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  1. #1
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    Spec stage 3+ w/lightweight flywheel review

    So, after much research and talking to all the major clutch manufacturers I decided to go with the spec stage 3+ with lightweight flywheel. I knew I was buying upgraded turbos soon and was thinking about nitrous so I wanted a clutch that was gonna hold over 500ft lbs and also be able to take a beating at the drag strip. The first thing I learned was that all of the tq ratings the companies list are at the FW. Yeah some are underrated but I wanted to pair a clutch with a similar rating to what kind of torque I was gonna push. I also didn't want to DD a puck clutch, especially an unsprung one. This took ACT out of the equation completely. That left me with HPF, clutchmasters and spec. I couldn't find very many people that had good things to say about CM so it was really down to spec and HPF. I like to drag race so being dependable at the strip was mandatory along with retaining an oem feel. AR and another vender actually welded their feramic disks at the drag strip so this really pushed me toward spec. There are a couple of bad reviews of spec clutches on the forums but after talking to Vishnu and spec i was pretty confident in my choice. I decided on the lightweight flywheel because I knew the clutch would be able to hold more tq with the LW flywheel and I read FBIS's review of his CM LW flywheel.

    Well, I love the clutch. I've put 750 miles on the clutch and put 6 1/8mi passes on it Friday night. It's almost like driving the oem clutch. Engagement is a little higher than stock (which I like) and pedal is a little stiffer than stock (which I like). It certainly grabs. I can tell the oem clutch was slipping because now going WOT in 2nd gear will throw your head into the headrest.

    I hate the LW flywheel. It is so loud. Everyone asks what's wrong with my car. The only real benefit I've noticed is that it revs super fast and is really easy to rev match now. Sure it may hold a few more ft lbs of tq but is it really worth it? Not to me. If I were to do it again I would get the spec stage 3+ and reuse my oem flywheel. My oem clutch disk was toast. It was paper thin but the flywheel was in good shape. Def able to be resurfaced.

    I strongly recommend the AR design clutch rebuilt kit. Some of the bolts that come out of the tranny are aluminum and are not reusable. The AR kit comes with everything you need to install the clutch.

    I also installed a BMW performance short shift lever. I hate it and it will be coming off soon. It requires SO much effort to get into 2nd gear that I'm scared to NLS because it's just so hard to get into gear. I actually missed a 2nd gear shift for the first time ever at the track Friday night. It def shortened the throw a lot and if you don't drag race you might like it.

    Ill post some pics of the oem clutch/flywheel and the spec.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  2. #2
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    Good review and pretty much exactly how I feel about all of those items. I haven't ditched my UUC Evo3 short shift kit yet but I may take it off just to see how much better the 1-2 shift ends up being with the OEM shifter.
    Click here to enlarge

  3. #3
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    Ill post some pics of the oem clutch/flywheel and the spec.
    Please do...

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    I went with the stage3+ and a new stock flywheel. And agree with everything you said about it. It feels great only have 400mls on it now so I still haven't had the chance to get on it. But I can't wait too! Also I have a UUC short throw and selector rod and also my ditch it soon this things been notchy since day one. Had the short throw for over a year I forgot what the stock shifter even feels like.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    So, after much research and talking to all the major clutch manufacturers I decided to go with the spec stage 3+ with lightweight flywheel. I knew I was buying upgraded turbos soon and was thinking about nitrous so I wanted a clutch that was gonna hold over 500ft lbs and also be able to take a beating at the drag strip. The first thing I learned was that all of the tq ratings the companies list are at the FW. Yeah some are underrated but I wanted to pair a clutch with a similar rating to what kind of torque I was gonna push. I also didn't want to DD a puck clutch, especially an unsprung one. This took ACT out of the equation completely. That left me with HPF, clutchmasters and spec. I couldn't find very many people that had good things to say about CM so it was really down to spec and HPF. I like to drag race so being dependable at the strip was mandatory along with retaining an oem feel. AR and another vender actually welded their feramic disks at the drag strip so this really pushed me toward spec. There are a couple of bad reviews of spec clutches on the forums but after talking to Vishnu and spec i was pretty confident in my choice. I decided on the lightweight flywheel because I knew the clutch would be able to hold more tq with the LW flywheel and I read FBIS's review of his CM LW flywheel.

    Well, I love the clutch. I've put 750 miles on the clutch and put 6 1/8mi passes on it Friday night. It's almost like driving the oem clutch. Engagement is a little higher than stock (which I like) and pedal is a little stiffer than stock (which I like). It certainly grabs. I can tell the oem clutch was slipping because now going WOT in 2nd gear will throw your head into the headrest.

    I hate the LW flywheel. It is so loud. Everyone asks what's wrong with my car. The only real benefit I've noticed is that it revs super fast and is really easy to rev match now. Sure it may hold a few more ft lbs of tq but is it really worth it? Not to me. If I were to do it again I would get the spec stage 3+ and reuse my oem flywheel. My oem clutch disk was toast. It was paper thin but the flywheel was in good shape. Def able to be resurfaced.

    I strongly recommend the AR design clutch rebuilt kit. Some of the bolts that come out of the tranny are aluminum and are not reusable. The AR kit comes with everything you need to install the clutch.

    I also installed a BMW performance short shift lever. I hate it and it will be coming off soon. It requires SO much effort to get into 2nd gear that I'm scared to NLS because it's just so hard to get into gear. I actually missed a 2nd gear shift for the first time ever at the track Friday night. It def shortened the throw a lot and if you don't drag race you might like it.

    Ill post some pics of the oem clutch/flywheel and the spec.
    You were saying that the chatter in JPSimon's Youtube video is not a good representation of the real chatter. Either microphone or speaker problem I guess. Could you try to post a youtube clip to see if the chatter would reveal itself a bit better?

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    Also do you just have the bmw performance shifter kit or just the lever ?

  7. #7
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 3-Serious Click here to enlarge
    Also do you just have the bmw performance shifter kit or just the lever ?
    I have just the BMW performance shift lever, not the kit.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  8. #8
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 654 Click here to enlarge
    You were saying that the chatter in JPSimon's Youtube video is not a good representation of the real chatter. Either microphone or speaker problem I guess. Could you try to post a youtube clip to see if the chatter would reveal itself a bit better?
    I'm gonna try to get a vid up and pics of the OEM clutch flywheel today. The chatter is worse sometimes than other, when it's really hot out and the AC is on it's worse, so I'll wait till it warms up later today and put the AC on in the car and take a vid. I just can't get on youtube from my work computer so I'll load it up later when i get home.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Nice review, I always knew that single-mass flywheels are not for the N54 typical owner Click here to enlarge I wonder if the OEM dual-mass flywheel can somehow be disassembled and reinforced in the spring area, in order to hold more torque yet keep the car quiet.

    I will be installing my Sachs Performance 4-puck clutch tomorrow morning (with a new OEM dual-mass flywheel). I am a bit nervous about it, I am worried about parking maneuvers more than the stop-and-go traffic...review to follow Click here to enlarge

    About the short shift kit, I find it extremely easy to shift and use. I wouldn't go back to the stock shifter, ever.
    But I do have the full kit, with the lever and the shifting arm.

  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by cstavaru Click here to enlarge
    Nice review, I always knew that single-mass flywheels are not for the N54 typical owner Click here to enlarge I wonder if the OEM dual-mass flywheel can somehow be disassembled and reinforced in the spring area, in order to hold more torque yet keep the car quiet.

    I will be installing my Sachs Performance 4-puck clutch tomorrow morning (with a new OEM dual-mass flywheel). I am a bit nervous about it, I am worried about parking maneuvers more than the stop-and-go traffic...review to follow Click here to enlarge

    About the short shift kit, I find it extremely easy to shift and use. I wouldn't go back to the stock shifter, ever.
    But I do have the full kit, with the lever and the shifting arm.
    The chatter belongs to a car and dual mass tries to hide it. If you don't like it, you can do the manual start/stop to save both the fuel and ears. When the car moves, LWFW has only positives.

  11. #11
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    I've attached some pictures of my OEM clutch and flywheel. The car has 45k miles on it and about 100 passes at the drag strip. The OEM clutch disk was very thin and was in very bad shape. The OEM DM dlywheel looked pretty good. I def think it could have been resurfaced.

    The AR Design clutch rebuild kit was very handy. I found it a little pricey but never researched myself what all of the parts would cost, I just found it easier to by this kit. Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  12. #12
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    In terms of the short shifter, i just put on the the SSK performance knob, lower the shifter height by atleast an inch and makes the car feel like it has a short shifter. Maybe give that a shot? Its about $65-70 from Tischer or ECS tuning.
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  13. #13
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    My UUC SSK with the DSSR rod is really an amazing short shift kit and I do love it in all situations except the drag strip when trying to make that 1-2 shift. I'm not sure if other guys with stock shifters have a hard time making the 1-2 shift when going WOT from a launch. Anyone?
    Click here to enlarge

  14. #14
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@ProTUNING Freaks Click here to enlarge
    My UUC SSK with the DSSR rod is really an amazing short shift kit and I do love it in all situations except the drag strip when trying to make that 1-2 shift. I'm not sure if other guys with stock shifters have a hard time making the 1-2 shift when going WOT from a launch. Anyone?
    I'm going back to stock soon. I never had a problem with 1-2 shift on the stock shift lever. I have the e46 M3 ZHP weighted shift knob and I absolutely love that thing. Hopefully going back to stock shift lever cures my 1-2 shift issues.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    I'm going back to stock soon. I never had a problem with 1-2 shift on the stock shift lever. I have the e46 M3 ZHP weighted shift knob and I absolutely love that thing. Hopefully going back to stock shift lever cures my 1-2 shift issues.
    Let me know how it goes for you. First thing I'm doing is changing my gearbox fluid to Redline MTL to try it out and see what it does. I've run D4ATF and the UUC cocktail of which the UUC Cocktail did much better. We'll see how MTL compares and if that still doesn't improve things at the strip I'll pull it out. It'll suck getting rid of it just because of the drag strip 1-2 gear shift as on the street and daily driving this UUC SSK with the DSSR rod is really nice and I always liked its feel.
    Click here to enlarge

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    told you'll hate the flywheel! turn your a/c off when showing your car so it isnt so loud, but honestly if your anything like me you will learn to completely ignore the noise. it got to a point that it was just background noise to me that i drowned out and when ppl ask me about it i just say its a race car. getting a louder exhaust, bigger turbo, BOV helps to because you start to focus on those noises a lot more

    be-careful you don't pop the cv joint on your axles now....i did !
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lamia2super Click here to enlarge
    when ppl ask me about it i just say its a race car
    Hahah! Best answer.

    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    lmao
    Click here to enlarge

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    clutch chatter video
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    waste-gate rattle sucks
    Click here to enlarge

  21. #21
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    haha, yeah. just got it back from the dealer too. they said, "it's not that bad, bring it in if it gets worse". That's what made my decision for upgraded turbos easy.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    haha, yeah. just got it back from the dealer too. they said, "it's not that bad, bring it in if it gets worse". That's what made my decision for upgraded turbos easy.
    ya its nice when that rattle goes away(getting replaced by turbo noise) and give that flywheel time it will eventually get quieter to you. i was listening to some of my old video and i could barely hear it, but mine was with the a/c off, which make a big difference
    Click here to enlarge

  23. #23
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    Yeah the chatter isn't bad at all with the ac off.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Wow. Your car makes all sorts of sounds. I can't hear my turbos spool... only hear the woosh from the DCI. Also I can't tell what is rattle and what is chatter. Did you adjust the wastegates? Can you redo the video once you replace turbos...?
    Click here to enlarge

  25. #25
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    Wow. Your car makes all sorts of sounds. I can't hear my turbos spool... only hear the woosh from the DCI. Also I can't tell what is rattle and what is chatter. Did you adjust the wastegates? Can you redo the video once you replace turbos...?
    Click here to enlarge
    Sure can. Hopefully they'll be less rattle and more turbo Click here to enlarge
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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