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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought a SPEC stage 2 from ND a few months ago. I decided to have the stock flywheel resurfaced and reused. All the work was done by VW Specialties.

So when I got the car back, I drove it for 800 or 900 miles without any hard driving or launches. During this time, I noticed chatter and vibrations in the drivetrain on take off. After 1000 miles, more aggressive driving started. After every aggressive launch the clutch would slip like there is no tomorrow. It would even slip on up hill on ramps where there is traffic. Now I've had two stock clutches and each one has lasted 65K miles (with track driving). So I think I know how to drive a stick. This clutch just sucked. So I called SPEC and they said to send the clutch and flywheel in so they can look at it. They gave me a RMA number and said it would have 2 day turnaround time. I took the car back to VW Specialites, paid to have them remove everything and overnighted the clutch and flywheel to SPEC. (In the mean time, I also had to pay for a rental car). It took SPEC a week to look at the clutch and send it back. They said the clutch surface was fine (Ron said he could read the text on the surface...so no abuse). SPEC said the issue was that the housing to clutch tolerance (I believe) was off by a verry small amount and that was causing my problem. So they adjusted everything to make sure it would work and also suggested I get a new clutch disk (not sure why). This disk was off the stage 3 (so a hybrid setup) and they charged me 115 (or so) for the disc. Once they shipped it back to Ron, he installed it and I got my car back. (The cost with rental car was about 1K)!

Now I have about 2.5K on this setup. It appears that the slip issue is gone (I haven't tried hard to reproduce, but it no longer happens in daily driving situations). BUT, the chatter is still there (which I can live with) and the car shakes (almost violently) on easy take offs. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to break something in the drivetrain.

Based on my experience (and the amount of time and money wasted), I don't recommend SPEC for the B5. I'm going to call them back and see what they say now (since they said all my problems would be resolved). I know Jason @ ND said that he had come accross some problems with SPEC lately (but he left ND so I don't know what he knows).

Thanks for listening...

mike
 

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uh you might want to check out the AW S4 forum . . . . i just looked today and two owners had theirs crap out on them today . . . . there are a bunch there that have had issues as well . . . . one with only 3500mi on his.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, the AW S4 guys have been complaining for the last two or three weeks (that I've seen). Jason at ND knew something was up with SPEC as well, but when I called ND today they didn't seem to think anything out of the ordinary was going on with SPEC clutches.

mike
 

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Yep, I'm having the same issues.

Let me explain.

When I first had the clutch installed the car shook at low speeds. When I was letting off of the clutch from a dead stop, the car felt like it just wanted to let loose. I thought that this would decrease as time went by and the parts were broken in. Ive gone a month now, and it still happens. Very annoying and very embarasing. Im not comfortable with having other people in my car because of all the rattles, jerking, etc with the clutch engagement. I bought the clutch used from rfenti and he said the clutch just wasnt for him. NOW I SEE WHY.

I sent the parts to Spec for them to resurface the materials and to make sure that everything was within their specifications. For weeks I was talking with David to make sure that they use their own parts to make THEIR OWN clutches. On further review once I got the parts, I noticed that the pressure plate was ground down where either part numbers, or a name was etched into the plate. There was then paint over the surface so I could read anything. I was in dire need of a clutch and I was told several times that they used their own parts made IN HOUSE at their Alabama shop.

I let my clutch break in for 3-4 weeks and about 500-700 miles. Ive since increased in more aggressive driving to see how well it handles. The crisp shifts are gone. Between fast shifts, I have to hold the clutch in, let the revs drop a few hundred rpms (sometimes even 1000 or more) and then shift to the next gear. The rattles start at 4000 rpms and any time that I let off the gas while in a gear, you can hear the rattles coming from the "transmission/gear stack" so Ive been told. When ever I accelerate from a stop and go into 1st gear, I rev up to about 1500-2000 rpms. At those rpms, I get a squealing sound from my clutch. It only happens during a dead stop, but also happens occasionally between other gears.

Im considering going with something else because I cant continue to have these sounds coming from my car. The car is 6 years old, and it sounds like its a 15yo peice of shit. I love the way the engine revs, but I hate everything else about it.

Steve.

BTW, maybe we need to get together and form a huge letter of complaints. I kno Denver Pat from RMCB5.com also has had issues and is already talking to officials to see about working something out.
 

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Yeah, that's faily typical. I've heard of this before. I'm not surprised. Even so, if they claim it holds 310 foot pounds, it shoul hold 310 foot pounds. I be I put out less than 240 up here in Denver and it can't hold it. F Spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Glad all this info is coming out. I was thinking that I might be the only Passat person with this issue.

Any lawyers here that want to write a letter to SPEC?

Mike
 

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Well I think we should start to form something here. I think we have enough information and such to start some kinda action. I would see about getting in contact with some of the AW guys and see what can be done. This surely cant continue to go on. $400-800 JUST to remove a tranny and have the clutch and flywheel inspected is something that isnt in my best intrest. Let alone, its not something that I can afford to do right now. I dont want to be stuck with parts that are inferior. And I surely hate to be lied to. I was clearly told these parts were SPEC'S own parts made inhouse. If I wanted a Luk clutch, or a Sachs clutch, I would have bought that. But, I wanted a Spec unit, and its not living up to its advertised torque ratings.

Steve
 

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I dont think this is a post that you need to tell us that we've been owned. This thread needs to remain filled with issues with the spec clutches, etc, not telling us something we arlready know. TIA.

Back on topic, I have some more news on my clutch that just happened on my way to work this morning.

I was going about 45-50 and was in 4th gear crusing along and was coming to the stop light. I pressed the clutch in, along with the break, and the engine revs were still up at about 3500-4000. I continued to press in the brake to slow me down and I couldnt get the car out of gear. I rolled about 1/4 of the way through the intersection and the light turned green and I kept going. This issue is now becoming a safety issue for me. If there were any cars in front of me I would have been in a serious crash. Im going to be getting in contact with David at Spec today to discuss this issue. Ill keep you all posted.

Steve
 

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wow scary.... i just had my AWE stage II clutch installed w/ the LWFW. The clutch itself says "Sachs" and it was sourced from southbend and it was painted red, so i guess it was rebuilt too. I have about 1300 miles on it now and it is catching / pulling nicely. Not slipping at all.
The catch is a whole lot lower than my stock clutch and it catches quickly.. Like scubasteve i have to rev it up to 2k rpms from stop otherwise it feels like its gonna stall. once in a while, when i let go of the clutch too slow it squeels but only in first gear. When i'm cruising and in any gear.... , if i let the throttle go after 3.5k rpms. you can hear the grinding noise from the flywheel and it sounds like some is loose in the transmission. After it drops to 2.5k - 3k rpms it goes away. I asked bel about this and he says it happens when you install a LWFW. He has the stage III and he says his is really loud.
 
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