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[Audi A3/S3] NEW Sachs Clutch is SLIPPING!


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Hi People

I have done the right thing and spent good money on the right kit but it has all gone wrong! I hoped you guys might be able to help.

Car: '06 A3 170 TDi remapped to 205 BHP and about 320 torques. It's done 86K. Original (I beleive) clutch started to slip when I gave it welly in gears 4-6. It got more pronounced so - logical conclusion - clutch is getting tired needs replacing. Bought full Sachs Organic including DMF and release bearing. My mechanic fitted it and took it for a test run. Took it really steady as it needed bedding in. At about 35mph in 4th he had to give it a little bit of throttle to to get through some lights and it slipped. He had not just changed gear and his foot was resting on the foot rest. Tried a little throttle (just enough to get some boost) in 5th and it slipped again!

He and I both surprised that the pedal was as light as it was with OEM clutch. Also OEM clutch was not actually badly worn enough to explain slipping.

Advice from supplier is clutch needs bedding in fully over 5-800 miles. I assumed that meant don't go doing timed runs at Santa Pod or hold it for five minute on a hill etc. Apparaently it means driving it like a granny at just over tickover!

I have now done 350 miles in it driving gently. Yesterday I had to just give it a short blip on the throttle (no more than a quarter) in 4th and it slipped.

Supplier and mechanic mystified. This is an uprated clutch and should easily handle 370 BHP+. (BTW the OEM clutch in my chipped Golf Anni (190BHP and 300 torques) never slipped)


Mechanic says he had a Civic with similar symptoms and it turned out to be the flexihose to the clutch slave cylinder which had collapsed internally and was preventing the fluid retuning back to the master - effctively causing symptoms similar to resting your foot on the clutch pedal. He's goig to check mine out in next few days.

If anyone has any other ideas - please tell.

Thanks in advance


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Welcome to Tyresmoke +++

Is it definitely the right kit?

The clutch slave cylinder on the 2.0 TDI is a bitch to bleed, but that would be the first point I would start at. Any decent Audi independent will be able to do it for you.

Hi Mook

Thanks for replying.

It's definitely right. Bought it from Darkside Developments.

Wouldn't air in the system cause the opposite problem (i.e. clutch not releasing fully and dragging, causing gear selection to be poor?)



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He's right, you know.

Unless... the clutch has an adjustment so that it is properly disengaged when the pedal is right down? In which case, there won't be enough pressure when it's engaged. This is pure guesswork, though.

I hear you but the only adjustment is how far the slave cylinder piston moves and the sliding wedges on the pressure plate that automatically adjust for wear of the friction surface. Nothing that can be tweaked!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the car back thre days ago. I have been driving around for a few days. Now done close on 700 miles of 'bedding in'. Master cylinder and restrictor valves all new. Flexi hose carefully checked and is fine.

Decided to test the clutch a little: 2000 rpm 4th gear then gave it half throttle. Car accelerates then rpm suddenly jumps 2-300 and drops back as soon as I lift off. DAMN! It feels like switching out of overdrive or an automatic kick down but without the acceleration!

So next I initiate the slip four times on the trot. Each time the slip gets a little less! The fifth time, almost no slip in 4th. Tried 5th at 2500 rpm - still some slip. Stopped and left car for 30 mins. On journey home clutch slip in 4th is back - same as before! Note: I am being very careful not to hold the slip for more than a second or two, and I'm giving it time between each one to let the disc cool.

Also when I take my foot off the throttle there's a sort of pause where there is no drive (like neutral) for 1-2 seconds then the engine braking seems to 'feed' in.

So nothing else for it. Going to have it pulled out next week and check:

Auto adjustment?

All part numbers correct?


Pressure plate wrong way round?

Bolts too long/pressuere plate properly seated/bolted?

Overly thick pressure plate?

Difference in overall thickness of assembly compared to original?

Any other suggestions welcomed.

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Car went back into mechanic this morning. He has found as follows:

No contamination - or leaks from crankshaft or hydraulics

Tiny amount of glazing to only a small part of friction material

Friction/clutch disc was in the right way

Self adjustment was even and OK

Pressure plate bolted up evenly

· SACHS Part Numbers

· Flywheel - 2294 000 113 / correct but three equidistant burns/hot spots on surface and a lot of play (not rotational)

· Pressure Plate - 883082 999788 / incorrect (3082000396) three burn marks/hot spots equidistant (matching flywheel)

· Organic Clutch Disc - 881864 999502 / incorrect (1864999980)

· Release Bearing - 3182 997 901 / ??? can't find any numbers on it so assume it is correct for now.

Now waiting to hear from supplier.

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The upshot is that Darkside are replacing the Flywheel and Pressure Plate plus 12 new bolts FOC (plus a small upgrade cost as I only paid for the standard Pressure Plate). The Organic disc is in good nick and shows almost no signs of wear so we are refitting that. It is the correct one it just comes from a different kit. Obviously I'd have liked something for the aditional labour cost but ho hum! Darkside have remained very concerned and approachable throughout and offered the deal without prompting.

So; with any luck, I will be able to report back next week that the clutch is refitted and working fine. Fingers crossed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The car us back! Picked it up last night.

Pedal feels firmer and there is a real feel to it. You can really tell where the bite pint is and there's a real sense if working against a spring. Took a little getting used to (stalled it twice!) but after thirty mins it was enjoyable to use.

Itvtajes a little more care feeding it in as it can easily snatch, and will probably be hard work in stop start traffic but not so much to concern me.

The BIG NEWS is that it doesn't slip at all. Obviously I am taking it steady for a bit to "bed it in" (no traffic light drag races etc.) but once in gear it just pulls. Tried all the things that caused slippage before and not a sign.

In the end Darksude replaced the DMF, clutch cover and organic disc. It's cost me the labour to refit but my mechanic will do a deal on that. So EVENTUALLY I've got what I wanted. Very happy. My opinion of the Sachs product is restored. Well done to Darkside for their no quibble service.

I think I'll take my mechanics advice and go back to R-Tech to have them adjust the remap to make the power feed in more progressive. The clutch us handling it now but it was useful to have him drive it and feed back to me. The remap they did on my Anni was very nice and the Audi is all a bit "sudden"!

Thanks to all who have offered advice and sympathy.

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