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Old 03-16-2015, 07:31 AM   #1
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Angry Catastrophic clutch failure - learn from our mistake

So the Mazda Miata is known to be a particularly powerful car in the world.
Despite that, we have discovered a clutch manufacturer out there than can sell a product marketed as "Stage 1 Racing clutch" incapable of handling Miata power levels.
The car in question is a standard 2001 Mazda Miata.

The clutch failed at just 160kms/100miles. All the friction material disintegrated, peeling away from the clutch plate and leaving little more than a powder inside the gearbox.
We contacted the supplier but they have refused to respond, and sadly the clutch is from the USA (we're in Australia) so I can't go down the street and say hi.
So at the moment we are out of pocket for a failed clutch, for a new clutch, for machining the flywheel, and the effort to replace the clutch.

This was the clutch we bought:
XTD Stage 1 Clutch P Lite Flywheel KIT 1990 1993 Miata MX 5 1 6L | eBay
Distributors For Clutches | Clutch Kit Suppliers | Buy Online Clutches - XTD Clutch

And this is it, 100kms later:




Heed my warning, avoid.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:53 AM   #2
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That's just simply a case of
"If you can't afford to do it right.....how are you going to afford doing it twice."

When I think about how much money I am willing to spend on a part I always consider how much effort it is to replace that part and how critical it is if that part were to fail. I wouldn't change a Miata clutch for anywhere near the amount saved by buying cheap clutch parts.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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Quick google search shows MANY unhappy XTD clutch buyers. Always a good idea to check reviews before buying from ebay, esp if the product is 25% of the cost.

and sadly the clutch is from the USA (we're in Australia)

Your distributor may be here but I'd bet the parts are made somewhere much closer to you. Parts made here are generally good.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:22 AM   #4
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Is the 2001 in Australia a 1.6? You linked to a 1.6 clutch, which I could see having problems if you tried using it with a 1.8 flywheel.

This is exactly why I only recommend FM, ACT, of 949 clutches. They are slightly more expensive, but changing a clutch is a pita. The extra money is worth it so you don't have to go back and redo the work a week later.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:38 AM   #5
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Seems like a case of getting what you pay for to me.

Like others, if I'm going to replace a part that requires substantial labour, and its failure will strand the car, I'm going to make damn sure that I buy something quality.

It really shouldn't be surprising that a $230 clutch kit, including flywheel, isn't.

And, yeah, if you did in fact put a 1.6 clutch into a 1.8 car, that isn't going to improve things, either.

Last edited by TalkingPie; 03-16-2015 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:03 PM   #6
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What is your procedure for installing and adjusting your clutches, and peddles (OP)?
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:21 PM   #7
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eBay clutch doing eBay clutch things
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
This is exactly why I only recommend FM, ACT, of 949 clutches. They are slightly more expensive, but changing a clutch is a pita. The extra money is worth it so you don't have to go back and redo the work a week later.
Word.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:00 PM   #9
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Overall, it seems like those ebay flywheels hold up okay. I've been running an 11 lb one for a few years not without any issues.

But yes, ebay clutch issues have been well documented and are not worth the risk to save a few dollars.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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Learn from your mistake? Coulda told you buying a clutch off ebay was a mistake right away.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:38 AM   #11
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Buying parts off ebay is usually a bad idea. Its either made in china or fake, which is also made in china.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Is the 2001 in Australia a 1.6?
No it's a 1.8 VVT. But a 1.6 clutch & flywheel into a 1.8 isn't uncommon.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Buying parts off ebay is usually a bad idea. Its either made in china or fake, which is also made in china.
you'd be surprised how many OEM and other quality parts are made in China. Being made in China =/= crap parts.

6UL wheels come to mind. However, the engineering firm that is designing and ordering them from China suppliers takes the appropriate measures to ensure the over seas factory produces quality parts.

Crap quality control, engineering practices, and material selection = Crap parts regardless of where they are produced.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:31 PM   #14
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Why you didn't buy an Exedy OEM replacement is beyond me.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAVIS View Post
So the Mazda Miata is known to be a particularly powerful car in the world.
Despite that, we have discovered a clutch manufacturer out there than can sell a product marketed as "Stage 1 Racing clutch" incapable of handling Miata power levels.
The car in question is a standard 2001 Mazda Miata.

The clutch failed at just 160kms/100miles. All the friction material disintegrated, peeling away from the clutch plate and leaving little more than a powder inside the gearbox.
We contacted the supplier but they have refused to respond, and sadly the clutch is from the USA (we're in Australia) so I can't go down the street and say hi.
So at the moment we are out of pocket for a failed clutch, for a new clutch, for machining the flywheel, and the effort to replace the clutch.

This was the clutch we bought:
XTD Stage 1 Clutch P Lite Flywheel KIT 1990 1993 Miata MX 5 1 6L | eBay
Distributors For Clutches | Clutch Kit Suppliers | Buy Online Clutches - XTD Clutch

And this is it, 100kms later:




Heed my warning, avoid.
Aren't the cheap "ebay" clutches mostly the same (stock structure) ?!
If "xtd" ,"racing"or "f1" they sell them all around the World,only with different names and painted in different colours
The ebay 6 paddles and stuff are also a cheap replica wich last till tommorow most times if you're lucky
The "stock looking/diameter" ones are often only painted (chinese)aftermarket clutches .
I heard many bad reviews about them in german Cars (vw ,bmw.audi).....
On the other side some People drive them under hard abuse and with huge Hp Numbers ,for a long time and without any Problem.....
But hey if i need a new "performance Clutch " i will go the proven Route like Fm ,Act.
It's often cheaper if you do it the right way first Time
Changing Clutches isn't neither that fun on a Miata when i'm thinking about the 4 Skrews on Top of the Tranny
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by albumleaf View Post
Why you didn't buy an Exedy OEM replacement is beyond me.
Exedy stock Replacement is good ,but the "stage 1 and 2 " aren't worth the Money in Turbo Miatas imo
compared to other Clutches in this price range they suck in Miatas
I really like Act Clutches (drove them in many Cars the last years )
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiataGarage View Post
Aren't the cheap "ebay" clutches mostly the same (stock structure) ?!
If "xtd" ,"racing"or "f1" they sell them all around the World,only with different names and painted in different colours
The ebay 6 paddles and stuff are also a cheap replica wich last till tommorow most times if you're lucky
The "stock looking/diameter" ones are often only painted (chinese)aftermarket clutches .
I heard many bad reviews about them in german Cars (vw ,bmw.audi).....
On the other side some People drive them under hard abuse and with huge Hp Numbers ,for a long time and without any Problem.....
But hey if i need a new "performance Clutch " i will go the proven Route like Fm ,Act.
It's often cheaper if you do it the right way first Time
Changing Clutches isn't neither that fun on a Miata when i'm thinking about the 4 Skrews on Top of the Tranny
The only reason I recommend FM clutches over ACT is they are slightly cheaper and can hold more torque. Both brands provide quality clutches and the extra money should be spent on them. It is the amount of work that goes into changing a clutch that really makes the name brands worth it. While a clutch job is not impossible, they are annoying to do. Having to pull the transmission multiple times in a week due to cheaping out on the clutch is just not worth it. It is even worse if you paid someone else to install them.
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