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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old September 13th, 2010, 21:32   #1
RacerTodd
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Default LUK DMF clutch kit review

I recently replaced my clutch with a new LUK DMF clutch kit and wanted to share my experiences.

Car is a 2001 Golf TDI, original Sachs clutch. Throwout bearing began screaming a couple of weeks back. With 260K on the car, I figured the clutch was likely near the end of its life, so I might as well just replace the whole clutch system now. As it turned out, this was a wise choice. The disc only had about .040" of lining above the rivets. Also, the DMF seemed to be locked up, it wouldn't move even prying it with a pry bar.

The kit is LUKs "Rep-Set" line, part #17-050. I was able to get it at my local auto parts store for close to the online price with shipping.

It comes with the flywheel, disc and pressure plate pre-assembled. This saves a bit of time but it does require a change in the mounting procedure. Flywheel bolts are already in the flywheel assembly, ready to go. The kit includes the throwout bearing as well.

First, your 12mm triple square tool must be long enough to reach the flywheel bolts. There is a round hole in the pressure plate fingers above each bolt. So the bolts are 3 inches or so below the fingers. The type of triple square tools that are designed to be inserted in one of your sockets may not be long enough. Check the length of your tool before you drop the tranny (no snickering at that sentence!). I was using the Metalnerd tool which is plenty long enough.

Second, my normal method for tightening the flywheel bolts the 90 degrees is to make a horizontal line on the bolt with a Sharpie then turn the bolt until the line is vertical. This method won't work because you can't easily mark the bolts or even see them.

What I did was wrap a piece of masking tape around the shaft of the triple square tool. I used a pen to make two marks 90 degrees apart on the tape. I put a "1" by the left mark and a "2" by the right mark.
I inserted the tool through the pressure plate and into a bolt with the "1" mark facing me. I took a another small piece of tape and drew a short line on it. This piece of tape was placed on the pressure plate fingers next to the triple square tool, with that mark lined up with the "1" mark on the tool.
I then rotated the tool until the "2" mark lined up with the tape on the pressure plate - presto, a perfect 90 degree turn.
Since you must leave the tool on the bolt the whole time, a breaker bar isn't the best choice - I find it difficult to make the whole 90 degrees at once when in the awkward position you're in underneath the car. I used my 1/2" drive torque wrench which has the length needed and (most importantly) has a ratchet.

The flywheel has a TDC mark on it. I fastened a temporary marker to the engine and checked the old and new flywheel to make sure the mark on the new flywheel was accurate. It was.

In operation, it's as smooth as the stock unit. Bite point remained unchanged. Once nice feature is that the pedal effort is much lighter. The stock unit was reasonably light, especially compared to the cable-operated clutches in the A2 VWs. As I drive the car for a living and spend much time in stop and go traffic, the light pedal will be a nice benefit.

And to deflect the "why didn't you install a VR6 SMF setup" folks, I've heard too many stories of gear rattle. Comments range from "mild noise" to "thought I threw a rod" to describe the rattle. I simply couldn't stand to listen to any extra noise - I would drive me nuts. Since I haven't had an opportunity to hear said rattle in person, I didn't want to take the chance. I have no plans for huge power increases so I didn't need the holding power of a SMF setup.

So, for me, this was a nice compromise: slightly more torque capacity, moderately more expensive than a SMF (but cheaper than a Sachs DMF setup from VW), quiet action, light pedal.
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'87 Golf, Polar Silver. (retired work car) 654,000 miles <- Gone to a new home
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Old September 14th, 2010, 02:18   #2
Lucas
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DMF is off course always `better/smoother` than a SMF, however it is more expensive and less durable.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 08:25   #3
cevans
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I put the LUK DMF in my wagon too, the 1999.5 OE kit, not the LUK Yellow Box 17-050. Really light, beautiful feeling pedal, engagement is even and smooth - I compared it to driving a civic the other day, shamefully, but outside of the extra noise there is no way you would expect a diesel engine based on the smoothness and lightness. And holding my moderate upgrades quite easily (stock Sachs clutch was slipping).

The LUK DMF seems more durable than the Sachs kit, so I'm expecting to get full life out of the clutch disk and, hopefully, I can get the DMF refinished and put it back in when I need to refresh the clutch.

I'm going to put the same kit in the '00 Golf too - though I think the clutch has enough lift for another 40-50k. Hopefully the LUK kits will still be easy to get / cheap then.

Be sure you have a set of long-reach triple squares or else you will need to disassemble the kit to get the flywheel on.

Lucas - the DMF kits aren't more expensive, they are pretty much equivalent in price lately.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:21   #4
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The old DMF and clutch was starting to slip and engagement was inconsistent, also there was a shake developing. I just did the Luk swap, the long triple squares would have been nice. I had to take the pressure plate off. I was going to go with the kerma sbc smf setup. After talking with someone that went that route I decided the LuK was more my style. The LuK operation is way smoother then the sachs and peddle feel is light. I recommend this for anyone with a slightly modded car (tune and exhaust, small turbo upgrade) Clutch has been reported to hold 270lb-ft, for me this this is all I need as only other upgrades will be the colt cam stage 2 and vnt17.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 00:06   #5
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i just got the luk vr6 smf from pep boys and couldnt be happier. it doesnt rattle at all!!!. i came from the spec stage 3+ and that was a bad decision for me. the rattle never went away after 4 years. the instructions from spec said i had to break it in or it could rattle, i followed their proceedures exactly but no dice. the luk is rated at 270 lb feet of torque which is plenty for me and is so easy to drive, 0 rattle or weirdness and just smooth as butter. cant say i race my car but i still need a decent clutch that holds. i wont go back to dual mass because they wear out to fast, even if it had a lifetime warrenty, still got to swap it out.

Last edited by madcowintucson; August 19th, 2011 at 12:33.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 07:51   #6
losvre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerTodd View Post
I recently replaced my clutch with a new LUK DMF clutch kit and wanted to share my experiences.

Car is a 2001 Golf TDI, original Sachs clutch. Throwout bearing began screaming a couple of weeks back. With 260K on the car, I figured the clutch was likely near the end of its life, so I might as well just replace the whole clutch system now. As it turned out, this was a wise choice. The disc only had about .040" of lining above the rivets. Also, the DMF seemed to be locked up, it wouldn't move even prying it with a pry bar.

The kit is LUKs "Rep-Set" line, part #17-050. I was able to get it at my local auto parts store for close to the online price with shipping.

It comes with the flywheel, disc and pressure plate pre-assembled. This saves a bit of time but it does require a change in the mounting procedure. Flywheel bolts are already in the flywheel assembly, ready to go. The kit includes the throwout bearing as well.

First, your 12mm triple square tool must be long enough to reach the flywheel bolts. There is a round hole in the pressure plate fingers above each bolt. So the bolts are 3 inches or so below the fingers. The type of triple square tools that are designed to be inserted in one of your sockets may not be long enough. Check the length of your tool before you drop the tranny (no snickering at that sentence!). I was using the Metalnerd tool which is plenty long enough.

Second, my normal method for tightening the flywheel bolts the 90 degrees is to make a horizontal line on the bolt with a Sharpie then turn the bolt until the line is vertical. This method won't work because you can't easily mark the bolts or even see them.

What I did was wrap a piece of masking tape around the shaft of the triple square tool. I used a pen to make two marks 90 degrees apart on the tape. I put a "1" by the left mark and a "2" by the right mark.
I inserted the tool through the pressure plate and into a bolt with the "1" mark facing me. I took a another small piece of tape and drew a short line on it. This piece of tape was placed on the pressure plate fingers next to the triple square tool, with that mark lined up with the "1" mark on the tool.
I then rotated the tool until the "2" mark lined up with the tape on the pressure plate - presto, a perfect 90 degree turn.
Since you must leave the tool on the bolt the whole time, a breaker bar isn't the best choice - I find it difficult to make the whole 90 degrees at once when in the awkward position you're in underneath the car. I used my 1/2" drive torque wrench which has the length needed and (most importantly) has a ratchet.

The flywheel has a TDC mark on it. I fastened a temporary marker to the engine and checked the old and new flywheel to make sure the mark on the new flywheel was accurate. It was.

In operation, it's as smooth as the stock unit. Bite point remained unchanged. Once nice feature is that the pedal effort is much lighter. The stock unit was reasonably light, especially compared to the cable-operated clutches in the A2 VWs. As I drive the car for a living and spend much time in stop and go traffic, the light pedal will be a nice benefit.

And to deflect the "why didn't you install a VR6 SMF setup" folks, I've heard too many stories of gear rattle. Comments range from "mild noise" to "thought I threw a rod" to describe the rattle. I simply couldn't stand to listen to any extra noise - I would drive me nuts. Since I haven't had an opportunity to hear said rattle in person, I didn't want to take the chance. I have no plans for huge power increases so I didn't need the holding power of a SMF setup.

So, for me, this was a nice compromise: slightly more torque capacity, moderately more expensive than a SMF (but cheaper than a Sachs DMF setup from VW), quiet action, light pedal.
Hi Todd,

Is it possible to say the torque rating of the clutch you used as I am looking to get the same one?

Is repset rating the same as the OE one? What would be better?
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Old September 26th, 2011, 19:51   #7
RacerTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losvre View Post
Is it possible to say the torque rating of the clutch you used as I am looking to get the same one?

Is repset rating the same as the OE one? What would be better?
I'm told that LUK doesn't publish official torque ratings. The most info you can get out of them is how many pounds of clamping force a pressure plate has. A few people have done the math to convert that into a rough estimate of torque rating.

I believe that it is the OE LUK clutch that is thought to be good for 270 lb/ft, with the RepSet version somewhat less.

Before I moved up to larger injectors earlier this year, I asked one of the reputable online vendors about the torque rating of the RepSet clutch. It was their opinion that it was OK for a car with mild upgrades - maybe 200-210 lb/ft or so. I was going to be well under that, so I figured the clutch would be able to handle it.
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'86 GTI, Red of course. (exciting racey car) 274,000 miles
'01 Golf TDI, silver. (new work car) 489,000 miles!
'87 Golf, Polar Silver. (retired work car) 654,000 miles <- Gone to a new home
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 19:17   #8
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Mine is on its way in the mail, thanks DG!
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Old October 9th, 2011, 08:36   #9
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Will be adding review later this week, just got my Luk DMF kit installed this weekend!
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:19   #10
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Hmmmm 270ft-lb of torque which says it is fine for a stock car with no upgrades. Any upgrades and it is going to slip. My car is just shy of 250ft-lb of torque based on the dyno.

Some people call it clutch envy but I always put in a clutch that will exceed any thoughts of upgrades I have. I am on my third clutch as my stock clutch started slipping when I put in the PP520's.

The South Bend Stage 2 Endurance clutch with a 23lb steel flywheel is quiet and feels a lot like stock for disengagement.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 18:42   #11
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250 ft-lbs with the above setup? How much moar powa did you plan on adding?

With RC1+ i should be right around 235-240 ft-lbs. I'm planning on a VNT-17 when my KP-39 gives up. Then it's time for RC2. That WILL be all I do as far as power mods. That WILL be all I do....for....powa mods.... until....

OK, that flare-up passed. So with a VNT-17 and RC2 I'll probably be putting down about 260-270 ft-lbs. This kit is supposed to hold that. My goal is to have a dependable daily driver that can surprise most on the road, only when needed of course.

As far as the review: only put on 10 miles since the swap so can't comment yet. Except to say that it is oh so smooth and light, no change in engagement point, it just goes. Also had the tranny fluid replaced with G70. The clutch lever and sleeve was replaced as well. I still have the old parts, notably the DMF which is in surprisingly good shape. The clutch friction material was almost down to the bars and I think the pressure plate was just not strong enough to hold the torque anymore.

I'll post a more thorough review in a new thread with a link here, if it will help others to make a more informed choice. Thanks Todd for the initial review; it helped me with my choice.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 14:33   #12
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I just installed a LUK Rep Set. Ditto on the observations. I also wanted to know why the old one failed so I cut it apart. There are 8 epicyclic gear bearings made of Nylon. All but two in mine had shattered into fragments, only ONE TOOTH remained on ONE of the gear bushings.

Nylon gets brittle with age, really bad when exposed to mild heat without water. This is why radiator tanks made of Zytel (glass fiber filled Nylon) fail if not kept full. I know RC airplane props made of it last much longer if soaked in water.

I heard the LUK DMF doesn't use epicyclic Nylon bushings for the bearings.

Yes, I have pictures of the Sachs DMF autopsy.


See the remaining 2 PARTIAL planet gears? 11:00 and 2:30. Supposed to be 8. The teeth engage the epicyclic ring gear(not the starter gear but internal part).



See the fragments and silicone-MoS2 grease? Under that is the ring gear (internal teeth) which engage the planet gears (6 shattered in first image). These gears form the main bearing, a small pilot at the center completes the mess but it is non-lubricated so it wore out.

Here is a sectioned view of how the parts work:

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Last edited by Keith_J; January 6th, 2012 at 15:56.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 07:08   #13
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Hi there,

I have what I believe is an LUK DMF as standard on my Euro SEAT Leon 110 ASV, and it's holding up well to a stage 1 generic tune and some occasional hard acceleration.

I've also just got a Southbend SMF Stage 2 Endurance clutch from RyanP, so that when I upgrade the turbo and injectors soon, then I'll have enough clutch to hold the uprated torque.

The OP mentioned SMF chatter, well this is virtually eliminated with a Southbend clutch, so remember that if you want more torque/power down the line, that this clutch won't chatter like others.

All the best
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Old January 9th, 2012, 11:04   #14
03Springer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cevans View Post
I put the LUK DMF in my wagon too, the 1999.5 OE kit, not the LUK Yellow Box 17-050. Really light, beautiful feeling pedal, engagement is even and smooth - I compared it to driving a civic the other day, shamefully, but outside of the extra noise there is no way you would expect a diesel engine based on the smoothness and lightness. And holding my moderate upgrades quite easily (stock Sachs clutch was slipping).

The LUK DMF seems more durable than the Sachs kit, so I'm expecting to get full life out of the clutch disk and, hopefully, I can get the DMF refinished and put it back in when I need to refresh the clutch.

I'm going to put the same kit in the '00 Golf too - though I think the clutch has enough lift for another 40-50k. Hopefully the LUK kits will still be easy to get / cheap then.

Be sure you have a set of long-reach triple squares or else you will need to disassemble the kit to get the flywheel on.

Lucas - the DMF kits aren't more expensive, they are pretty much equivalent in price lately.
What is the difference betwee the 99.5 LUK and LUK yellow box? Also which one does IDParts sell? Thanks
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Old March 17th, 2012, 21:46   #15
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my original clutch on my euro mk 4 golf gt tdi 150 has started to slip after a stage 1 remap and sports exhaust its at around 190 bhp at the moment so ive got a luk being fitted on tuesday by my local mechanic but am a little juvious as im wondering if a luk is gonna slip whith this much horse power or will i be ok guys?
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