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I'm just itching to be Banned
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the clutch on the B5 is finally starting to give out, really difficult to shift smoothly, lag on hard acceleration, reverse feels like I have to punch the gearshift, etc. 115k miles of spirited driving, learning experiences, etc. :lol: So back to my main question, what is the best clutch? I plan to keep any hp increases at or below 300hp, anything more in a FWD is just silly. I was thinking of getting the OEM replacement package from ECS. Is that a good idea or does anyone have a better package? I like to get feedback from everyone on here, haven't been steered in the wrong direction yet... :lol: BTW cost is no object, I am willing to pay more dinero for a quality piece.
 

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I have yet to have mine go (190k miles!) but it may be on its way out. The guys who did my k04 conversion last year said that they have had great luck with South Bend clutches. I've seen some people who have not on the boards, but they are usually fairly high powered cars and no single disk clutch that is streetable will work. The South Bend offerings work with applications of around 350 hp, and I think they make their own pressure plates.

Some companies, like Centerforce, source their pressure plates from Valeo, a major OEM. They don't change the leverage or the spring, just go with an existing pressure plate, put the weights on and sell it. That is a way to make the price point, and not too bad if the pressure plate meets their specification. I toasted one of the centerforce clutches on my Mustang at NE dragway (complete with clouds of billowing smoke) and went with a Spec stage 2+ clutch. I've had no problems with the clutch and I've run probably thirty sub 12 second shots on it, but I have heard of people having trouble with those in a VW application.

If you get really extreme, you can go with a dual clutch. It has two disks with a floater plate between, doubling the friction area. I ran one on my Ford for a while, but I needed to run a scattershield and that was not properly aligned (a common problem) so I went back to a Spec. The dual disk is really good, it engages like stock and grips like grim death. It is touchy with respect to adjustment -- there are some shims in the MacLeod one for the floater plate that need to be right or it doesn't disengage properly -- but once it's right it works well. Expensive, though.

I have not heard anything about the rs4 conversions from ECS (I think). Those look good, but I have not heard of anyone using them. Best of luck.
 

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I highly recommend looking into southbend. They're customer service is awesome and I love my Stage I clutch from them. It's been going strong for 5 years and feels great.

Call them up and ask them questions. They were a huge help over the phone and have CHEAP prices.
 

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he just thinks he's amazing. really. no kidding.
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Your symptoms remind me more of failing clutch hydraulics, sypmtoms I'm all too familiar with from my Toyotas.


Have you inspected the master and slave cylinders? Clutches usually slip and chatter when they've had enough, not stick and make it hard to shift. In my experience anyway.
 

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I'm just itching to be Banned
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13,915 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your symptoms remind me more of failing clutch hydraulics, sypmtoms I'm all too familiar with from my Toyotas.


Have you inspected the master and slave cylinders? Clutches usually slip and chatter when they've had enough, not stick and make it hard to shift. In my experience anyway.
Yeah good point, I am going to have to take a look at those as well. I am pretty sure that the clutch is gone though, I haven't had it pop out of gear, but it does chatter like a pack of chipmunks during a nut fest, mostly is first gear unless you get the clutch perfect on timing (ie perfect rev matching) :lol:
 

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Old Man Tan
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PLEASE do not go with a south bend, i've heard way too many horror stories of them either failing or welding themselves together.

SPEC or Clutch Masters Is the way to go. Both make great products. I had a stg 3 spec clutch, but i kinda blew it up, which is my fault i was running 100hp past it's rated limit, beating the hell out of it. So that's saying something especially since it lasted so long, it was pretty much at the end of it's life when it died. oh yea, and it had gotten coolant/oil soaked a few times. :banghead:
I now run a Clutch Masters stg 7 twin disc. It's rated to god knows what, the pedal feel is great, it never fades, i can beat the ever living shit out of it without ever having to worry, and best of all it's rebuildable.
 

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I have about 600 miles on an ECS Stage 1. I think it cost about $500 shipped. I have a k04 with the pc-16 file, so about 290 crank ft/lbs, and it runs great. The pedal feels like stock, not hard to push in, but not really great feel either. I was worried about chatter and the reduced flywheel making takeoffs difficult, but I have been pleasantly surprised.
 

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I'm just itching to be Banned
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13,915 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So an Update! The B5 is going in for clutch replacement Manana. I have narrowed it down to the Clutch Masters Stage 1 Upgrade. Correct me if I am wrong, but this should be sufficient for my future plans for the car which include a KO4 turbo and chip. Nothing too severe.

http://www.purems.com/products/product.php/II=2349

The only question I had left was whether I was in need of a new flywheel to go with this. I am hoping not as it costs more than the entire clutch kit, and the amount I have spent on both cars in the past 2 weeks is starting to make me quite dizzy. :p :lol: TIA
 

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Correct since the S4 clutch is 240mm vs the stock size which is 228mm.


ECS flywheel is also very thin and looks to come with a spacer that goes between the flywheel and crank flange.



CM also offers a 240mm clutch/flywheel kit for the longitudinal 1.8t, it comes with CM's 240mm S4 2.7t clutch kit.
 
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