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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my car back from having the XClutch Stage 1 installed. Its a lot heavier and touchier than I was expecting. I'm hoping it just needs bled some more, or will smooth out as it breaks in. I nearly stalled it multiple times when pulling out, and second gear is really hard to get smooth too. My target feel was to match my S2000, which has a SMF from the factory. The clutch on that car is way stiffer and more responsive than my V50 was with the stock setup. But I feel like the XClutch just leapfrogged the S2000 for firmness and responsiveness, making that car the "soft" one. I'm not sure if it was the clutch breaking in, or me retraining my foot, but I did have less trouble at the end of my 15 minute first test drive. But its still super touchy. Fortunately, my commute is all windy back roads, and I rarely drive it in stop and go traffic.

Just a note on the noise. It sounds kind of like a quiet rattling exhaust shield outside the car at idle, and makes a little noise audible inside up to maybe 2000rpm at takeoff. I don't love the sound, but even with my OCD tendencies, the sound alone wouldn't deter me from doing this mod again.

Anyway, I know these clutches have been discussed extensively, but clutch feel is such a subjective thing. My research revealed about 50% love this type of mod, and 50% hate it. I figure one more person's experience can help guide another's decision making process. Maybe I'll post another update as it breaks in.
 

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Appreciate the review. Maybe chime in when you have a couple of thousand miles on it for another update as it would be interesting to get your opinion after you break it in.
 

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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just an update - I've been driving it for a little over a week now and about 120 miles. I still haven't tried bleeding it yet, but it has improved anyway. Not sure if my foot has calibrated or the clutch behavior has improved from breaking in. I think its a little bit of both. I am pretty much always smooth with it now, although upshifting into second remains a challenge. It still requires more brainpower than I would like for a clutch to get it right, but it is less than before. I drove the S2000 for the first time since installing this clutch and can confirm I have leaped it in stiffness, but not as far as I thought, so that's good. It was weird pressing the clutch in the S2000 as it now feels light and long. That's the opposite of how that transition used to go.

One interesting side note, for the first week, every time I reversed into my driveway, the clutch would smell something fierce. I do have to feather the clutch a little bit, because I'm turning 90* as I start backing up. It doesn't seem to like being feathered.

Also, just a noteworthy phenomenon, it now hits a resonant frequency when accelerating briskly (maybe >20% throttle?) through ~1,500 rpms. The whole chassis vibrates and makes a loud sort of rattling noise from the hatch area. It doesn't last long - depends how long you stay in that rpm range, how much throttle you give it, and what gear your in. Worth mentioning here that I do have the Elevate engine torque mount, so its very possible that a stock mount would isolate this vibration entirely. I wouldn't call it a deal breaker, but perhaps someone else would. It is annoying, and I would certainly be upset if a car left the Volvo factory like that.
 

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Are you sure the rattling is from the clutch. Manipulating things to get the transmission out can put some stress on the exhaust pipes. Heat shields can get bent. Could it be the exhaust or heat shield resonating.

I put a SMF clutch system in my V50 and it is quiet. It not as high perf as what you have. Overall I really like it. It isn't as refined as the DMF factory setup but feels sportier.
 

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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sure the rattling is from the clutch. Manipulating things to get the transmission out can put some stress on the exhaust pipes. Heat shields can get bent. Could it be the exhaust or heat shield resonating.

I put a SMF clutch system in my V50 and it is quiet. It not as high perf as what you have. Overall I really like it. It isn't as refined as the DMF factory setup but feels sportier.
I'm confident its not the exhaust or heat shield. Probably a better way to describe the phenomenon is that its about the same feeling you get when you're on the edge of stalling the car out, but don't. Except with this it happens way further up in the revs where you clearly aren't near stalling the car. But the hole body shakes; you can feel it. Its not the kind of thing you would mistake for a component rattling.
 

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05 V50 T5 M66 FWD, 04 XC70, various junk from other brands
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I'm confident its not the exhaust or heat shield. Probably a better way to describe the phenomenon is that its about the same feeling you get when you're on the edge of stalling the car out, but don't. Except with this it happens way further up in the revs where you clearly aren't near stalling the car. But the hole body shakes; you can feel it. Its not the kind of thing you would mistake for a component rattling.
How new are your engine mounts?
 

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05 V50 T5 M66 FWD, 04 XC70, various junk from other brands
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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah ok. I was thinking they were getting worn and causing vibrations. Could just be the nature of the clutch
Yeah, I think the reduced mass of the flywheel combined with the (really) stiff Elevate torque mount is transmitting major engine vibrations at a specific rev range through the car body. I suspect if I put a stock torque mount back in it would go away or at least not be as bad. But I'm not going to do that, so it will remain a theory 🙂
 
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That could be. I have the e-Focus mount and SMF and at idle I get a subtle rhythmic vibration, kind of a zero beat. Is is subtle and just under annoying. If I put the stock mount back on, the vibration goes away.
 
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