I noticed my clutch slip for the first time about 3 months ago, and I began my research. I would do some research, learn some stuff, and then sleep on it. I have no experience with aftermarket clutches, so I did this for a while trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. One of the hardest decision was to choose the dmfw or upgrade to a smfw. Eventually I landed on this clutch with the smfw. I wanted the benefits of the smfw, but was really worried about the additional NVH. Replacing the clutch is not cheap, so I wanted to make sure this was only something I'd have to do once, and I didn't want it to result in me hating the car.
I had mine installed this monday, so I've only got about 150 miles on it so far.
On the very first day the pedal felt pretty damn stiff. Stiff enough that the top of my foot was just slightly sore after my 20 mile drive home. This may have been from something else though, I'm not completely sure.
On the 2nd day the pedal felt much softer. Maybe it was just because I knew what to expect getting into the car this time. On the first day it felt like the pedal was maybe 3 timers stiffer, but now I'd say it's no more than twice as stiff as it was with the oem clutch. I don't feel like this would be a problem in heavy traffic. I was worried about it on the first day, but as of today I'm happy with the feel of the pedal.
The catch point changed quite a bit, so it's taking me a while to get use to it. My last car was a mk4 gti and the catch point on the 2 clutches felt very similar, so I've been driving with a similar clutch feel for about 7 years now. This isn't a negative at all, like I said, it'll just take me some time to get use to it again. There's been a few times where I started to release the clutch from a dead stop and it was kinda like, why aren't I going anywhere yet!
I do like how the pedal feels though, and when I'm not doing a sloppy shift from not being used to the pedal feel/catch point yet, it feels amazing. You can definitely tell how the smfw changes the car. It's amazing how much that dmfw seems to jerk the car around. With the dmfw driving around parking lots and things like that in first gear used to feel pretty sloppy sometimes, the car would jerk forward. Now first gear feels so much smoother and easier to operate. Shifting from 1st to 2nd is still a little tricky, but the rest of the gears are easy to shift smoothly. Today I was shifting from 1st to 2nd smoother than I have been this week, so I'm getting there.
The NVH was my biggest concern. I've never done an aftermarket clutch, never been in a car with one, and never even listened to one in person. I had no idea what to expect here, and from everything I read I just kinda expected the worst. With the AC off at idle it's quiet and can't be heard. Turn the AC on and you can start to hear it tick/chatter. Push the clutch pedal in and it goes quiet. This is all the typical behavior I read about though.
The noise isn't really that loud, but you can definitely tell it's there. I think if you're familiar with aftermarket clutches you'll easily be able to tell what the noise is from. Turns out it's not something I have a problem with. In fact I actually like the noise. I can hear it at an idle, sometimes while accelerating, and sometimes while decceling. I think the noise goes really well with the sound of an intake and turboback though. It really surprised me that I thought the noise was cool. It's not a harsh noise, and it's not inconsistent, so it doesn't sound like the car is broken or anything like that. It reminds me a tractor, or a diesel, but a lot quieter.
I haven't really noticed any additional vibrations inside the car, other than the vibrations I get from my dog bone insert.
For a daily driver it's a good clutch option to go with. I don't have to put in a ton of effort/thought into taking off from a dead stop, infact I'm taking off smoother with the new clutch. It feels easier to manage. I also haven't stalled it yet.
All in all I'm 100% happy with this clutch right now and it was something I worried about for 2-3 months. I was expecting to end up hating the car after upgrading (but it had to be done no matter what, the clutch was slipping and it was driving me insane), and instead I love it. Now I just need to get some more miles on this thing so I can go back to my usual driving habits. I hate driving like an old fart.
Thank you very much for the detailed review! One thing we do for our Porsche customers is swap to a 75w140 gear oil. The thicker oil all but eliminates the flywheel chatter from a single mass unit.