• DCT Build Part VII - Taking the BMW E92 M3 DCT to the next level, 800+ wheel horsepower clutch disc capacity

      You have seen the DCT taken apart, what it looks like inside, worn clutch discs, and brand new higher capacity clutch discs made. The new discs handle 600+ and 700+ whp respectively. With my power goals, SSP has decided to build a clutch pack that is beyond anything developed at this time for the DCT. What is the power goal? Well, it is beyond what is currently available and SSP is currently developing a clutch disc pack capable of over 800 wheel horsepower.

      How is this being done?

      The current clutch discs are of a thicker material than the stock discs. However, the stock clutch pack has 9 discs in it. By increasing the number of clutch discs they are going to increase the maximum torque capacity. By going to a thicker material and increasing the total number of discs to 11, the DCT in the BMW M3 will be taken to a level no one previously thought was possible. This is going to be similar to the GTR 1000 hp clutch setup by SSP (pictured) but the GTR uses more clutch discs albeit smaller, thinner discs.

      What else is being done and how much time will it take?

      The DCT is going to receive a cooling system based on what SSP has done with the GTR's. This will be a DCT specific application and will be great for the guys who track. No more overheats, no more staying away from the track on hot days. Look for a separate build thread specifically for the cooling system in the next few weeks. Regarding the time period, expect completion next month with the car returning fully assembled and capable of handling the increased power.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: M3 DCT Build Journal - World's First BMW DCT Build started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 3082 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stampy Click here to enlarge
        Isn't an E92 M3 now "out dated" considering it is no longer in production... doesn't that seem ridiculous to you?

        You bought this car new and it's been under the knife for its whole production cycle and is now out of production, you're bashing someones "out dated" car while yours is, and to top it all off you act all hard while your setup is being built on someone elses dime.

        Class act right here ladies and gents.
        E9x m3's are still being produced as is the s65 v8. Until the next gen m3 shows up it is the most current m3 available. Plus, I can just buy the new one too when it gets here.

        A bit more recent than a c32 wouldn't you say?

        My setup isn't being built on anyone's dime but my own so you simply don't know what you are talking about.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        Gentlemen,

        Can we please try to keep this post on topic. Sticky started this post with some excellent photos and a plan to do some great upgrades. This obviouly took up a lot of his time. I thank him for sharing it. Obviously the build is not working out as timely as he would like and I understand his frustration. The negative comments are not productive.

        I'm sure many of us DCT owners would like to get more information about the issues with the DCT when supercharging the car. I know I would. I installed a VF-620 SC and have had issues with the clutch slipping at the track. I have spoken with SSP about their clutch packs ($2599). Kris told me that they have sold about 30 sets. Most were shipped to Shanghai for a SC installer there who puts them into all his cars. Kris said that he sold 6-10 in North America but I did not ask Kris for a reference list. So far I've not found one post on the forums of anyone successfully using the SSP clutch packs. Drew installed the SSP clutch packs but their was another issue with the transmission and he ended up having the entire DCT replaced.

        I'm a mechanical engineer and am familiar with wet clutches in industrial equipment. The idea of Kevlar friction material sounds good, but if you research the recomendations from the manufacturer of the material you'll find that Kevlar is harder than the paper based material Getrag uses and requires higher clamping force, just like a race clutch in a MT requires stronger springs. Kevlar also takes up to 5 times longer to break-in vs paper based material. ESS says their software upgrade for the DCT ($995) increases the clamping force. If this is possible to do with just a tune I think it's prudent to ask what will be the next weak link in the DCT. The clutch design, and the DCT too for that matter, has many compromises. The paper based material has its advantages. The same with the transmission fluid. SSP pushes their own fluid ($50/ liter, the DCT takes about 9 liters) as being superior to the BMW fill of Pentosin FFL-4. The DCT has a single sump so the fluid must lubricate the gears as well as possible, but also disipate heat from the wet clutches and not be too slippery so the clutches don't slip. The reqirements for each application is contradictory at best. Pentosin is a well respected company and a leader in double clutch transmission lubrication for many auto companies. Even BMW dealers sell the FFL-4 for much less than SSP.

        Another possibility is a race clutch module that is currently being developed in europe. James Clay from BimmerWorld is researching the clutch to see if it might have potential. Preliminary pricing is about $8000 plus install.

        Lastly, if your DCT was abused before the SC was installed, it's entirely possible that the friction material is glazed and requires replacement. BMW does sell the clutch module separately ($1900 - $2400 plus install). In my mind a factory replacement might be the most practical solution. Imagine that.

        I'm also working with VF-Engineering to make sure there is nothing in their software that might be contributing to the problem. The DCT talks to the ECU via the PT-CAN to control engine torque. VF is very aware of the DCT interface and are trying to duplicate the problem I have on one of their test mules.

        Stay tuned.
        I'm not frustrated the time hasn't bothered me as much as it seems to bother other people. It's a project car to promote my websites, however long it takes it will take and when complete I will just move on to the next project.

        People hate and I'm used to it by now. The results will speak for themselves. These are the same people who said I would never be able to get a forum off the ground either and now they are coming to me not the other way around.

        Some people appreciate the sacrifice and small minded bitter individuals do not. Let them be angry.

        Can't wait to get out there.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        Gentlemen,

        Can we please try to keep this post on topic. Sticky started this post with some excellent photos and a plan to do some great upgrades. This obviouly took up a lot of his time. I thank him for sharing it. Obviously the build is not working out as timely as he would like and I understand his frustration. The negative comments are not productive.

        I'm sure many of us DCT owners would like to get more information about the issues with the DCT when supercharging the car. I know I would. I installed a VF-620 SC and have had issues with the clutch slipping at the track. I have spoken with SSP about their clutch packs ($2599). Kris told me that they have sold about 30 sets. Most were shipped to Shanghai for a SC installer there who puts them into all his cars. Kris said that he sold 6-10 in North America but I did not ask Kris for a reference list. So far I've not found one post on the forums of anyone successfully using the SSP clutch packs. Drew installed the SSP clutch packs but their was another issue with the transmission and he ended up having the entire DCT replaced.

        I'm a mechanical engineer and am familiar with wet clutches in industrial equipment. The idea of Kevlar friction material sounds good, but if you research the recomendations from the manufacturer of the material you'll find that Kevlar is harder than the paper based material Getrag uses and requires higher clamping force, just like a race clutch in a MT requires stronger springs. Kevlar also takes up to 5 times longer to break-in vs paper based material. ESS says their software upgrade for the DCT ($995) increases the clamping force. If this is possible to do with just a tune I think it's prudent to ask what will be the next weak link in the DCT. The clutch design, and the DCT too for that matter, has many compromises. The paper based material has its advantages. The same with the transmission fluid. SSP pushes their own fluid ($50/ liter, the DCT takes about 9 liters) as being superior to the BMW fill of Pentosin FFL-4. The DCT has a single sump so the fluid must lubricate the gears as well as possible, but also disipate heat from the wet clutches and not be too slippery so the clutches don't slip. The reqirements for each application is contradictory at best. Pentosin is a well respected company and a leader in double clutch transmission lubrication for many auto companies. Even BMW dealers sell the FFL-4 for much less than SSP.

        Another possibility is a race clutch module that is currently being developed in europe. James Clay from BimmerWorld is researching the clutch to see if it might have potential. Preliminary pricing is about $8000 plus install.

        Lastly, if your DCT was abused before the SC was installed, it's entirely possible that the friction material is glazed and requires replacement. BMW does sell the clutch module separately ($1900 - $2400 plus install). In my mind a factory replacement might be the most practical solution. Imagine that.

        I'm also working with VF-Engineering to make sure there is nothing in their software that might be contributing to the problem. The DCT talks to the ECU via the PT-CAN to control engine torque. VF is very aware of the DCT interface and are trying to duplicate the problem I have on one of their test mules.

        Stay tuned.
        Regarding increasing the clamping force all they can do at ESS is up line pressure, that's it. I don't know how else you would do it as BMW did the same thing in software updates. We need to make sure we have enough pressure for the stronger clutches.

        You are correct regarding the DCT fluid dissipating heat which is why I am running a different fluid as well as more of it.

        When did BMW start selling the clutch module separately?

        What problem is it you are experiencing with VF?
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        My setup isn't being built on anyone's dime but my own
        Sig worthy!

        In all seriousness, while I appreciate the digs, I'm content with our household automotive lineup for now. My '04 C32 is my DD, and is modified into a Kleemann 32 K2 (roughly 340 rwhp) plus some other odds and ends. I drive a lot for work, and it fits my needs for now... plus it has a kick-ass unlimited mileage service contract for another year or so.

        My wife's DD is an '09 X5, which we also both enjoy. Third toy vehicle is an '02 996TT X50, with an AWE Gen2 exhaust and an EPL tune. When I bought it stock and CPO a year ago, could I have gotten an E9x M3 instead? Sure could've, for thousands less... but I wanted a Porsche turbo.

        Anyway, enough OT - let's see this transmission completed, up and running successfully in a vehicle, and the corresponding results (dyno, track, VBOX, whatever). Hopefully this month...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        Sig worthy!

        In all seriousness, while I appreciate the digs, I'm content with our household automotive lineup for now. My '04 C32 is my DD, and is modified into a Kleemann 32 K2 (roughly 340 rwhp) plus some other odds and ends. I drive a lot for work, and it fits my needs for now... plus it has a kick-ass unlimited mileage service contract for another year or so.

        My wife's DD is an '09 X5, which we also both enjoy. Third toy vehicle is an '02 996TT X50, with an AWE Gen2 exhaust and an EPL tune. When I bought it stock and CPO a year ago, could I have gotten an E9x M3 instead? Sure could've, for thousands less... but I wanted a Porsche turbo.

        Anyway, enough OT - let's see this transmission completed, up and running successfully in a vehicle, and the corresponding results (dyno, track, VBOX, whatever). Hopefully this month...
        Good for you dude, I really don't care about your lineup especially in my thread. A C32 is worth about as much as my rims and a 996tt X50 can be picked up for 40k. If that was a 997 you would have room to talk as that is the newest turbo model available. Regardless, I'm not going to sit here and make fun of you but you don't come into my build thread questioning me doing things that you can not do. As I said, modify your cars to this level and then let's talk. Go do an engine build on the 996 as the rods are a weak point past 600 whp, fuel system, trans, turbos, custom tune, water-meth, etc., and like I said, then talk.

        Enough OT? No kidding, you guys need to just let me worry about my car and read the updates when I post them. I'm glad so many of you are spiteful and don't want to see me succeed however it is going to make it that much sweeter. As soon as it is done I'm not going to be nice about it, I'm going to set out to embarrass anyone who ran their mouth.
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Good for you dude, I really don't care about your lineup especially in my thread. A C32 is worth about as much as my rims and a 996tt X50 can be picked up for 40k. If that was a 997 you would have room to talk as that is the newest turbo model available. Regardless, I'm not going to sit here and make fun of you but you don't come into my build thread questioning me doing things that you can not do. As I said, modify your cars to this level and then let's talk. Go do an engine build on the 996 as the rods are a weak point past 600 whp, fuel system, trans, turbos, custom tune, water-meth, etc., and like I said, then talk.

        Enough OT? No kidding, you guys need to just let me worry about my car and read the updates when I post them. I'm glad so many of you are spiteful and don't want to see me succeed however it is going to make it that much sweeter. As soon as it is done I'm not going to be nice about it, I'm going to set out to embarrass anyone who ran their mouth.
        Funny that you edited my quote of your post. Freudian slip? Thought you never misspoke?

        Good luck with your car - I guess we'll just wait for the results, whenever that might be.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        Funny that you edited my quote of your post. Freudian slip? Thought you never misspoke?

        Good luck with your car - I guess we'll just wait for the results, whenever that might be.
        When did I claim to never make a typo? I edited my own post and since you quoted it I edited my quote. Did the forum not notify you? Yes, even if I edit my own quote you are still notified so quit whining and say thank you that I try so hard for complete transparency. Of course you have a problem with that :rolleyes

        Exactly, you wait and I will let you all know. As if more posts will speed things up. It's done when it's done.
      1. Stampy's Avatar
        Stampy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Good for you dude, I really don't care about your lineup especially in my thread. A C32 is worth about as much as my rims and a 996tt X50 can be picked up for 40k. If that was a 997 you would have room to talk as that is the newest turbo model available. Regardless, I'm not going to sit here and make fun of you but you don't come into my build thread questioning me doing things that you can not do. As I said, modify your cars to this level and then let's talk. Go do an engine build on the 996 as the rods are a weak point past 600 whp, fuel system, trans, turbos, custom tune, water-meth, etc., and like I said, then talk.

        Enough OT? No kidding, you guys need to just let me worry about my car and read the updates when I post them. I'm glad so many of you are spiteful and don't want to see me succeed however it is going to make it that much sweeter. As soon as it is done I'm not going to be nice about it, I'm going to set out to embarrass anyone who ran their mouth.
        How do we know your wheels aren't a hand out like your transmission and god knows what else. You're a joke. A true dildo, if you will.

        Your car will never run. Just burn it down.

        Starting a forum that exists solely on drama and building cars do not equal the same thing. The best part is you I can't wait until this thing dynos a whopping 450 rwhp and breaks so you can cry to all the people who turned wrenches on your car for you.
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stampy Click here to enlarge
        How do we know your wheels aren't a hand out like your transmission and god knows what else. You're a joke. A true dildo, if you will.

        Your car will never run. Just burn it down.

        Starting a forum that exists solely on drama and building cars do not equal the same thing. The best part is you I can't wait until this thing dynos a whopping 450 rwhp and breaks so you can cry to all the people who turned wrenches on your car for you.
        I think he's hit about 600 rwhp..
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stampy Click here to enlarge
        How do we know your wheels aren't a hand out like your transmission and god knows what else. You're a joke. A true dildo, if you will.

        Your car will never run. Just burn it down.

        Starting a forum that exists solely on drama and building cars do not equal the same thing. The best part is you I can't wait until this thing dynos a whopping 450 rwhp and breaks so you can cry to all the people who turned wrenches on your car for you.
        So you are telling I got free HRE C90's before this website even existed just because I am me? Ok, that's realistic, they just hand out 7k+ rims. Why don't you call evosport and confirm it for yourself if it means that much to you? Do you people really have so little money?

        Dynos 450 whp when it already did 570+ and set records in the 1/4? LOL ok, hate away nobody.
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Seriously, STFU Iran and tell your pres to blow me.
        LOL. Can I put this on my sig?Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
        LOL. Can I put this on my sig?Click here to enlarge
        Go right ahead.
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        When did I claim to never make a typo? I edited my own post and since you quoted it I edited my quote.
        Sticky - posting "is" when you meant "isn't" is not a typographical error - it's a misstatement.

        Yes, the site notified me that you went into my post and changed the excerpt that I quoted after I'd made my post. Since the way it was initially worded was the whole point of me quoting it and my subsequent tongue-in-cheek "sig worthy!" comment, now my comment doesn't make sense after you altered it.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        Sticky - posting "is" when you meant "isn't" is not a typographical error - it's a misstatement.

        Yes, the site notified me that you went into my post and changed the excerpt that I quoted after I'd made my post. Since the way it was initially worded was the whole point of me quoting it and my subsequent tongue-in-cheek "sig worthy!" comment, now my comment doesn't make sense after you altered it.
        Now you are telling me when I make a typo and when I don't? No, it was a typo caused by my new iPad. I've been making several as I get used to it. Seriously now?

        Too bad it doesn't make sense, please stop taking the thread OT now or I can just remove you from it.
      1. jjv104's Avatar
        jjv104 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Regarding increasing the clamping force all they can do at ESS is up line pressure, that's it. I don't know how else you would do it as BMW did the same thing in software updates. We need to make sure we have enough pressure for the stronger clutches.

        You are correct regarding the DCT fluid dissipating heat which is why I am running a different fluid as well as more of it.

        When did BMW start selling the clutch module separately?

        What problem is it you are experiencing with VF?
        I don't know when BMW started selling the clutch module. I just know they sell it now. Realoem.com shows it with a part number and my SA gave me the price.

        My clutch starts slipping on the track at 5k to 6k in the upper gears at less than WOT. Not what I would consider a maximum torque situation. VF has never had this issue before with a SC'd DCT so they are trying to determine if the clutch is slipping or prematurly releasing.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        I don't know when BMW started selling the clutch module. I just know they sell it now. Realoem.com shows it with a part number and my SA gave me the price.

        My clutch starts slipping on the track at 5k to 6k in the upper gears at less than WOT. Not what I would consider a maximum torque situation. VF has never had this issue before with a SC'd DCT so they are trying to determine if the clutch is slipping or prematurly releasing.
        Would you mind posting the real OEM link? I would like to take a look.

        Weird it slips at 5-6k. Let us know what VF figures out.
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        Gentlemen,

        Can we please try to keep this post on topic. Sticky started this post with some excellent photos and a plan to do some great upgrades. This obviouly took up a lot of his time. I thank him for sharing it. Obviously the build is not working out as timely as he would like and I understand his frustration. The negative comments are not productive.

        I'm sure many of us DCT owners would like to get more information about the issues with the DCT when supercharging the car. I know I would. I installed a VF-620 SC and have had issues with the clutch slipping at the track. I have spoken with SSP about their clutch packs ($2599). Kris told me that they have sold about 30 sets. Most were shipped to Shanghai for a SC installer there who puts them into all his cars. Kris said that he sold 6-10 in North America but I did not ask Kris for a reference list. So far I've not found one post on the
        forums of anyone successfully using the SSP clutch packs. Drew installed the
        SSP clutch packs but their was another issue with the transmission and he
        ended up having the entire DCT replaced.

        I'm a mechanical engineer and am familiar with wet clutches in industrial equipment. The idea of Kevlar friction material sounds good, but if you research the recomendations from the manufacturer of the material you'll find that
        Kevlar is harder than the paper based material Getrag uses and requires higher
        clamping force, just like a race clutch in a MT requires stronger springs. Kevlar
        also takes up to 5 times longer to break-in vs paper based material. ESS says
        their software upgrade for the DCT ($995) increases the clamping force. If this
        is possible to do with just a tune I think it's prudent to ask what will be the
        next weak link in the DCT. The clutch design, and the DCT too for that matter,
        has many compromises. The paper based material has its advantages. The
        same with the transmission fluid. SSP pushes their own fluid ($50/ liter, the
        DCT takes about 9 liters) as being superior to the BMW fill of Pentosin FFL-4.
        The DCT has a single sump so the fluid must lubricate the gears as well as
        possible, but also disipate heat from the wet clutches and not be too slippery
        so the clutches don't slip. The reqirements for each application is contradictory
        at best. Pentosin is a well respected company and a leader in double clutch
        transmission lubrication for many auto companies. Even BMW dealers sell the
        FFL-4 for much less than SSP.

        Another possibility is a race clutch module that is currently being developed in europe. James Clay from BimmerWorld is researching the clutch to see if it
        might have potential. Preliminary pricing is about $8000 plus install.
        Lastly, if your DCT was abused before the SC was installed, it's entirely possible that the friction material is glazed and requires replacement. BMW does sell the clutch module separately ($1900 - $2400 plus install). In my mind a factory replacement might be the most practical solution. Imagine that.
        I'm also working with VF-Engineering to make sure there is nothing in their software that might be contributing to the problem. The DCT talks to the ECU via the PT-CAN to control engine torque. VF is very aware of the DCT interface and are trying to duplicate the problem I have on one of their test mules.
        Stay tuned.
        Great post. I'm not very familiar with how the getrag shifts or manages the shifts but I can only imagine the software and pressure associated with making those lightning quick shifts would have to be changed/modified if someone wanted stronger clutches and a trans that will hold up under more hp/tq. I imagine the trans has a controlled slip into the next gear which makes it hold power during shifts and that's what makes a dct style modern trans so attractive for performance cars.
        I work for a Allison Transmission distributor and we rebuild/reprogram heavy
        duty bus and truck transmissions all day long. I'm on the sales side but I
        know the electronically controlled trans are very complex, replacing clutches isn't even half of what should be done if it will be done right.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        Realoem.com shows it with a part number and my SA gave me the price.
        PLEASE SHARE info
      1. jjv104's Avatar
        jjv104 -
        The clutch module is item 5 in the exploded view. The BMW part number is correct. My SA said it lists for $2300. The wholesale price is $1900. Here is the link: http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...07&hg=28&fg=15
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jjv104 Click here to enlarge
        The clutch module is item 5 in the exploded view. The BMW part number is correct. My SA said it lists for $2300. The wholesale price is $1900. Here is the link: http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...07&hg=28&fg=15
        Thank you.