Testing Busts the Clutch

Update by Tom Suddard to the Subaru Impreza WRX project car
Nov 16, 2012

We dropped the Scooby off at Auto Clinic, a local shop we trust.
The OE clutch and flywheel assembly weighs about 30 lbs. The replacement ACT gear took 10 pounds off of that.
We could do this ourselves, but sometimes a chore is a chore, and we just don't have the time. We fixed the Subie's clutch with our wallet.

With the new clutch and timing belt, we can really thrash our WRX on track.

We knew our 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX had a weak clutch when we bought it, and our test day at The FIRM was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Our WRX needed a new clutch before we could start modifying it.

Putting a clutch in a Subaru didn’t sound like much fun, especially when we realized that we’d have to leave for the SEMA show in only a few days. We didn’t want this project to stall, so we took it to the Auto Clinic of Ormond Beach for a new clutch.

Of course, if we were going to change the clutch, we may as well upgrade, right? We brought the Auto Clinic an ACT clutch, along with an ACT performance flywheel that weighs half as much as the stock piece. A lighter flywheel lets an engine rev quicker and reduces reciprocating mass—both great attributes for a performance vehicle. The Auto Clinic charged us $575 to install the parts, which we felt was a bargain considering it took 8 hours and required one of the bolt-holes in the engine block to be repaired with a threaded insert.

While the car was apart, we felt that it only made sense to replace the timing belt—which was due in a few thousand miles—and the water pump as well. The Auto Clinic replaced these parts for $851, including the cost of new parts.

With the new clutch and timing belt, we can really thrash our WRX on track. Next we’ll be dyno-testing performance parts and upgrading the suspension.

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View comments on the GRM forums
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/19/12 7:37 a.m.

The last clutch I had replaced was about $450, which I too thought was a bargin considering how much of a PITA it was on that vehicle.

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