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Old 10-01-2007, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Al flywheel and M3 clutch

I just installed this kit over the weekend and am very pleased with the change. My stock clutch slipped during aggressive starts and seemed to be getting worse. I wasn't sure why because it seemed OK during normal driving, but during auto-Xs and track days it slipped. I decided to go with an Aluminum flywheel to gain some performance because I wanted to go with a larger M3 size clutch (240mm vs. stock 215mm in ti) and that required getting a new flywheel anyway.


I found the kit on Ebay and after doing some research, it seemed a very good deal (less than $600 delivered). It comes with a OEM type Sachs M3 disc, pressure plate and T/O bearing, and a Fidanza Aluminum flywheel. This seems to be a very high quality flywheel from what I could find, so I decided to try it. The flywheel is less than half the weight of the stock dual mass (ive) flywheel, 15lbs less on my bathroom scale! It also has a replaceable steel friction surface. The parts all looked very nice and arrived quickly. I still needed a pilot bearing, throw out arm pivot, and an alignment tool. I also borrowed a pilot bearing puller, which I ended up needing.

It's not an easy or quick job, but it went pretty smoothly. I did break one exhaust stud removing the exhaust, but knocked it out and used a bolt. It would be easier with a hoist and tranny jack, but doing it on 4 jack stands and with a floor jack works OK. Getting the starter back in place and the O2 sensor wire clamp back on the top bolt is a b@#*h, especially if you have big hands like me. It took me about 12hrs, but I haven't done a clutch since high school. It helps to be strong for this job, as wrestling the trans back in is tricky, but not bad.

I was surprised the old plate didn't seem very worn, but the much stiffer pedal told me that the stock pressure plate may have been getting weak. The pedal isn't that much harder to compress and I'm already getting used to it, but it is stiffer. More importantly, it actually hooks up! The bite is very different, it now feels like there is no slip in the drive train and all the power is going to the wheels. The flywheel makes it feel like it has about 10hp more in 1st and 2nd gears! It also seems a bit easier to stall, but part of that is the better bite from the clutch and me not being used to the feel of it yet. Overall, I am very happy with it.
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:32 PM   #2
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Good info, thanks for the write up!
My Former Rides
1999 318ti Alpine White, Cali Roof, Dinan goodies
1996 318ti Hellrot California Edition

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Old 03-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #3
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Did you need to change the throwout arm to the later M3 style?

What I saw on the upgrade was that the Fidanza 13lb Flywheel requires the 96-99 M3 clutch but that year car uses a different throwout fork, but also has a different transmission too.

I bought a new Fidanza 195321 13 lb flywheel today from a guy doing an aborted swap but I need to gather the correct parts before I pull it apart.

Thanks, Steve
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:22 PM   #4
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Hi Steve, No, I used the stock throw out arm and it works fine.
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