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Clutch help (I know, I know. I searched first.)

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Okay, so, I know starting a new clutch thread around here is enough to get me banned, and quite rightly so, but I’ve had my GTI for three years (never intended to modify it, ha) and have ended up doing everything in my signature without needing to ask a single question on here because there’s so much great information and so many helpful people. BUT the clutch situation has me scratching my head in complete bewilderment. So, I’m hoping someone can chime in here without biting my head off… bear with me.

<< TL;DR: 6MT GTI with an EQT Stage 2 93 Oct tune, making presumably over 400ft/lbs. Which upgraded clutch is compatible with a DMFW, won’t shudder or vibrate or chatter too much, and has a minimum torque rating of 450ft/lbs, will last, has some kind of customer service (warranty, ideally) associated with it, and is closest as possible to the stock clutch in feel? Or, if I want a comfortable daily, is a Stage 2 tune on a 6MT simply not worth it? >>

I bought my car (a 2015) with 65k miles on it, and it’s now at 99k. I’ve been running a JB4 pretty much since I got it, gradually going from map 2 to 3, to a custom map 6 that George helped me put together. It’s not too crazy, but it gives me the best of both maps 2 and 3, basically. I’m driving a 6MT (obviously), and my clutch has been fine throughout. I drive the car like a maniac quite a lot of the time (I live in Brooklyn, but do long road trips around the US, almost exclusively on backroads). I have a lot of fun with it, but I’m careful with the clutch: minimal slipping, no hard throttle at low rpms, pretty much no hard throttle in 5th or 6th at all, etc., etc. I floor it in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd a lot, but it’s never been launched (well, not by me. There was that one mechanic who I caught launching it on my dashcam, was furious, and negotiated a couple of thousand dollars’ worth of work for free as a result… that was annoying).

So, recently I decided to get an Accessport with an EQT Stage 2 93 oct OTS tune. I loaded it up and my clutch started slipping immediately. This was just before the pandemic hit the US and because of it, I went back to the JB4 while I figure out the clutch situation (I’m a freelance photographer, so my entire income just basically ceased for the foreseeable, argh). I knew my clutch wouldn’t hold up to this tune, and wasn’t too worried about it as there are so many options for this platform, and so many people with tuned 6MT cars, I thought I’d just use the forum as I normally do, obsessively research it as I tend to do, and pick the option most appropriate for me. If only it had been that simple. I have read literally hundreds of pages of discussion of clutches on here (and Vortex, and Reddit), and yet I cannot find an option that seems like the right one for me. That TTRS thread for example, I’ve read it all the way through. Twice.

EQT’s site used to (it's now changed, seems a little less specific) state that their Stage 1 91 Oct OTS tune makes around 390 torque. I don’t know what my car makes with the Stage 2 / 93 Oct tune, but it’s got to be over 400 torque, which rules out a lot of the go-to Stage 2 clutches for me. I want something that will last, and I really don’t want to do my clutch twice. I want decent headroom, so looking for a minimum rating of 450ft/lbs.

I want to avoid noise and vibration at all costs. My GTI is my daily, and I’m very sensitive to NVH. SMF not an option for me because of this – I will be buying a new DMFW, so looking for a kit that’s compatible with that. TTRS DIY not an option because I don’t know that it will reliably hold the power, seems like it wouldn't. DKM not an option for me because of all the reports of vibration, shuddering, and non-existent customer service. Nearly bought the 4-puck Sachs clutch with its high torque rating, but have read too many reports of shaking and shuddering in first and reverse, so have been put off a bit. Have read lots about the Sachs SRE but weirdly I’m unclear exactly which kit that is – FCP Euro’s clutch listings (ideal retailer because of warranty) are quite confusing, and don’t list torque ratings for all of them… I’m thinking that may be the option, but I’m not sure of its torque rating, or if I’d be buying the right kit if I went that way.

And, lastly, when you take into consideration the crank walk issue which may or may not be exacerbated by upgraded clutches, and the apparent dissatisfaction of so many folks around here with aftermarket clutches who daily their cars, was the Stage 2 tune simply a mistake? Is it possibly not really worth it? Should I sell the Accessport and keep the JB4 and the stock clutch, which seems to be fine, even at my mileage? (I wanted more power, yes, but also the Cobb traction control, and left foot braking. For me, they were big reasons for getting the tune.)

I’m really hoping someone chimes in here and basically says, you’re an idiot, you need this one, here’s the link. Massive gratitude to anyone who can help (and to anyone who actually read this far!). I want to get this done, break it in, and load that EQT tune back onto my car and be grinning like an idiot again as I take those 15mph backroad bends at 60. And yes, I used the search function and the Google. Many, many, many times. I'll be very grateful to anyone who can point me in the right direction here.

Here she is, because why not:

IMG_4932.JPG _DSF0438.jpg
 
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JC_451

Autocross Newbie
Location
NJ
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Do you really need stage 2 power?

How do you expect to put down 400 lb/ft through the front wheels for mostly back roads driving? That doesn't necessarily seem like something that will improve your driving experience in the twisties under 60mph.
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Do you really need stage 2 power?

How do you expect to put down 400 lb/ft through the front wheels for mostly back roads driving? That doesn't necessarily seem like something that will improve your driving experience in the twisties under 60mph.
You make a good point, and it may be that I don't. I mean, obviously I don't need the power, no. Have I become completely used to the car as it is now and developed a desire to amp it up a bit, yes, but maybe not if it there isn't a clutch which can handle the power and be civilized, which is what it seems to come down to.

If there is a suitable clutch, I'd get rather get it installed than give up on the EQT tune which I do like a lot (my stock clutch will presumably fail eventually, and I'd love to get this car to 200k, so I'll have to replace it at some point). I don't do any drag racing, or track it, but I do push the car as hard as I can on the straights as well, and love the feeling of the surprising torquey engine, and do take it well over 60, of course...
 

blaqsheep

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Canada
Car(s)
IS38 GTI
For keeping the dual mass flywheel (should still replace), I recommend Sachs SRE with the organic disc, or 4 puck if you're not using it mainly as a daily. Another option is the HS Tuning RSR Hybrid. I know Southbend offered a Stage 2 drop in disc for the MK6 that would fit the MK7, but I'm not sure how that compares as there isn't much information since most go to their single mass Stage 3 daily setup.
 

Ridebjj

Go Kart Champion
Location
lasVegas
I just installed an hst rsr in my stage 2. Only had my car on stands in my garage for 9 days 😁

I'm not even out of the 500 mile break in period, but I'm getting close. The only difference I noticed at all is the pedal effort increased noticeably, at first. I should probably put "at first" in quotes because it's starting to feel easier lately. Whether that's really the case or I'm just getting used to it, or both I can't say.

But, along with the new oem dmfw, the effort aside its very like stock. No new noise or vibration, etc. It's not crazy grabby, I can modulate it easily and the engagement point is same as stock.
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
For keeping the dual mass flywheel (should still replace), I recommend Sachs SRE with the organic disc, or 4 puck if you're not using it mainly as a daily. Another option is the HS Tuning RSR Hybrid. I know Southbend offered a Stage 2 drop in disc for the MK6 that would fit the MK7, but I'm not sure how that compares as there isn't much information since most go to their single mass Stage 3 daily setup.
Yeah the Sachs SRE would seem like the perfect option – OEM manufacturer, and most stock-like, but it seems it's rated for just 405lb/ft (here), which seems like it may not be enough (just saw a post from ED @ EQT showing a GTI with the same power mods as I have and stock turbo making 421lb/ft on his 91oct tune, and I have the 93 oct tune). That said, there do seem to be people running this clutch who seem like they're probably making more power than my car is, so I'm a bit confused about the SRE. The 4 puck I've decided against because of noise, shuddering, etc.

I remember looking at the RSR Hyrbid before and can't remember now why I discounted it... I think it may have been right back at the beginning when I was hoping a budget option like the DIY TTRS would work for me, and thought the RSR Hybrid was too expensive. I'm way past the point of thinking there's a <$1k option out there for me now, though, so maybe this is the way to go. Thanks @blaqsheep.
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I just installed an hst rsr in my stage 2. Only had my car on stands in my garage for 9 days 😁

I'm not even out of the 500 mile break in period, but I'm getting close. The only difference I noticed at all is the pedal effort increased noticeably, at first. I should probably put "at first" in quotes because it's starting to feel easier lately. Whether that's really the case or I'm just getting used to it, or both I can't say.

But, along with the new oem dmfw, the effort aside its very like stock. No new noise or vibration, etc. It's not crazy grabby, I can modulate it easily and the engagement point is same as stock.
Oof. Impressive. Well, at least you have a garage... I haven't done anything nearly as complicated as a clutch myself, but have done FMIC install, rear sway, etc., all in my uncovered Brooklyn car park with a floor made mostly of dirt, gravel, and broken glass, haha.

Are you on the regular RSR or the Hybrid version? My understanding is that your Uni Stage 2 tune makes a bit less torque that EQT's, I think...?
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I remember looking at the RSR Hyrbid before and can't remember now why I discounted it... I think it may have been right back at the beginning when I was hoping a budget option like the DIY TTRS would work for me, and thought the RSR Hybrid was too expensive. I'm way past the point of thinking there's a <$1k option out there for me now, though, so maybe this is the way to go. Thanks @blaqsheep.
Actually re: the RSR Hyrbid, I think it was also posts like this one – seems like HS Tuning don't recommend it for anything above stage 1 power levels. I guess maybe I should give them a call and see what they suggest
 

PowerDemon

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Car(s)
Mk7 GTI
I vote RSR Hybrid if you want to avoid the SMFW. But if I was going to do it again I would get the Sachs 4 puck. It would be nice to have the headroom even if you don’t need it imo. I’ve been pleased with my Southbend but it is chattery. I don’t notice it anymore but if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing then it’s not for you.
 

Ridebjj

Go Kart Champion
Location
lasVegas
Actually re: the RSR Hyrbid, I think it was also posts like this one – seems like HS Tuning don't recommend it for anything above stage 1 power levels. I guess maybe I should give them a call and see what they suggest
I have the regular rsr, not the hybrid. It's supposed to be good to 480lb ft.

Theres a user called "stealthgti" who also has a YouTube channel who has the same exact setup and tows a small trailer with his car. His experiences of the rsr being solid were what helped me decide.

I don't drag race or usually launch super hard, but I definitely get on it pretty good, especially at highway speeds.

I think the hybrid is for stage 2+ or maybe for high torque stage 2 people who really thrash it everyday?

Maybe I'd seen that thread you mention? along with 1000 others that do nothing but send you in circles. I had to decide and the RSR was the best answer I could come up with in the end. I'd have loved to go smfw, but having chatter would annoy me.

So, here we are. Time will tell I suppose.

Edit: I just finally noticed that thread you linked to is all Golf R owners, not gti. I've never researched it but it has to be that every stage tune on a golf R makes more torque than the same one on the gti, because is38 vs is20, no? Also, with awd and so much more grip, the clutch would need to hold harder from launch?
 
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blaqsheep

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Canada
Car(s)
IS38 GTI
The downfall of the regular RSR kit is the clutch disc, which is the same Euro TDI disc that is in the DIY TTRS kit. I would recommend it for maybe Stage 1 torque levels, no more. There are users who exceed that torque level and have had no issues, but I eventually started to slip in 4th gear and now 3rd gear with my IS38 and a JB4. It's even worse and more apparent with my custom flash tune.

It's a lot of labor, and take it from me as someone who's doing their clutch for the 3rd time, do it properly once. My Sachs SRE kit is coming in on Monday. If it wasn't for FCP Euro's generous lifetime warranty program keeping the cost of replacement minimal, I'd probably opt for Southbend Stage 3 daily as it's a tad cheaper than the RSR hybrid and you're covered well into big turbo territory.
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I vote RSR Hybrid if you want to avoid the SMFW. But if I was going to do it again I would get the Sachs 4 puck. It would be nice to have the headroom even if you don’t need it imo. I’ve been pleased with my Southbend but it is chattery. I don’t notice it anymore but if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing then it’s not for you.
Yeah I would be all over the Sachs 4 puck for the headroom if it weren't for all the reports of pretty intense shuddering pulling away from a stop and in reverse. I live in NYC, so, that would get old fast. RSR Hybrid is on the short list – I want to keep chatter to a minimum, but it's the shuddering I REALLY want to avoid, so this might be the way to go.
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I have the regular rsr, not the hybrid. It's supposed to be good to 480lb ft.

Theres a user called "stealthgti" who also has a YouTube channel who has the same exact setup and tows a small trailer with his car. His experiences of the rsr being solid were what helped me decide.

I don't drag race or usually launch super hard, but I definitely get on it pretty good, especially at highway speeds.

I think the hybrid is for stage 2+ or maybe for high torque stage 2 people who really thrash it everyday?

Maybe I'd seen that thread you mention? along with 1000 others that do nothing but send you in circles. I had to decide and the RSR was the best answer I could come up with in the end. I'd have loved to go smfw, but having chatter would annoy me.

So, here we are. Time will tell I suppose.

Edit: I just finally noticed that thread you linked to is all Golf R owners, not gti. I've never researched it but it has to be that every stage tune on a golf R makes more torque than the same one on the gti, because is38 vs is20, no? Also, with awd and so much more grip, the clutch would need to hold harder from launch?
Yeah, going round in circles is exactly right... I'm going to call HST tomorrow and ask about the two RSR kits and see what warranty or guarantee they offer. Odd that you (and others) are running the regular RSR at Stage 2 levels when this from their site rates the mk7 version at 380lb/ft:

Clutch_Compare-1.jpg


And re: those folks being R owners, you're probably right. My understanding is that the IS38 adds more HP than it does torque, though... I think torque levels on IS20 GTIs and IS38 ones are similar, even if HP is much higher with the bigger turbo? I could be wrong about that
 

Boje

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Brooklyn, NY
The downfall of the regular RSR kit is the clutch disc, which is the same Euro TDI disc that is in the DIY TTRS kit. I would recommend it for maybe Stage 1 torque levels, no more. There are users who exceed that torque level and have had no issues, but I eventually started to slip in 4th gear and now 3rd gear with my IS38 and a JB4. It's even worse and more apparent with my custom flash tune.

It's a lot of labor, and take it from me as someone who's doing their clutch for the 3rd time, do it properly once. My Sachs SRE kit is coming in on Monday. If it wasn't for FCP Euro's generous lifetime warranty program keeping the cost of replacement minimal, I'd probably opt for Southbend Stage 3 daily as it's a tad cheaper than the RSR hybrid and you're covered well into big turbo territory.
I certainly don't envy you having to do the clutch for a third time, and really appreciate your sharing your experiences so others can hopefully have an easier time with it... I know this seems lazy, but do you have a link to FCP's SRE kit? I can't tell from their site which one it is. Their warranty might be the deciding factor if there's no DMFW clutch (other than the 4 puck) I can get that I know will hold the power. I'm not sure I'm interested in the SB Stage 3 Daily because of the SMFW and the noises that'll presumably come along with it.
 

blaqsheep

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Canada
Car(s)
IS38 GTI
I certainly don't envy you having to do the clutch for a third time, and really appreciate your sharing your experiences so others can hopefully have an easier time with it... I know this seems lazy, but do you have a link to FCP's SRE kit? I can't tell from their site which one it is. Their warranty might be the deciding factor if there's no DMFW clutch (other than the 4 puck) I can get that I know will hold the power. I'm not sure I'm interested in the SB Stage 3 Daily because of the SMFW and the noises that'll presumably come along with it.
Clutch kit: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/vw-clutch-upgrade-kit-sachs-performance-kit-883082001422
Flywheel: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volkswagen-flywheel-sachs-06j105266al
 
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