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Old 11-30-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
simsima325
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Hyattsville, MD
Posts: 37,639
My Ride: Honda Civic
Clutchmasters FX100 Clutch and JB Racing Flywheel Review

The topic of clutch and flywheel replacement is of increasing interest to the E46 community, as these cars get on in years. Having found my clutch engagement becoming messier over the last two years, the search was on for a replacement.

My 2001 325Ci is a daily driver, so naturally I was focused on finding the clutch and flywheel setup that would best meet my goals of retaining the best drivability while adding a sporty feel to my shifting. After searching the internet and hearing many positive reviews of the entire line of Clutchmasters FX clutches, I set about deciding which stage clutch was best for my needs.

With the 2.5L powerplant, I don't require something that holds massive amounts of torque, nor do I need a system that would bang off jerky shifts ideal for racing conditions. The FX100 Stage 1 Organic clutch fits the bill, offering me increased pedal feel and weight, clutch life, and an increased holding capacity of 70%, (should I ever feel the need to produce that much). Speaking at length with Rob from Bimmerworld.com was an immense help in making this decision.

With the new clutch surface, a new flywheel was in order, and I decided on the 10lb JB Racing flywheel for E46 non-M. This clutch and flywheel combination weighs about as much as the OEM BMW flywheel alone, and this drastically changed the driving experience for the better. Rob assured me that I would retain excellent drivability for my daily commute, yet have the sporty feel I was looking for.

Having followed the 500 mile break in period, I could properly assess the changes this made to my car. While the RPM's may not climb much faster, they sure drop more quickly, allowing for quicker shifting and very smooth re-engagement with the drivetrain during spirited driving.

Here are the respective weights for each of the old and new units:

(See Thumbnail Pics below)
OEM Clutch- 12lbs
OEM Flywheel- 23lbs
FX100- 14lbs
JB Racing Flywheel- 10lbs

After 1500 miles on the new setup, my car has come to life again. Shifting is crisp and sporty, a huge improvement over my worn stock unit. These benefits far outweigh the only negative I have found to date: the increased flywheel chatter. During 97% of downtown driving, I never hear the flywheel chatter and really forget it is there until I enter a parking garage or enclosed area, and sit at idle. While moving, there is slightly increased transmission noise below 2000rpm, but with the addition of a sporty exhaust system, this additional noise is even less noticeable.

A special thanks must go to Rob and James at Bimmerworld.com for their mechanical expertise! Superb customer service and quick delivery in time for my scheduled install at a local shop helped make this a very positive experience.
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Last edited by simsima325; 12-06-2008 at 07:50 PM.
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