Engine Drivetrain 1st Gen Cooper S Dual Mass Flywheel and Belt Tensioner

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by iamcamkeenan, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. iamcamkeenan

    iamcamkeenan New Member

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    I have had my MINI JCW MC40 for about a month now and recently I have really noticed that the DMF is making a clutch chatter noise... I realize this comes with the territory of DMF's and am just wondering has anyone done the Single mass flywheel conversion and if so How much am I looking at, what brand should I go with, and how long is the average install.

    I have the MC40 JCW edition MINI, currently running stage 2 on a stock clutch.

    I know this is a clutch chatter problem because when the clutch is disengaged the noise is like a slight rattle and when I engage the clutch the noise completely disappears. There is no screaming coming from it so I can only assume the throwout bearing is still good.

    Also the Belt Tensioner is going bad as I get that metal tapping sound coming from it and the hydraulic tensioner has play to it. Any ideas on where I can get these things without chopping off my right cheek where my wallet sits?
     
  2. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Way Motor Works sells the Valeo clutch kit - I've put a couple in and both owners absolutely love them - comes with the flywheel and everything and IIRC is about half the cost of OEM parts.

    I'm sure he'll also have the solution for the tensioner......
     
  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Here is your Belt Tensioner (exact same part as OEM) for $76.00

    I have been using them for a few years along with others without any issues. :Thumbsup:

    http://www.amazon.com/Gates-38404-Belt-Tensioner/dp/B001KQJRDO/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406218486&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Meni+belt+tensioner
     
  4. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    The Valeo kit is the one to go with. When my clutch goes south I'll be having one of those slotted in there.

    When you do your tensioner also replace the idler pulley & crankshaft damper with an ATI damper pulley.

    None of these parts are cheap, but with careful shopping you can save some money.
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    That's the through out bearing you are hearing.

    That is what I did. I'm happy I did
     
  6. beken

    beken Well-Known Member
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    No it's not. That is exactly the same symptoms I had after I changed my clutch with a replacement factory unit and kept the dual mass flywheel. Eventually in less than a year, the clutch broke. The center spindel that connects the disk to the transmission drive shaft had stripped smooth.

    My story follows: (just posted it on the "other" site because this issue sounds rather common)

    First some background:
    I had a factory clutch replaced in 2013. My original from the factory clutch finally started slipping. Problem, the flywheel is extremely expensive in Canada and the MINI dealer service felt the Flywheel was still good. I was unemployed at the time so decided to keep the original flywheel and only replace the clutch and bearing. My initial review on a local MINI Club site stated:

    As it turned out, the replacement stiffened up nicely as the clutch wore in. But a disconcerting amount of clutch chatter started and got louder with time. Also, it became harder and harder to shift between gears as the shifter would not go in. Something was becoming misaligned.

    In May of 2014 (almost a year) I was accelerating out of my office parking lot and when I went from 2nd to third, I got a loud bang and no gears. I was able to coast into a bus stop pullout and out of traffic.

    As it turned out the spindle at the center of the clutch disk was stripped smooth. The clutch surface was not even worn. For certain, I was not abusing the clutch. The center spindle was defective so MINI would warrant the clutch. However, I needed to buy a new flywheel. The dual mass flywheel was double the price of the Valeo Single Mass conversion. I was not going back to the dual mass set up. As good as it felt while driving, it was just too troublesome.

    So after the conversion...

    Extremely quiet. No more helicopter noises, and besides the supercharger whine, I can even hear the belt and a lot more of the mechanical things happening in the engine bay area now. Much easier to diagnose problems.

    Very light pedal. Hardly any force to push the clutch pedal down at all. It might get stiffer as the clutch wears in, but for now, it feels too easy to push down and maybe a bit more difficult to modulate. The friction point is slightly higher and the pedal movement between friction point and full clutch engagement is wider. Some might call this mushy. This clutch feels very much like the F56 Cooper's clutch I test drove a couple of weeks ago.

    I can feel the engine vibration/shakes more. Perhaps the dual mass flywheel from the factory was absorbing more of the vibrations coming from the engine.

    I'm glad I got the conversion. The conversion including labor costs (subtracted from the final bill because the labor was covered under warranty) less than the cost of a replacement dual mass flywheel part cost alone. With this being a simpler set-up, I anticipate fewer problems into the future. The trade-off is the clutch does not grab quite as hard as the stock set-up. But I don't anticipate driving my car hard enough for that to be an issue. It does not slip, but in a heavily modified car, the clutch may not be strong enough to handle much more additional torque/power.

    Four months in, I am still happy with the Valeo SMF clutch set up. I am getting used to the softer pedal. However, if I were racing my car (which I am not) I would probably want a more heavy duty set up.
     
  7. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    #7 MCS02, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    beken, Ok so I will start by saying neither you nor I can hear the OPs mini through the internet. So you do not know if I am wrong. For that matter I don't know if either you or I am correct, neither do you.

    First he said "I know this is a clutch chatter problem because when the clutch is disengaged the noise is like a slight rattle and when I engage the clutch the noise completely disappears. There is no screaming coming from it so I can only assume the throwout bearing is still good".

    This does not sound like what happened to you at all. because you said "But a disconcerting amount of clutch chatter started and got louder with time. Also, it became harder and harder to shift between gears as the shifter would not go in. Something was becoming misaligned". Well yea thats a big problem.

    Any noise that gets lower as time goes by should be checked. He did not say it was loud or getting worse.

    Through out bearings do rattle very softly you can hear them they can go for years like this. If it gets louder then it needs to be taken care of. I have seen this on countless cars. My Mini has done it for 10 years! It is a very soft rattle. If it gets worse before I do the clutch I will take care of it.

    I have seen this on Fiats, Alfas, Lancia and BMW. Maybe I should have added that if the problem gets worse go to a Pro and have it checked.

    I thank its good to give the OP all options of what it may be so I enjoyed your post. You may be correct and saved him some money.

    When I did this for a living and people called and asked what was wrong with their car I would say "Hold the phone closer to the car so I can see it better" :)
     
  8. beken

    beken Well-Known Member
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    #8 beken, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
    That is exactly how mine started. When the clutch is engaged there is no noise. It was, in fact happening with my old clutch also, before it went, though not as loud. I'm not going to disagree that I may be wrong. I may have come across rather harsh when I said " No it's not". Just meant to say something else might be wrong . But still smarting from the experience. If you start having problems shifting into a gear, it is possible your clutch is becoming misaligned. The service center kept telling me the chatter was normal for a dual mass flywheel set up. I asked about it many times before I had my incident, When what it ended doing was masked a real problem that was happening inside. There was nothing wrong with the throw-out bearing in my car. In my car, it was brand new when the clutch was replaced the first time and before reinstalling it, the service center showed it to me. It looked brand new.

    This thread was about the dual mass flywheel clutch set up in our MINIs and I was really trying to state that a single mass flywheel with it's fewer complexities would not have the kind of chatter that my clutch had, considered "normal". Hence I am sacrificing some clutch strength for perhaps some better reliability.

    I don't question your credentials, nor did I mention mine. I respect each and every member's opinions here so apologize if I came across a bit harsh.
     
  9. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    It did sound harsh. That's why I replied. I felt so.........so............unloved! :D

    No problem though you may be correct I don't know. It is best to give all options. Eve if that's not what is wrong with his Mini it may help someone els.
     
  10. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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