E46 BMW M3 Turbo: Part 3 – Clutch Master Twin Disc clutch and more MKC cars!

Here is the HPF-turbocharged E46 BMW M3 in the foreground, flanked by our own Project E46 M3 in the background. We hope to have an update on Project E46 M3 soon, as we’ll be installing another Clutch Master unit in it! While both cars look similar, the white one makes well over double the horsepower of the modified one in the back, making the white HPF M3 quite the sleeper.

E46 BMW M3 Turbo: Part 3 – Clutch Masters twin-disc clutch, and more MKC cars!

by Pablo Mazlumian

If this white E46 BMW M3 looks new to you, perhaps you’ve missed our previous installments, showcasing the car itself with the addition of new Forgestar wheels in Part 1, followed by a BimmerWorld/Magnaflow exhaust system and carbon fiber diffuser with dyno testing in Part 2. In the latter article, we also included a video of the speedometer upon acceleration, and when the car’s six-speed Getrag tranny was shifted into fourth gear, it was clear that the HPF single disc Feramic clutch was close to spinning its last. This car needed a clutch badly. But with 700-plus wheel horsepower and about 650 lb-ft of torque, should we be surprised?

Having had great experiences with BimmerWorld in the past (I’ve had the honor of working with them on several projects over the past decade), I contacted them regarding this car. Given this white car’s upgrades and power delivery, owner James Clay recommended one of the Clutch Masters’ twin-disc clutches.

Having used a Clutch Masters clutch in the past (I’d installed a lightweight clutch and flywheel combo in an E36 BMW M3 previously), I knew we couldn’t go wrong with them again today. BimmerWorld took our order, and the clutch showed up shortly after.

While speaking to Clutch Masters directly, the guys there recommended the FX850 specifically, and given the fact this was a 700+ WHP rocket ship to be primarily driven on the street, we needed something that was easy to drive, but also something which could easily hold the torque. So we got the 850 Series “Street/Race” setup with a lightweight steel flywheel (instead of aluminum), which can be ordered through Bimmerworld.com.
In order to smoothe the engagement as well as reduce shock to the drivetrain, we ordered a Clutch Masters high-performance hydraulic bearing. The parts and car were dropped off to Modified By KC, my shop of choice since the beginning of my time in the Midwest (about 10 years ago).
When the clutch arrived in the mail, it was surprising to feel how light the box was, considering this was still an 8.5-in clutch with the heavier steel flywheel. The entire unit weighs in at only 30-lb, which is only slightly more than the weight of the stock E46 M3 flywheel by itself. It’s packaged well, too. I like companies that send their clutches with the clutch alignment tool!

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