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SouthBend Stage 3 Drop in Review

A_Bowers

Moderator
A month or so ago I began to experience the dreaded clutch slipping issue with my TSI motor. A bit of background. Went stage 1 at 1000 miles (actually rolled over to 1020 miles as I pulled into APR's parking lot). Drove around a bit, needed more power (who doesn't, right?) Bought a UR catless and unresonated DP, which is wonderful by the way...and went back down to APR to get my stage 2+ file flashed. Picked up a Carbonio stage 1 while I was there.

Well, after about a month of stage 2+ I was driving along and wanted to pass someone in 5th gear, rolled into WOT and I noticed my engine rpms making an interesting sound. Repeated what I had just done and watched my RPMs. Sure enough they were fluctuating between 3700-4500 RPM's. Sure enough the clutch was slipping (I have video evidence).


So I began the long and arduous search for a new clutch to hold my current power (274 hp 314 lbft tq According to APR's site) and to hold K04 power (in the future).

Began looking into viable options...they were as follows

1. Southbend Daily Silent Design Stage 2 endurance


2. ClutchMasters FX200 kevlar setup
3. Spec Clutch kit

All of these were around $1000.00 not including labor to install. I didn't have the cash available to purchase any of those so it was back to looking for an alternative.

THEN i came across the SouthBend stage 3 Clutch disk....I was intrigued.

For $432.00 I was sold. However there were not many reviews on this particular clutch. Spoke with a few people who had it privately, and all had positive things to say about it.

Here are my thoughts.

APR did my install. They are wonderful and do great work down there...if you are in the southeast, bring your car here...all the guys that work there are true enthusiasts and love what they do.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND A PROFESSIONAL SHOP DO THE INSTALL.

The amount of work that went into doing this job is more than I cared to do in the garage, and I feel I am pretty handy with DIY jobs. This required a lift...which most of us do not have.


On to the clutch.
After install we went for a test drive. First impressions were sketchy. The takeup and engagement are now definitely more aggressive thanks to the Feramic (Sintered Iron) lining on the fly wheel side. This provides quite a "bite" and made the clutch very grabby at low RPMs. This also causes a fair amount of chatter when engaging from a stop...once rolling, everything is fine.

Got off to a semi-jerky start, but as soon as I rolled into WOT in 2nd, and blew the tires off I was nothing but smiles. 3rd, 4th and part of 5th were solid as a rock. The amount of power that was being lost in the driveline through the stock clutch was outrageous. Engagement is more firm and direct thanks to the new material grabbing much harder, but nothing that would turn anyone off. Most people who drive these cars are enthusiasts and want a more sporty feel. This provides that feeling.


On to pedal feel. BECAUSE there was not a pressure plate change, the pedal effort is exactly the same as stock. WHICH IS A BIG DEAL FOR A DAILY DRIVER. Pedal modulation however will take some more getting used to. BUT that is with any modification, I have to adjust, not the car.


Overall, I would totally recommend this setup to anyone who is looking to lay down the power they have currently, or needs to harness everything up to K04 power. Stage 3 and beyond will most certainly need to upgrade to a full setup.

Here are some pictures from the evening along with what the SB unit looks like.

Hope this helps people who were in my situation and need a "budget friendly" clutch upgrade.














As you can see the smoothed parts are the areas of slipping.

Both sides of this clutch are organic. Compared to one side organic other side semi metallic material on the Southbend unit



Chatter.

 
Last edited:

A_Bowers

Moderator
Just the clutch disk? All of the factory components surrounding it are up to the task?

From what I have been reading yes. Supposedly the stock pressure plate can hold up to 400lbft of torque, and the flywheel is rated to about the same. The clutch material is the weak spot. Very low friction organic material... Grambles and I had discussed this a bit. It makes sense that VW would put a weak clutch in the car. Considering it shares many components with other vehicles, financially speaking spreading the cost of 1 clutch design across multiple vehicles makes sense.

This clutch is in the GLI, new beetle, anything with a TSI motor, and probably vehicles that have a manual trans. JUST so they dont have to produce or purchase a different design. Smart for them, bad for us.
 

MKV727

Go Kart Champion
From what I have been reading yes. Supposedly the stock pressure plate can hold up to 400lbft of torque, and the flywheel is rated to about the same. The clutch material is the weak spot. Very low friction organic material... Grambles and I had discussed this a bit. It makes sense that VW would put a weak clutch in the car. Considering it shares many components with other vehicles, financially speaking spreading the cost of 1 clutch design across multiple vehicles makes sense.

This clutch is in the GLI, new beetle, anything with a TSI motor, and probably vehicles that have a manual trans. JUST so they dont have to produce or purchase a different design. Smart for them, bad for us.

It appears to be an option only for the TSI powered cars. I can't find the disc that is compatible with the stock equipment that will work for any of the FSI powered cars. The Golf R while it does have a stout clutch may not last for too long on a tuned car, as well as any FSI powered car making 300 torques.
 

A_Bowers

Moderator
It appears to be an option only for the TSI powered cars. I can't find the disc that is compatible with the stock equipment that will work for any of the FSI powered cars. The Golf R while it does have a stout clutch may not last for too long on a tuned car, as well as any FSI powered car making 300 torques.

Thats the conclusion I came to as well. For the most of us it is a viable option if you didnt go DSG.
 

realcyberbob

Go Kart Champion
Nice post, will keep this in mind when I need a new one.

What is the difference between the 6-speed transmission in the MKV vs. MKVI or GTI vs. Golf R?? Seems they don't have nearly as many problems as we do.
 

A_Bowers

Moderator
Nice post, will keep this in mind when I need a new one.

What is the difference between the 6-speed transmission in the MKV vs. MKVI or GTI vs. Golf R?? Seems they don't have nearly as many problems as we do.

Other than the FSI/TSI difference Im not sure. There is another thread that has a link to an upgraded SACHS clutch which may have been in the Golf R FSI motor. :iono:
 

SRT2GTI

Banned
How many miles in total do you have on the car?
 

A_Bowers

Moderator
5200 miles. I was a big skeptic about the clutches going out so soon.

My last car was a 6speed and didn't have any problems with it. Babied this car for the first 1000 miles, and didnt launch it or drive it hard. It only slipped in 5th and 6th. Which was interesting.

Either way, this is much better
 

grambles423

Automotive Engineer
Great review man! I need to try it out sometime. Maybe swap vehicles for an hour? :D
 

FasDarken

Ready to race!
how would this hold up to K04?
 

Gunkata

Go Kart Champion
A++
 

A_Bowers

Moderator
Great review man! I need to try it out sometime. Maybe swap vehicles for an hour? :D

Thank you sir. I don't know about that. I might be billing my credit card sooner than I expected to be :D

I will direct the wrath of my wife your direction if that is the case.
 

McQueen77

Banned
sounds cool but the chatter would drive me nuts. too much stop and go around these parts.. i suppose there is a drop in disc solution for stage 1 guys who end up needing a new clutch? for me i guess ill see how long i can go. if i don't end up needing a new clutch until 60k miles then i might as well just go OEM again if it holds up that long.

good review
 
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