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More Exedy Clutch Disc Failure... And general transmission woes.  

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marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Reputable Member

Apologies in advance for this long-winded rant...

I don't know what it is about this car and it's clutch and/or transmission issues. I've had it for not even 3 years, and am on my fourth transmission, and (soon) third clutch. Excluding the original 1zz drivetrain. I've put about 22k miles on this car since I completed the 2zz swap.

Granted, the first transmission (c60) didn't get any worse while it was in... I just got really sick of the third gear grind (or miss), so when the first clutch disc (Exedy stage 2) failed, I replaced the c60 with the original c56 that came with the car, and installed a Southbend Stage 2 daily with CC light flywheel.

Second transmission failure (c56) probably was my fault, since I did the quick and dirty LSD swap on it. Pretty sure a diff bearing gave out in that one.

Then I decided to spend real money on a JDM c56 with LSD (no need to crack this one open and screw it up for myself). Input shaft bearing started getting shitty within 60 days. Now, 10 months after purchase and 8 months after the vendor started ignoring me and the dispute process began, I am still fighting tooth and nail for my money on this one. 

Number 4.... Supposedly the original SMT trans from BusDriver's car. Only 35k-ish miles on it... And a Quaife LSD in it. Once I got the bugs out, it shifts beautifully. Thank you Bryon Bailey. 

But now another dead clutch disk.

...and before you say "this guy sucks at driving manual" and/or "this guy is just hammering the piss out of his car" I must try to redeem myself to some degree. I make no claim to be the world's best manual transmission driver... My heel-toe shifting is mediocre at best, but I've been driving manuals exclusively since I started driving. I have owned 7 previous vehicles and own 2 currently. All manuals. I know it isn't a huge list compared to some folks, but I have never encountered this much drivetrain trouble with any previous vehicle. I've rebuilt two Honda transmission for myself and they were the smoothest shifting gearboxes I've ever owned. I miss them both. 4 of my previous vehicles got a new clutch under my ownership, but none of them got a clutch because it was necessary... They got a clutch because I was there anyway, or I wanted more clutch to go with more power from the engine. None of the transmissions I've built/installed or clutches I've installed have failed under my ownership.... Until the MR2.

The first clutch was an Exedy stage 2 daily. I bought it used, locally, from a guy who was parting out his smashed Celica. He said it had about 10k miles on it, and he provided proof of purchase showing he bought it 10 months prior. The hardware all looked to be in very good shape and it was really cheap considering I was also buying his c60 transmission and a couple of other bits. Once the car was together, and I was hooning my way through the crappy tires that came with my car, I'll admit I was hammering it pretty hard at this point. 5k miles later a spring broke free of the clutch hub and wedged itself against the pressure plate. I documented this all on AdChat... May dig that up later and add it to here as well. Once I got the disc out I found fractures in the hub around the spring housings all over the place, and learned others have had this same issue with premature exedy disc failures. ~15k was all it took for mine.

I researched extensively what clutch to install next... Up until this point, Exedy had always been a go-to option. After reading tons of glowing reviews, and noting the much higher torque capacity rating for Southbend Stage 2 daily compared to other stage 2 daily's, I decided it would be a good fit for my future supercharger build while still being streetable while NA. When I got the kit, I immediately noticed the fact that the clutch disc said EXEDY on it... And upon closer inspection, the same exact part number as the broken Exedy stage 2 disc laying in my garage. 🤦‍♂️ I spent weeks debating whether to install the new clutch or not... And after multiple emails exchanged with a southbend rep, I was told they take the new exedy disc and remanufacture it with their own friction materials. I was reassured they had not had any customers experience the same kinds of hub failures. HAH. A change in friction materials could change the impact to the hub... So why not. The parts were in hand, the car had been in pieces for months and I wanted it back. Splines were greased, as well as clutch fork contact points. I broke the disc in over 1000 miles. Nice and easy. I was determined it would last if taken care of. It outlasted two transmissions... and did so flawlessly. I never felt the need to even pull the pressure plate off when I had the chance. I had full faith. I never launched the car once on this clutch and I quit power shifting once this clutch was in too. Especially once I got sticky tires on the car, the only reason the tires are broken free is from lateral forces or slick/wet pavement, not dumping the clutch and hammering the drivetrain.

Now, 11.5k miles later my clutch feels a little funny for 5 minutes then does not fully disengage, if at all. At least I made it back to my driveway before something went *clank*. This morning I got the boroscope out and after a lot of working it around, rotating the flywheel, hearing an occasional little clinking from the bell housing I finally spotted something that looked very out of place. I will post the pictures shortly (different device), but my best guess is it's this small metal bit between the two haves of the hub. I can't seem to find a name for the particular piece but again something to do with the torsional spring housing:

e6336cfe 8ae4 41ad a478 a99027b029dc 800~2

Crappy pictures from inside the bell housing:

WIN 20200802 11 23 41 Pro
WIN 20200802 11 22 51 Pro
WIN 20200802 11 19 25 Pro
WIN 20200802 11 17 16 Pro

I am at a loss at this point. Can anyone shed any light on this? Am I doing something wrong? Is my car just cursed? Do Exedy's discs just suck now and are never to be trusted again?

So damn sick of yanking gearboxes in and out of this car. Getting quite good at it thou.... If anyone nearby needs help with dropping a gearbox.... I'm your guy...

Quote
Posted : August 2, 2020 11:27 pm
haloruler64
(@haloruler64)
Honorable Member

That's some wild stuff. I got my MR2 with 114k miles on it, and the original clutch was on its way out. By 130k the trans was also knocking just a liiiiitle on decel and accel, pretty sure it was a shaft bearing. Not enough of a problem to ever address but the clutch was weak so while it was out, I swapped the trans for a Euro C66M with LSD for those highway gears along with a Southbend Stage 2 Daily clutch and an eBay FX lightweight flywheel.  All in my garage, first time I've ever done this. 

I'm at 153k right now and it's still going strong. And I abuse the shit out of it. Every autocross I go to, I'm doing 4000 RPM launches 15+ times a day. Still driving beautifully, shifting beautifully. 

2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder, 2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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Posted : August 2, 2020 11:43 pm
marsrock7 liked
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Reputable Member

@haloruler64 

I hope yours continues to do well. I wouldn't wish this frustration on anybody.

...sometimes I feel like my cars get jealous of each other. Like they are competing for my attention.... And wallet.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 12:20 am
DesertWanderer
(@desertwanderer)
Reputable Member

Honda guys with S2000's will all tell you that Exedy's clutches are only good for a few thousand miles. I personally have no experience with them at all but the aforementioned view is pretty much universal with Honda guys. I would not install one in anything.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 2:01 am
haloruler64
(@haloruler64)
Honorable Member
Posted by: @desertwanderer

Honda guys with S2000's will all tell you that Exedy's clutches are only good for a few thousand miles. I personally have no experience with them at all but the aforementioned view is pretty much universal with Honda guys. I would not install one in anything.

Honda guys with S2000s will also tell you their cars are technically mid engined.

2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder, 2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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Posted : August 3, 2020 2:02 am
DesertWanderer
(@desertwanderer)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @desertwanderer

Honda guys with S2000's will all tell you that Exedy's clutches are only good for a few thousand miles. I personally have no experience with them at all but the aforementioned view is pretty much universal with Honda guys. I would not install one in anything.

Let me also clarify that the Exedy expectation that I gave above only applies to the S2000. No knowledge of other applications.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 2:31 am
DesertWanderer
(@desertwanderer)
Reputable Member

@haloruler64 There are actually two motors behind the driver on the S2000!

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Posted : August 3, 2020 3:48 am
cyclehead
(@cyclehead)
Reputable Member

I’ve been through a few clutches on my 2GR swap.  None replaced for being worn out though.  Usually transmission repairs. 
Except one failure when I had the used clutch disc wear surfaces replaced at a local shop.  
I’ve been using ACT HDSS, mostly because that’s what USPSPRO selected when he built the car.  

The disc failure I had was exactly as you described, the spring retaining flange cracked, and the shards wedged in the pressure plate.   
Lesson learned for me - don’t rebuild clutch parts, just buy new ones.

Other than the failed “rebuild” part, I’ve not had problems with the ACT clutches.

I make Amateur Armrests - see the Commercial Forum. I also have Convex Mirrors and SMT repair seals available.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 5:04 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

When I looked into it Exedy's clutches after mine blew up I found out they have a reputation across the board. 

 There was one person who disagreed with me on my assertion based on his experience which probably hasn't been fully realized.  What I hate about the car forums is when someone  buys something that is working for them it is automatically reputable and when its not its crap. There is a thing called statistics and reputation that can be deduced once things start to look like genuine outliers, case in point the springs are the failure point reported by many.  Im right now driving on a Fidanza Kevlar clutch which has a higher rate of failure compared to the Exedy but I have been successful in that statistic but  I will not recommend this clutch and pray it lasts. 

 Unless you need a higher performing clutch buy OEM, it doesn't have springs in its design and its probably for a good reason. 

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Posted : August 3, 2020 10:25 am
Helowrench
(@helowrench)
Active Member

Dev,

Am I that guy? LOL.

I kid.

I do not have any history other than the 2 Exedy kits I have installed. both were 2zz kits, installed with new flywheels, and slave cyl.

They have survived. roughly 25K miles and 40k miles on the two respective cars.

No anomalies at this point to report.

 

Rob

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Posted : August 3, 2020 11:27 am
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Reputable Member

@desertwanderer I've read a ton about this, when it happened to me the first time. Lots of s2000 failures, as well as multiple Celica/MR2 failures. I used to use them all the time in trucks and civics with no issue ever... But that was all more than a decade ago now. What a shame.

@cyclehead I have an ACT kit in the garage I bought from Bryon when I bought the transmission. Figured I'd have it for a rainy day. I think it is HDSS, will check later. I've heard the pedal feel of this kit is pretty heavy which I'm not thrilled about.... If the southbend pressure plate is in good shape when I get everything apart I may just try the ACT disc with the SB pressure plate. With luck it might be the best of both worlds. 

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Posted : August 3, 2020 12:35 pm
ISpy
 ISpy
(@ispy)
Estimable Member

I’ve used a Competition Clutch stage 2 with CC ultralight flywheel on my 1zz then used the clutch with a CC ultralight fly for my 2zz. 45k, three daughters, no drop launches. I have not heard or read anything but good about CC. Best of luck.

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Posted : August 3, 2020 11:34 pm
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Reputable Member

@ISpy Three daughters? Meaning you taught them all on this clutch? If so, that's impressive. Sound like fast learners. 

I had a CC 1.5 and LW FW in my TSX. Pedal feel was a touch above stock but it wasn't terrible. That clutch took more abuse on the regular than I ever gave the Southbend in the MR2, I put 27k on it before I sold the car. Belongs to a friend now, who won't push it as hard as I did.... I expect it to last the remaining life of the vehicle. 

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Posted : August 3, 2020 11:47 pm
cyclehead
(@cyclehead)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @marsrock7
...

@cyclehead ... I think it is HDSS, will check later. I've heard the pedal feel of this kit is pretty heavy which I'm not thrilled about...

My swap has some mix of mkII clutch Disc and Camry pressure plate.  I forget exactly.   But the HDSS pressure plate is a real bitch!   
Clutch pedal pressure is fierce.   I installed a hydraulic brake booster in the clutch hydraulic system that lowers pedal pressure from 65lb to 15lb.   The little boosters last about 40k to 60k miles before they puke.  But they are pretty cheap from China currently.

I make Amateur Armrests - see the Commercial Forum. I also have Convex Mirrors and SMT repair seals available.

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Posted : August 4, 2020 12:21 am
marsrock7 liked
marsrock7
(@marsrock7)
Reputable Member

Turns out the kit I have on hand is the XTSS. I imagine that pressure plate is even worse than the HDSS... Really like the light pedal feel of the SouthBend plate... And would like to keep it if undamaged. This car is light and I feel a light clutch pedal matches it well.

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Posted : August 4, 2020 7:54 am
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