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  1. #1
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    Calling all spec 3+ owners

    Hey guys so I just got my car back yesterday from having the Spec stage 3+ clutch and Steel SMFW installed and I have a few questions. So first of all my pedal is pretty stiff. I wouldn't say it is necessarily over the top but it is much stiffer than I expected after reading that it is barely more than stock. Now my biggest concern is the engagement point. I made it a point to tell the shop to use the low TO bearing position so they definitely did that, however, my clutch still engages at the top. I would say 9/10 of the way up is when it starts to engage. Without my clutch stop it was a paint to drive but now that I put it back in it's a bit better. I spoke to the shop and they said that it was normal with a performance clutch like this to engage high and as it gets broken in it will get a bit lower? I only have around 140 miles on it so far so i'm not complaining just want to see if this is normal and the engagement point I should expect out of it. Thanks in advance for anyones help
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    E90 335i xDrive 6spd, Nav, Prem, Cold Weather, & Sports package - Msport Conversion
    Mods: JB4 + MHD, Doc Race ST, Pure 6266, AD-Eng PI/Mounts, Fuel-It st. 3, Custom Exhaust, Tuned by TwistedTuning
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    That's how the pedal feels on a stage3+, the spec feels a lot better than act. the engagement point it is higher and it'll stay the same even after break in. Make sure you break the clutch in for 600-700 miles with lots of downshifting.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ovitrix Click here to enlarge
    That's how the pedal feels on a stage3+, the spec feels a lot better than act. the engagement point it is higher and it'll stay the same even after break in. Make sure you break the clutch in for 600-700 miles with lots of downshifting.
    Ok good to hear it's normal.


    I did notice another weird thing today though... At idle with the car out of gear I hear a squeaking sound from below, but as soon as I press on the clutch even the lightest bit it goes away. I don't even have to depress the clutch pedal I just have to tap it to the point where the dead space on the pedal is gone and you start pushing with pressure. here's a vid below. At the end I also tried to show the chatter

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    E90 335i xDrive 6spd, Nav, Prem, Cold Weather, & Sports package - Msport Conversion
    Mods: JB4 + MHD, Doc Race ST, Pure 6266, AD-Eng PI/Mounts, Fuel-It st. 3, Custom Exhaust, Tuned by TwistedTuning
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    idk who told it was like stock but I'm probably the one of the first to installed that clutch and its just like how you described. i had to learn and adapt to it

    it has 2 position either you push it in or out and if you try to slowly lift your foot your stall every time lol

    idk what that noise is btw

    my flywheel rattles but it doesn't sound like that
    Last edited by lamia2super; 04-20-2014 at 05:00 PM.
    Click here to enlarge

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    also be careful launching the car because i broke a cv joint at the track one day and had to buy another axle
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lamia2super Click here to enlarge
    idk who told it was like stock but I'm probably the one of the first to installed that clutch and its just like how you described. i had to learn and adapt to it

    it has 2 position either you push it in or out and if you try to slowly lift your foot your stall every time lol

    idk what that noise is btw

    my flywheel rattles but it doesn't sound like that
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lamia2super Click here to enlarge
    also be careful launching the car because i broke a cv joint at the track one day and had to buy another axle
    Yea the noise is definitely weird. Again that's good to know that what i'm feeling is normal though. Launching I don't do often but when I do I don't usually drop the clutch cause I don't want the drivetrain taking all the shock at once. I usually slip it out so that the car launches without bogging but without burning the clutch either.

    Getting started is definitely the hardest thing with this clutch. I think you're right you either go in or out if you keep going back and forth and feathering it will stall which keeps happening to me. I'm finding that I just have to rev more than I normally would then let the clutch out at a moderate pace
    Click here to enlarge < Click picture for photoshoot
    E90 335i xDrive 6spd, Nav, Prem, Cold Weather, & Sports package - Msport Conversion
    Mods: JB4 + MHD, Doc Race ST, Pure 6266, AD-Eng PI/Mounts, Fuel-It st. 3, Custom Exhaust, Tuned by TwistedTuning
    More Pictures: Build Thread /// Dyno Soon to Come

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    The stage 2+ is more like stock. The 3+ has a harder pedal feel but not bad compared with act. That noise you have is weird. I never had that on my car after the spec combo install. Also the 3+ is very grabby compared with oem, you have to get adjusted to it.

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    You will eventually not notice the stiffness but it is grabby. That gets more controllable the more u drive it. So with 2000 miles I've been happy with the setup. I haven't heard the noise u were hearing but hopefully it gets better with more miles. Sometimes I hear chatter and sometimes I don't or atleast notice chatter.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blackshan Click here to enlarge
    You will eventually not notice the stiffness but it is grabby. That gets more controllable the more u drive it. So with 2000 miles I've been happy with the setup. I haven't heard the noise u were hearing but hopefully it gets better with more miles. Sometimes I hear chatter and sometimes I don't or atleast notice chatter.
    you don't hear the chatter sometimes because the rpm stays higher. I wish i could raise the rpm to about 800-900rpm at idle to eliminate the chatter at stoplight. Chatter gets bad with the ac on.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by psmith95 Click here to enlarge
    Yea the noise is definitely weird. Again that's good to know that what i'm feeling is normal though. Launching I don't do often but when I do I don't usually drop the clutch cause I don't want the drivetrain taking all the shock at once. I usually slip it out so that the car launches without bogging but without burning the clutch either.

    Getting started is definitely the hardest thing with this clutch. I think you're right you either go in or out if you keep going back and forth and feathering it will stall which keeps happening to me. I'm finding that I just have to rev more than I normally would then let the clutch out at a moderate pace
    yup, your getting the hang of it already. don't feather! its either in or out lol its quite nice once you get used to it and i swapped out the clutch stop on mine Click here to enlarge

    your going to love that clutch after leg day at the gym Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ovitrix Click here to enlarge
    you don't hear the chatter sometimes because the rpm stays higher. I wish i could raise the rpm to about 800-900rpm at idle to eliminate the chatter at stoplight. Chatter gets bad with the ac on.
    Yeah that be nice! I'm still curious to how much louder the aluminum flywheel would have been. Hope I don't get a chance to try it for myself. This clutch hopefully does just as good as the oem one. Lol

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    I have 20k miles on my spec combo so far, we'll see how long it'll last. If this stage 3+ fails anytime soon, i really don't know what else to buy in the same price range.

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    I installed my 3+ last week and was pretty upset at how rough the clutch was. When trying to reverse it would shudder and make pretty loud chattering noises. After 500 miles the clutch feels completely different and is very smooth. My first few engagements when the car is still cold can be rough, however, once everything is up to temp the car feels great. This clutch does engage pretty high but I do not mind it at all. It does still shudder when I reverse and am trying to slip it lightly, I am wanting to hear from other users if this is the norm? I have found the best way to creep in reverse is to engage it slightly then press in the clutch, repeating this movement right at the threshold of engagement instead of just letting it slip like you would with a stick unit. WebRep


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by witty4242 Click here to enlarge
    I installed my 3+ last week and was pretty upset at how rough the clutch was. When trying to reverse it would shudder and make pretty loud chattering noises. After 500 miles the clutch feels completely different and is very smooth. My first few engagements when the car is still cold can be rough, however, once everything is up to temp the car feels great. This clutch does engage pretty high but I do not mind it at all. It does still shudder when I reverse and am trying to slip it lightly, I am wanting to hear from other users if this is the norm? I have found the best way to creep in reverse is to engage it slightly then press in the clutch, repeating this movement right at the threshold of engagement instead of just letting it slip like you would with a stick unit. WebRep


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    The shudder gets annoying during the break in period. If you slip the clutch a bit it'll help. After 600-700 city miles with lots of downshifting do a few hard launches. My 3+ feels smoother after spirited driving.

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    I've had my 3+ in for a few months and have about 1200 normal miles along with a road trip 750 miles each way and I'm honestly thinking of taking the clutch out. Now that it's warm the gear noise with the AC is just really annoying. I have chatter in reverse that I think I've mostly overcome with more RPM's and slipping but the chatter from constant stop and go traffic can get annoying, the hotter the clutch gets the harder it is to get a smooth engagement. My engagement point is halfway but have to have the clutch pedal to the floor completely for a 1-2 shift. Personally I think I should have either went with the 2+ or possibly the IS clutch but maybe some more mileage and abuse it will get better.
    2008 135i - Cobb AP, JB4 G5 w/2Step&FSB, MS DP's, Berk street exhaust, AMS IC, VTT Inlets, UR Intake, ER CP w/Tial BOV, Spec 3+ & Steel FW, CDV delete, Quaife LSD, DSS Axles, M3 control arms, M3 rear SF bushings, M3 Trans bushings, SS brake lines. Pics

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    I've had my 3+ in for a few months and have about 1200 normal miles along with a road trip 750 miles each way and I'm honestly thinking of taking the clutch out. Now that it's warm the gear noise with the AC is just really annoying. I have chatter in reverse that I think I've mostly overcome with more RPM's and slipping but the chatter from constant stop and go traffic can get annoying, the hotter the clutch gets the harder it is to get a smooth engagement. My engagement point is halfway but have to have the clutch pedal to the floor completely for a 1-2 shift. Personally I think I should have either went with the 2+ or possibly the IS clutch but maybe some more mileage and abuse it will get better.
    The tranny noise is not from the clutch itself, but is created by a lighter than stock flywheel. Did you go with SPEC's lighter single mass aluminum fly -- that will cause more noise -- or with the heavier steel fly?

    Neil

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    I've had my 3+ in for a few months and have about 1200 normal miles along with a road trip 750 miles each way and I'm honestly thinking of taking the clutch out. Now that it's warm the gear noise with the AC is just really annoying. I have chatter in reverse that I think I've mostly overcome with more RPM's and slipping but the chatter from constant stop and go traffic can get annoying, the hotter the clutch gets the harder it is to get a smooth engagement. My engagement point is halfway but have to have the clutch pedal to the floor completely for a 1-2 shift. Personally I think I should have either went with the 2+ or possibly the IS clutch but maybe some more mileage and abuse it will get better.
    You need to press to the floor to switch gears? I can switch everything with less than 0.5" pedal depression. Very weird. The AC noise is the flywheel, not the clutch. You need a heavier flywheel or set the idle higher in INPA.

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    Question/need some advice from you guys. So I got through today with only stalling once but the starts were not that great. I am fine reversing and inching forward but starting from a stop at redlights and whatnot I can't get the hang of really. Towards the end of the day i've just started revving to around 1500-1700 then letting the clutch out at a moderate pace while slowly giving it some gas. Is this what everyone else does?
    Click here to enlarge < Click picture for photoshoot
    E90 335i xDrive 6spd, Nav, Prem, Cold Weather, & Sports package - Msport Conversion
    Mods: JB4 + MHD, Doc Race ST, Pure 6266, AD-Eng PI/Mounts, Fuel-It st. 3, Custom Exhaust, Tuned by TwistedTuning
    More Pictures: Build Thread /// Dyno Soon to Come

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    You need to press to the floor to switch gears? I can switch everything with less than 0.5" pedal depression. Very weird. The AC noise is the flywheel, not the clutch. You need a heavier flywheel or set the idle higher in INPA.
    Not for every gear 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 go smooth but it has to be to the floor completely to grab 2nd or 3rd fast. I used the shorter position to try to get the friction point closer to the floor, this is the position my OEM throwout was set to also.

    Yeah I understand what's it's from just didn't realize how bad it would actually be. I went with the Steel Spec flywheel after seeing the few cases of DMFW failures and would rather deal with the noise than worry about my feet, but it is very annoying. It's surprising that BMW is supposed to be known for it's super silky smooth I6's and you can't even change the flywheel without it sounding like a POS. Makes me wonder if it's really that smooth or just all the extra tech is covering up the roughness.
    2008 135i - Cobb AP, JB4 G5 w/2Step&FSB, MS DP's, Berk street exhaust, AMS IC, VTT Inlets, UR Intake, ER CP w/Tial BOV, Spec 3+ & Steel FW, CDV delete, Quaife LSD, DSS Axles, M3 control arms, M3 rear SF bushings, M3 Trans bushings, SS brake lines. Pics

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by psmith95 Click here to enlarge
    Question/need some advice from you guys. So I got through today with only stalling once but the starts were not that great. I am fine reversing and inching forward but starting from a stop at redlights and whatnot I can't get the hang of really. Towards the end of the day i've just started revving to around 1500-1700 then letting the clutch out at a moderate pace while slowly giving it some gas. Is this what everyone else does?
    If you rev it higher to about 1500rpm you'll not stall the car, i know it's frustrating at times but just give it some time.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    Not for every gear 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 go smooth but it has to be to the floor completely to grab 2nd or 3rd fast. I used the shorter position to try to get the friction point closer to the floor, this is the position my OEM throwout was set to also.

    Yeah I understand what's it's from just didn't realize how bad it would actually be. I went with the Steel Spec flywheel after seeing the few cases of DMFW failures and would rather deal with the noise than worry about my feet, but it is very annoying. It's surprising that BMW is supposed to be known for it's super silky smooth I6's and you can't even change the flywheel without it sounding like a POS. Makes me wonder if it's really that smooth or just all the extra tech is covering up the roughness.
    Again, the noise is not from the motor -- it's a tranny rattle and occurs with lightened flywheel. It can be dampened by going to a heavier tranny fluid.

    Neil

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MDORPHN Click here to enlarge
    Again, the noise is not from the motor -- it's a tranny rattle and occurs with lightened flywheel. It can be dampened by going to a heavier tranny fluid.

    Neil
    The noise isn't coming from the motor but obviously the motor is causing the transmission to chatter. Unless there's something different about the transmission I'm not aware of, I've never heard any other car chatter like that. Do other BMW engines have the same problem when switching to a SMFW? I know I've never heard any chatter in FWD or RWD cars with stock SMFW, light/superlight aluminum flywheels, engines known for not being smooth, engines running with a dead hole etc.
    2008 135i - Cobb AP, JB4 G5 w/2Step&FSB, MS DP's, Berk street exhaust, AMS IC, VTT Inlets, UR Intake, ER CP w/Tial BOV, Spec 3+ & Steel FW, CDV delete, Quaife LSD, DSS Axles, M3 control arms, M3 rear SF bushings, M3 Trans bushings, SS brake lines. Pics

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    The noise isn't coming from the motor but obviously the motor is causing the transmission to chatter. Unless there's something different about the transmission I'm not aware of, I've never heard any other car chatter like that. Do other BMW engines have the same problem when switching to a SMFW? I know I've never heard any chatter in FWD or RWD cars with stock SMFW, light/superlight aluminum flywheels, engines known for not being smooth, engines running with a dead hole etc.
    Yes, same issue on my 99 M Coupe and it's what happens when you go to a lightweight single-mass flywheel.

    Pretty good primer here: http://www.nexternal.com/uuc/articles/gear_rattle.htm

    Neil

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    The noise isn't coming from the motor but obviously the motor is causing the transmission to chatter. Unless there's something different about the transmission I'm not aware of, I've never heard any other car chatter like that. Do other BMW engines have the same problem when switching to a SMFW? I know I've never heard any chatter in FWD or RWD cars with stock SMFW, light/superlight aluminum flywheels, engines known for not being smooth, engines running with a dead hole etc.
    I have had an upgraded clutch in every manual car I have owned and the noise is always there. I did the UUC cocktail in my e36 M3 transmission which has the JB Racing Lightweight FW (15.5 LBS). The noise is still there but it is much less pronounced. Honestly I can barely here it outside of the car. You can try the cocktail if you like. I may be doing it soon and using the hot weather blend since I am in florida and out cars take MTF already(E36 ZF trannies call for ATF from the factory). If it is installed fine, which it most likely is, I would just turn up the radio.
    Two Boosted Bimmers....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by witty4242 Click here to enlarge
    I have had an upgraded clutch in every manual car I have owned and the noise is always there. I did the UUC cocktail in my e36 M3 transmission which has the JB Racing Lightweight FW (15.5 LBS). The noise is still there but it is much less pronounced. Honestly I can barely here it outside of the car. You can try the cocktail if you like. I may be doing it soon and using the hot weather blend since I am in florida and out cars take MTF already(E36 ZF trannies call for ATF from the factory). If it is installed fine, which it most likely is, I would just turn up the radio.
    I've already switched to Redline MTL. I'm not sure how much it helped as I didn't notice the noise much with the AC off unless I went through a drive through. AC on that's when it becomes annoying.
    2008 135i - Cobb AP, JB4 G5 w/2Step&FSB, MS DP's, Berk street exhaust, AMS IC, VTT Inlets, UR Intake, ER CP w/Tial BOV, Spec 3+ & Steel FW, CDV delete, Quaife LSD, DSS Axles, M3 control arms, M3 rear SF bushings, M3 Trans bushings, SS brake lines. Pics

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