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View Full Version : Problem with new ECS RA4 clutch and FW...



Fender0122
10-09-2010, 10:00 AM
Posted this over in Audiworld and vortex, too...

So I replaced my clutch over the summer with the ECS RA4 clutch and steel LWFW and it gave a bunch of chatter and slipped from the very first time I pulled it out of the garage. Ive read its common for them to slip in the beginning and a few people have said it took 500-700 miles for it to finally grab. I've contacted ECS over the issue and they said it was normal for the slipping and chatter but I thought the steel flywheel wasnt supposed to chatter as much. Also, every person that I have talked to that has replaced a clutch on any other vehicle has said that theirs grab from the getgo, so why do audis slip? I kept it out of boost completely and shifted below 3.5K rpm and noticed a few times pulling out into traffic that it squealed slightly. I babied the crap out of it all the way to 1200 miles and it still squealed and shuddered under med/high load. I am now at 3200 miles and it still hasnt gotten any better. ECS is being no help in the ordeal, telling me to take it out (like its an easy job) and send it back so they can tell me if it was their fault or mine. I was very disappointed in the machining of the face of the flywheel and I'm wondering if the flywheel somehow glazed it over. I do not care to take it back out to put my old one back in just to have to do it again. Does anyone know what may have happened? If the surfaces weren't cleaned well enough, is it possible to pull it out and scuff up the surfaces?

Pics further down

Thanks
Connor

zrowcool
10-09-2010, 10:34 AM
what kind of driving did you do in the 1200 miles? it is possible that they are somehow defective but it could also be being too careful and slipping it causing the surfaces to get glazed. i would try some rough driving on it to be honest. most wont recommend but i'd try some non rev-matched downshifting to bed it in also try some aggresive accelerating to see if it helps.

1200 miles mostly highway would barely break in a clutch while 300 miles in stop and go traffic can do the job.

99blueb5
10-09-2010, 03:38 PM
did you make sure to not get any grease on any parts on the clutch like the clutch disc or flywheel, and yeah they are going to want you to pull the tranny out to really tell what the deal is and truthfully that really is the only option and thats what i would recomend that way you can take off the pressure plate and look for heat spots, glazing and such, im sure they would take care of it as long as there wasnt any very dark heat spots on the flywheel which indicates the signs of slippage and heat build up. they have no real proof the you did the "correct" style break in thats why they are being a pain

Fender0122
10-10-2010, 06:48 AM
Yea i figured it the nature of the beast being a clutch and cant guarantee anything until they see it. I actually do thing I was a little too easy on it because when I engage it kinda rough it sometimes sticks a little better, but not a whole lot better. Most of the break-in time was done stop and go on country roads and in town. I actually followed BMWs documented break-in procedure, which basically said to drive it normal, shift before 4k, don't slip the clutch (try and engage it as quickly and smoothly as possible), and go all the way up through the gears and downshift back down though all of them. I have read on vortex a lot of complaints of ECS flywheels warping and mine definitely has a throb to it when slowly letting out the clutch. I almost guarantee that it has heat spots because it slips terribly and I've even smelled it a few times. If it end up being warped and I get it machined, is the clutch disk shot or is it possible to be salvaged too? Thanks for the replies

Fender0122
10-10-2010, 03:46 PM
So here it is...doesnt look too terrible but it definitely looks like it was the poor machining of the flywheel surface that caused it to slip. The contact surface looked the same as the inner part in the beginning (minus the greasy hand mark from taking it out). I checked the levelness and it looks pretty good

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i152/fender0122/PA080075.jpg

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i152/fender0122/PA080076.jpg

The pressure plate looks pretty good, but it seems to have warped slightly and a little discoloration on the contact surface and oddly at the contact part of the throwout bearing, too. There were no signs of oily residue on any of the parts either.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i152/fender0122/PA080071.jpg

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i152/fender0122/PA080081.jpg

So I'm thinking of getting the flywheel resurfaced, but do you think the disk and PP are toast? I've read about people resurfacing the PP, but its quite a debated issue whether it can/should be done. I also don't want to void any ability to return it, but I also dont want to get another one for it to just do the same thing....decisions decisions

JEmm
10-10-2010, 04:14 PM
That's weird... I got the same clutch with the aluminum fw, no chatter, no slipping, no problems at all and I'm a year into it with a lot of driving done in that time. Sorry to hear about your issues man, good luck!

Fender0122
10-26-2010, 01:55 PM
So I figured I'd update since I have about 500 miles on it. I ended up taking it all out and having a machine shop resurface the flywheel and took a little more off the outer edge of the FW where the pressure plate bolts to to increase the clamping pressure. It still seems to squeal and jump a little, but it is better. The only thing is the pedal feel seems to be inconsistent. It is definitely more grabby most of the time, but seems to take a long time to engage sometimes. I've replaced the slave cylinder and ordered a master cylinder so maybe thats causing the issue.

MikeD7
10-26-2010, 02:35 PM
So I figured I'd update since I have about 500 miles on it. I ended up taking it all out and having a machine shop resurface the flywheel and took a little more off the outer edge of the FW where the pressure plate bolts to to increase the clamping pressure. It still seems to squeal and jump a little, but it is better. The only thing is the pedal feel seems to be inconsistent. It is definitely more grabby most of the time, but seems to take a long time to engage sometimes. I've replaced the slave cylinder and ordered a master cylinder so maybe thats causing the issue.

try bleeding the slave cylinder. that clutch is probably smoked. there are a lot of hot spots and evidence of it slipping. if i were you i wouldn't buy ECS's over priced Chinese garbage. They are just down the road from me and a number of my friends worked there. their stuff is way over priced and a lot of their stuff is crap and imported from china.