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.
 
Last edited:

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.
 
Last edited:

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

Top Post Dawg
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
2003 A6 Avant BHW 6 speed manual, 2003 Golf ALH 506k miles, 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.
 
Last edited:

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
 

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
Eight weeks of life got in the way and I'm again able to focus on the B5.5 clutch. I did contact South Bend back in September and the upgrade now runs $500 plus return shipping. The Valeo kit is around $360 with shipping today so pushing $900 with the upgrade. Is this the best $900 option? Is there a DMF option that can stand up to the B5.5 TDI? I've gotten incredible life out of DMF's on both my TDI wagons and they have been super smooth. Replaced the original clutch at 250K as a preventive measure because I installed a Stage 1 tune at 200K. The LUK DMF I replaced it with now has 150K with zero issues.

The B5.5 has almost 300K on it so if I can get 100-150K on whatever clutch I put in now, I'll have 400K+ miles on the rest of the car. I know from experience that 400K on an ALH is pretty common, but how many PD's are still going with over 400,000 miles?
 

Braddman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Location
Barrie, Ontario
TDI
2006 Audi A4 BHW 2.0 TDI, 2005 Toyota Tacoma BHW TDI Swap
I don’t recommend the Clutch Master FX250 and Whitbread flywheel either with a diesel at least. I got about 20,000km on my clutch a while back, in my 2006 Audi A4 BHW swap. The dampening spring wore through the friction plate and started dancing around inside the flywheel.
I replaced the clutch with this one.
I have put 45,000km on that dmf clutch with stock injectors maxed out on the tune and had no issue.

I am not sure you guys can run the same clutch in a manual swapped BHW Passat.

I would definitely rather have a dual mass flywheel to prevent damaging friction plate dampening spring or damaging the synchromeshes in the transmission.
 
Last edited:

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
Every time i read an update in this thread, or see another one like it, im reassured i made the right decison to go with the same kit above using a stock 240mm dmf for my 6 speed conversion. Slightly heavy pedal, and the dmf center bushing wore out after 300000km of driving (was rattling and replaced it with the same LUK dmf), but the clutch itself has been fine and had very little wear when i measured it at the dmf replacement.
 

Zambee500

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Location
Atlanta, GA
TDI
2005 Passat TDI GLS, 2014 NMS Passat TDI SEL Premium
Is there a DMF option that can stand up to the B5.5 TDI?
What stage tune do you have? The LuK DMF seems to be good for Stage 2, and Aaron has it rated at "~300 lb/feet at the Crank".

I don't have long-term experience to report on, but I've absolutely loved it on my Stage 2 for the past 6 months or so. Shifts like butter...super smooth. Easy clutch pedal. Like it left the factory that way. And it's a hair <$500 for the kit.

 

Koehn

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Location
Vancouver, BC
TDI
2005 A4 Avant Quattro 6-Speed (AVF)
I've been running a new Euro OEM 240mm DMF for just over 2 years/50000km now (half of the time stock, then tuned to max out stock injectors with a 2060). It starts to shudder a lot after stop and go traffic, which is really annoying as it's usually pretty smooth, and it has slipped a few times at >28psi. So I'm looking for a replacement!

The B7 RS4 clutch disk and pressure plate seem to be the most cost effective way to hold good power and retain smoothness, but the only flywheels made to use it on 6-bolt cranks are pretty lightweight. Has anyone managed to combine Matt's flywheel and a B7 pressure plate?

I've reached out to Matt and he said his flywheel has a step height of 0.275" (6.985mm) and the dowels are 10mm in diameter. This sounds almost exactly like the setups designed for the B5 S4 clutch like ECS's RA4 flywheel. People have adapted those to work with the B7 unit by
having the dowels lathed down to ~6mm and shimming the pressure plate out 2mm (clicky).

The only thing I haven't figured out 100% is if the Clutch Masters setup Matt's flywheel is designed for is actually interchangeable with the S4 setup. From his product photos it looks like his clutch combo comes with 02240-HD0F-X (which is also what CM's own 240mm SMF for B6's uses). While the CM S4 kit is 02029-HD0F. When I emailed CM, the rep replied with "The 02240 & 02029 use different bearings and pressure plate steps, they are not interchangeable."

But the step heights don't seem to actually be different, so are they really not interchangeable? I'm hoping someone here has the pieces on hand to figure it out
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
Another member here has machined a spacer to fit an rs4 (iirc) clutch kit to Matt's flywheel.

I can't remember details but I believe he made extra incase others wanted to purchase them. I wish i could remember the thread.

I personally wouldn't trust any info from clutch masters. I really wish Matt could get a reliable clutch kit from another vendor, I liked his flywheel.
 

Koehn

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Location
Vancouver, BC
TDI
2005 A4 Avant Quattro 6-Speed (AVF)
Another member here has machined a spacer to fit an rs4 (iirc) clutch kit to Matt's flywheel.

I can't remember details but I believe he made extra incase others wanted to purchase them. I wish i could remember the thread.

I personally wouldn't trust any info from clutch masters. I really wish Matt could get a reliable clutch kit from another vendor, I liked his flywheel.
I think I found the thread you had in mind! Is it this one?

From that thread it looks like d0u8l3m was able to fit an OEM B5 RS4 clutch and pressure plate to the Whitbread flywheel without any modification. The spacer he had machined was actually to space the pilot bearing out further on the BHW's automatic crank so that he could also use the 5.5mm transmission spacer. I'm definitely interested in any feedback he may have on the performance of his setup.

With that information it does seem like the OEM B7 RS4 clutch and pressure plate can be adapted to the flywheel by copying what the Audizine guys have done. I've got a 6-speed gearbox so I don't think I'll need the 5.5mm transmission spacer, and I have a manual crank so the pilot bearing shouldn't give me any issues either.
 

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
What stage tune do you have? The LuK DMF seems to be good for Stage 2, and Aaron has it rated at "~300 lb/feet at the Crank".

I don't have long-term experience to report on, but I've absolutely loved it on my Stage 2 for the past 6 months or so. Shifts like butter...super smooth. Easy clutch pedal. Like it left the factory that way. And it's a hair <$500 for the kit.

I bought the car from another forum member who had the 5-speed conversion done and so I have minimal information on the tune. It was described to me as a Stage 1.5 and so with stock injectors, I'm sure it's not putting out massive amounts of torque. That's why I'm thinking I could use a DMF.
 

themightyquinn

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
TDI
1999 New Beetle Black
Eight weeks of life got in the way and I'm again able to focus on the B5.5 clutch. I did contact South Bend back in September and the upgrade now runs $500 plus return shipping. The Valeo kit is around $360 with shipping today so pushing $900 with the upgrade. Is this the best $900 option?
I don't think so. I think the best $900 option, especially if you want a DMF, is to get the Sachs SRE setup ($640) with a Sachs or LUK DMF ($210). You get DMF smoothness and 310 ft/lbs of torque holding from an OEM supplier.

Another option would be to buy the same stock DMF and just buy the the South Bend Stage 2 Daily or Endurance set separately for $5-600 depending. I'm not sure what the hell South Bend does with the disc and pressure plate you send, but by the time you figure in shipping there's no difference between having them tweak it and just buying new parts from them outright. Maybe back in the day when the work was $300, but not now. So that'd be $7-800 range all in. I'm not sold on the quality or reliability of the South Bend clutch. You can also do similar with SPEC Stage 1 or 2 but the same caveat applies -- I've heard bad things.

What's the second best option? I'm still trying to figure that out. All of the 240mm options designed to work with the 5 speed as-is are lightweight (15lbs or so) SMF. Great for a gasser, but not ideal for us. How not ideal I can't really tell, some people seem to think your transmission and engine will die immediately, stall out if you're idling with the A/C on, and require clutch slippage to get going from a stop. Other say it's fine.

The best solution would be for Whitbread to ditch Clutchmasters and machine his flywheel ($400) to be compatible with the B7 RS4 clutch kit. ($200). Stock the RS4 made 320 ft/lbs of torque, but a ton of modified S4 and A4 owners run this clutch making more torque than our TDIs could reliably dream of. I'm going to email him today to see how realistic of a possibility this would be. If he has the time and willingness to do it, I think it would easily become the ultimate no-brainer hands down best setup for our swaps.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
As stated in another thread, my south bend reworked clutch was installed around August/September of 2019 and has recently begun to slip in 5th under heavy acceleration.

We are about to hit 2022 so I'd say that's good for reliability considering the torque it takes from the bhw.

The cost of shipping is not bad considering the clutch and flywheel fit in a usps flat rate box.

Still 900 is more than I'd pay. I'm still in for better info on the rs4 to Whitbread flywheel. Or just put the cash up to instslla new vw supplied slush box so when I hand it down to my kid in 2 years he doesn't need to learn a stick. Or more importantly, eat 900 dollar clutches that I have to replace while learning to drive a stick.
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
As stated in another thread, my south bend reworked clutch was installed around August/September of 2019 and has recently begun to slip in 5th under heavy acceleration.

We are about to hit 2022 so I'd say that's good for reliability considering the torque it takes from the bhw.

The cost of shipping is not bad considering the clutch and flywheel fit in a usps flat rate box.

Still 900 is more than I'd pay. I'm still in for better info on the rs4 to Whitbread flywheel. Or just put the cash up to instslla new vw supplied slush box so when I hand it down to my kid in 2 years he doesn't need to learn a stick. Or more importantly, eat 900 dollar clutches that I have to replace while learning to drive a stick.
I've got the SRE setup on a stock LUK 240mm DMF. The clutch is holding fine after 300k km, the DMF however started to rattle about 20km km ago and I replaced it with another LUK DMF, reusing the SRE clutch as-is with a new pilot and release bearing.

I would definitely do the same again on any swap given all the other hassles people have gone through.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
Do you by chance have part numbers of the sre clutch/pressure plate kit and Luke 240mm flywheel? Many of my vendors do better with part number vs what vehicle it fits.
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
If you go up to post 17, click to link to the SRE page from Darkside aperformance in the UK. The part numbers are all listed there.
 

d0u8l3m

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Location
Connecticut
TDI
B5.5 Passat
Hi guys its been a long time since I've been on the site or even screwed around with the Passat =[

It's sitting dormant on a trailer with no coolant in it, and a manual shifter that for some reason cant grab first (either needs to be adjusted or something is hitting it)

I've been getting a ton of messages about these pilot spacers I made to use a stock RS4 B5 clutch with Matts flywheel. I think ill try to see if I can get someone to let me use the lathe again and make a few up for members on here. I'm not a vendor so hopefully I don't get in trouble for selling these but if I can actually get them made up I will definitely post them in the classifieds here.

The spacer is mainly so that you can keep a seal on the bearing to keep the grease in it but I'm an EE not a mechanical engineer so no clue if it even matters or not, but for piece of mind I made it up, got a longer bearing and seal and it worked great for me. I have a custom tune on the car now from malone (he labels it as a stage 5 or 6 which just means more custom) 50% injectors from Mec Evo stage 2 colt cam and a 1756 hybrid from xman. I was using the car for about a month while Malone and I were going back and forth with tuning (power doesn't kick in until 3k RPM so I think the turbo is just a PITA to adjust the actuator position) but I drive my cars hard and the clutch took every bit of it. IMO this is the absolute best setup you can get for high torque applications and the clutch is pretty inexpensive compared to others.

Ill post up if I can make the spacers (need to find the drawing I made), I was looking into xometry once but honestly their quality sucks and would have been like $60 each for me to break even if I ordered like 10-20 of em.

Also do NOT bother with that LUK DMF and SRE clutch I broke both on separate occasions when the car only had a stage 2 lol they simply do not hold up to the torque.
 
Top