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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My SPEC stage 3+ with lightweight flywheel chattered like crazy. I went through the break in process which doesn't take long here. Lets just say it finally stopped chattering while driving a couple days ago about 3-4k miles after install. I got to where I was going and turned off the car, when I got back to the car a little while later my car wouldn't start. It sounded like the starter wasn't engaging all the way and making proper connection with the ring on the flywheel. A couple tries later I decided to take off the starter and inspect the area to see if the starter went bad or something else was wrong. I could see recent scratch marks on the starter from where it looked to be hitting something. I reached my hand down inside and bumped up against the ring gear on the flywheel. It was ridiculously loose so I first though the bolts had somehow come loose or they snapped. Upon further inspection I realized the Ring gear had simply broken its welds to the ret of the flywheel and was just freely sitting in side the compartment.... Not a good day for me. I bought the SPEC back in February so it should still be under warranty. I will find out later and post pic once I drop the trans and install the original parts in the next couple days. a simple rolling jump start still starts the car luckily. Anyone else had this problem with bad welds?
 

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Wow, sorry to hear this man :(
 

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First issue I have heard of with this set up.
 

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The Mod with a Mouth
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My SPEC stage 3+ with lightweight flywheel chattered like crazy. I went through the break in process which doesn't take long here. Lets just say it finally stopped chattering while driving a couple days ago about 3-4k miles after install. I got to where I was going and turned off the car, when I got back to the car a little while later my car wouldn't start. It sounded like the starter wasn't engaging all the way and making proper connection with the ring on the flywheel. A couple tries later I decided to take off the starter and inspect the area to see if the starter went bad or something else was wrong. I could see recent scratch marks on the starter from where it looked to be hitting something. I reached my hand down inside and bumped up against the ring gear on the flywheel. It was ridiculously loose so I first though the bolts had somehow come loose or they snapped. Upon further inspection I realized the Ring gear had simply broken its welds to the ret of the flywheel and was just freely sitting in side the compartment.... Not a good day for me. I bought the SPEC back in February so it should still be under warranty. I will find out later and post pic once I drop the trans and install the original parts in the next couple days. a simple rolling jump start still starts the car luckily. Anyone else had this problem with bad welds?
eegads!!! yea that is bad!

The ring gear is not welded on. The image below shows three bolts holding the ring gear on. In a past life I serviced OE flywheels and we pressed the ring gears on for those that needed replacement. SO it is possible that the bolts were not checked prior to installation, both torque and thread lock.

i just did a quick google search and found a few similar issues on the SPEC flywheels for other platforms but nothing to cause mass alarm(whew!).

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
True I don't know if they were checked and thread locked prior to installation. I am hoping its just those bolts came loose/off and I can retighten them with thread locker but it may not be the case. All I know is anything is possible but I wont know anything more till I open her up and take a much bigger peak. You could free spin the ring gear with your hand when the starter was removed while the car is in gear so I already know that is a bad sign of something gone awry.
 

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The Mod with a Mouth
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True I don't know if they were checked and thread locked prior to installation. I am hoping its just those bolts came loose/off and I can retighten them with thread locker but it may not be the case. All I know is anything is possible but I wont know anything more till I open her up and take a much bigger peak. You could free spin the ring gear with your hand when the starter was removed while the car is in gear so I already know that is a bad sign of something gone awry.
just looking at mine prior to install and the picture I took, it appears that the three bolts keep the ring from spinning. possible but unknown since i cannot remember.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was just looking over the model numbers to the parts and I figured out I bought the -4s which is the non-SAC system. See the other thing ST3 4 ME is the ring gear can move towards and away from the engine. It's not just sitting in one spot and can spin. That is what has me worried.
 

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The Mod with a Mouth
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I was just looking over the model numbers to the parts and I figured out I bought the -4s which is the non-SAC system. See the other thing ST3 4 ME is the ring gear can move towards and away from the engine. It's not just sitting in one spot and can spin. That is what has me worried.
hmm that is weird. guess we are gonna have to wait to see what is inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well yeah and I can't seem to find my directions anywhere that show the bolts recommended torque rating for the different parts of these clutches/ flywheels. Does anyone know so I can check their ratings and maybe tighten them just incase all that happened was a few loose bolts
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I did the same here when we did the install.
 

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I've seen tons of problems with spec clutches in the vw world. Best clutch I ever had was southbend. Even had a spring break in te pressure plate and they warrantied the entire clutch and flywheel. Also clutch masters used to do relines. I had them reline my stock disk and they modified the pressure plate with new springs and made it stiffer. That clutch went 60,000 miles at 342 wheel hp.
 

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are you guys switching to spec clutches because your stockers went bad or just wanted to get out in front of it? I have a feeling the stock clutch is pretty damn strong and will last a long time. Even more so with the guys that have gone big turbo. Less torque down low and a smoother curve. If you drive right I think the stock setup will last a while. Time will tell.

Sucks about the issue though. What a PIA.
 
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Are guys doing this for weight saving reasons? That is: reduced mass moment of inertia=better performance. JP
 

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I wanted a more performance/strength oriented clutch which I (hopefully) wouldn't have to worry about ever being a weak link from being put under abuse. It also made sense to replace the flywheel while doing the clutch.
 

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I wanted a more performance/strength oriented clutch which I (hopefully) wouldn't have to worry about ever being a weak link from being put under abuse. It also made sense to replace the flywheel while doing the clutch.
Don't lie. We all know you just like to drop your transmission.
 
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