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A question to the floor - clutches & flywheels

jcs356 Mar 5, 2008

  1. jcs356

    jcs356 Brum brum

    I'm looking for some help and advice as thus far I've got various bits of conflicting advice and I'm stuck in the middle not sure what to do. I've done a search and what I've found on the forum has either been inconclusive or just added to my confusion.

    My remapped S3 is pushing 261 bhp/311 lb/ft approx. I have no plans for any further engine work as I'm happy with the power as it stands. I've had the car for nearly 4 years and I intend to keep it for a fair while longer as it does everything I need and still brings a smile to my face. I am happy with the way it drives, I have no intention of taking it up Santa Pod or on any sort of serious track day - I've got my Ibiza for that! Probably the only thing will be a few laps at Castle Combe at Audi Driver day in October.

    In May last year, after the standard clutch started slipping, I had an uprated Sachs Organic clutch fitted by garage A, which is rated to 330 lb/ft and so it is just the right spec for my car. At the time of fitting, the garage noticed that the flywheel was showings signs of wear, and recommended a replacement. Unfortunately they couldn't source one there and then so the car got put back together. They advised it would be ok to continue driving - just not doing any sprints from the line. I've had to put off doing work on the car until now but been observing their comments and not ragging it.

    I'd priced up the cost of a replacement dual mass flywheel - £438+vat from Audi; £238+vat for an LUK item from GSF. I'm also aware that it is worth doing the master cylinder at the same time, so had factored in 5 or so hours labour plus the cost of the bits to have it all done.

    I've recently taken the car into a different garage, garage B, one highly recommended to me. They have advised me that I would be wasting money replacing just the flywheel - the standard item is likely not to last, and that I'd be better off going for a single mass flywheel, and as a result, I'd have to replace the clutch already fitted as a different one would be required to match the single mass flywheel. They quoted me circa £800 plus fitting for a SPEC stage 3+ clutch - which I've since researched and it seems like it is a massive over-engineered solution, coping with nearly 500 lb/ft of torque. Whilst there I also discussed the fitting of the clutch - they said normal times were 8 - 9 hours for an S3. I queried this as I know that garage A had fitted my clutch in 4.5 hours. Garage B said that it is physically impossible to fit a clutch in that time as the whole rear driveshaft etc. had to be dropped. They commented that they couldn't see how Garage A could have fitted it 'properly' in such a short time.

    Garage A and Garage B are both highly respected VAG specialists. I suspect that both know what they are doing, and both have a band of ardent followers. However they both seem to have differing viewpoints on the work required on my car and how much time it takes to fit a clutch. Obviously, I don't want to pay double the labour time if it isn't necessary, then again, I don't want a garage to cut corners causing longer term problems just to save a few quid.

    So my questions are:
    1. For a car of my spec, with no plans for anymore power, is an upgrade to a single mass flywheel really necessary?
    2. Is mating an O/E dual mass mated to an uprated clutch a reasonable long term prospect, or am I likely to continue to eat flywheels at an regular rate?
    3. Is there much difference between the dual mass O/E Audi item @ £438 and an LUK item from GSF @ £238. Would I really get £200 more value from the O/E item? Or is that just normal 'stealer pricing'.

    Any help and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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