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  1. #1
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    Post REVIEW: HPF STAGE 2 FERAMIC CLUTCH (N54 335i)

    BACKGROUND AND STOCK CLUTCH (70,000km)
    Car currently has 115,000km, stock clutch about 70,000km with full boltons and procede for the most part putting down about 370-390whp. After going with meth and a few drag strip days the stock clutch went but I was happy it lasted as much as it did given my semi-aggressive driving style. I never dumped the clutch and never did any full throttle shifts or anything like that on the stock clutch.

    CLUTCHMASTERS FX400 + 16lb alum. flywheel (4500km)
    After a review from Former_Boosted_IS and many online reviews about the quality of the ClutchMasters clutches and flywheels I ponied up for a ClutchMasters FX400 6-puck ceramic with their lightweight flywheel. This clutch went prematurely at just 4500km and I expected it to be the last clutch I'd buy for this car given my driving style and the fact my stock clutch lasted as much as it did. My assumption was wrong and the clutch, after being examined by CM, was fully warrantied with a new kit. Having completely lost trust in this setup I wasn't going to try it again and rather opted to sell the new kit to someone else and try something else. ClutchMasters claimed the issue was a combination of two factors, main being possibly install related and pilot bearing not being replaced as they noticed some abnormal wear somewhere on the flywheel, and they also hinted at ceramic material not being the greatest for daily driving in stop/go traffic which I was doing 99% of the time. I still have tons of respect for ClutchMasters as they came through with their customer service (Luis specifically) and with no questions asked, sent me a new kit. I sold it and moved on.

    ACT STREET ORGANIC + RESURFACED OEM DMF (45,000km+)
    Mr.5 over on bimmerpost had extensive experience racing on his ACT Street clutch (organic) which was rated very well for stock turbos and high boost numbers the N54s were putting down. My issue with it was I had RB turbos on order already but given no other great option was available and the fact I got the ACT kit from a former member for $250 shipped I decided to just go with it in the meantime. ACT exceeded all my wildest expectations after having been through a situation with the CM unit. I had RB turbos installed and put down ~500whp ~500wtq on this clutch without any slipping. I literally put the car through hell for 11 months after installing it putting down about 40,000km on it and only recently it started to slip a tiny bit, and only sometimes, in 6th gear in low RPMs under full load. I wouldn't have even noticed it probably had I not tried to accelerate once from 2500rpm to datalog 6th gear Click here to enlarge After pulling it out last night the ACT still had about 20% material left in it. It survived about 5-6 drag strip days, about 50-60 1/4 mile passes, over 200 dyno pulls in all sorts of boost, many many full throttle (WOT) shifts, literally hundreds of datalogging runs in different gears. I was and still am extremely impressed with this obviously underrated clutch. It has a heavier pressure plate from stock and engagement is closer to the floor (forget about clutch stops with this one) but overall, a week into it and you're used to it, no issues daily driving at all. I highly recommend this clutch for anyone on stock turbos whatever sort of setup/racing they do, solid!

    Once I felt my ACT slip in 6th I was a bit saddened that there was no clutch on the market that has been tried and tested heavily in any sort of abusive racing environment where it would decently hold up and show itself to be worthy the money spent. I honestly didn't mind spending a chunk of coins on it provided it could stand up to my type of driving, which has gotten way more demanding than the stock clutch days, as well as be daily drivable. Organic material was great but with RB turbos torque curve (or should I say lack there of lol) there was no way an organic clutch would reliably work much past the 480-500wtq mark. ACT is truly underrated but I'd say 500wtq was showing as too much to ask from it under higher gear higher load situations. This only told me that its at/near its limits and then...

    HPF STAGE 2 FERAMIC CLUTCH (135i/335i N54)
    HPF couldn't have announced an N54 clutch solution at a better time. I knew that I couldn't stay with an organic clutch going forward but I wanted to have something still daily drivable while at the same time it could survive a beating at the drag strip, my 60-130mph testing with fast shifts, as well as some road coarse action I am getting ready for this coming summer. Ceramic clutches were out of the question due to their bad wear properties in stop/go heavy slip-inducing driving scenarios. Kevlar was also not a great option as even if slipped heavily once the material would never recover, just the nature of it.

    I bought into the HPF's Feramic material after realizing their turboed M3s run this same clutch, the same material is used in clutches on many high hp Supras and I really couldn't dig up anything online that made me not want to give this a shot. So I contacted @HPFBranden and @HPFChris and got the order under way. My clutch is a unit from the very first production batch of N54 clutches of this kind from HPF. Hopefully none of the issues that typically crop up in the first units won't plague mine and I'll be able to get the full enjoyment I expect from this purchase soon.

    Got it installed last night with a brand new OEM dual mass flywheel+release bearing+pilot bearing+rear main seal. Along with this my man Ivo@ColumbusAutomotive took care of reinstalling my RB turbos with tapped EGT probes in both RB turbo manifolds, new engine mounts (passenger side got a 335IS mount), new tranny mounts (UUC black rubber ones), new shifter shaft seal, a custom mounted Big Tom FMIC (this was too sweet actually, will post in another thread), and reinstalled my stock catback back on (AE catless sold) so I'm semi-environmentally friendly again yay!

    I've driven about 50km (30 miles) on it so far and I'm truly impressed. Clutch engagement is higher than the ACT and about the same as stock actually which was great. Pressure plate is about as firm as the ACT so no major changes there, and the clutch drives SMOOTH, no different than the ACT and a little bit more grabby than stock but then again, that was a long time ago and sensors in my legs have gone out of calibration since then Click here to enlarge Overall so far I give it a 10/10.

    Huge thanks to HPF for coming through with this alternative for the N54. My usual respect and huge props to my shop (Ivo@ColumbusAutomotive) for doing a truly amazing job each and every time and always being as anal retentive about details as I am lol

    I'll update the thread once the 500mile break in is over and I get to play with it. Car is on winter tires and temps are below freezing so don't expect much soon in terms of updates.

    Some pics:

    Click here to enlarge

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    Install pics:

    Click here to enlarge

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    ...and a pic of the car on lift situation last night...all this was done starting at 6PM and done at 7:30AM this morning as Ivo's going on vacation for 10 days, that bastard! lol

    Click here to enlarge

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by dzenno@PTF; 12-24-2011 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice upgrade. I see you have been a busy bee the last couple of days.

  3. #3
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Cn555ic Click here to enlarge
    Nice upgrade. I see you have been a busy bee the last couple of days.
    actually all crammed and done last night Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge

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    HPF has done it again. Good write up btw.
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, S55s, N63s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  6. #6
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    Great stuff man. Happy you got the car back !
    Probably gonna do the mounts as well soon.
    07 335i AT - MOTIV 750 - MHD BMS E85 - BMS PI - JB4G5 - Okada Coils - NGK 5992 Plugs - Helix IC - Stett CP - Custom midpipes with 100 HJS Cats - Bastuck Quad - PSS10 - QUAIFE LSD - BMS OCC - Forge DVs - AR OC - ALCON BBK - M3 Chassi - Dinan CP - Velocity M rear Toe arms - Advan RZ-DF - LUX H8 - Level 10 AT upgrade
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    Very Nice review
    Click here to enlarge



    EURO 04 M3 Current Mods:GC DAs, Eibach Sways, PF RTAB's, RE RCAs, INTRAVEE II, Black Roundels, ///MFEST Badges, Depo's, Screen protector for NAV display, VCSL Bumper + Race Lip & CF Trunk & CF Rear Diffusor, DIETZ TV in Motion, SS= V1 Headers + catless pipes + X-Pipe + SS Sport Exhaust, Z8 Starter Button, Lamin-X, OEM CSL interior, OEM CSL Steering, OEM CSL Intake, OEM CSL Roof, MSS54HP + OEM CSL Tune, BBS CH's, LIGHTWERKZ, 355mm ST40 BBK, BW Oil Cooler....

  8. #8
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    By the way did you get this part only for the right engine mount?
    22116793240
    07 335i AT - MOTIV 750 - MHD BMS E85 - BMS PI - JB4G5 - Okada Coils - NGK 5992 Plugs - Helix IC - Stett CP - Custom midpipes with 100 HJS Cats - Bastuck Quad - PSS10 - QUAIFE LSD - BMS OCC - Forge DVs - AR OC - ALCON BBK - M3 Chassi - Dinan CP - Velocity M rear Toe arms - Advan RZ-DF - LUX H8 - Level 10 AT upgrade
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  9. #9
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    Why stg2 rather than stg1?

  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by enrita Click here to enlarge
    By the way did you get this part only for the right engine mount?
    22116793240
    Yep, that's the one:
    http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...13&hg=22&fg=05

    Number 4 in the link above...the driver's side one was still solid, it was the passenger side one that was $#@!ed...

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 654 Click here to enlarge
    Why stg2 rather than stg1?
    why not stg2?

  11. #11
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    Another well done review, good pics and descriptions.

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    Stg1 and stg2 seem to be quite similar. Both will hold the torque needed (if the promised 600lbft holds true for stg1), and stg1 is close to stg2 when it comes to the force needed to push the pedal. I guess I'll go with stg1 myself if you'll like HPF clutch. Looking forward to your reviews later on.

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    Thanks for the writeup Dzenan... I appreciate you taking the time to do that. I also love that clutch. It is amazing.

    Chris.
    STAGE 1 M3 TURBO KIT SALE - $13,500!!!!
    Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge
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  14. #14
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    Excellent review. I'm curious to see how the Clutchmasters FX300 will fare once I install it (together with a new OEM flywheel). I hope it won't have the same problems as Dzenno's CM...

    Alpina_B3_Lux
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    Gone: BMW 335i Individual (Íhlins, PFC brakes, RB turbos etc.)

    Gone: Alpina B3 E46 3,3

  15. #15
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    Hopefully no issues, fx300 is what material?

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    I dont have any expereience with Feramic clutches on other platforms. How are the wear properties/lifing estimation compared to organics and ceramics? Where did you pick up the OEM FW?

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    Only have about 450-500km on it so far and all I can say is that it's almost as smooth as my ACT which was organic...only time it differs a bit is to get going in 1st as its grabbier...Chris@HPF told me that the breakin process is of 300-500miles basically means no hard launches as you don't want to slip it until its bedded in...I've basically grannied it 300km around city and have done 3-4 WOT pulls on stock and 14-15psi (Cobb stage 2, not 2+) and really nothing to complain about so far at all..

    I got my OEM DMF from Tischer but I just heard from some members that you can get it much cheaper from another company directly that are the actual manufacturers for BMW..it's somewhere on this or the other 2 forums

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    1000km done, 80/20 mix of city/hwy driving...i have to say i'm truly happy with this clutch...there's no noise, zero chatter with the OEM DMF and take offs have smoothed out mostly due to my own adjustment of clutch/gas pedal work but also due to the clutch disk being bedded in now...haven't done any high boost (20psi) pulls just yet but have gone to 17psi and the clutch just works as it should, no drama, just the way it should!

    I'll update again once I'm through about 10,000km but so far nothing but a 10/10...we'll see how it holds up at the strip when/if I make it out there this summer as plan is to hit the road coarse a bit for a change...

    Thanks HPF

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    1000km done, 80/20 mix of city/hwy driving...i have to say i'm truly happy with this clutch...there's no noise, zero chatter with the OEM DMF and take offs have smoothed out mostly due to my own adjustment of clutch/gas pedal work but also due to the clutch disk being bedded in now...haven't done any high boost (20psi) pulls just yet but have gone to 17psi and the clutch just works as it should, no drama, just the way it should!

    I'll update again once I'm through about 10,000km but so far nothing but a 10/10...we'll see how it holds up at the strip when/if I make it out there this summer as plan is to hit the road coarse a bit for a change...

    Thanks HPF
    Good to hear that it is holding up.

    One question, is your flywheel a 8 bolt or a 6 bolt?

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    8 bolt, older design...6 bolt is more recent, think 2009 and up, also in the new 1M

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    8 bolt, older design...6 bolt is more recent, think 2009 and up, also in the new 1M
    I see, the reason I ask is because a vender on the other forum has made their own version of the OEM fly wheel that is about 12 pounds and it works with HPF CLUTCH .

    And they are looking for someone that has the 8 bolt flywheeel so they can make one for it.

  22. #22
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    saw that, Advan in Australia right? I could've given them my used 8 bolt flywheel to work with and make an aftermarket one but they're in Australia Click here to enlarge

    looks like a great unit from them but IMHO I think a single mass lighter flywheel is just not the best idea for this car...nothing wrong with the OEM DMF and on top of that no chatter...keep in mind i ran a lightweight 16lb 2-piece alum fw and engagement with a steel one can only be harsher IMO

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    saw that, Advan in Australia right? I could've given them my used 8 bolt flywheel to work with and make an aftermarket one but they're in Australia Click here to enlarge
    yup, that is them.

    Why not? too expensive to ship it to them?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by farbmw Click here to enlarge
    yup, that is them.

    Why not? too expensive to ship it to them?
    Did you ever check how much it is to ship anything to Australia from Canada AND back Click here to enlarge let alone 30lbs weight

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    Did you ever check how much it is to ship anything to Australia from Canada AND back Click here to enlarge let alone 30lbs weight
    No but I know you, and your skills to get a really good deal to make it worth your wild! Click here to enlarge

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