E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Review: Valeo Single Mass Flywheel Conversion Kit
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:38 PM   #26
Registered User
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 171
My Ride: 2000 323i

So far the clutch and flywheel are holding up well to my daily abuse. I've punched it a ton, had to slip the clutch waiting at stop signs on a 20% grade hill, and had to deal with lots of gridlock traffic crawling already. It performs great and feels like its MUCH more resilient than the stock clutch assembly. I could always feel buildup on my clutch when I was sitting in gridlock for too long -even when the clutch was relatively new. But this one holds up great no matter how bad traffic is. I was on the receiving end of a road rage incident in the city last week and my new clutch saved my ass! Guy ran at me with a gun, I threw it in reverse but didn't give it barely enough gas (adrenalin pumping so technique was a low priority) and dumped the clutch: car didn't stall out and rocketed in reverse like a bat out of hell! The old assembly would have likely stalled me out.

Overall my current impression are still the same as my initial impressions: feels very much like a stock unit except more responsive, more predictable. Also, I still want to say that the car has better bite. Something I've noticed from the start but have just been able to articulate is the way the car responds when you bog down the motor to the point where it jerks back and fourth eating up driveline slop. The old dual mass flywheel would definitely smooth out the jerkiness, but it would resonate like a spring... back and fourth, back and fourth. The new sprung hub clutch is much more violent when you make a technical mistake, but it only jerks once, maybe 1.5 times, then its done and the car is back to normal.

One big update has to do with the shift lever interaction. Something I noticed right away was the car didn't let me slide the shift lever into gear quite as easily as it use to. At first I thought I didn't top off the transmission fluid enough. Then I thought it was a cold weather condition. But after going under the car several times to verify things I realized that its related to the new clutch assembly and the gear chatter. The gear chatter is interfering with the synchromeshes. Now, before anyone gets upset by this, I have to say that I'm not exactly the best when it comes to rev matching. I've become quite lazy. So I'd be willing to bet if you're practicing good shifting technique and doing proper rev matching then this will resolve itself easily. However, if you're like me and you're lazy with rev matching then I wouldn't describe it as a major issue, just something that will take some getting use to. Effectively, you're going to have to start feeling out when the syncros match up instead of just presuming they already match up. If you don't I can imagine the synchros being wore out prematurely.

Regarding fuel economy, the type of driving I do is far too erratic to get any sort of reliable baseline. My gut feeling is that yes, fuel economy has gone down, but I cant be certain and don't have any proof to back this up. Regardless of which direction the fuel economy is going, I'd be shocked if the change was anything greater than a 1/4 MPG -and even that seems generous. More than likely we're talking about a shift of a +/- 5 mile per tank range shift.

Chime in if theres something specific you'd like me to comment on or talk about!
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