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Discussion Starter #1
I have a near stock 03 with 60k miles. I'm still on the original clutch and during street driving I have no issues with it. If I'm in gear and punch it, there is no slippage. I did have an issue when I was on the track when shifting from 4th to 5th at high speeds, where it would not grab but that was over 2 years ago. I'm planning on going to the track in a few months and am worried I'm might run into the same issue. Is there any way I can test my clutch on the streets without losing my license?

On another note, if I do need a new clutch is the OEM clutch strong enough to handle light track usage? I would like to keep the OEM clutch characteristics.

Thanks much,
 

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The OEM clutch is rather small in diameter for our cars. FWIW my car, a 2001 with less than 40k miles needed a cluctch shortly after I got it home. Under hard acceleration you will notice slipping - higher RPM's will also lead to slipping too. Find a good safe straight road and roll out in 1st geart in sport mode. Roll on the throttle very quickly and then shift into 2nd and stab the throttle... if it doesn't slip don't worry about it. Remember, being jerky and not smooth will lead to clutch death more quickly too. I went with a Clutchmasters Stage iv 6 puck ceramic with the OEM flywheel, no break in period and it grips like mad.
 

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+1. A quickshift of 2nd to 3rd should also do the trick. You should heare the tires bark, and not the revs climb :)
My car will chirp and/or spin the tires into 2nd on a really hard pull but it doesn't chirp going into 3rd. I think that's due to the grip of my Vreds :grinyes:
 

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Scott,

Note that as the disc temperatures rise very high, the friction it can generate starts to fall off -- hence the reason you had slipping a while back at the track. All the high rpm shifts at the track really get the clutch cooking good. You can assume that it will slip worse this time out.

I'd replace it and use the stock parts again if it was me. You're obviously well competent given your clutch life, and the stock parts have yielded the best daily driver outcome and least trouble compared to all the aftermarket crazy stories here over the years. You should probably do the flywheel at the same time. Make sure to replace the release fork and ball pin also (some shops just reuse these parts, but they're cheap so make it all new). Probably can't hurt to put a new guide bush on the front of the tranny either.

Remember to break it in well...BMW claims 800-1000 shifts all done at low to moderate rpms is the best way to break-in a new clutch. No high rpm shifting or lots of slipping of any sort while breaking it in. It is shifts that count, not mileage for the break-in.

Regards,
Chuck
 
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Scott,

Note that as the disc temperatures rise very high, the friction it can generate starts to fall off -- hence the reason you had slipping a while back at the track. All the high rpm shifts at the track really get the clutch cooking good. You can assume that it will slip worse this time out.

I'd replace it and use the stock parts again if it was me. You're obviously well competent given your clutch life, and the stock parts have yielded the best daily driver outcome and least trouble compared to all the aftermarket crazy stories here over the years. You should probably do the flywheel at the same time. Make sure to replace the release fork and ball pin also (some shops just reuse these parts, but they're cheap so make it all new). Probably can't hurt to put a new guide bush on the front of the tranny either.

Remember to break it in well...BMW claims 800-1000 shifts all done at low to moderate rpms is the best way to break-in a new clutch. No high rpm shifting or lots of slipping of any sort while breaking it in. It is shifts that count, not mileage for the break-in.

Regards,
Chuck
Good advice except there are aftermarket clutch solutions which work quite well. The conversions, lightweight flywheels etc add a dimension that is problematic. I invite anyone to drive my car to see. Clutch disc material technology has come a long way. There is no break on required for the stage iv clutch, and I am using my own oem flywheel. No chatter, rattling etc but my needs may have been different.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Scott,

Note that as the disc temperatures rise very high, the friction it can generate starts to fall off -- hence the reason you had slipping a while back at the track. All the high rpm shifts at the track really get the clutch cooking good. You can assume that it will slip worse this time out.

I'd replace it and use the stock parts again if it was me. You're obviously well competent given your clutch life, and the stock parts have yielded the best daily driver outcome and least trouble compared to all the aftermarket crazy stories here over the years. You should probably do the flywheel at the same time. Make sure to replace the release fork and ball pin also (some shops just reuse these parts, but they're cheap so make it all new). Probably can't hurt to put a new guide bush on the front of the tranny either.

Remember to break it in well...BMW claims 800-1000 shifts all done at low to moderate rpms is the best way to break-in a new clutch. No high rpm shifting or lots of slipping of any sort while breaking it in. It is shifts that count, not mileage for the break-in.

Regards,
Chuck
+1. Especially for people that don't track their car, OEM is the way to go IMO.
 

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My car will chirp and/or spin the tires into 2nd on a really hard pull but it doesn't chirp going into 3rd. I think that's due to the grip of my Vreds :grinyes:
My car also. It slips nicely into 3rd, but does not often chirp into 3rd.

OP's symptoms do not sound to me like a bad clutch at all. If there is no in-gear slippage then the 4th to 5th issue is probably just a matter of finding the gear
 

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Discussion Starter #11
+1. Especially for people that don't track their car, OEM is the way to go IMO.
Do you think the OEM setup would be okay for light track use? At most the car would see 5 track days a year and my skill level is beginner/intermediate. It seems like most aftermarket clutches affect the drivability, I'm looking for something with just a little more bite retaining OEM feel. Will the OEM hold up?
 

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Do you think the OEM setup would be okay for light track use? At most the car would see 5 track days a year and my skill level is beginner/intermediate. It seems like most aftermarket clutches affect the drivability, I'm looking for something with just a little more bite retaining OEM feel. Will the OEM hold up?

All depends on how you drive it. Plenty of people track their car with the OEM clutch. You can slip and burn up your clutch on the street too, but obviously with more aggressive track driving you're more prone to slipping and burning it up when down shifting into corners.

IMO aftermarket brakes are more of a concern than your clutch if you're gonna be tracking 5x a year. I'm not trying to deter you from upgrading your clutch...plenty of strong alternatives out there, but I can't speak for daily drive-ability. Hopefully others with experience can chime in...
 

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If you not that experienced with aggressive driving i dont think the chirping tyres test will work for you,coz it depends on a lot of variables,oyur shifting ability,the surface of the road,the type and condition of your tyres etc,so i used a test i came across somewhere on this board,...take the car up to 80kph in first or second then throw it into sixth,if the clutch is ok,it should bog and start to pull,if the clutch is gone the revs will climb,pretty straight forward!

Les
 
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If its real bad, on the interstate put it in 4th gear and gun it! Then put it in 3 rd gear and gun it. If it slips, replace soon. Try this in sport mode. That information is as easy as searching. This is only if your clutch is closing in on death. If its really going it won't hold at all, but you aren't there yet.

Parts are relatively cheap in terms of the performance of the car. I guess I relate these to Porsche prices. I work on my dads Carrera 4, so when I find parts for my carI am a middle class man, so I just don't through money at my car. I also know I have to do what needs to be done to keep it right. So I shop around for good prices. If you already know this, ignore this comment. I fully know I am annoying. So shoot the messenger! You can find me though ;)

Grip-Force has the right parts, good prices and good service. Talk to Christian, and do not tell him my plan on prices. I will pm you on how I bid and my prices. I kind of low balled them on the prices and got a good price. We have a local place here that has good prices compared to the dealer and I saved 500.00. You will also need probably need these parts. I am going off this post:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/m5...39-m5-clutch-flywheel-original-equipment.html

I am also going to do it on Jack Stands, which I think might be suicide. Then again I am nut, and will probably regret this decision. I am willing to document this if anyone is interested.

Have fun and enjoy! If you want to upgrade your clutch, this is one I would say search on. There is so much different information on it, you will have to decide for yourself.
Adam
 

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take the car up to 80kph in first or second then throw it into sixth,if the clutch is ok,it should bog and start to pull,if the clutch is gone the revs will climb,pretty straight forward!

Les
I agree with the above. Another way to effectively do this is to start up a hill and shift to a much higher gear. For example 1st to 4th. If the engine bogs down but still pulls, the clutch is okay. If the revs climb inconsistently with the speed of the car, the clutch is slipping. Being the somewhat frugal person I am and wanting to squeeze the last drop out of everything, I say if it is not slipping, use it up on the track and then replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree with the above. Another way to effectively do this is to start up a hill and shift to a much higher gear. For example 1st to 4th. If the engine bogs down but still pulls, the clutch is okay. If the revs climb inconsistently with the speed of the car, the clutch is slipping. Being the somewhat frugal person I am and wanting to squeeze the last drop out of everything, I say if it is not slipping, use it up on the track and then replace it.
I did some tests on my clutch last night and it seem to hold up well. I did some high rev shifting from 2-3, shifting from low to much higher gears, 3-5 gear pulls and I had no signs of slippage. I think I'm gonna test my luck on the track and see how things go. Thanks for the help.
 

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OE clutch is fine for occasional track days and even moderate track days, assuming you know how to shift and there's no abuse. Mine is almost at 110k and is still holding up well. Doesn't sound like yours is slipping either so I'd hold off until it actually start slipping. Preventative replacement of the clutch is rather asinine.
 

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Preventative replacement of the clutch is rather asinine.
Agreed. The key in my experience is simply to ensure that the clutch is fully disengaged before applying power - particularly in the higher gears where the wheels won't break loose. Powershifting is at your risk, given the general experience with the OEM clutch. For what it's worth, the previous owner must have cooked mine a bit and I replaced at 90,000 KM. I decided OEM was best for me given some members' experience with rollover/chatter etc. going the aftermarket route. I am quite satisfied with my OEM clutch which has never slipped on me since, given that I ensure that the trans is fully "connected" before standing on the gas!
 
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