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eBay Clutch XTD Stage 3 Review (FOR SCIENCE v2.0)

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eBay Clutch XTD Stage 3 Review (FOR SCIENCE v2.0)

 
Old 03-21-2019, 08:14 PM
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Default eBay Clutch XTD Stage 3 Review (FOR SCIENCE v2.0)

Hey guys, so based on ElyasWolff's review of the XTD stage 2 clutch here: https://www.miataturbo.net/suspensio...science-94708/ I figured I'd give some input on my XTD Stage 3 (6 puck sprung) clutch kit I recently installed. This will be an attempt at a long review over the coming weeks/ months/ (years if it lasts that long?) of my updated opinions on it and rather or not I think it's or Same disclaimer as ElyasWolff, I went into this knowing it would be a mixed bag. The eventual goal is a SuperMiata Sport Organic clutch from 949. The deciding factor for me was seeing how bad my rear main seal was and how dire it was to replace it asap. So on March 15th, 2019 at 2:20 in the morning (when most late night impulse purchases are made) I visited everyone's favorite Chinese import website and placed an order from here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/XTD-STAGE-3...72.m2749.l2649

Price: $84.69 after tax.

Shipping ETA was March 20th by 8pm. I had a well packed box sitting on my doorstep by March 18th around 6pm.

Overall the quality seemed decent on the friction material and overall fit and finish of the parts themselves, I didn't find any burrs or bad machining.



Unfortunately I didn't get very many up close pictures since this review was sort of an afterthought, but the pressure plate was flat when compared to a straight edge. Only anomaly I noticed was one of the clutch pucks stood a little proud when placed on the pressure plate. Seeing as it's the friction material, This should level out in use.

Some important info for those thinking about going this route: The bearings provided in the kit are complete garbage. I've read countless reviews of people saying the throwout bearing can literally self destruct or just be noisy and fail very quickly in less eventful ways. The pilot bearing just screams chinesium and actually has plastic/ rubber holding the bearings in. Get new OEM ones. Or don't. I don't run your life. I was cheap and re-used my stock ones since they felt alright, although I did re-pack the them with fresh grease like you would a wheel bearing. This made everything MUCH quieter. I'll report things as time goes on.



As for my flywheel, I opted to stay with the stock one since I didn't want to change the way my A/C works, and I figured it would help with the 6 puck drivability. I had it re-surfaced at a local machine shop for $50.

Going back to the rear main seal I'll just copy what I said in one of the other car groups I'm in:

To the last guy that installed the clutch in this car, screw you. The rear main seal was pressed ALL THE WAY IN and was nearly impossible to get out. Broke my seal pick and it disappeared in the oil pan. The starter was literally only held in with a single bolt and one of the flywheel bolts was missing the lock washer. This was likely the same person who didn’t bolt in the rollbar to the chassis and WELDED the sway bar bushing bracket to the frame instead of finding literally ANY nut and bolt to use in the existing hole. I don’t like you at all. Rant over.




Minus the headache of the previous owner's ...special touch, installation went fairly smoothly. Standard clutch job. When all said and done my car was on the ground and moving under it's own power after about a full day of work. Keep in mind I'm doing this in my driveway on jackstands so the more shop luxuries you have the faster it could potentially go. My impact was a MUST on disassembly and helped a LOT zipping in the trans bolts before giving them a final torque. Just use your brain and don't ugga-dugga until your long bolts turn into short bolts. Final torque specs were reached using a quality torque wrench and some blue loc-tite on the clutch related bolts.




Thank you for your service ???-mile Exedy, you will be remembered/ re-used in some 1.6 NA since you have like no wear shown. Sorry I tried to make you hold boost in an oily mess...






After buttoning up everything and filling all fluids, I lowered the car and cranked it up. No leaks Something I noticed on startup is my starter makes a chattering squeak like gear whine once the car fires. I'm wondering if the fact it was only held in with one bolt has worn the gears in an abnormal way. Now that it's installed using all 3 bolts maybe it isn't as happy. I'll be investigating this further. As far as I'm aware there is no adjustment to the starter's gear-to-flywheel-teeth-engagement (there's probably a real term for that) but I could just not be looking hard enough.

Once the car is running there's absolutely no chatter or noise difference clutch in or out. This has been the case since first start. I'm calling the bearing packing a success unless I went overboard on the grease and it somehow gets in the clutch... so far so good though. First things first, this thing is GRABBY. Not impossible, but grabby in a good way like I wanted. If you really feather it you can take off reasonably slow and it feels close to my stock Exedy was. It's when you get a little more aggressive at lower speeds where you can get some shudder. Keep in mind this has only been in the car for a few days and is still being broken in, but it reminds me of how my last clutch job felt at first. Nothing unreasonable. The first few miles I took it easy and followed the 1500rpm slow take-offs procedure I read up on somewhere. From what I gather you just want to drive slipping it more than you usually would to bed it in and let it slowly give the clutch pucks an even surface. Once it felt fairly normal I did the same thing a little more aggressively, Not straight up baking the thing, just some good slip for about 2-3 seconds. Things felt good so I gave it a good dyno break-in and was a little more aggressive. I know clutch break-in can be a fairly controversial subject, but I'm just documenting what I've done. In short- don't slip it like crazy but don't dump it. Dumping it can warp things and slipping too much can glaze it over. After about two days of city driving in stop and go (maybe 5 hours total) I took it out on the highway and did some pulls. Right now my setup is a Garrett 2560 knock-off @9psi in a stock VVT NB2 miata with a 2.5" open downpipe. Conservative timing and a little on the rich side. I might be wrong in my guesstimations but I might be around 175-185HP? Curious what others would guess. If feels like 8x stock but then so would a lawnmower. Highway pulls revealed this thing holds very nicely. I have yet to make it slip under load. I don't plan on turning it up until I drive it quite a bit more and I see an actual dyno after some other odds and ends are buttoned up like... an air filter... or a completed exhaust... or working BOV... I'm getting there ok?




From what I've gathered this clutch is actually not complete garbage like the Stage 2 XTD. It's less comfort but more stout. It may grenade and take my flywheel with it, but that's what happens when you do science. I'll throw a real clutch on it if it fails or when I get tired of it. So far things look promising. I'll report back when things come up and will try to give a status as time goes on. Feel free to post your experience with this clutch or start a flame war if you need to. Just keep your hands to yourself. Thanks for listening to my garbage thoughts and I hope it helps someone get their project off the ground.



***UPDATES***

***First start- No major issues, slight starter noise as mentioned in review

***First week- Still adjusting to driving with it being more grabby, slight shudder/ surging only when keeping RPM's very low and riding the clutch moderately. This is not experienced at higher RPM (1200-1500rpm) or if you feather it lightly at the very first sign of engagement. Something worth mentioning is I also adjusted the clutch pedal inside the car so my "comfy" spot has moved where the clutch engages. Haven't stalled it yet or had any issues driving, taking off at a normal pace feels about the same as it was. No slipping under load that I can confirm. Still about 9psi on my 2560 on the trubokitty base timing map with AFR's around 12-11s under full tilt. Thinking about playing with virtual dyno for some ballpark figures until I find a real dyno. Barking gears regularly is a nice surprise

***3 Months- So far it’s holding up great. Still nice and quiet, only shudders are related to how grabby it is (ceramic 6-puck normalities). Reverse can be pretty bouncy if you don’t feather it quite right. I got used to it within the first few weeks. I’ve had a few people drive it and we’re impressed it was a fleabay clutch. My local tuner has done many higher HP Miatas and is saying these XTD 6 pucks usually hold a lot of power. I’m waiting on injectors and some other bits before hitting the dyno. I’ve backed down the boost a bit due to the stock injectors being maxed out, but I abuse this clutch regularly at 8psi on my 2560. (no crazy launches but a few burnouts) I’ll update when I have a power figure to show for.

Last edited by ungluedflyer; 06-06-2019 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Updated Review
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:14 AM
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Okay, first off why did you post this in DIY turbo discussion and not in the section that includes Drivetrain modifications?


People need to stop buying and stop recommending total **** ebay clutches. I've seen locally three of these things come apart. With many more instances searchable online. One of the local failures was a stage 3 on track. The other ones, disintegrated during normal daily driving!

Posting about these in anything other than a negative manner is pretty much intentionally endangering other enthusiasts. Something that is spinning at 7k+ RPM's next to you and has enough energy to send shrapnel through your bellhousing, through your trans tunnel and into your legs is not the place to be cutting corners. What if your pressure plate or clutch disc blows up and you lose control of your vehicle and hit a mini van full of kids? Is that couple hundred bucks saved still worth it?

Appropriate neg cat awarded for disservice to the community by encouraging others to endanger themselves and others on the road.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Arca_ex View Post
Okay, first off why did you post this in DIY turbo discussion and not in the section that includes Drivetrain modifications?


People need to stop buying and stop recommending total **** ebay clutches. I've seen locally three of these things come apart. With many more instances searchable online. One of the local failures was a stage 3 on track. The other ones, disintegrated during normal daily driving!

Posting about these in anything other than a negative manner is pretty much intentionally endangering other enthusiasts. Something that is spinning at 7k+ RPM's next to you and has enough energy to send shrapnel through your bellhousing, through your trans tunnel and into your legs is not the place to be cutting corners. What if your pressure plate or clutch disc blows up and you lose control of your vehicle and hit a mini van full of kids? Is that couple hundred bucks saved still worth it?

Appropriate neg cat awarded for disservice to the community by encouraging others to endanger themselves and others on the road.
You’re correct on this being in the wrong category, my mistake. (Can this be moved admins?)

Out of all the clutch failures on a Miata I’ve genuinely not seen a bell housing failure before anywhere, in person or online. Any failure regarding friction material would just prevent the car from moving, so the minivan of kids would probably just wonder why some guy in a Miata is on the side of the road with his hazards on. I don’t want to spread something that could potentially hurt someone, so any information is welcomed to sway people from buying one. I’m trying to be as transparent as I can on the quality and now, safety of these so people aren’t just blindly buying something with no information out there. The most I could find were people saying either “yeah it works great” or “it broke” without many details. If this becomes a thread of bad experiences so be it, it’s useful information. It’s not a “everyone should buy this clutch” thread, but a documented review.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ungluedflyer View Post

Some important info for those thinking about going this route: The bearings provided in the kit are complete garbage. I've read countless reviews of people saying the throwout bearing can literally self destruct or just be noisy and fail very quickly in less eventful ways. The pilot bearing just screams chinesium and actually has plastic/ rubber holding the bearings in. Get new OEM ones. Or don't. I don't run your life. I was cheap and re-used my stock ones since they felt alright, although I did re-pack the them with fresh grease like you would a wheel bearing.
That's not the way bearings work. That is a sealed bearing. That material is there to keep grease in and dust out. It's not structural in any way
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SpartanSV View Post
That's not the way bearings work. That is a sealed bearing. That material is there to keep grease in and dust out. It's not structural in any way
I phrased it badly, I guess I was trying to say something in between “holding the grease in” and “protecting the bearings” but the point still stands the bearings were utter junk regardless. I understand they aren’t like driveshaft needle bearings.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ungluedflyer View Post
I phrased it badly, I guess I was trying to say something in between “holding the grease in” and “protecting the bearings” but the point still stands the bearings were utter junk regardless. I understand they aren’t like driveshaft needle bearings.
Sure.

Also the plastic vs metal between the races has absolutely nothing to do with the quality. Plastic is a sealed bearing. Metal is a shielded bearing. Same idea for both. Shielded doesn't keep things out as well but will handle higher temps.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:24 PM
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I have said it before and I will say it again. Use a nice sealed pilot bearing if you don't want to have to go back in there anytime soon (take if from someone who is in there all the friggin' time.) The shields don't keep the grease in as well, leading to a contaminated clutch and a failed pilot bearing.
At least, if you spend as much time revving in 1st gear with the clutch in as I do. The metal shielded bearings suck, even if they are quality bearings. I also spent about $35 on my last one as opposed to $10 or $15. 6022RS IIRC.

Get a real clutch, my FM2 came with very nice bearings, still the same throw out bearing in mine.

Carlos
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SpartanSV View Post
Sure.

Also the plastic vs metal between the races has absolutely nothing to do with the quality. Plastic is a sealed bearing. Metal is a shielded bearing. Same idea for both. Shielded doesn't keep things out as well but will handle higher temps.
I was just going off of seeing what has been said about these specific plastic sided sealed ones that come with these cheaper clutches here- https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=483917 They have a higher immediate failure rate, apparently more-so than usual so I re-used my shielded one since it was working fine. Thanks for the info.

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Old 03-22-2019, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Arca_ex View Post
Okay, first off why did you post this in DIY turbo discussion and not in the section that includes Drivetrain modifications?


People need to stop buying and stop recommending total **** ebay clutches. I've seen locally three of these things come apart. With many more instances searchable online. One of the local failures was a stage 3 on track. The other ones, disintegrated during normal daily driving!

Posting about these in anything other than a negative manner is pretty much intentionally endangering other enthusiasts. Something that is spinning at 7k+ RPM's next to you and has enough energy to send shrapnel through your bellhousing, through your trans tunnel and into your legs is not the place to be cutting corners. What if your pressure plate or clutch disc blows up and you lose control of your vehicle and hit a mini van full of kids? Is that couple hundred bucks saved still worth it?

Appropriate neg cat awarded for disservice to the community by encouraging others to endanger themselves and others on the road.
Just for the record I'm not the one that gave you a neg cat on your comment. Genuinely respect the input.


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Old 03-26-2019, 02:58 AM
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Ran the same setup with the lightened flywheel.
All I got left is the flywheel, the clutch started slipping at 10-13 PSI and just felt wishy washy overall. Flat shifts were a unicorn idea at the time, just terrible.

Got a used uprated PP and using a 50% life OEM disk and it's soo much better, made pulls up to 18psi (stock engine lol) and no slippage.

At least the flywheel seems ok, since I still use it 2 years later 🙄
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:53 AM
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positive cat for honest review.
Would like to hear again from you about this clutch in a few months.
extended mile review. long term road test.
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Old 03-28-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kenwo91 View Post
Ran the same setup with the lightened flywheel.
All I got left is the flywheel, the clutch started slipping at 10-13 PSI and just felt wishy washy overall. Flat shifts were a unicorn idea at the time, just terrible.

Got a used uprated PP and using a 50% life OEM disk and it's soo much better, made pulls up to 18psi (stock engine lol) and no slippage.

At least the flywheel seems ok, since I still use it 2 years later 🙄
You mentioned it started slipping at 10-13psi, on what turbo/general setup? You're using an OEM (Exedy?) clutch an PP now? Haven't heard a stock one hold on to much more than 200hp.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:02 PM
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First week updated
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ungluedflyer View Post
You mentioned it started slipping at 10-13psi, on what turbo/general setup? You're using an OEM (Exedy?) clutch an PP now? Haven't heard a stock one hold on to much more than 200hp.
OEM clutch disk and RPS Max pressure plate
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:15 AM
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New 3 Month Update.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:46 PM
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So what is the update? Slipping, exploded and took your foot off, what?
Or still no problem with mild power?
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:49 AM
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I had the same disc w/ a FM PP and I hated it. It was grabby and hard to modulate. I ditched it as soon as I felt up to pulling the trans again and switched to a full-disc clutch from California Clutch and haven't looked back since.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sonofthehill View Post
So what is the update? Slipping, exploded and took your foot off, what?
Or still no problem with mild power?
Check out the bottom of my first post, I’ve been putting all of my updates together. Still going strong at roughly 200HP.
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