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


The beauty of Clutch Masters' aluminum flywheels are that they come with a replaceable heat shield, which is a friction surface. That way when it comes time to do the clutch again you just replace that black piece instead of having to send the flywheel off to get it machined.

Before we get to the installation part of the clutch, it should be noted that we baselined the car on MKC’s Dynojet, as we intend to see what the performance increase to the wheels, if any, comes from the clutch alone (in my experience testing new clutches with lightweight flywheels, I usually see a few ponies in the first few gears, with it leveling off to what it baselined by fourth gear. Because we also intend to test the Scorpion rear muffler, we decided to baseline this clutch with the Megan Section 2 and a stock rear muffler. Had we been allotted more dyno time, we would have also tested the Megan separately as well. In any case, here is the Megan system in comparison to the factory Section 2. We’ll talk more about the Megan section 2 next month but so far we can say that this unit fits perfectly to our VAC headers and stock rear muffler!

Before installation, we weighed the clutch. After all, no thorough test of a clutch is complete without seeing the weight benefits. In this case, the whole unit weighs 26-lb. How much do you think the stock clutch and flywheel will weigh? We will find out shortly.

By itself, the Clutch Masters aluminum flywheel weighs 11.75 lb. That is very light indeed.

Here’s a close-up of the Clutch Masters High Performance Hydraulic Bearing, which features an all aluminum housing and piston. Using steel braided lines, this high speed roller bearing replaces the clutch fork and release bearing, providing a claimed softer pedal feel, smoother engagement, and reduced drivetrain shock.

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