Project E46 M3: Part 13 – Lightweight clutch and flywheel, and more!


The clutch also comes loosely pre-assembled not only for packaging but also so you can see how everything goes together.
Obviously to install we’re going to have to disassemble the components, and now is a good time to show you what the Clutch Masters FX400 is all about. Here we have the white pressure plate lifted off to reveal the clutch disc, which is a sprung ceramic, eight-puck design.
Here is the inside of the pressure plate, which has the new machining marks. Make sure to keep these surfaces clean for installation (Brake Parts Cleaner will work here). Clutch Masters has a broad claim that the clamping force of the pressure plate is rated to over “170% more torque”. This, of course, would vary between vehicles. But assuming a stock E46 M3’s clutch can hold over 300 lb-ft, 170% more than that would be 510 lb-ft. When I asked Clutch Masters what the FX400 can hold in terms of torque, they did indeed say 500 lb-ft, so the 170% is rather close, at least in the E46 M3’s case.

Clutch Masters also reported its FX850 twin-disc can hold a whopping 900 lb-ft of torque! In the M3 world, that would most likely be for cars making well over 1000 horsepower.


The clutch disc is a sprung ceramic, eight-puck design for easier driving (over the 4- and 6-puck) at the expense of less power holding capabilities. If we were going turbocharged, we might have considered a 6-puck design or even one of Clutch Masters’ twin disc setups. But since we’re naturally aspirated, this 8-puck design should suffice—and I would think even if we were to add a blower in that engine bay.

Clutch Masters offers both a lightweight aluminum flywheel as well as a steel lightweight flywheel. This is their aluminum unit, made from 6061 billet.

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