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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 > SPEC stage 2+ and single mass FW installation and review



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      05-12-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
stratos_335
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SPEC stage 2+ and single mass FW installation and review

I installed RBs a few months ago and the power of my car was totally transformed. But, like a lot of people, when they go with RB or single turbo, I was getting misfires once I raised boost above 15 psi exactly at 6200 rpm. This is because the stock dual mass flywheel that is vibrating like crazy and causes wrong signal to the crank sensor, thus producing misfires at cyl 5 & 6.

I changed spark plugs with gapped NGKs but it didn't help at all.

Here's a vid with the misfires:



The next thing I did was contacting Jeff@TopGearSolutions for a set of SPEC stage 2+ disk and flywheel. Jeff as always was very communicative and willing to help me choosing the best clutch kit for my car. We ended up with stage 2+, an intermediate solution between driveability and clutch performance. Thanks Jeff, it is always a pleasure working with you.

It took 12 before shipping the clutch as it is manufactured from SPEC on demand or because SPEC is getting more and more popular for the N54 platform.

FYI, my car is 6/09 built and has 6 bolts for the flywheel. So the part number is SB53S-3 which is for 335is, although my car is not is. The last "S" stands for steel and "3" stands for the 6 bolted pattern. Clutch disk stage 2+ part number is SB53H-2.

Installing the clutch and flywheel is not something difficult for a mechanic or a DIYer who has done it before. All parts were included from spec like the trow out bearing, the pilot bearing and the aligning tool for the clutch disk. I used the same TO bearing carrier as I changed it 20.000 km before when I used ACT clutch kit.


Something that SPEC should be aware of. It is necessary to use same cylindrical pin (also called snout) that goes inside the pilot bearing. It's written inside the manual that this pin should be removed with a mallet or a press and the pressed inside the new Flywheel. The mallet way will not work by any means, a press is needed for extracting the pin. I used dry ice to cool the pin down and then it was pressed gently inside the new flywheel. SPEC should manufacture pins like these and have them per-installed in order to avoiding damage.

The second problem I came across was the TO bearing position. The bearing can be placed either the tall position or the short position. There is no clear instructions for these but with the help from other members from this thread I used the lower position. I don't know if there are any differences between Euro and US spec cars (it's a little weird) but I suggest to use the same position as the OEM installation.



There is a break in period for both the clutch and flywheel of 800-1000 km urban and extra-urban driving before pushing the car hard. I traveled only 100 km so I have an early review for the SPEC combo

Pedal feeling: the same as ACT clutch. It is harder than the OEM but you can used to it very quickly. For me it's the same with ACT clutch.

Engagement point: near the top of the pedal travel, similar to OEM and maybe a little higher. Personally, I don't like it at all but I will get used to it.

Engagement feeling: same as the ACT organic clutch. You need to rev your car before start slipping your clutch but nothing over-grabby or anything like this.

Chattering: yes it chatters after the car gets warmer at idle. Nothing special if you rev your car 100-150 rpm or if you close your windows or if you have a little loud exhaust. Chattering is very common for single mass flywheels: crankshaft vibrations and engine vibrations are not suppressed by the flywheel and travel all along the input shaft of the transmission, making the first bearing (I assume it's a spherical ball bearing) vibrating and thus causing the noise.

Other noises: there is an ugly noise when accelerating the car until 2000 rpm where it stops. The car sound like broken and you cannot even hear the turbo spool. It gets worse on higher gears, for instance 4th gear and 80 km/h. This sound is the most annoying of all.


Here's a video from the chattering sound. The sound is amplified as I'm inside my garage. The sound stops when I press the clutch pedal and gets worse when I slightly rev up the engine:






And of course some pictures:

The SPEC assembly:




The upper spring that is pushing the clutch disk against the FW:




Side view of the SPEC assembly:




Top view of the clutch disk:




The bottom of the pressure plate:




Top view of the flywheel:




The flywheel is machined on a CNC machine (lathe and milling) and the result is almost near perfection. The round marks on the face of the FW came from either a broken tip of the end mill or vibrations caused by the milling machine during machining.




The bottom of the flywheel:





The clutch disk on the flywheel:





The bottom view of the clutch disk. The green stuff is some kind of a cotton coating that helps the breaking in of both the flywheel and the disk friction material:





Side view of the clutch disk. Left is the FW side and right is the trans side:




A closer view of the pressure plate:





The bolts used for the pressure plate and the FW. They are metric and are rated at 12.9 The first digits mean the ultimate strength of the bolt and the number after the dot indicate the yield strength of the bolt.

Ultimate strength is the applied pressure needed for breaking the bolt under tension. I will not get into maths but 12 stands for 12 x 100 = 1200 N/mm^2 or 1200 MPa of pressure or 174.000 PSI

Yield strength is the applied pressure before the bolt is plastically (permanently) deformed under tensile load. So without getting into maths (different equations) 9 stand for 156.000 psi or 108 MPa.

Normal bolts are rated 8.8. You can get the idea.




The TO bearing has a bottom core of machined aluminum and you can notice the differences between low and high postion:




The stock flywheel. Nothing terrible with the surface of that:




The back of the engine with the crankshaft waiting for its new girlfriend:




The difference of the weight in kg:






The cylindrical snout that we mentioned before:







Thanks for reading. I'll get with another review after breaking in the clutch and pushing hard those babies:

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      05-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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good review!!!

that chatter would drive me insane though

Is there a clutch that can handle RB without the chatter?

I always thought stage 2+ and OEM flywheel (under 500whp) was perfect for the RB setup?
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      05-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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      05-12-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the review and support. It's a pleasure to work with customers like yourself.

I suspect some of that chatter has to do with it being brand new, it should tone down a bit. The amplification of the garage doesn't help either.

Good luck with everything.
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      05-12-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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The chatter will tone down a bit after break-in and also the pedal feel improves after a few hundred miles. If you turn the ac compressor off it's not that loud.
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      05-12-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Good review! Thanks for taking the time to document this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovitrix335 View Post
The chatter will tone down a bit after break-in and also the pedal feel improves after a few hundred miles. If you turn the ac compressor off it's not that loud.
How is that possible? In neutral, the disc is moving with the FW, so the amount of wear or break in doesn't matter. The FW doesn't break-in from a harmonics standpoint, so I don't see how idle chatter can change at all from moment 1.

Last edited by The Ghost; 05-13-2013 at 08:11 PM.
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      05-13-2013, 12:41 AM   #7
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^^^exactly, its the gearbox chattering not the clutch. The actual teeth knocking... the DM averages the torque. This is also what you are hearing at low rpm acceleration.

It kinda pisses me off that earlier kits didn't have a radius on the TO bearing... Not something a clutch manf should overlook.
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      05-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos_335 View Post
I was getting misfires once I raised boost above 15 psi exactly at 6200 rpm. This is because the stock dual mass flywheel that is vibrating like crazy and causes wrong signal to the crank sensor, thus producing misfires at cyl 5 & 6.
The big question is, has this solved your misfires ?
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      05-13-2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
The big question is, has this solved your misfires ?
I understand he's still in the break-in period and therefor not yet pushing the car hard.

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      05-13-2013, 07:41 AM   #10
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I would also like to know if you can use stock dual mass fw as I do not want any chatter... that would drive me crazy too.
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      05-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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The chattering sound comes directly from the transmission as harmonic vibrations are not "muted" by the springs of the FW, as there are no springs at single mass flywheels.

@cstavaru: I hope that misfires will go away with this setup. Spark plugs didn't help at all, not even swapping coils. So, it must be the flywheel. If it doesn't help, I'll search for a DME malfunction or try to suspend misfire detection if possible from my tune.

I forgot to say that it was not the first time I worked with Jeff for getting parts for my car or for my friend's car. It must be the 3rd clutch kit I bought from topgearsolutions along with other stuff such as ER break lines etc.


For future search here is a link regarding BMW 335i Spec Stage 2+ Clutch Kit from the vendor's website. Jeff offers great international posting fees if anyone is interested, just ask for a quatation
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      05-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos_335 View Post
@cstavaru: I hope that misfires will go away with this setup. Spark plugs didn't help at all, not even swapping coils. So, it must be the flywheel. If it doesn't help, I'll search for a DME malfunction or try to suspend misfire detection if possible from my tune.
Just don't forget to post your findings on this as soon as you have them...its important to have clear proof that the flywheel fix is a definitive solution (it would be really great if it is). There are people who spent thousands of dollars on disassembling/replacing engine internals because of this, but I did not find a thread on the forums with clearly this situation (misfires with RBs -> replace dual-mass flywheel with single-mass -> report findings).

I do know a car with this problem (and RBs and stock dual-mass flywheel) and the problem seems to be solved entirely by disabling the misfire detection in software so the dual-mass flywheel may indeed be the problem.
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      05-13-2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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The chatter will be there forever
I've put a lot of miles on my car

Wait till your turn on the AC ouch sounds like crap, twice the noise

I actually hold my gas pedal down a bit at red lights light to rev it to 1000, so it's quite, otherwise everyone at the intersection is looking at you and basically thinking your engine is going to explode.

Personally I hate the chatter and high clutch shift point, my act was low and quite but I understand the misfire issue you mention
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      05-13-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcvtec View Post
Personally I hate the chatter and high clutch shift point, my act was low and quite but I understand the misfire issue you mention
Of course if it's the flywheel at fault for the misfires, the misfires can also be solved by replacing the worn/defective stock flywheel with a new stock flywheel. I have always replaced the flywheel on my car together with the clutches (I'm at 3rd flywheel/clutch now) and I do not have any misfires (even with RBs). The stock dual-mass flywheel may not be as strong as a single-mass, but if you change it more often it can surely hold. And I think that the lack of noise is worth the $600 extra for a new flywheel

I do appreciate the honesty of the OP and posting the video though, all the reviews until now described the chatter as being much less an issue than it really is, especially with the steel flywheel. For me at least, this is too much to handle.
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      05-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
Of course if it's the flywheel at fault for the misfires, the misfires can also be solved by replacing the worn/defective stock flywheel with a new stock flywheel. I have always replaced the flywheel on my car together with the clutches (I'm at 3rd flywheel/clutch now) and I do not have any misfires (even with RBs). The stock dual-mass flywheel may not be as strong as a single-mass, but if you change it more often it can surely hold. And I think that the lack of noise is worth the $600 extra for a new flywheel

I do appreciate the honesty of the OP and posting the video though, all the reviews until now described the chatter as being much less an issue than it really is, especially with the steel flywheel. For me at least, this is too much to handle.


This is exactly what I wanted to hear!! Thank you very much for posting
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      05-22-2013, 10:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstavaru View Post
Of course if it's the flywheel at fault for the misfires, the misfires can also be solved by replacing the worn/defective stock flywheel with a new stock flywheel. I have always replaced the flywheel on my car together with the clutches (I'm at 3rd flywheel/clutch now) and I do not have any misfires (even with RBs). The stock dual-mass flywheel may not be as strong as a single-mass, but if you change it more often it can surely hold. And I think that the lack of noise is worth the $600 extra for a new flywheel

I do appreciate the honesty of the OP and posting the video though, all the reviews until now described the chatter as being much less an issue than it really is, especially with the steel flywheel. For me at least, this is too much to handle.
Thanks. Just installed Spec Aluminum FW and ACT 6 puck HD clutch kit. I can't handle the chatter. Thinking of switch back to OEM Dual Mass. Allready made 318 whp and 360 wtq on a Mustang Dyno. Only FMI, DCI, 3"DP, 3.5" exhaust and charge pipe with stock boost. JB4 installed but missfires even in map 1. Changing plugs among other things to correct that. Planning on turbo upgrade and high boost but didn't knew stock FW will handle.

Car 2007 335i sedan
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      05-22-2013, 11:11 PM   #17
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I took a lot of these same pictures when I did mine last week I just never got around to making a thread. Mayhaps ill just add to this thread.

I too worked with Jeff and was nothing short of astounded. I tried to pm him but to no avail. The site must've been messed up right? So I emailed him and heard back fairly quickly. With this I learned he was on vacation but he STILL took the time to fill me in on my questions. I of course felt like a dick, but the man can't be stopped! I'd recommend any purchase through him to anyone considering it. Prices were extremely low as well, as if this all wasn't enough.

Last edited by mrbillytalent; 05-23-2013 at 08:02 AM.
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      05-22-2013, 11:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbillytalent View Post
I took a lot of these same pictures when I did mine last week I just never got around to making a thread. Mayhaps ill just add to this thread.

I too worked with Mike and was nothing short of astounded. I tried to pm him but to no avail. The site must've been messed up right? So I emailed him and heard back fairly quickly. With this I learned he was on vacation but he STILL took the time to fill me in on my questions. I of course felt like a dick, but the man can't be stopped! I'd recommend any purchase through him to anyone considering it. Prices were extremely low as well, as if this all wasn't enough.
You mean Jeff?
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      05-23-2013, 04:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iancarloperformance View Post
Thanks. Just installed Spec Aluminum FW and ACT 6 puck HD clutch kit. I can't handle the chatter. Thinking of switch back to OEM Dual Mass. Allready made 318 whp and 360 wtq on a Mustang Dyno. Only FMI, DCI, 3"DP, 3.5" exhaust and charge pipe with stock boost. JB4 installed but missfires even in map 1. Changing plugs among other things to correct that. Planning on turbo upgrade and high boost but didn't knew stock FW will handle.

Car 2007 335i sedan
Interesting. So your car misfires even after the single-mass flywheel install ? You should just swap plugs and coils instead of changing them, to see if the misfire moves with the swap, and then you can better decide what to do. Which cylinders are the ones misfiring ?
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      05-23-2013, 07:49 AM   #20
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So what's the deal with this SMF? Are there any people using it that's not having misfiring? Are there other SMF beside this that don't missfire and chatter? How about the stock flywheel, any data on how much power it can handle?
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      05-23-2013, 08:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
You mean Jeff?
That's what I wrote.....

Sorry I was up past my bedtime.

Mike's the guy I ordered my aluminum trans bolts from... of course.
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      05-23-2013, 08:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nityrider View Post
So what's the deal with this SMF? Are there any people using it that's not having misfiring? Are there other SMF beside this that don't missfire and chatter? How about the stock flywheel, any data on how much power it can handle?
Stock FW seems to be fine on stock turbos. I don't prefer how sloppy the stock FW feels but at times it can be smoother and is quieter.

Unless I'm wrong... the misfire phenomenon is born from upgraded turbos at high RPM's with the stock dual mass.
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