June 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM #389
So I thought I would do a write up on the ordeal I’ve gone through in the past year with my clutch on my 2010 JCW WC50.
When I bought the WC50 I thought it was a well engineered car and for some it is the top of line and all you can ever want from a Mini. Myself, on the other hand, I always though that it could and should be more. I never wanted to buy the GP because it doesn’t have back seats and is also missing a Nav and other things that I prefer since I daily drive my car to and from work.
So I decided to get more power out of my car.
If you are looking into adding power to an R56 JCW then be ready to use your wallet often.
The JCW is in my opinion the most power Mini BMW thought they could get out of that engine/transmission/clutch package.
You see a well engineered car is all about a perfect symmetry and balance of parts and components that work together to give the driver the desired experience without compromising reliability or comfort.
As soon as you change 1 part on the car you will change that balance.
So I decided that I wanted to keep my car unique and make the most it could be in my minds eye.
I ended up getting all mods available to take the car to stage 1, so that would include front mounted intercooler, air intake and tubing to change the airflow. I also got the Cobb Alta accessport to go w the mods.
I noticed that in 4th gear in full acceleration the original JCW clutch could not hold down the extra torque added from a simple remapping of the ECU, please note that at this point I had not installed the intercooler or any of the aftermarket parts but was just using the accessport remap.
I decided then to look for a new clutch and Limited Slip Differential(LSD).
I did some research and people seemed to be happy with the OS Giken GT clutch that was not a racing clutch but could take the extra torque and HP.
I ordered the package and in no time (1 month) the parts were in my hand.
I booked an appointment w Techmax to get all the items installed.
I even got them to take some pictures when they were doing the installation as if they were preforming open heart surgery on my car and after 2 weeks (long a$$ time) I got the car back and was as happy as a kid on Christmas morning.
That feeling did not last forever…
I noticed after only 1 week that the clutch was making a strange noise that sounded like metal rubbing against metal and took it back immediately to the guys at Techmax. They assured me that it was normal so I trusted them and kept driving. I took the car to the track several times and one time I even heard a loud metal knocking noise coming from the LSD. I found out later that Techmax people had not followed instructions and had put an oil that was not recommended in the transmission. When I confronted them, very upset because my LSD was overheating they said they did it because the car would’ve been un-drivable in the winter. I was furious and told them that if the company that made the LSD said that they should use a dense oil then they should follow their instructions!!
To make it a long story short after plenty of email back and forth with OS giken and Techmax I ended up taking the car to another mechanic, who told me that there was something seriously wrong with this clutch. The guys at OS Giken gave me a discount understanding my predicament but I still had to buy a new clutch. The guys over at techmax said they didn’t have time to work on my car and that the problem according to them was the clutch manufacturing.
I am now waiting on my second aftermarket clutch to come in and I have asked OS Giken to give me all necessary paperwork so that I do not go through this problem again.
They kept stressing that you need to find a mechanic that has worked and knows how to work w a performance clutch.
I will get the new mechanic to sign a contract that says that if I have a problem w this clutch he will take it down and get to the bottom of the problem without having me pay for it.
I am convinced though that unfortunately the guys at Techmax have gotten very busy and in order to install a metal clutch you have make sure things are done properly. They did a terrible job and even if it wasn’t their fault they did not help me diagnose the problem or help me find a solution to the problem.
That is not the only issue I had w them. I also bought Alta’s recirculation valve and when I got them to install it I got all kind of engine lights going off and the car would not work if not in limp mode. I found out that they had connect a bypass connector in the wrong place, just because they were busy and didn’t read the instructions, again….
I hope you enjoyed my clutch experience! Please ask me anything about the ordeals of tuning a car, as I have now become an expert.
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May 28, 2015 at 12:12 AM #1199
- This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by lex76.
Awesome Ride Lex! Just curious if your issues finally got resolved and how has the clutch and performance mods held up?
I’m experiencing exact same issues of chasing that balance (Evolve Tune & FMIC, Intake, Turbo back Exhaust) all these mods have been causing my coil packs to go out. Before I applied a tune I changed out my sparkplugs, after about 2-3 weeks of re-flashing the ecu with an Evolve tune a coil pack died, replaced with another OEM one and a few weeks later another died. Now being very frustrated I decided to bite the bullet and purchase Igniton Project coilpacks, I made the mistake I believe of not changing all the packs along with a fresh set of sparkplugs… Somehow the aftermarket coils went funny and I assumed it was a spark plug issue, so I resorted to using an old plug I had previously replaced (rookie mistake) solved the issue for the time being but for some reason the aftermarket IP coilpacks went weird and as I tried to remove them, a rubber grommit got stuck on the plug.. So I had to cut up the gromit and send them back for inspection by IP. THis lead me to go back to the old oem coilpacks as I needed a car to get around, eventually the two remaining OEM packs I hadn’t replaced went out and this has caused the revs to spike without the car moving quicker, which has also lead to a noticeable clutch smell.. not sure if just coincidental or if they linkup due to misfire, curious if you’ve had any similar experiences.
SteveMay 28, 2015 at 9:45 AM #1200
I have had some issues of misfire but nothing as dramatic as what you have gone through.
The car did go through quite a bit of problems that were covered by warranty.
I had the belt tensioner replaced, the fuel pump gave me tons of problems and was also replaced.
Maybe check a few forums to see if others have had similar issues or what common issues are that are associated with misfire.
Everything is running fine now the clutch is holding together well, for now. Unfortunately once you get burned by a faulty clutch or faulty clutch install you kind of expect it to start going an minute. If I do have issues with this clutch I will probably get another brand and write on every website I can about the problem.July 29, 2015 at 2:26 PM #1243
So sorry to hear about this litany. Was glad when I happened on your pictures thinking that it would be my solution Giken GT seemed to be the way to go but I could not find anyone to install it. Guess it won’t be techmax. Just need a clutch on my daily driver 2010 Mini Cooper S Clubman ans not that crummy OEM clutch that gave up the ghost at 30,000 milesJuly 29, 2015 at 8:44 PM #1244
You can get a JCW clutch plate for a small premium over the stock S clutch. Dual mass flywheel is the same and needs to be replaced as it can’t be machined. That said, you can find some pretty good stage 1 street clutch kits for less than the $1200 an OEM kit will cost, but it won’t come with the 2 year parts and labour warranty if you have MINI do it.
It’s got a bit more bite, but it is MUCH firmer, every day is leg day…
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