XTD Clutch Review

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Lead In
After installing a turbo in my 1999 Honda Civic I soon found the need for a new clutch. The OEM clutch has worked great through all the previous mods, however, with the additional power that the turbo provides it soon began to slip under full throttle conditions. I also figured this would be the ideal time to upgrade the transmission. Always one to keep price in mind along with quality I began my search for a clutch. Why price you ask? Well, it occurred to me quite some time ago that a part which costs less is a lot easier to replace and much less heart wrenching when it breaks. The car is built to drive hard, and have fun in. If I bought all top of the line products at premium prices, it certainly would not be as much fun to beat on.

This this in mind I soon settled on giving XTD a try and purchased a stage 3 kit from Aimco Clutch Co. http://aimcoclutches.com/index.php The buying experience was excellent and I was pleased to have the clutch in hand within a timely manner.

Installation
After pulling the transmission I inspected the flywheel and sent it away to be resurfaced. The installation of the clutch went smooth, I used the provided spline tool to properly align the clutch and installed the new transmission. Everything fit perfectly.

Testing
Once installed I found the clutch pedal pressure to be slightly lighter then stock, which immediately concerned me, however I decided to give the clutch the proper break in period before judging it completely. After break in, as I thought, the clutch did not hold under full throttle conditions. I contacted Aimco Clutch Co. with my concerns and requested a stage 4 pressure plate. To my surprise they gladly and promptly sent me the stage 4 pressure plate free of charge and with free shipping. As a side note, my friend runs a XTD stage 3 on his non turbo y8 with absolutely no trouble at all.

Second try
With the stage 4 plate in hand I again pulled the transmission off, this time milling .04 off the flywheel as well to get a good seat. I chose to keep the 6 puck stage 3 clutch plate and use it with the stage 4 pressure plate. I did this because the stage 4 clutch plate is a 4 puck, un dampened design, meaning it didn't spring in the center like the stage 3. I do drive this car around town so I would like some small aspect of comfort. After break in I was pleased to find that the clutch held well all the way through the RPM range. Pedal feel was shorter and slightly heaver then stock but nothing to bad. Along with the clutch I also installed a braided stainless steel clutch line to help with disengagement. The clutch is a bit grabby as one might expect and also tended to chatter through the first thousand miles. This takes some getting use to at first but once you get the hang of it is quite manageable, after about 1500 miles things smoothed out considerably.

After Thoughts
Although this clutch has performed well I did find that it does not like high RPMs, making shifting a little troublesome above 7500 rpm. I believe this is due to a fairly heavy clutch plate. After 7000 miles with this clutch setup I have no complaints thus far. Expect to hear a very slight griding noise during engagement, specially in cold weather. This due to the metallic friction surface meeting the flywheel and pressure plate.

Although other, more expensive clutch kits would probably perform slightly better, this one does an OK job for the cost.

Comments   

 
0 #1 Keith Evans 2013-02-15 04:09
I am having issues with this same company in my 2003 VW Jetta 1.8t, the first stage 3 clutch they sent slipped, they replaced the clutch and pressure plate, its messing up again, found out from the company they have an issue with the clutch plate and throttle bearing not lining up right, so now a 3rd attempt to fix the initial clutch problem is at hand, but my issue is I have paid to have the work done twice.....$1248 worth of labor, I don't feel I should have to pay the labor again. What can I do to make this company liable for the labor??
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