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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I need to get a new clutch. The OEM was good but I changed it to SPEC 2+ when the transmission went South assuming that the performance clutch should last longer than an OEM (after all it is suppose to take more abuse during racing). I reused the OEM flywheel, just had it resurfaced and the dowel pins holes enlarged to fit the SPEC clutch. Unfortunately that was not the case and now I need a new clutch/flywheel despite not racing or abusing the car.

So I'm wondering is just bad luck or SPEC clutches are not known as long lived?

Looking for a clutch and flywheel replacement that:
1. can handle the power of the new ipd turbo (to be purchased/installed)
2. last reasonable long for a street driven car
3. be drivable on the street in stop and go traffic. SPEC 2+ was very nice in this regard, just a bit more grabby than the OEM.
4. no vibrations and no chatter.

Any recommendations/experience?

Thanks
 

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I hate to be that guy but what you want is what the OEM DMF and the OEM clutch give you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The OEM clutch was slipping when towing high loads (still within the car specs) with only 340hp. I was looking for more clamping power especially if I add the ipd turbo (400+hp).
 

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I've read that in most cases the OEM clutch is good for some crazy amounts of power....was it a brand new clutch that you tested that with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No not new. Do you have/remember the source of the info about the OEM clutch?
 

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OEM should have been able to handle it, I can haul a one ton trailer through the mountains of CO with a modded R. Stock clutch can hold over 400 ft-lbs torque, so if yours was slipping there was something wrong with it or was worn. No matter how much extra drag or weight you try to pull with the R, the engine only puts out so much torque so that has nothing to do with making it slip except making it easier to see when you don't accelerate quickly.

As far as to why the spec died earlier, could either be how you used it or the materials in the performance clutch were not as durable as OEM. Like brake pads, sometimes in exchange for bite/friction you lose durability.

It also not easy to machine a DM flywheel which is why a lot of places that machine flywheels won't do them. Depending on who machined yours, if they didn't take the right amount off of where the pressure plate mounts that could contribute to issues as well.
 

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Volvo NZ told me the flywheel has to be replaced, no exceptions. Maybe they just wanted to bend me over, who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dealers do not have the lathe or the know how to operate it for resurfacing a dual mass flywheel. Even many machine shops will not take on the job. The lathe needs to be able grab the flywheel in such a way that it will not move while resurfacing. The resurfacing is required when changing the clutch disk. So they usually tell you that you have to get a new one.
 

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Spec 2 + clutch is crap, I had one on a built V50 along with their SMF. I got less than 15K out of it before it literally disintegrated. I subsequently put in a Spec 3+, which seemed fine mated to the same Spec SMF. 10K later the car was totaled, so I can't give a long term report on the Spec 3+, but it felt way better than the Spec 2+, pedal effort was less, go figure, engagement was smoother and on hard pulls it just dug in, I roasted the OEM clutch pretty soon after upgrades, it failed at 35K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My car is now at 330/340 hp/ft.lb. crank. Soon it will get to about 340/320 hp/ft.lb. wheel.

I’m tempted to go with a SMF this time. My previous 2 clutches were using the DMF. Some are saying that there will be chatter. I used to have SMF before on much less powerful cars (e.g. Renault, Citroen, Opel aka GM) with mechanical throw bearings and did not noticed any chatter with them. Why will that be a problem with the R?

For SMF I have two options: George's at VIDA and SPEC's.

Looking for feedback about them. Which one you think I should get?

About the clutch is either the OEM or the SPEC 3+. On paper 3+ should be better and longer lived than the 2+ and be able to offer higher clamping and torque than OEM. OEM is very popular with the crowd here. I can pair any of these clutches with any of the flywheels.

So what do you think? Are there any things that I should be aware with these combos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looks like the flywheel is the same so one less decision to make.

I still like to get your feedback if you are using the single mass flywheel. Especially about that chatter: when it happens, how it feels, how bad it is in the car, how much complains do you get from your passengers especially your spouse.
 

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I have the Spec SMF and Volvo OEM sprung pressure plate and the clutch disk in my car. You notice a little ticking/buzzing noise inside the car when you are accelerating from stop to around 2K rpm range. It disappears above that. But, if you stand outside of the car, it sounds like funky diesel that has a lifter loose. Pretty annoying... As soon as the clutch paddle is pressed, the noise goes away. But it seems to work find. It definitely spins a little quicker.

I had it for around 10K miles. No issues yet other than the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As soon as the clutch paddle is pressed, the noise goes away.
So it looks like I got it wrong and the chatter is while the clutch is getting engaged and while the engine is accelerating at lower rpm. I thought that the noise is while the clutch is pressed in (transmission disconnected).

Besides spinning quicker is there any other benefit? Is it easier to launch (not necessarily faster)? Easier to engage?
 

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Clutch engagement and feel depends on the clutch disk and the pressure plate, but with SMF it is bit more abrupt compared to the DMF. I haven't noticed any specific benefit other than being cheaper than the stock DMF and bit more quicker in getting the rpm up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ended up installing a SPEC 3+ (SO603F). Now I have a couple thousand miles on it. Initially it was not great with very abrupt clamping very close to the bottom of the pedal travel. It was hard to drive. After 100 miles or so things normalized and it is now easy to drive. I can modulate the pedal now for uphill starting, etc. Yes, it is still clamping faster than SPEC 2+ but that is better once I got used to it as it makes for faster, more precise, and consistent shifting. It makes/teaches you to be a better driver.

So if you ask between OEM, SPEC 2+ and 3+ which one to get I'll say that based only on driving experience 3+ is the winner. Yes it is most expensive of them and the longevity remain to be seen, but the materials are better than one the SPEC 2+. On the SPEC 2+ the organic/non metallic part was the one that wore out first and forced me to replace the clutch. SPEC 3+ does not have that and maybe that's the reason for the higher price.

I did replace the flywheel at same time and used OEM with enlarged dowel holes. The old one was bad so not worth resurfacing (was already resurfaced once anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And here goes another clutch...

I saw some other people running the SPEC 3+ clutch (in their signatures). How many miles have you got from your clutch?

I need to change the clutch as the car can no longer starts on any uphill; clutch will just slip forever. I really don't know what clutch to use this time. I was happy with 3+ shifting but it is damn expensive to own. The OEM is cheap but the car is modified with a built engine and I'm afraid it will not last long or might even slip at full throttle.

The SPEC 3+ was great while it lasted but that was short. Here is some data:
OEM clutch 77,000 miles
SPEC 2+ clutch 63,000
SPEC 3+ clutch 44,000 miles !!!

So $1200 labor, $900 clutch, and $1000 flywheel for less than 3 years of driving. I'm not impressed. SPEC advertises 3+ as long life but it was shorter than the 2+ by far. Called SPEC at 800-828-4379 and Paul was of no help. He said that their clutches are expected to last less than the OEM but he had no explanation why the lower life on the 3+ vs 2+. I asked a few times but he had absolutely no idea. He suggested to use a twin clutch but they do not offer one for our cars. He said they do not have anything better than 3+ for street use. He was not familiar with their flywheels for our cars saying that they do not offer a replacement flywheel. My question was actually for a flywheel with replacement ring so at least I can lower the cost of flywheel replacement (they have it for Corvette).
 

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I don't recall exact mileage, but I think it was somewhere around 35k miles on the Stg 3+ when I pulled the engine for the build. I sent the clutch/PP/flywheel to Spec and they inspected everything. He said it was in excellent shape with plenty of life (and it really looked that way to me as well), but I had him install new friction material on the disc and he just lightly cleaned up the PP and flywheel. I installed it all with the built engine nearly 2 years ago - wow, hard to believe it's been that long already. So, I'm guessing I have at least another 20-25k miles on it now. I honestly cannot complain about this clutch setup. It always grabs. I like how it engages relatively close to the floor. Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to get another one. I've also run their clutches in two mustangs (stage 3+ in one and stage 3 in another) and have had similar experiences. No, I don't own stock in them or personally know them...LOL
 
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