Buyer beware clutch masters fx300 with Whitbread flywheel

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
So I've had my 5 speed conversion @ a year and other than the brutal truth of a horrible break in period I've been a huge fan of the fx300 until about 4 months ago when it began slipping in 4th or 5th gear when cold. The passat is my dd and my shop at both work and home are slammed busy from April until October. I finally have the time to get around to pulling it to send to clutch masters for inspection.

I got the feeling from my 2nd conversion with Luis, who was extremely rude and short with me that i wasn't going to get crap from them. I kept the issue to my self to see if clutch masters would take care of the issue.

Messaging back and forth with Matt, who i purchased the set up from has always gone well other than he's hit or miss on getting a response back, he runs a busy shop, 100% understandable.. He doesnt make the clutch kit but id highly suggest he find another vender for his custom flyweel. I would do business with Matt in the future, just not on any clutch master product.

I cant remember my exact cost but it was north of 1200 for the set up. They want to charge me an extra 300 now for turning the flywheel and a new disk.

So, I now have an fx300 clutch and whitbread flyweel that will need turned and a new disk. Will fit in a 19.99 flat rate box, feel free to shoot me an offer.

The biggest issue is Luis knew i was wanting to see about warranty, if he had told me from word go no warranty after 90 days id have not wasted 2 weeks waiting and just ordered a new one else where. Bottom line the customer service at clutch masters sucks. The communication sucks and their quality leaves much to be desired.

I will be spending my money elsewhere. 1200 plus for a clutch/flyweel kit on a daily driver that lasts less than a year/2 oil changes is an absolute joke.
 
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QuickTD

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Location
SW Ontario
TDI
2003 Audi A4Q 5spd 2.0 TDI 2056VK R783, 2006 Audi A4Q 6spd 2.0 TDI, 2007 A4Q 6spd 2.0 TDI
One of the 6 speed benefits is being able to use the larger clutch setup.
Any clutch that fits the six speed will also fit the five speed, if the same spacer is used. The bellhousings are dimensionally similar.

The Whitbread setup is a 240mm clutch, not a 228mm. It appears to accept the B5 RS4 pressure plate, but they use a non-self-adjusting sachs style pressure plate on the high end units.

I also use a 240mm clutch with a 5-speed 01A quattro box in my A4 swap, but it is a LUK V8 B6/7 S4 clutch. Still holds well on a 220hp BHW with plenty of launches and a few track days. Its cheap to boot.

I'm not sure why everyone goes for these "boutique" clutches that chatter, grab and outright fail when a cheap, effective and nice driving OEM solution exists. They sell these B6/7 S4/RS4 clutch and flywheel kits for the 1.8T everywhere audi clutches are sold. Just choose the heaviest flywheel they offer.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
Im having clutch masters send the wheel and clutch kit back to me, if i cannot match another clutch to it a 1.8t clutch/smf will be ordered. Ive seen a few sprung stage 3 1.8t smf kits that are rated 380+ft lbs

Id love to find an rs4 or s4 v8 clutch kit that is direct bolt on for this whitbread flyweel. Suspect that since clutch masters sells clutches for the rs4 and a4 v8 and this is a special clutch/pp set up for the Whitbread flywheel i wont be able to match it up to an off the shelf clutch kit.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
About to pull the trigger on a valeo 52285615 then send it to Southbend for "upgrading" for 325. Ill have less than 500 in this. I just wanted to check out that its the right part number with you guys
 

imo000

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Location
Cambridge
TDI
2009 M-B ML320 Diesel & '05 Passat TDI Manual 5-Speed
A stage 3 will be driveable on the street?
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
There are different grade stage 3 set ups from street to weekend track to full track. I didnt go this route as it would cost more than the valeo set up vwzips runs with south bend modification which is tried and true.

I settled on the 52285615 valeo and for 325 southbend will modify the disk and pressure plate for me. I ordered new for 295 but if you have a used one he will turn the flywheel for free. It fits in a flat rate usps 19.99 dollar large box.

Ill have less than 650 in this set up. It's single mass so you 6 speed guys will not want this.

I'm officially done with clutch masters, South bend will get my business from now on.

For the price of the fx300 set up i could put clutches in both of my sedans. I cannot stress enough do not buy their products unless it's a track car and you don't mind that you'll be replacing it regularly.
 
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Uberhare

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Location
Ontario, Canada
TDI
Too many.
Any clutch that fits the six speed will also fit the five speed, if the same spacer is used. The bellhousings are dimensionally similar.
Interesting, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the info.

I purchased original 240mm DMF with the Sachs SRE clutch and never installed it. The stock clutch held 25-27 PSI just fine in the 6 speed. Initially I had some slippage but it was a used clutch that had sat around for a few years and the surfaces had some light rust. I cleaned them up and it broke in just fine. I've even hauled the car dolly a number of times with it. The next swap into the W8 will get the upgraded clutch while it's apart. The AWD can probably use it.
 

Kravt

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Location
Lexington, Ky
TDI
2005 Passat
I also use a 240mm clutch with a 5-speed 01A quattro box in my A4 swap, but it is a LUK V8 B6/7 S4 clutch. Still holds well on a 220hp BHW with plenty of launches and a few track days. Its cheap to boot.

I'm not sure why everyone goes for these "boutique" clutches that chatter, grab and outright fail when a cheap, effective and nice driving OEM solution exists. They sell these B6/7 S4/RS4 clutch and flywheel kits for the 1.8T everywhere audi clutches are sold. Just choose the heaviest flywheel they offer.
I have been considering a lot of clutch options lately and I think I want to do something similar, like this.

However, I'm having a hard time finding any heavier flywheel options. I noticed you machined your own a while back... Do you still have the dimensions (or better yet, CAD or Gcode) for that?
 

50harleyrider

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Location
charleston,wv
TDI
2005 B5.5 TDI/geared BSM, BV43A turbo,stage 2 TDTUNING. 2005 5sp manual passat tdi stage 2 tdtuning,BSM delete. 2015 Passat TDI 6sp manual.
I'm getting some fierce chattering from a tdi I bought with the Valeo setup and stage 2 tune vwztips built 6 years and 75k miles back. Should I replace the whole setup or do some upgrades to it? I'm hoping a pressure plate/kevlar disc upgrade and a light flywheel grind may suffice.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
You can buy the valeo clutch kit. Send it and the flywheel off to south bend to do the works and then mail it all back to you. If it's 6 years old and has at least 75k on it, id say it's done well.

I posted part numbers on this thread i believe
 

richmondvatdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Location
Chesterfield, Virginia
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon 5-speed,2003 Jetta GL Wagon, 2003 Jetta GLS Wagon, 2013 CC 2.0T
I don't get on tdiclub much these days. Trying to keep my W12 Phaeton running consistently is an incredibly time-consuming (and nearly futile) proposition.

Anyway, I want to second PickleRick's review. I too made the same mistake of dropping $1,000+ on the Whitbred 30-lb solid flywheel and Clutchmasters FX300 clutch for my wagon. I absolutely LOATHE this setup. Clutch was grabby from Day 1. Matt said it needed breaking in, and I followed the instructions to a tee. Then he said it could by a bad CV joint or transmission mount. Nope. Just installed Raxles CV joints and all mounts are fine.

Bottom line is it's now been nearly 2 years and 40,000 miles and the clutch still sucks. But at least I feel just a tiny bit better knowing that I might possibly save even one person from making the same mistake.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
I wish Matt could find another clutch source as the flywheel was a terrific idea. I've always had great business experiences dealing with him. He cant help that clutch masters makes an inferior product with crap warranty. I can understand 90 day warranty on racing clutches but not many of us 5 speed passat guys are ever going to take a b5.5 to the track.

Matt offered to give me his cost on the clutch reline from clutch masters. I couldn't justify giving clutch masters another dime.
 

TPW

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2005 Passat 5 speed manual, 2003 A6 Avant BHW 6 speed manual, 1986 Audi 5000 Quattro 5 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
Knock on wood, I have 17K on my FX250 in my Passat (5 speed) and 10K on my FX300 in the Audi A6 (6 speed) both with the Whitebread fylwheel and no problems.. Both cruise smooth and quiet at 2000-2300 RPM.
 
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richmondvatdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Location
Chesterfield, Virginia
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon 5-speed,2003 Jetta GL Wagon, 2003 Jetta GLS Wagon, 2013 CC 2.0T
About to pull the trigger on a valeo 52285615 then send it to Southbend for "upgrading" for 325. Ill have less than 500 in this. I just wanted to check out that its the right part number with you guys
Is the Valeo 52285615 for sure the right p/n? PartsGeek has the kit for $330. The SB website doesn't say anything that I can find about the upgrade. Did you just call and ask them about it? Since this is my DD, I want to move pretty quickly and get this done before the FX300 self destructs.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
That sounds like the right part number. It's been a few years. It will fit the b5.5 passat 5 speed with 1.8t (not the jetta 1.8t)

Call south bend on Monday. Its an endurance treatment they give the clutch disk and pressue plate. They won't need the flywheel since it will be new. They will give you instructions to mail it in. They have always been easy to reach by phone
 
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