When researching this clutch I found that most of the input was vague or from people who had not actually used it and were theorizing on it's capability.
It took me a few days to develop a first impression on this clutch.
The new clutch and PP next to the old. The old one I had was an Exedy 'stage 1' with organic disc.
The shipping receipt for the XTR says 'Exedy clutch cover' on it - and as you can see, aside from color, the PP's are basically identical. I would not be surprised if they were the same. The XTR disc is a 6-puck ceramic piece. Obviously, this is where the far higher torque handling ability comes from.
I heeded your guys' suggestions and had the flywheel professionally resurfaced while the clutch was out.
Install went smoothly. There was a lot of freeplay in the clutch pedal afterwards - about an inch and a half before engagement, and I left it that way.
On the way home, I was in third gear on an on ramp and I decided to give er'. The clutch completely let go. Slippage worse than the exedy I had taken out had been slipping. I was freaking out and babied the car home. I figured there must be some break in period or something I needed to do first, and was worried that this was another fleabay gimmick item and that I'd have to drop $400 more to get an ACT...
After researching on mt.net, I learned ceramic clutches have no break in period. Crap. Brain suggested to someone else who was having slippage to adjust the clutch - I went out and adjusted the clutch pedal for a proper amount of freeplay before engagement (0.2").
The following night on the way home from work I was in 4th gear, and figured to hell with babying it. Gave it full throttle at 2k like I usually do for tuning runs (the old clutch would slip as soon as it hit full boost at 4k) and at 4k the rpms shot up and the car sort of bounced a tiny bit. ****. I was freaked out even more. I did it again and sure enough, as soon as I hit full boost, a bit of hopping and slippage. I came to a stop and as I sped up again I decided to give 2nd gear a pull. As soon as I applied full throttle the tires broke free and started to spin and the car shuddered/hopped (wheel hop). Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. It was the exact same hopping as I was getting when I hit full boost in 4th gear... I realized the fog that night had made the roads slightly slightly damp - not enough to see visually but just enough to lower grip levels a bit. I had been breaking loose in 4th gear in a straight line, the clutch wasn't slipping at all!
Grip is fantastic now. Either my grubby hands had gotten a bit of gunk on the flywheel surface and it needed to burn off or the clutch adjustment was the golden ticket, but it is great now. Chatter? Yes, a little, but the on-off engagement makes fast shifts faster, which I like, and you really can get the hang of the engagement after a few days.
All in all, I'm very happy with the clutch. Long term impressions obviously are pending, but for a budget car, this clutch seems to be a very good choice.