys with stock clutches have almost that much torque and dont slip.
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      02-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runthis View Post
I have AWD also...
Thanks, that confirms what I heard. It's starting to sound like the HPF is the way to go given my upgrade plans and my AWD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
Why would AWD add additional stress on the clutch? You're putting down the same power with AWD as with RWD.
I think it has a lot to do with the added traction... no wheelspin means the drivetrain absorbs extra shock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
Chatter was there on idle between 600-900 rpm and then 1.5-2.5k rpm on take off...no chatter in higher rpms or at WOT...it was annoying due to both noise and on-off engagement with the 6-puck ceramic clutch i ran
Thanks; The on/off I might be able to live with, but all that chatter is reason enough to keep me from a lightweight flywheel. The stock DM one builds and drops revs quickly enough for me in 90% of circumstances.

I noticed with the HPF that Stage 1-3 are all the same price. Other than the advertised tq specs, what's the difference then? Less smooth/more sudden engagement on the higher stages with the added clamping power?
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      02-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #20
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We have a ton of customers on the ACT Street disk, and have not seen any failures to date. And we stock ACT clutches here at the shop, unlike most drop-ship vendors.

We have seen a number of failures with ferramic clutches, including my personal car....
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      02-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyniclaus View Post
I noticed with the HPF that Stage 1-3 are all the same price. Other than the advertised tq specs, what's the difference then? Less smooth/more sudden engagement on the higher stages with the added clamping power?
Difference is in the pressure plate clamping force...same clutch disk is used...higher stages will allow for more torque holding capacity that way which results in heavier pedal feel
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      02-07-2012, 01:14 PM   #22
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I will have a Clutchmasters FX300 on my car next week, alongside with some nice upgraded turbos from Rob Beck. I'll report how the FX300 will hold up.

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