Let's Discuss Clutch Options (Disc, Pressure Plate, Flywheel) - Summary of discussion


Go Kart Champion
There seems to be lots of discussion regarding various clutch options in the forum. I will attempt to sum up (and maintain) what I have gathered through my research through many discussions. A question which still appears to be unanswered is, what is the bottleneck/weakpoint(s) in our transmission?

Is it just the clutch disc that is failing to hold the increased power? The pressure plate (pp) not strong enough? Both of these? Well there are
plenty of photos/examples on the forum of clutch discs that have been pulled for slipping showing little signs of wear. Makes it difficult to point
the blame at the disc. The other part of the equation is the pressure plate. There are several kits in various combinations that will help solve this problem.

My clutch is slipping, can I continue to drive on it?
Yes. It slips in higher gears at WOT. Maybe it slips in 3rd in the colder weather. You can either switch back to the stock tune or ease up on the throttle. Whichever you decide, its drivable.

How long will my clutch last while slipping
Depends on how you drive on it. If you're pushing it where its slipping all the time, I don't think it would last all that long. There is no exact answer to this question. If it only slips on WOT on high gears, I think its safe to say that you shouldn't have too many issues in daily driving.

How do I know if my clutch is slipping
Get on the highway, shift into 6th (doing about 50mph) and go WOT. If you see your RPM's jump, it's likely clutch slip. That being said, this is just for a test. You should NOT be driving like this normally.

Which stage tune or hardware mods will cause my car to slip?
There is no proof showing what will cause slipping. I want to say most users report clutch slip once they go stage 2. Although, its not uncommon for someone with a stage 1 tune to have clutch slip. This also greatly depends on the way you drive the car.

Available Combinations/Options:
1) Drop In - Replacement Clutch Disc (South Bend)
2) Replacement Clutch Disc & Pressure Plate (Clutchmasters, HS Tuning)
3) Replacement Clutch Disc, Pressure Plate, and Lightweight Flywheel (South Bend, Clutchmasters, SPEC, SACHs)

Keep in mind the install for all options is the same. So if your shop tells you its going to cost you $5-600 to install a kit, the same price will apply for just the disc.

South Bend Stage 3 Drop In Disc
There have been a good amount of folks on the board who have gone with a disc replacement from South Bend (drop in disc only). Allset has been using his for 30k+ miles (and is K04) with no issues. This alone leads me to believe that a stickier disc material will solve the problem. That makes me ask, what about the pressure plate? Will it eventually go? If I replace just the pressure plate, would that solve the problem (not something I'd do, just curious)? The South Bend Stage 3 Drop In Disc goes for about $380.
Pros: Reusing OEM DMFW and pressure plate should retain OEM pedal feel and similar engagement feel (whilst grabier). The engagement point should be the same. Cheaper than full kit & partial disc & pp kit.
Cons: Will still have SOME chatter because the clutch disc will not have springs in the hub (with this specific setup). As to how much/little, thats relative, and I have no first hand experience. Long term reviews/data of this clutch are almost non-existant. I'm not sure if the pressure plate will eventually give in this setup (and/or flywheel).

Note from Andy @ South Bend [credit: Mike Hood @ Ringer Racing]
Ok I just talked to Andy the owner of South Bend on the phone. He says if the same pressure plate is being used it does need to be reset and also need to make sure the friction surface on the pressure plate does not have any high spots or burn spots.

He said that their drop in disk is really meant to be used with a brand new stock pressure plate.
Fresh install of South Bend Stage 3 Drop In Disc [credit: A_Bowers]

Clutchmasters FX350/400 Replacement Disc & Pressure Plate
Clutchmaster's (CM) replacement disc & pressure plate. It is more expensive than South Bend's (SB) disc only option; but it also comes with an aftermarket pressure plate (retaining the stock dual mass flywheel (DMFW)). This setup goes for about $800.
Pros: Reusing OEM DMFW should retain a somewhat OEM feel on engagement (and sound). Cheaper than full kit. Assuming the clutch disc and pressure plate are the weakpoints, you've just replaced the problem parts and retain an OEM-like setup.
Cons: Will still have SOME chatter because the clutch disc will not have springs in the hub (with this specific setup). As to how much/little, thats relative, and I have no first hand experience.​
[No video yet; awaiting Lou Maiuri to post a video]

RSR (Road/Sport/Race) Replacement Disc & Pressure Plate
Similar to the Clutchmasters kit mentioned above, this retains the stock dual mass flywheel (DMFW)). I belive it is constructed of mostly all OEM components--pieced together from various platforms. It is essentially a stronger pressure plate with an organic clutch disc. Since the OEM MK6 clutch is organic, it retains a similar feel/engagement. The difference being a firmer pedal feel (a positive thing in my opinion; more feedback) and quiet operation. This is claimed to hold stage 3 power (tested on Stg 3 Golf R). This setup goes for $1050 (with hardware kit).
Pros: Reusing OEM DMFW should retain a somewhat OEM feel on engagement (and sound). Assuming the clutch disc and pressure plate are the weakpoints, you've just replaced the problem parts and retain an OEM-like setup.
Cons: Price. This is an expensive option for what you get. You can get a full light weight flywheel & clutch kit for a little bit more. Sometimes even cheaper when on sale. The reception has been pretty good.​
[No video yet]

Full Clutch Kit
Then of course, you always have the full clutch kits that are offered by both of several companies (Clutchmasters, South Bend, Sachs). There may be one or two more that I cannot recall. Full clutch kits are typically over $1000. I would say the average clutch for a stage 2 or higher vehicle is around $1200.
Pros: Lightened flywheel = faster revs, reduced/eliminated rev hang, weight reduction
Cons: Typically noisier than an OEM setup. You will hear about gear noise and chatter when discussing clutch options. Some applications may not be so smooth on initial engagement of the clutch.​

Stock Weight of Transmission Components [credit: realcyberbob]:
Clutch Disc: 1.5 lbs.
Pressure Pate: 11.5 lbs.
Dual Mass Flywheel: 28.5 lbs.
Total Weight: 41.5 lbs.

Torque Rating at the Flywheel (South Bend):
Stage 2 Daily = 400 ft lbs
Stage 2 Endurance = 450 ft lbs
Stage 2 Drag = 520 ft lbs
Stage 3 Daily = 470 ft lbs
Stage 3 Endurance = 485 ft lbs
Stage 3 Drag = 575 ft lbs
*Revised in January 2013 - Stage 2 = SB Hub, Stage 3 = Exedy Hub

Torque Rating at the Flywheel (Clutchmasters):
FX100 - 350 ft lbs
FX250 - 390 ft lbs
FX300 - 480 ft lbs
FX350 - 480 ft lbs
FX400 - 570 ft lbs
FX450 - 635 ft lbs

Rating at the Flywheel (Spec):
Spec stage 1 - 350 ft lbs - Link
Spec stage 2 - 410 ft lbs - Link
Spec stage 2+ - 450 ft lbs - Link
Spec stage 3 - 500 ft lbs - Link
Spec stage 4 - 500 ft lbs - Link
Courtesy of Mustache rash

Fresh install of Clutchmasters FX350 [credit: realcyberbob]

Fresh install of Clutchmasters FX400 [credit: kern417]

Fresh install of South Bend Stage 2 Daily Kit (revised) [credit: Dave @ HS Tuning]

Gear lash from South Bend Stage 2 Daily Kit (revised) [credit: Fleron230]

It's worth noting that this has been reported with both Clutchmasters and South Bend kits.

Fresh install of South Bend Stage 2 Silent (revision 2) [credit: Hulman100]

Fresh install of South bend Stage 2 Endurance Silent (revision 2) [credit: dadasracecar]

More videos from Dadasracecar, click here

Fresh install of South bend Stage 2 Daily (revision 2) [credit: Mustache Rash]

**Checkout Mustache Rash's review thread (another video inside). Check it out out here,

Sachs SRE OEM+ Clutch Kit [credit: carsfeverguys]

*I found a review of SACH's stage 3 daily kit. I'm not sure if its a 100% kit from Sachs as it uses other manufacturers:
Sachs Stage 3 Daily clutch - this is same cover in South Bend Stage 3 Kit
Clutchnet Organic sprung hub disc ( 6 rivits on hub vs 3 on the OE sachs)
Four Season Steel Billet FW for TSI ( 8 bolt flange) - 18 Lbs
Luk release bearing

Closer look at clutch disc springs from various manufacturers:
Thicker springs should stay in there better. More support around the edges perhaps.

CM FX350:

South Bend Stage 2 Daily (revised):

South Bend Stage 2 Daily Silent (exedy) - this one was temporarily distributed late last year to replace failed clutches until the revised stage 2 was released. South Bend's Stage 3 disc utilizes an exedy hub as well. If anyone has pics of it, please let me know and I will include it. To be clear, this disc is no longer being sent out.

SACHS OEM+ (the way it should be IMO):

Informative Threads I've bookmarked:
HYDE16's List of Members & Purchased Clutches
A_Bowers review thread on the South Bend drop in
Lou Maiuri's build thread; including review of Clutchmasters FX350 unsprung disc + pressure plate (incomplete review; pending)
Clutchmasters offerings; information thread by Allset
Informative Thread on South Bend Stage 2/3 offering from Dave @ HS Tuning
Mustache Rash Review of South Bend Stage 2 Daily (rev 2)
Bender's review of the Clutchmasters FX400 8 Puck Kit
Sach's OEM+ (SRE) Clutch Kit by Carsfeverguys
South Bend Stage 2 Daily Review by Fleron230
Sach's Stage 3 Daily Kit Review
Cold weather slipping on Clutchmasters FX400
How to choose a clutch material

Let's try to keep this thread as useful/technical as possible.
Last edited:

Lou Maiuri

Good post, all those threads offer a lot of information. There is a great complete review of the CM FX400 by Bender on here that's included long term usage.

Dont forget about the deal from Mike :w00t:
Mike is the only Clutch Vendor that matters.


Go Kart Champion
Added Benders review to the thread. I would add Mike's deal to it, but I don't want to get him in trouble (as he did once before).


Ready to race!


Ready to race!
That really loud w/o the AC on
Yeah, I think that was the day after install...It's pretty quiet without the AC on now...with the AC on though, it's still pretty loud. I'll take another video soon...


Go Kart Champion
All of the SMF clutches are noisy. I have a southbend stage 2 endurance, non-silent, that is pretty loud as well. If you know what to listen for you can always hear it, and it sounds like a diesel engine from the outside. The main thing for me though, is it holds.


Ready to race!
I can't hear any real difference in the linked videos between the CM fx350 and the stage 2 daily from SB on my iPad.Anyone know if that's the same in the real world? I have the money ready for either the DXD SB stage 2 daily or the CM fx250. I've ready every thread so far but haven't made my decision yet. Holding power appears to 400 and 390 ft lbs between the two so grip should be pretty close so the difference if any I'm thinking may be the sound.