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Old 11-30-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
simsima325
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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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Old 12-05-2008, 02:59 PM   #2
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Great review!
i wonder if this would be a better option then UUC flywheel and the M5 clutch
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:18 PM   #3
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Price? (parts and labor, please)
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:22 PM   #4
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Great review!
i wonder if this would be a better option then UUC flywheel and the M5 clutch
the M5 clutch is heavy.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Great review!
i wonder if this would be a better option then UUC flywheel and the M5 clutch
I spoke with TC Kline on this matter, who I believe produce or at least vendor the JB flywheel, which is ultimately an exact replica of the Turner Motorsport lightened flywheel. And basically, what Steve at TC Kline said was that its an excellent setup for a lot less money over the UUC flywheel.. He also went into saying that the M5 cluthces in the 3 series, down the road have/can lead to issues, due to the fact that its not an original set up.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info
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I spoke with TC Kline on this matter, who I believe produce or at least vendor the JB flywheel, which is ultimately an exact replica of the Turner Motorsport lightened flywheel. And basically, what Steve at TC Kline said was that its an excellent setup for a lot less money over the UUC flywheel.. He also went into saying that the M5 cluthces in the 3 series, down the road have/can lead to issues, due to the fact that its not an original set up.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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I spoke with TC Kline on this matter, who I believe produce or at least vendor the JB flywheel, which is ultimately an exact replica of the Turner Motorsport lightened flywheel. And basically, what Steve at TC Kline said was that its an excellent setup for a lot less money over the UUC flywheel.. He also went into saying that the M5 cluthces in the 3 series, down the road have/can lead to issues, due to the fact that its not an original set up.
Weird because I spoke with someone at TC Kline before buying my UUC setup and he didn't say anything like that about the M5 clutch, he told me that he knew quite a few cars with the set up and urged me to follow through with it, he said whenever you replace a stock component with a non stock component there is a risk but that the M5 was at least an OEM component and will last better than a lot of the other options for clutch replacement. If its something to worry over then stick with stock. But, when you get an upgraded flywheel, why the hell would you go and take the fun away by not getting a new clutch too!
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #8
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Weird because I spoke with someone at TC Kline before buying my UUC setup and he didn't say anything like that about the M5 clutch, he told me that he knew quite a few cars with the set up and urged me to follow through with it, he said whenever you replace a stock component with a non stock component there is a risk but that the M5 was at least an OEM component and will last better than a lot of the other options for clutch replacement. If its something to worry over then stick with stock. But, when you get an upgraded flywheel, why the hell would you go and take the fun away by not getting a new clutch too!
Yeah thats strange, I guess we spoke with different people. The guy I spoke with didn't seem to highly regard it.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Do you know anything about the level of "rattling" with the JB flywheel and an OEM clutch, as opposed to say, a stage 3 clutch?? Is there less rattling with an oem clutch and lightened flywheel, vs. an aftermarket and ltwflywheel?... Or are they all the same more or less?
if you just replace your clutch with another normal OEM Sachs clutch and you have the lightweight flywheel you're gonna be kicking yourself in the ass because the OEM E46 clutch isn't sprung hub and is gonna allow a LOT more rattle to be heard. The good thing about the Sprung Hub design is it literally has springs around the center that absorb the rattle (combined with the right Redline Tranny fluid you can have very little rattle). Now if you go with a stage 3 setup, rattle isn't something you worry about because youre probably on the racetrack or running crazy power and your engine would probably drown it out.
Also the fact that you have a 10 pound flywheel is gonna provide for rattle, period. The main reason I got the UUC setup was due to the option of aluminum (8.5 lbs i think) and steel moderate lightweight (16.9lbs). I got the steel because I don't track and since it is heavier it doesn't rattle nearly as much. Despite being 16.9 (stock is 25) my setup is still a lot lighter.....I actually raced the exact stock version of my car the other night (first time a 325i has raced me since my clutch flywheel upgrade) and I put close to a car and a half on him by the time i was out of 2nd gear. acceleration is so much quicker with the lightweight set up so whatever kind it is you'll have a lot more fun with your car.

Also when the AC is on the rattle is louder, at red lights I like to turn off AC otherwise you can hear it reverberate between the cars on either side. with the AC off its audible but easy to live with.

I see you live in the central coast, I live in SB, if you wanna feel/hear what its like to have the lightweight flywheel you can PM me
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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if you just replace your clutch with another normal OEM Sachs clutch and you have the lightweight flywheel you're gonna be kicking yourself in the ass because the OEM E46 clutch isn't sprung hub and is gonna allow a LOT more rattle to be heard. The good thing about the Sprung Hub design is it literally has springs around the center that absorb the rattle (combined with the right Redline Tranny fluid you can have very little rattle). Now if you go with a stage 3 setup, rattle isn't something you worry about because youre probably on the racetrack or running crazy power and your engine would probably drown it out.
Also the fact that you have a 10 pound flywheel is gonna provide for rattle, period. The main reason I got the UUC setup was due to the option of aluminum (8.5 lbs i think) and steel moderate lightweight (16.9lbs). I got the steel because I don't track and since it is heavier it doesn't rattle nearly as much. Despite being 16.9 (stock is 25) my setup is still a lot lighter.....I actually raced the exact stock version of my car the other night (first time a 325i has raced me since my clutch flywheel upgrade) and I put close to a car and a half on him by the time i was out of 2nd gear. acceleration is so much quicker with the lightweight set up so whatever kind it is you'll have a lot more fun with your car.

Also when the AC is on the rattle is louder, at red lights I like to turn off AC otherwise you can hear it reverberate between the cars on either side. with the AC off its audible but easy to live with.

I see you live in the central coast, I live in SB, if you wanna feel/hear what its like to have the lightweight flywheel you can PM me
Hey thanks for all the useful info! Thats really good to know about the difference between the sprung hub set-up and oem. It was over a week ago when I went in for the original estimate, but if i remember correctly, he did say he'd be putting in a sachs sprung hub clutch, which i guess if is sachs could still be considered oem.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:13 AM   #11
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Hey thanks for all the useful info! Thats really good to know about the difference between the sprung hub set-up and oem. It was over a week ago when I went in for the original estimate, but if i remember correctly, he did say he'd be putting in a sachs sprung hub clutch, which i guess if is sachs could still be considered oem.
Oh ok yeah thats the same clamping force as the stock unit just with springs to dampen the noise. The one I have is a sachs but is made for the M5 so it has greater clamping force than the stock and has the springs. I believe both are organic though.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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www.bimmerworld.com/ for pricing details. Price will vary a bit, model to model. I paid ~400 for installation at a local shop
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:50 AM   #13
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jb racing flywheel and clutchmasters stage iii clutch....engagement great, grip good, but DAMN the trans rattles and when its cold the clutch (kevlar) makes a screaching noise when slipping the clutch (first gear or reverse on a hill) or downshifting (mostly into third) from 6th or 5th

otherwise happy with rpm drops (and I have the other duplicate engine/trans to compare) and the grip
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #14
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jb racing flywheel and clutchmasters stage iii clutch....engagement great, grip good, but DAMN the trans rattles and when its cold the clutch (kevlar) makes a screaching noise when slipping the clutch (first gear or reverse on a hill) or downshifting (mostly into third) from 6th or 5th

otherwise happy with rpm drops (and I have the other duplicate engine/trans to compare) and the grip
Do you know anything about the level of "rattling" with the JB flywheel and an OEM clutch, as opposed to say, a stage 3 clutch?? Is there less rattling with an oem clutch and lightened flywheel, vs. an aftermarket and ltwflywheel?... Or are they all the same more or less?
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:57 AM   #15
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^ i haven't experienced any of the screeching your car shows, but I am running an organic clutch, to your kevlar.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:05 PM   #16
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I drove simsima's car, and now I want the same setup Definitely a worth while upgrade if your clutch is bad.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:43 AM   #17
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^ i haven't experienced any of the screeching your car shows, but I am running an organic clutch, to your kevlar.
That's because you didn't make the mistake he did by buying way more clutch than he needed. Racing gear on street cars can have negative results!
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:12 AM   #18
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That's because you didn't make the mistake he did by buying way more clutch than he needed. Racing gear on street cars can have negative results!
He is going big power. Prob needs the holding capacity.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:06 PM   #19
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THanks for the write-up.

How many miles were on your old clutch
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #20
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That's because you didn't make the mistake he did by buying way more clutch than he needed. Racing gear on street cars can have negative results!
hey hummer - my car will potentially be breaking the 500hp mark when its all over at the flywheel. it is already at 364 at the rear wheels and i havent gone to stage III yet or the other things...
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