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Looking for clutch recommendations for my stage 2+ Golf R!

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
Clutch is starting to slip, and I am in need of an upgrade. I am seeing great options from Southbend Stage 2 Daily setup, to the Southbend Stage 2 Endurance Clutch Kit, to the ECS Tuning Stage 2 Performance Kit (significantly cheaper than the Southbend kits).

Any recommendations here? I drive the car daily, but do not mind a somewhat stiffer pedal feel and more aggressive flywheel, etc.

Thx for any thoughts!
 

torga

Autocross Newbie
I personally would not trust the ECS clutch. Their pressure plate holds much less force than all the other clutch kits and I've heard the most complaints about the ECS kit - slipping within a year and all that.

I was going to recommend the DIY RSR or TT-RS clutch, as those are the most OEM and people are generally happy with them. But I'm not actually sure if they work for the Golf R. Can someone chime in?

As far as aftermarket, you're on the right track with Southbend. If you wanna get real $$$$ with it, you could check out the MS twin disk clutch from DKM - haven't heard a single bad thing about that one.
 

Fast-R

Passed Driver's Ed
I use the DXD (southbend) stage 4 clutch and flywheel combo on my R and my big turbo Audi TT and I recommend it for sure.. It behaves pretty close to stock and holds whatever you throw at it. They last a long time too.. Even if I was only stage 1 or 2, I would 100% get this clutch, it's a bit of overkill but totally easy to live with and to have piece of mind that it won't slip prematurely is worth the price of admission..
 

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
I use the DXD (southbend) stage 4 clutch and flywheel combo on my R and my big turbo Audi TT and I recommend it for sure.. It behaves pretty close to stock and holds whatever you throw at it. They last a long time too.. Even if I was only stage 1 or 2, I would 100% get this clutch, it's a bit of overkill but totally easy to live with and to have piece of mind that it won't slip prematurely is worth the price of admission..
From ECS Tuning's website, is this the kit you are referring to?
 

Fast-R

Passed Driver's Ed
Yes, that's the one. It looks and sounds so aggressive in the description but in actuality it is very easy to drive and you would be surprised that it's a stage 4 racing clutch by the way it feels.. Break in wasn't bad either, and once broken in, it's quite tame..

I daily both cars that have this clutch in it and I drive 1 hour+ each way to work in traffic and I don't even think about the clutch or anything as it drives pretty normal and is very predictable as to where it grabs and how it behaves..
 

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
Really appreciate that info. Being that I also drive mine daily and enjoy spirited driving when possible, it sounds like I should consider the DXD stage 3 clutch kit at a minimum.

Do you know what the stock flywheel weighs on our cars?? Curious is the 19 lbs single mass steel unit that comes with this kit is lighter/more free revving (which would be a good thing).
 

Fast-R

Passed Driver's Ed
I believe OEM is around the same weight.. I think only aluminum flywheels make a huge difference in weight but they tend to be way louder and you'd have to rev it up a fair amount more on each take off.. I've had many aluminum flywheels in the past and the only good thing is the free-er revving part..
 

TimS

Ready to race!
Do you know what the stock flywheel weighs on our cars?? Curious is the 19 lbs single mass steel unit that comes with this kit is lighter/more free revving (which would be a good thing).
It's about half the weight, but that's not a good thing on a daily driver. A lightweight flywheel makes a lot more NVH in the cabin, and lower inertia means rougher engagement - you'll get a lot of shuddering on takeoff unless you bring the revs way up. It's a pain in traffic.

I had a Clutch Masters FX250 with that 19lb steel flywheel for a while and I hated everything about it. I switched back to an OEM dual mass flywheel with RSR clutch and couldn't be happier. It holds IE stage 2 pro without any issues, and it drives just like stock but with better pedal feel.
 

Fast-R

Passed Driver's Ed
You must be thinking about aluminum flywheels, this South Bend one I'm referring to uses a steel flywheel and I doubt it's half the weight. I'd be highly surprised if the OEM flywheel is 38lbs by itself.. I don't have to rev the engine any extra to engage first gear with this setup. If there is any extra, it's a very small amount, a few hundred rpms at most..
I've used the FX850 before and that one required to rev it up to around 4k to take off from first gear, so I know what bringing the revs up to engage first gear is like..

I've used the more aggressive FX450 numerous times (about 4 times) in the past and yes it was a bit noisy, but that's due to the single mass flywheel over dual mass one.. That is normal on all performance clutches if you swap over to single mass, not a big deal and totally livable.. might be horrible if you're not expecting it..

Shuddering only happens to if you try and ride the clutch, once you get the hang of it, it's seamless and easy, no shuddering at all..

If an FX250 was too rough for you, you did the right thing and get back to a dual mass flywheel, the FX250 is actually pretty tame when it comes to performance clutches..
I've heard the RSR is a good clutch tho from the folks that use them, just not sure how much power and/abuse it can take or how long they last.

Dual mass doesn't typically like too much torque and the life can suffer which is on of the reasons almost all performance clutches go single mass..
 

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
Appreciate the info. I ran a significantly lighter flywheel in a different car a while back and liked it, but I hear you about the revs and such.

How long have you been running the FX250 setup??
 

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
At this point, I am considering the SouthBend Stage 3 Daily, or Stage 4 clutch kit... However, the $1600+ price tag for either seems like a lot! Maybe it is just the price of a good clutch assembly for these cars. Any other recommendations with similar quality for less pricing? ACT a good option??
 

TimS

Ready to race!
Appreciate the info. I ran a significantly lighter flywheel in a different car a while back and liked it, but I hear you about the revs and such.

How long have you been running the FX250 setup??
I had it for about 40k miles. I commute in DC traffic, though, which just magnifies the issues with a lightweight flywheel.

I've had the RSR for ~35k so far.
 

GolfR333

Passed Driver's Ed
The shop that I trust recommended the tt-Rs clutch and it fits in our cars I believe with no issues. I wish I would have went with the tt rs kit but I barley have enough to afford a stock clutch at the time..
 

TimS

Ready to race!
As I understand it, the TTRS pressure plate will work with the stock R disc and flywheel (the TT disc is a different spline pattern), but you have to drill out its indexing holes a bit.

I have a feeling that's all the RSR clutch is, since all the parts are stamped with OEM numbers.
 

HighOctane

New member
I personally would not trust the ECS clutch. Their pressure plate holds much less force than all the other clutch kits and I've heard the most complaints about the ECS kit - slipping within a year and all that.

I was going to recommend the DIY RSR or TT-RS clutch, as those are the most OEM and people are generally happy with them. But I'm not actually sure if they work for the Golf R. Can someone chime in?

As far as aftermarket, you're on the right track with Southbend. If you wanna get real $$$$ with it, you could check out the MS twin disk clutch from DKM - haven't heard a single bad thing about that one.
I bought a ECS clutch for my car (MK6 R APR stage 2+, similar to OP's car) and so far it's lasted over 22,000km with no issues. Having said that, I don't track the car, and I only really do 2nd, 3rd & 4th gear pulls every now and then. Only 'annoyance' is that the chatter is more noticeable compared to OEM
 

somerset9

Ready to race!
Another happy customer with South Bend stage 2 daily. It's only after I drive other manual cars that I realize how heavy it is. I'm no t a gym buff by any means, but it's hefty enough to let me know it's aftermarket. The EA113 is a very smooth engine, so even the two weeks before I got my fluidampr in was just more noisy than harsh. With the fluidampr, the clutch chatter is not an issue at all.
 

Al.gabriel

New member
just chiming in, I have the DSM Twin disk clutch and it's amazing, I was looking for a clutch that could hold a high threshold of torque just so I have the breathing room(I'm ie stage 2+), I wanted it to grab better but I wanted all of the clutch benefits with little to no NVH added, I considered south bend and even drove someone who had one on their golf r, but I was at 80xxx miles and didnt want to gamble flywheel and so I went to the DKM and it met all my needs, it's been such a great clutch and it's so quiet!
 

97AutoXVette

Passed Driver's Ed
just chiming in, I have the DSM Twin disk clutch and it's amazing, I was looking for a clutch that could hold a high threshold of torque just so I have the breathing room(I'm ie stage 2+), I wanted it to grab better but I wanted all of the clutch benefits with little to no NVH added, I considered south bend and even drove someone who had one on their golf r, but I was at 80xxx miles and didnt want to gamble flywheel and so I went to the DKM and it met all my needs, it's been such a great clutch and it's so quiet!
Appreciate the info! Are you running a stock flywheel with it?
 
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