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-   -   SRE Clutch - Sachs OEM+ Clutch Review - The real alternative for tunned GTIs! (https://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46971)

carsfeverguy 10-08-2012 02:09 PM

SRE Clutch - Sachs OEM+ Clutch Review - The real alternative for tunned GTIs!

So I am updating this first post with technical information right from Sachs. I wrote to them regarding the torque holding capacity of this clutch and this is their kind response:


I´ve read something about "1.5 times rating" - in order to scotch any rumours:
There´s always a security buffer for any Performance clutch provided by ZF Sachs Race Engineering, that´s why there´s
a "plus" behind the torque-data on our distributor-website. In that special case, there´s not much anymore - the eye of
the needle is the torsion damping. So before somebody expect to get a clutch which is good for 530Nm plus 50% "buffer"
=> 780Nm, this has to be corrected.

In any way, it´s interesting to see the comparisons to other manufacturers. ZF Sachs is an official technical partner of
Volkswagen resp. Volkswagen Racing. They´re supplying all Paris-Dakar Touareg, VW Scirocco Cup, all DTM cars etc.
Also joint partners of BMW Motorsport, Porsche Motorsport and also supplying the Formula 1, Formula 3 and so on.
... say no more.

Have a great day and

Kind Regards from Hamburg/Germany,

Quiet chatter clip

Decelerating noises
2nd gear

3rd gear

Where do I start???
How about I tell you that I am currently tipping this on an iPhone while I am being driven back home from a Thanks Giving trip, son please be patient with the pace of my review, as I am a very slow at typing.

I have put roughly 2000 kms since the clutch was installed, so I feel I have a better grasp on my initial impressions.

While everyone was talking about about uprated clutches, I did a lot of listening. The popular choices seem to be Southbend, Clutchmasters and some people have Bully Clutches.

Then, in one post, someone that I consider mostly a thread disturber, made a revelation that proved essential to my decision. Crew219, thank you for this, and even though I do not agree with some of your semantics, I respect you for this.

The painted style pressure plate most manufacturers use is not necessarily confidence inspiring, and may members seem to have gone through some horrible experiences with clutch jobs, so much so that many are deterred from chipping their cars because of these happenings.

I then directed my attention to Sachs the Oem manufacturer of our "weak" clutches, and discovered their SRE division. Others have pointed to them before, but none that I know of were looking to bite and be the first to have it on their car.
So I started looking on European forums, an many agreed that the SRE clutches were the standard for performance tunned vehicles from VAG.

So, I bit the bullet and I ordered the SRE clutch straight from Germany.

I knew it would be expensive, but I wanted something done right the first time.

I went for the SRE kit with the organic disk and the single mass steel flywheel

Photos of the stock clutch as well as the uprated one will follow. The springs on the stock disk when compared to the ones on the SRE disk are laughable.

A new TOB was also installed since my 2 piece plastic one was squealing like a train, very disheartening on a 40thousand dollar car( Canada Eh!).

The work was done at Independent Tuning after fellow local members recommendations.

Right after the install, I immediately noticed the increased pressure needed for pressing the clutch in. It felt purposeful, and added a new dimension to the driving dynamics of the vehicle.

The first 1000 kms I drove like a granny, and gradually brought the vehicle to my standard of driving. This was done during a week's span , in preparation for a track day at Mosport (look it up, fun track east of Toronto, used to be a F1 track some time ago)

The car is Unitronic Stage 2 with Apr IC, Carbonio intake, whiteline sways 24mm an walk, Porsche nsbbk and 255 PSS tires in the front(reverse stagger :P)

Back to the clutch, the midrange difference in power is noticeable in all the gears. I have a pretty fast stage 2 dynoed at 268hp and 297 torque at the wheels this summer.

I have also added a Turbo blanket and DEI Titanium wrap to the first 20 inches of the downpipe(more on that later)

Will look at being dynoed either later this year or early next year for more empirical data.

carsfeverguy 10-08-2012 02:11 PM

To clarify, this is the exact clutch kit I ordered:

SRE Performance Clutch Kit + One Mass Flywheel
Complete kit with lightened one mass flywheel (7.2kg) Transmittable Torque 530+Nm

One important thing to notice is the + sign after the torque rating figure. The general agreement is that these SRE clutches are rated conservatively.
Many on the Audi S3 forums get the pressure plate and the disk, and match it to a new Dual Mass clutch to have the chatterless OEM feel.

I went with their complete kit as I wanted the quicker revs, and no issues around for a long time and for the next power bump, when the wife agrees.

Everyone seems to want to know about the chatter.

Right after the install, the mechanic was amazed that we couldn't hear any chatter whatsoever at idle... Also, the feel of the clutch was very confidence inspiring.

Right now I will tell you the clutch is silent when the AC is off. With the AC on it is audible, but not annoying any way you listen to it.

I will tell people that the turbo blanket did add a purring sound cue when at idle(was not installed at the same time as the clutch, so I could tell the difference) well worth the price of admission(I'll save that for another thread)

What is audible with my setup, is the gear noise while decelerating and faulting the throttle by wire, also while coasting in the lower gears.

For me, the magic of this kit is OEM production and reliability.
Also, the customer service from Germany is Excellent, ant they answered all my questions and concerns with professionalism. Sachs exceeded all my expectations. I know I have the best compromise between daily drive ability and track day performance.

Btw, I was hanging with BMW 1M coupes, Z4M, M3 Convertible quite well, if just slightly slower(newspeed turbo discharge should help till a bigger turbo comes around)

Something else that is interesting is that the clutch engagement point is high off the floor. This kinda made driving in traffic bumper to pumper hard. This is done for lighting quick shifts at the track. Both my mechanic and Sachs recommended a clutch pedal stopper (a piece of rubber with a zip tie attached to the pedal arm, since vdubs don't have one specific like bmws do) to enhance easyer shifting at the track and in the city. The way the mechanic explained it, the kit has such clamping force so high up, that when attempting to push the pedal all the way down the fingers get bent in a backward position, risking weakening over long use. A rubber stop prevents that, while easing the operation and comfort.

I had a rally champion and targa newfound land competitor give the car a shakedown, and his first reaction was making a remark at how good the clutch felt. He then drive the car aggressively (scared me in the passenger seat) and then he kept saying the car us very stiff (in a good way) and said that it behaves like a rally car and that he loved it. Felt good to have someone else confirm the car's progress.

carsfeverguy 10-08-2012 02:11 PM


kthor703 :Where is the 1.5 times the rating factor stated? Curious for piece of mind. Im a fan of this set up if that is true.
From the S3 forum, but I would also refer to the first post regarding torque holding

Just a quick one guys if a clutch has lasted for 6k miles, ok its not much in comparison to an OEM clutch lasting 60k miles on normal software, but if it was a genuine manufacturing or material defect (This is what SACHS / ZF warranty covers) then it wouldn't have lasted 6k miles of what sounds like very harsh abuse!
I have heard of more OEM clutch failures on the S3's rather than the FWD TFSI lumps found in the ed30/cupra etc mainly due to the 4wd grip. With the 4wd grip, the clutch is now put under more strain. With the FWD, once the clutch is engaged, all that would happen is your wheels will start spinning, and clouds of tyre smoke will be coming out the wheel arches.....
SRE products are always quoted as having conservative figures. Wouldn't you rather a manufacturer under quote than over quote. I know that normal Sachs clutch kits (OEM + Aftermarket) have a safety factor of 1.5 x the engine output as standard.

How do i know this?? i work for them as a technical support technician, carrying out day to day warranty testing, reports and also technical training on clutch, DMF, suspension etc etc.

I'd be interested to know more about the OP's findings etc if/when the clutch gets dropped out.
And some pictures of what went in:

IMG_4430 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4431 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4435 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4436 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4439 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4442 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4444 by tudorior, on Flickr
IMG_4445 by tudorior, on Flickr

Updated with ore impressions


The meets here in toronto have dwindled down due to cold weather... so no one else has heard or experienced my setup... That said, I have only had it for less then a month, so it's not like I have forgotten how the stock clutch felt.

There are no added vibrations in the cabin, like I said, there is a very limited audible feedback when at idle(my turbo blanket added that) and when the ac is on it is just a tinny bit louder. 1/4 volume(pretty low on the dynaudio) completely covers that up, but all be told, I find that it adds another character dimension to the car experience.

On the weekend I drove for 2 days a well running mk4 jetta TDI. and my wife mentioned that that my car is really refined and silent compared to that.

Again, no chatter or noise while the car is moving.
The car has a cool little extra sound attribute when leaving from a standstill, reminding you it is not a stock clutch. I like it.

And yes gear noises are present when decelerating, because racekar :P

As soon as I'll get to meet with some forum members who drive manual/southbend clutches, I'll bring it to their attention to make their own comments on this thread.

I know lots of folks are curious/ worried, just ding my part to help the community.

A_Bowers 10-08-2012 02:12 PM

Looking forward to another viable option. I found mine with the SB Stage 3 disk....

trd420 10-08-2012 02:13 PM

more info 3

trd420 10-08-2012 02:18 PM

they sell them here.

JewFro 10-08-2012 02:25 PM

Holy smokes... If we're talking about the whole assembly (flywheel, pressure plate, and disc) these are at least as expensive as a CM kit.

In for more info though. Contemplating whether or not to use my SB Stage 3 disc I've had sitting around for over a year now.

A_Bowers 10-08-2012 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by JewFro (Post 857398)
Holy smokes... If we're talking about the whole assembly (flywheel, pressure plate, and disc) these are at least as expensive as a CM kit.

In for more info though. Contemplating whether or not to use my SB Stage 3 disc I've had sitting around for over a year now.

I am completely happy with mine. NO issues whatsoever, and the disk has broken in quite nicely.

For the money, its awesome. Several ppl are running it with K04 and have no issues.

kthor703 10-08-2012 02:31 PM

Looking forward to hearing about this! Very interested.


Originally Posted by trd420 (Post 857386)

Which transmission do we have? 02Q? I didn't see our engine code but thats probably just because we are in the US vs UK.

U-20T 10-08-2012 02:56 PM

Very pricey and I'm already over the power limits

May work well for DD Ko4 and down

JewFro 10-08-2012 02:57 PM

Was there documented info on how much hp/tq these hold?

A_Bowers 10-08-2012 03:01 PM


Originally Posted by JewFro (Post 857454)
Was there documented info on how much hp/tq these hold?

You referring to the disk or the SACHS unit?

U-20T 10-08-2012 03:09 PM


Originally Posted by JewFro (Post 857454)
Was there documented info on how much hp/tq these hold?

390 ft/lbs organic and 440 ft/lbs for the 4 puck synthered at the crank.

speed4568 10-08-2012 03:13 PM

hows the chatter? that's what i am mostly worried about.

more info here:

the performance clutch should hold 390 ft pd of torque(530nm)

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