Things Are Getting A Little Shifty
If the term “grabby” has ever been used to describe you, chances are your social life may be lacking a bit.
Past the age of 5, keeping your hands to yourself is generally considered an essential life skill. It’s a matter of manners and social decorum. No one wants to be the overly touchy-feely guy or girl. It can lead to a lot of lonely nights spent in front of a computer screen, perusing performance BMW blogs.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. How do we know? Because we actually prefer for our cars to be a bit grabby.
It’s clutch time, ladies and gentlemen.
Any performance vehicle seeing a LOT of additional torque, power, and heat being transferred to the tires will inevitably need a clutch and flywheel upgrade. As the direct link between your engine’s crankshaft and the rest of the drivetrain, these pieces need to be up to snuff, especially if you plan on taking it out of the storage garage and onto the track. A heavy-duty pressure plate and lightened flywheel are not only required for ultimate performance; they can totally change the character of the vehicle…for better and for worse.
We first did away with the stock flywheel. This sucker weighed in at a whopping 44 lbs! The inertia created by the stocker is beneficial when shifting slowly in everyday street driving situations, helping to keep the RPM’s up in between gear engagement. However, it turns into a bit of a power drain when accelerating rapidly. We decided a slimmer, sexier version would be our best bet, and in went the new 14 lb flywheel. Reducing weight here will help our engine spin a little easier, leading to the little red needle climbing to redline that much quicker. However, it will also mean driving the car in traffic and to the grocery store will demand a bit more finesse. If you plan on performing this modification on your daily driver, be prepared to re-learn how to drive stick…preferably somewhere private to minimize potential embarrassment.
The next piece of the powertrain puzzle was the pressure plate. Selecting the right one required some forethought, as we wanted it to be somewhat street-able, while still managing to hold approximately three times the stock horsepower and torque figures. The new disc and pressure plate are rated for 550 crank horsepower, a number that would instantly put this M3 in pretty special company.
Then again, blowing the doors off nearly every Benz and Audi S model out there might get boring. So, should our build get even more ridiculous down the road, we kept the disc rated for 600+ on hand as well.
The new clutch assembly is sure to quickly earn a reputation that would lead to a life of social condemnation for most. However, we appreciate a firm grab every once in awhile, especially when snatching third gear as we fly through a long, sweeping corner. For more photos, check out our Facebook page. Up next, we’ll disclose some information about the new suspension, and Active Autowerke brake system upgrade. We’re taking this whole “grabby”thing very seriously…