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Review: Exedy Stage 1 clutch and Fidanza 7lb Flywheel


This review may be a little slanted by the fact that my throwout bearing was COOKED when I replaced the clutch, but I figure it's worth typing up anyway.

Now, I had heard a lot of people talking about how a lighter flywheel can make the car tricky to get rolling in 1st gear so I was a bit worried about driveability. (note that the stock FW is somewhere around 18lb, and the fidanza is about 7lb) For this particular clutch/flywheel combo anyways, I can say this is patently untrue. Clutch engagement is silky smooth, about 1/4 way from the floor, right where you expect it, with no grabbing, no engine stuttering, no drama at all. I didn't have to make any adjustments to my 1st gear starting technique to get nice smooth starts without coming anywhere near stalling. So, with driveability as my main concern, I am completely happy with this setup.

I haven't had a chance to beat on the clutch at all (supposed to give it a 750 mile break-in with no abuse), but I have wound it out in 1st-3rd gear a few times. The motor seems much more eager to rev past 5k rpms--I noticed significantly less NVH at higher rpms. This addressed my second concern, which was flywheel balance. I had read a few people saying that Fidanza wasn't the greatest when it came to balancing their flywheels, but my early impression is that the overall balance of the flywheel and clutch housing is better than my stock setup. Idle might be a bit smoother, but I didn't notice much of a difference in NVH at freeway cruising speed.

One of the biggest differences obviously is rev matching during up and down shifts. The engine is SO much more responsive to slight throttle inputs between shifts. Downshifting smoothly used to take a bit of coordination and thought, but it's a lot more effortless now. A little blip of the throttle and the RPMs shoot up instead of lagging a bit. Upshifting on the other hand takes a little more thought. RPMs drop quickly enough between casual shifts that I have to either be extra quick between the gears or leave my foot on the throttle just a hair between shifts. It reminds me a lot of shifting in the two older miatas I have driven.

The car just seems all around more responsive with the lighter flywheel. It's probably a little quicker through 2nd, but the big difference is the responsiveness, regardless of gear or throttle inputs. It feels like a lighter, sportier ride. So all in all, I am very happy with the Exedy stage 1 clutch and Fidanza flywheel combination, and would heartily recommend them to any owner of a daily driven MSP with power goals in the low-mid 200hp range.

Oh, and if anyone decides to go with this setup, be sure to contact MAPerformance. Their prices blew everyone else out of the water!
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