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Discussion Starter #1
I just seareched 5 pages for other clutch vibration issues but did not see a comp issue.

1.8 turbo, 5 speed, about stock NB with ABR ECU performance upgrade.

Today, during a 2 hour drive, I came to a stop to turn right and when I shifted gears, I felt a vibration as I was releasing the clutch pedal after a shift. The clutch seems to be working normal on all shifting. I hear no noises and clutch feels normal when idling and starting out from complete stop and engine near idle.

As RPMs come up, the clutch pedal vibrates as I'm pushing it down and then coming back off it after the gear shift has been completed. If I stop with engine idling, move the pedal in or out at any postion, I feel no vibrations. It's only as the pedal is going down of coming back up with more engine RPMs. The clutch engagement is normally smooth.

I've had the car for maybe 1.5 years with no (few) issues and certainly not with the clutch. I was told this car had a new stage 2 clutch of some sort when I bought it, but know little else about what was done when that was put in.

Any thoughts?

Thanaks in advance,
Dale
 

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Here is a excellent link, addressing vibration at the clutch pedal:


As noted in the article above; there can be a number of reasons, for the shuttering or vibration in the clutch pedal. Obviously, this is not normal; since it is a aftermarket performance clutch with possibly a single mass flywheel, that adds a number of issues to normal stock clutch operational characteristics.

It sounds like allot of "unknowns" in this scenario; once, you remove the dual mass flywheel and go with a aftermarket stage 2 level "performance clutch", you have added many variables into the mix. The stock setup with the dual mass flywheel in particular; was made to absorb, many of the torque and shock related characteristics brought on by tradition previous generation clutch systems. There is a reason, they installed the stock DMF and clutch designs; going SMF, aftermarket clutch will definitely affect the clutch feel, noise, etc. (there is no perfect solution; each has its pros/cons and compromises). Check out these videos; by Luk, the oem supplier of the stock VW DMF and clutches.


how DMF's fail:


vidoes, discussing the DMF vs. SMF aftermarket clutch differences:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can't wait to get home and check out some the info supplied.

Wife had to run to town as I was posting. Things got much worse. On rescue call now. Certainly clutch issues to deal with. Does not.smell well. Wife said it just had that slight, but not iCab video ration then all of a sudden, could not get it in gear . Now, the clutch pedal feels soft, like maybe low on fluid. (. It is a hydraulic pedal to thow out bearing system, right?)

Pressing pedal down to start and it has a very rough feeling on pedal and sounds equally rough or noisy. Sated it in gear to drive out of the way and clutch feels like it's grabbing well but using the pedal barely if at all releases the clutch disk.

Wished I knew what was installed. I know when the seeley was telling me about the upgrades, he mentioned stag= 1 and stage 2. Not sure if the clutch was.stage 1 and the ABR computer was stage 2 or vice versa. He did say the clutch was like one step above a stock vlutch, if that indicates anything.

Thanks for the replies,
Dale
 

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The 5 speed 02J trans has a hydraulic clutch; if the master or slave has failed, (thankfully) they are external and can be replaced without pulling the trans. I would make sure the hydraulic aspect of the trans has not failed; otherwise, a bad clutch, would require a trans pull, to inspect the failure. Give us the year of your car and we can give you some links to some free service manuals.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really should not be posting from this phone. Typos a mass and too late to edit.

I know now I will have to pull tranny and see what's in there and what's needed in the clutch system

If the previous owner converted from DMF to single and the flywheel is still good, are the clutches inter changeable from one to the other?

I'm inclined to think the throw out bearing self destructed. While there I likely change all.

Does the engine have to come out with the transmission to do clutch?

Any nice videos handy for clutch replacement?

Thank you,
Dale
 

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Clutch replacement, is typical FWD trans pull and replacement process (the engine remains in the vehicle). You can lookup the service manual procedures here:


Clutch parts and compatibility, is a open question and depends on what clutch/flywheel, you are working with. Because, of the labor involved and unknown clutch history, i would probably just start fresh with new parts. Choosing a new clutch and flywheel combo; depends on your performance requirements, desired clutch feel, characteristics you want (daily driver, street performance, racing, etc).

There are many performance clutches, that are conventional older style designs (typically from VR6 designs); others try to replicate the dampening characteristics of the DMF in the clutch disk (Valeo SMF conversion kit) , stock and then, combination performance clutches with higher performing pressure plate, disk mates to a DMF (Sachs racing clutches; among other brands like South Bend, etc). Research is definitely required, as many aftermarket performance clutches; do not last and end up prematurely failing.

All clutch setups are a compromise; there is no "perfect" clutch, each has its pros and cons.

The 02J 5 speed has its own unique wear and failure issues; when it is out, I would check for these known issues, repair, replace, upgrade weak, worn,parts.
 

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I just replaced the clutch on my daughters beetle. She was having some vibration issues with the original DMF. The 2 parts separate and slide a bit causing a shudder.

Thanksgiving day with a few pics.

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
249832
249833
249834
Well, finally got it apart. Clutch look OK, but the throw out/release bearing bit the dust. Will replace the whole clutch.

Any idea cause of the blue hot spots all over on the pressure plate and flywheel? This is supposedly a stage 1 ECS Tuning clutch kit with SMF. I beleive it's torque rating is one up from stock. 240lt/lbs?

The engines CPU was also upgraded with an APR(?) performance upgrade and I beieve the engine is between 180-190hp. Now I'm not out there beating the car or burning the tires off but I will play some exceleration games with others on the road that think they can beat a Lil Beetle. Wondering if those blue hot sopts are some material (cast iron) flaws in cheap chineese cast iror or just signs or over torquing the clutch.

Thoughts?

249835
 

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I would question, ECSTUNING as a quality clutch supplier; while they sell allot of parts, they are not typically seen as alway providing quality products. You might research online, check customer feedback from others; on this specific clutch. You might call their tech line and see what they say about your performance requirements and if the clutch was designed to handle it.

Once, you tune your car, increase power levels beyond stock, requiring higher clamping forces and durability, beyond stock specs, all bets are off (when it comes to reliability, durability, etc). Many of these kits go to a single mass flywheel, based on vr6 designs and a traditional style clutch without the dual mass flywheel. VWVORTEX and other sites, are littered with many threads; documenting clutch failures, from a wide range of "performance" clutches, cheap and expensive brands included.
 

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For the 02J, specific things i would look at for wear or possibly causing clutch release issues and could potentially contribute to overheated clutch (disc, flywheel and pressure-plate).

1. Release bearing fork/lever; known to bend, cause clutch problems. Fix: install a oem welded and reinforced part; which, resists bending.

2. Check the hydraulics for leaking; master/slave could be worn and not working as they should. Replace if needed.

3. A upgraded clutch line: from stock rubber to braided line; can help the hydraulics perform better.

4. The tube/sleeve/guide; the throwout bearing rides on, can wear, bind and cause mire release issues. Replace and grease correctly for smooth operation. (Note: the input shaft should be cleaned; lubed with the included special grease in the clutch kit, move the disc by hand to confirm there is no binding and operates.) The application of grease, is just enough to lune the splines but not much; to otherwise contaminate the clutch assembly.

These are just some small details with the 02J that can contribute to clutch problems. When out, the trans itself; should be checked for common fail issues.

Choosing a quality non stock clutch; is another issue, more research is required, all brands seem to have stories of failure. Unfortunately, one doesn't know what caused the failure problem; installation error, the damaged/worn transmission parts being the issue or abusive use by a driver are all possibilities.

Let us know, what new clutch type and repairs you are thinking about and we can go from there. Thanks.
 

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Specific to the throwout bearing failure: use a high quality oem replacement part from oem Luk or Sachs. Riding the clutch, keeping your foot on the pedal or keeping the clutch pedal depressed for extended periods of time;can severely impact throwout bearing life. Whoever drives the car daily, should be trained to avoid this and in turn, will prolong the life of the throw out bearing and ultimately, the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for those thoughts. I did not see isue with throw out bearing support sleeve but will look much closer at those possible points which can affect the livelyhood of the clutch. Up till the moment the throwout bearing started self destructing, the clutch had no noticable issues.

I do get what you are saying about the ECS clutches. Read some things elsewhere stating perhaps some quality issues, at least for some. Did my kit come with a cheap throwout bearing? Possibly.

Thanks again and I will post any updates.

Dale.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Quick update and question:

Time and $$ got to me so I ordered a stage 1 kit from Gripforce clutch. It appears to be the same componentes shown for Clutch Max and others. All looked well but after getting the flywheel installed, I put the pilot pin through the disk and into the pilot bushing. CHIT! The center of the clutch disk hits the head of the flywheel bolts before the disk friction surface gets to the flywheel surface. Not pointing any fingers but I know many that may have not noticed this issue until the ride was back together and they first try to run/drive.

I;ve contacted Grip and they are looking into it, but I see no other explination that the CNC machined flywheel is messed up in someway. The recess in center of the FW may not be milled deep enough and/or the friction surface was milled too deep. I'd like to find dimensions somewhere on what this flywheel was supposed to be but coming up blank on that search.

So now, here I sit,,,,

Question: Looking at the throw out bearing guide tube bolted into the front of the transmission seems to have some issue. The trans input shaft is not centered in this guide tube. Standing back and looking, it appears the input shaft is in line with the the trans. It must be this guide tube that is not straight. No play in the input shaft or wobble when turning. I suspect this is what took out the throw out bearing as it was not running lined up with the pressure plate fingers.

Is there somewhere to bet hust this iinput shaft, throu out bearing guide?

As always, Ideas welcomed. (Just don't hit me up for going cheap on the clutch kit. )

Thank you,
Dale
 

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Well, many performance clutch choices have resulted in problems and catastrophic failure, even well known brands. Because, this is totally different then stock; including the flywheel, you are relying, on the clutch brand, to know their stuff, having done adequate r&d, plus being able provide the performance needs of the customer ab adequate durability long term.
 

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Cost, is always a consideration, when purchasing auto parts; ultimately, a clutch needs to work, provide correct fitment, last a reasonable amount of time, (service life), no matter how much or little it costs. It needs to work and not prematurely fail. I'm not familiar with the brand you chose; the performance clutch market is filled with many different brands, promising many things (marketing), unfortunately, many do not deliver (in reality). The market seems to be good for performance clutches, when many fail; it is easy fir clutch companies, to deny warranty claims, "claiming" abuse, incorrect installation, etc., so, money can be made, even, on inferior products. I had a Southbend performance clutch fail and this popular brand, took a number of revisions, changes to be made, to fix problems end users were experiencing. You don't know actual product quality, until customers buy, install, use these clutches in real world use and report back their findings.
 

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More research, maybe needed; to find a solid clutch solution, that meets your needs. You may want to pose a question on the vwvortex site; in the forums dedicated to transmissions. The mark iv platform, of which the new beetle, golf, jetta are a part of and the 02J is pretty old at this point and so, you should have good feedback from 02J owners, that have found reliable clutch choices, based upon real world install and usage scenarios, (long term).
 

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