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Lightweight flywheel and clutch FAQ (very long) (archive)

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Posted by alex on February 02, 2001 at 14:02:50:

over view:

i seem to have sparked quite a few people's interests in these part for their m3 since i got mine done. it's ready now, but i am not able to get out to pick it up, so i'm taking the train tomorrow morning. as for experience in a m3 with these parts, i have driven and riden in such as car.

for why you should get one, search the archives as i have posted lots and lots of info about the benefits. i will give s short overview of pros, cons, and myths though if you can't find my earlier posts. i will also throw in reasons for a sport clutch.

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pros:

1) much faster acceleration. engine spools up like a rocket and you will be hitting redline real quick in the first three gears. mash the throttle and instant rubber in 1st and sometimes in 2nd.

2) increase drivetrain efficiency and allow more rear wheel horsepower. flywheels do not make crank power, but allow more power to get to the rear wheels. now all your mods will make more power.

3) throttle response in the first 3 gears will be phenominal. stab the gas, off you go.

3) sport clutch increases clamping power and reduces slip when accelerating hard. better for track use than a stock clutch as it will also be harder to glaze.

4) if you drive normally, a sport clutch will last almost forever. even if you abuse it, it will last much longer than a stock one.

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cons:

1) expensive. total cost of doing both these mods is around $1800-1900.

2) there will be a slight rattle on idle and low rpm driving. it's not bad at all and you can't feel it unless you really look/feel for it.

3) clutch pedal will be a little stiffer due to the heavy duty pressure plate. not bad at all. slightly more effort than stock.

4) can't use lightweight flywheel and pulley at the same time.

5) you will have to downshift to 4th to pass on the highway. the lower weight of the flywheel doesn't allow it to have enough momentum to spin back up to speed when cruising in 5th. a downshift is required, but are always fun anyways.

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myths:

1) idle needs to be increased otherwise car will stall. not true for the active autowerke 12lb flywheel. can't say for the other 10.4lb flywheels on the market though.

2) car will rattle and vibrate a lot. not true. see above.

3) you can't also use a pulley. true. engine won't be balanced and you will throw belts left and right.

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parts:

here is the list of parts that will be needed. i went with a sachs sport clutch and a active autowerke flywheel. more detailed list is below. i will list quantity needed and the item.

(1) aa lightweight flywheel - $689
(6) e30 m3 flywheel bolts - $2-5/each
(1) e34 535i release fork - $15
(1) sachs sport clutch disc - $300-350
(1) sachs heavy duty pressure plate - $320-380
(1) sachs steel throwout bearing - $120-130
(2) quarts of redline d4 atf - $7-9/quart

parts do not include shipping or taxes. cheapest places for clutch is through bekkers. do not use supreme power parts as i had big problems with them trying to get my first clutch. they first shipped me the wrong part and then was supposed to get a new part out to me in the next few days. 5 days later, still no clutch. did not even ship yet. i had to cancel the order and get the part from korman. i do believe korman has one clutch left, one of the few in the US. new shipment in the next few weeks.

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parts, in detail:

there are two versions of the sachs sport clutch available. one is the standard sport clutch which is about 2lbs lighter than stock. the other one is the lightweight sport clutch, which is about 6lbs lighter than the regular sport clutch, but also costs $300-400 more.

the steel throwout bearing is also necessary as it is more durable than the stock plastic one. example: steel water pump impeller vs. the plastic one. might as well do it right the first time.

the e30 m3 flywheel bolts are needed as the bolts aa sends with their flywheel are too short. they only seat about 2-3mm of tread. aa has used these bolts for a long time now and have had no problems. however, korman believes that they are too short and recommends the e30 m3 flywheel bolts that seat further in. stock bolts are too long.

the fork from the 535 is also recommended to keep the clutch engagement point the same. otherwise you will be pressing the clutch pedal all the way down.

i recommend the redline d4 atf to give the tranny more protection. i would recommend it even if you are not putting these parts in just because it's much better than factory tranny fluid.

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labor:

get a respectable shop to work on your bmw. this is a very involved job to take the tranny out and put a new clutch/flywheel in. labor should be around 4-6 hours depending on the skill of the installer. you should not pay more then $450 for the work, and that's a lot more than i'm paying, at $360.

total costs including labor will rub close to $2000. that's including all the taxes and shipping and other crap.

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questions:

alex, i see you posting a lot about flywheels and clutches, but what about your car?

my car just got done and i have not been able to get out to pick it up yet. korman is about an hour and some away from me. i will be taking the train out there tomorrow morning to pick it up. it was supposed to be done last wed, a week and a half ago, but had big problems with eric at supreme power parts. not too happy with them. i've calmed down a bit since then. i will post a full review after i tear off some tread tomorrow.

can i ask you more questions?

yes, feel free to post below or email me.

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thanks for your time. hope this answers everyone's questions.

-alex


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