finally had sometime in between working on cars to put up a review of the FX300 on my car.
a little background on the car:
2010 LGT: Invidial TBE, RacerX TMIC, Chargepipe, KN panel filter, Etune for stage 2 via brentuning etune.
My driving habits is pretty easy on cars, perhaps going full throttle once a day or less, my last car, a state III+ 05 LGT, lasted well into the 100k miles with no issues at all, infact, its still running strong in the hands of another forum member.
I bought the car with 24k miles, and all above mods were performed at around the 28k miles mark. At the time, i read a lot of conflicting info about what a stock clutch can or cannot take. well, i will say that after about 1k miles of driving on the stock clutch, i started to notice slip.
it would slip the hardest in 6th, and 4th gear, and got to the point that i cannot go more than a quater throttle on those gears...
at that point, my search for a clutch began. from the getgo, my priorities were (OTHER than being able to handle the power of my current mods with no issues)
1. easy pedal effort (at the most a moderate increase over stock since my wife drives the car from time to time)
2. Easy Engagement (not an on off switch that shocks my drive train a lot)
3. no chatter or other noises
Unfortunately, my initial search led me to a series of "experts" that all seemed to have conflicting opinion about different products, the brands i considered were ACT, CM, South Bend, Exedy and i cant remember maybe one or two others... and again, each one had something different to say about another product.
Fortunately for me, I contacted Mike at infamaouseperformance, and initially, i wasnt sure if he was different than the other tuners, but he was very upfront and even mentioned how he preferred the CM to the ACT, both of which he sells. At that point, i had test driven a friends WRX with the ACT clutch and deemed it bit too heavy...so it was down to CM and Southbend, with southbend offering better pricing to our business acount; but when Southbend's own sales rep could not tell me which clutch my car really needed and asked to simply "try this and if it doesnt work we will ship you another one "...i was a little hesitant and decided to go the CM FX300 route.
despite some initial friction, Mike and I talked and worked things out and with in a few days, a FX300 arrived at our shop and the next afternoon, it was installed.
with some trepidation i hoped in and started driving. here are my initial impressions:
1. pedal effort: LIGHTER than stock, not by a lot, maybe 5 to 10 percent but its definitely slightly easier! i was BLOWN AWAY by this. i also verified this a few weeks later by pushing in the clutch of a stock LGT. depending on how sensitive your legs are and if you drive multiple manual cars all the time or not, id say, you will feel the CM300's effort as exactly oem or slightly lighter.
2. Engagement smoothness: you an definitely feel that its a more positive engagement with less slipping, but there is very little shock and in all honesty, i couldnt feel that its any different really than stock. i had no problem driving it smoothly from the get go...maybe lets say if you shift really late and let the rpm drop too low before letting out a clutch you will feel a bigger jolt than stock? but remember my stock clutch was pretty worn when i last felt it. but i had four friends drive it and not one felt they were driving any kind of HD clutch.
3. Chatter and other noises: one word, NONE! Was NONE now still NONE at 2.5k mark.
4. Engagement point: this is the one thing that has changed a lot from stock, the engagement point is not much lower than before, i would call the stock engagement point 1/3-1/2 up from the floor when it was oem, now its at the 1/4 mark or so, so very close from floor. But to me personally, i feel i have more control over my ankles and legs when its further down than when its a lot higher up, so i really didnt have any issues driving it. in the first two days i stalled it only once from forgetting that its so low and letting it out too fast. but after that it was smooth sailing.
the ONLY two negative thing i can say INITIALLY about the clutch is both related to the 4th point. because the engagement point is now lower, the car would buck slightly against the parking brake before the car sense you are trying go and releases it... the 2nd point is that again because it disengages so low, i found myself yanking it out of gear slightly before i fully disengaged it...which coupled with the long throw of the car's stick, made it slightly harder to shift faster.
thats it...so basically you get virtually the same feel of the oem clutch but with a much higher power handling.
over the next 2.5k miles, i drove it with zero problems, going WOT in any gear results in just a ton of acceleration, no slippage. now, 2.5k miles later, my impressions are:
points 1-3 above has no change, still lighter than stock effort, still smooth engagement, still zero noise.
point 4: engagement point, has i think changed ever slightly and the initial engagement point is either now more progressive or is slightly higher, as i found it no longer bucking against the parking brake nor myself yanking it out of the gear too soon, but again, this could be just my body getting used to it...but the parking brake thing sorta suggest to me that it as changed slightly, as it was still bucking against it slightly at the 1k mark, long after my body has gotten used to the car, now it seems that it will disengage the brake at about the same time as it engages the clutch.
so to sum it up, i coudlnt be happier with the FX300...i have driven a lot of fully modded customers car before with HD clutches and virtually all of them FELT like they were heavy duty, the FX300 feels like a stock clutch, engages like a stock clutch, yet can stand up to the brutal tq delivery of our cars at full stage 2...i think i am going to be a CM buyer for life based on this experience.
anyway, huge thanks goes out to Mike at infamousperformance, a very classy knowledgeable and most importantly, OBJECTIVE and fair person to work with and gain recommendations from. with my job, i deal with other car modification people on a daily basis and what he possess is a rare blend.
lastly, for those that is still curious if stock clutch can handle stage 2 power...this is a picture of my oem clutch when i pulled it out...and remember, i am a pretty gentle drive, NEVER clutch dumps, very rarely do i go WOT, and most of the time i try to save gas (with norcal gas prices here) by shifting before 3-3.5k rpm...