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Old 06-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
DCFooFan
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Default 2002 WRX Clutch Replacement Advice

I got some great and very useful suggestions earlier this week on here concerning local garages to have my stock vehicle's clutch (85k miles) replacement done by. I spoke to each of those that were suggested and was impressed with all of them. Now I've picked one and have an appointment this Monday to have the install done.

As it stands, I'm planning to go with the ACT SB3-HDMM kit ($925 installed - labor/parts) and ACT Street Lite Flywheel ($225). My logic has been that the stock clutch wore out faster than I had anticipated so I thought if I could get something a little beefier and durable without sacrificing too much of the stock pedal feel or driveability, I'd go for it. I was also ok with spending a little more for enhanced parts since this is my daily commuter, I tend to drive "spiritly" and I plan to keep the car and drive it as long as I can - but I could save about $350 going with the OEM clutch and refacing the installed flywheel instead. I guess more importantly, I don't want to splurge on these or other upgrades if they may wind up having adverse effects on the other stock components.

The mechanic I've made the appointment with highly recommends going with the ACT fw as he thinks it's a great compliment to the ACT clutch. From what I've read, people either love these lightweight fws or hate them and either way, they seem to require driving style adjustments. I mentioned that and that the car is my daily drive - which frequently involves stop/go traffic - but he's assured me I'm going to be happy with the combination under any driving circumstances. Before Monday's appointment, I was hoping to get feedback from others out there who might have either gone this same route or similarly thought about it but reconsidered to hear your opinions and experiences.

Thanks in advance.

PS: I'm having the transmission fluid changed then too and he's suggested Motul gear oil. I believe Subaru's OEM brand was Valvoline (at least that's what the dealership told and sold me). Anyone out there have any opinions specifically on Motul or what I might want to alternatively use?
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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In the exact same shoes as you. Subscribed! Thanks
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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My mechanic suggested to stay with the stock one so that my tranny won't blow. He said he's done a few act installs but I'm not sure exactly which one but they usually come back in due time with blown trannies
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlam86 View Post
My mechanic suggested to stay with the stock one so that my tranny won't blow. He said he's done a few act installs but I'm not sure exactly which one but they usually come back in due time with blown trannies
The ACT clutch will not slip as much as the stock clutch, therefore transmitting more shock more quickly the transmission internals, which can cause things to break.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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What kind of power are you putting down? Anything less than 300 and you'll have to come up with a darn good reason not to put a $200 stock Exedy clutch in it...
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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REX8, the car's completely stock (227hp) other than Pirelli shoes.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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243awhp over here. I think I'll stick with my mechanics advice afterall, he's worked with subaru's for 15+ years LOL and I guess rex8 just confirmed it
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
I believe Subaru's OEM brand was Valvoline (at least that's what the dealership told and sold me). Anyone out there have any opinions specifically on Motul or what I might want to alternatively use?
^^Incorrect. The stock gear oil is Subaru Extra S. Not all dealers have/use it.

Motul is a good oil and some swear by it. There are a handful of others that many swear by;
Scotty's Cocktail
RedLine 75w90ns
RedLine Shockproof
AmsOil SevereGear 75w90

If your transmission is running good you can always refill it with Extra S, as there are those who swear by it.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:39 PM   #9
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i have about 340hp and am looking to uprade clutch and fw. it is my every day driver. any suggetions would be great!
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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You n00bs need to read the Clutch & Flywheel FAQ right now. An aftermarket clutch will NOT last longer than the OEM one. We cannot suggest clutches based on HP. I could go on with ya'lls noobness, but I won't. Read the sticky threads....that's why we have them.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:39 PM   #11
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Thanks Bomber. I had done a fair amount of reading on this site and elsewhere before posting but those FAQs of yours that you referred me to are great and just what I had been looking for. Nice job writing those and thanks for all the effort you put into them and the helpful shove in the right direction.

Last edited by DCFooFan; 06-05-2009 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:33 AM   #12
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Stock clutch is more than enough for a stock motor and it lasted you 85k miles.

The act pedal feel is way stiffer than stock and the clutch will no longer be the fuse in your driveline. The gears will be.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidForce View Post
Stock clutch is more than enough for a stock motor and it lasted you 85k miles.
Yeah, that's apparently the concensus and Bomber's FAQs concerning the issue substantiates that. Not to split hairs but the clutch is nearly completely gone now at 85k. I'm just hoping to be able to make it to the garage with what's left of it but, it had started to show signs of slipping in the 50k range so I babied it as best possible since that time. I have driven nothing but MT vehicles for nearly 30 years now, under identical driving conditions over that time, and I've NEVER had to have a clutch replaced before this so, managing to squeeze 85k out of the original WRX clutch didn't feel like much of an achievement. Apparently the stock clutch is not known for longevity though and that was really the whole reason why I was initially interested in identifying potential alternatives to begin with. I may be interpreting this incorrectly but it sounds to me now like this may have been a conscious design decision and that, as you mentioned, it's better to have the wear and tear on the clutch components vs the transmission's. After reading the FAQ's and all the feedback, I'm going OEM clutch kit.

The FAQ's seemed to be relatively positive in regards to the benefits of the lightweight flywheel and their low impact on the driveability of a daily commuter. Anyone out there running a combination of OEM clutch/pressure plate with ACT Streetlite Flywheel with an opinion on your driving experience since the switch? I've already contacted the garage and told them I'm going OEM clutch but they told me they don't stock OEM flywheels, only the ACT fw. If mine can't be resurfaced, I'll either have to have an OEM fw ordered and wait for it to come in or go with the ACT instead. The price is about the same for the new OEM or ACT fw.

Also, am I better off switching to Motul transmission gear oil or should I stick with the Subaru product?

Thanks for all of the replies and information everyone.

Last edited by DCFooFan; 06-06-2009 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCFooFan View Post
Also, am I better off switching to Motul transmission gear oil or should I stick with the Subaru product?
I found this nugget among the wealth of information in Unabomber's various FAQs in case anyone else is also interested in the answer to this question:

Quote:
The Subaru 5MT can be a picky about what fluid you should use. Popular fluids that have a large fan base are:

a. OEM fluid AKA Subaru Extra-S
b. Uncle Scotty's Cocktail of 1qt Redline lightweight shockproof, 1qt Pennzoil or GM Synchromesh, 2qt Castrol HypoyC 80w-90
c. Redline lightweight shockproof
d. Motul 300

While we are big fans of sticking to OEM fluids on NASIOC, this is one case where using something not SOA recommended has shown actual benefit, mainly in helping with synchro interaction.

You 6MT users can use whatever you like, though there is some benefit by using one of the above fluids as they do aid in synchro engagement
Thanks
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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I to am in the same boat...02 WRX, almost 90K on original clutch. It still holds great, no slippage, it just shudders like a mofo and I am tired of seeing my dash shake all around when I take off from a stop light. I read the FAQ's from unabomber, but it didn't really address the real world reactions of people that have lighter flywheels. I am thinking of going with the Ebay Exedy organic with the Chromoly flywheel. Both are only around $300 plus $425 Labor. Not bad for a new clutch and flywheel. Any one else run this setup?
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:03 AM   #16
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consider the noise that a lightweight flywheel may produce. Especially the ACT.

The noise to me is like dragging your fingers across a chalk board. This happens when you decelerate.

There was a thread where ACT even posted about this noise and said it was normal.

I've just lived with it for the last 2yrs because i don't want to drop the transmission, and other than the noise i've had no problems (knock on wood) so far.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:53 AM   #17
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My wagon has the Exedy Stage 1 mated with a ACT Streetlite 13.9lb. FW.

I get TONS of coasting/decel noise between 3K-2K RPM -- the car sounds like it has a jake brake.

The typical gear lash & FW chatter is powerfully amplified by all the Group-N/TiC/Kartboy hardened bushings from stem to stern.

Sounds like a dumptruck but drives great.

For a stock car -- particularly an '02 -- stick with the OEM clutch & FW.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:50 PM   #18
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^^NOT chatter. Chatter is caused by clutch material, IIRC, and is typically only seen in much more aggressive clutches. The flywheel weight should have no affect in producing ACTUAL "clutch chatter." Chatter is produced when the clutch is grabbing and releasing, as opposed to a more friendly clutch which engages smoothly and gradually.

Sorry to get OT.

To the OP:
I'm in a similar position, except that I'm doing the install on my garage floor, with hand tools, so it's not as costly. Fun fun fun, though.

FSM says replace, NOT resurface, the flywheel, plus mine had about 4 hard spots that couldn't be machined out. Trust me, we tried.

I saved about 100 bucks by finding and OEM clutch online and getting the exedy streetlight as opposed to OEM flywheel. OEM clutch and fly from the stealership was close to $500, I ended up paying $373 online Not bad for a new clutch and lightweight flywheel!!

Personally, I say OEM clutch or GTFO. My OEM exedy cost me $122+shipping from amazon.com. The cheapest I've seen most "Stage 1" clutches, even the Exedy Stage 1 (which just has more clamping pressure), were 350-400+ !! I'm not paying another $250 for nothing more than a stock clutch with a beefier PP. I don't plan on making insane power, prolly won't even see 260WTQ, so I won't need a badass clutch, plus the OEM one will be more friendly on the tranny

I'll be installing everything tomorrow night

Last edited by mowgli29; 06-08-2009 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:42 AM   #19
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Well I just had my OEM clutch replaced at 132xxx miles
let's just say major slipping

But Matt at HB Speed recommended the ACT Street Clutch,
and today was the first day I really got to do some "real world" L.A.
traffic driving with it in.
Let me just say it definitely takes getting use to. The clutch engages
A LOT sooner than the OEM clutch, and is a lot harder to ease into
than the OEM one. I can understand why it's said that your tranny
will take most of the abuse, because this clutch really doesn't absorb
much of anything.

I'm also experiencing quite a bit of clutch shudder, not sure if it's because
it's new and hasn't broken in yet, but it's much more often than the OEM unit.

On a positive note, the car has more "feel" to it. I definitely feel more
connected to the drive train, and it's a bit more responsive to the throttle.

I'm also using Motul 300 and have been pretty happy with it.

ERic
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:39 PM   #20
rickstruss
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Just want to chime in here and complain about my original clutch on my 02 stage 1 WRX. Damn thing is starting to slip now after 13 years and 191,000 miles. Sure wish I could find something that would hold up better...
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickstruss View Post
Just want to chime in here and complain about my original clutch on my 02 stage 1 WRX. Damn thing is starting to slip now after 13 years and 191,000 miles. Sure wish I could find something that would hold up better...
I see what you did there....
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:06 PM   #22
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Hey guys.
Got a 02 wrx with 91k and am trying to replace clutch and flywheel so I can sell it or keep it not sure yet...is the Ebay Exedy organic with the Chromoly flywheel from eBay good enough for daily driver.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:37 AM   #23
subeu
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when you changed the cluts has anyone had problems like trans oil leak afterwards
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:04 PM   #24
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Funny to see this thread revived after 6 years. But to stay on topic, plenty of research and bargain hunting have finally brought me to the conclusion of what to install in my 95 impreza with the jdm ej20g swap. Sure going stage 1,2,3,etc.. sounds cool when your sitting at your local weekly meet up in the target parking lot, but to be honest I seriously do not recommend it.... Your transmission will hate you . If your looking for some bragging rights then at the very most pick an exedy chromoly flywheel, it's lightweight but not so light that it causes any other issues. Chances are, if your searching this thread for answers to your clutch replacement dilemma, then you probably haven't spoken to your local garage/tuner shop about what's best for your car, and most likely aren't putting down the lb/ft to need anything more than stock replacement. Save yourself the headaches, money, your fillings, and driveability.

I just recently ordered the exedy stock replacement clutch on amazon for $170 and found the exedy chromoly lightweight flywheel in an open box special for $110 marked down from about $300 I believe (also ordered on amazon ). The deals are out there!
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:32 AM   #25
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Cool thanks for the input I think am going to go with that to be on the safer side(exedy OEM clutch with the chromely flywheel)..I've been reading alot about cluth and flywheel and all this codes and noises this guys are getting by upgrading to stage 1or2 with out doing the proper tuning but my car is all stock and don't want or need any more power I like it the way it is so ill go with the exedy and chromely flywheel..thanks.
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