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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, 05:25 PM   #4
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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 12-05-2008, 10:22 PM   #5
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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 12-06-2008, 02:50 AM   #6
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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 12-06-2008, 02:57 AM   #7
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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   #8
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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 12-06-2008, 06:00 PM   #9
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Nice review, Brendan...
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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what happens if you dont allow for the 500 mile break in period
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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For break in i just kept it under 4k RPM and avoided full throttle.

I guess if you did not follow break in, the clutch surface could be scarred, and this would hamper its longevity/performance down the road.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:54 PM   #12
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i changed my tranny fluid recently after having a sport clutch and lightweight flywheel installed to reduce that flywheel rattle but ever since then my shifts havent been as smooth im just hoping i didnt mess up my clutch and flywheel cause i didnt wait exactly 500 miles...more like 400
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:43 AM   #13
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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   #14
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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 12-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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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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Old 12-09-2008, 02:00 PM   #16
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i changed my tranny fluid recently after having a sport clutch and lightweight flywheel installed to reduce that flywheel rattle but ever since then my shifts havent been as smooth im just hoping i didnt mess up my clutch and flywheel cause i didnt wait exactly 500 miles...more like 400
It isn't a strict mileage thing - it is really a matter of transfering the disc material onto the friction surfaces. I can do it in an hour at the racetrack, but that is a lot of shifting and I am very aware of what the goal is and I use my clutch pedal accordingly. By the same token, 400 miles on interstate will not at all break it in...

Worth the effort to make sure it is done properly. Even more so with Kevlar.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:18 PM   #17
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I have the uuc stage II moderate lightweight steel flywheel with the m5 clutch, while the clutch is heavier than the stock clutch the flywheel makes it so it is still much lighter than the stock combo, I have some chatter at idle which is louder when you put on the AC. I used a combo of two different redline trans fluids to help out with this and the sprung hub design of the clutch helps too. Overall I love my setup, my car (325i) accelerates so much quicker, smoother downshifts because its easier to match revs, the clutch peddle is obviously stiffer but you don't notice it after about a week

I chose the steel lightweight instead of the aluminum lightweight because my car is purely a street car right now and I wanted to have the quietest and most comfortable yet sporty set up I could, and damn is it sporty.
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:45 AM   #18
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Does anyone have or know how the Stage II performs. Do I even need a Stage II because I'm trying to go for a little N/A build with around 250 to the wheels. Do I get the Stage II or stick to the Stage I?
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:02 AM   #19
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According to the Clutchmasters website, both the FX100 and 200 have an increased holding capacity of 70%.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:07 PM   #20
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Good review
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