Yea, if anything, the combo of aftermarket pressure plate, number of cold starts, cold start temperature, oil type, oil change intervals, and other unknown variables can all be contributors. But if we can start a thread one day and begin tracking axial clearance across a number of GTIs and Rs we might at least be able to make people who are fearful of crankwalk...much less fearful of it happening, especially as we see more high mileage EA888 gen 3s running around. Some might even just jump the gun and do a similar fix as you did. I have a second car, so the 3 week turnaround time wouldn't be a problem for me. But first I'd like to track axial clearance for a while just to build up some data for others using an SOP.A few posts back - the one with all the pics shows the new lower bearings installed making it 360. Installing a new upper OE bearing is super easy - it just rotates up in those slots. OE bearing doesn't have a tab on it. I'm at 95k miles with 55k of that on a Sachs performance clutch.
Agreed with measuring by pushing the clutch in to measure is a good approach - low fuss and mess... Being consistent on whatever method is what is important to measure the change over time. When it hits that magic limit, swap new bearings in.
When I inspected my worn thrust bearing, it looks like an oiling issue could be contributing to the premature failure. This would also explain why it happens to some owners and not others. I imagine that city driving is worse than rural... More starts after longer off time is worse... etc...
If this was to be done wouldn't you have to change the location of the thrust bearing?At the time, I thought about taking them to a local fabricator to see if they could make a solid 360 thrust bearing but the wait time was longer than what I wanted to wait.