Sunday Feb12th, Sandi (my girlfriend) and I took a drive to Clinton, MA to drop my car off at Mike Z Customs to have the new Exedy clutch and flywheel installed. The drive was nearly and hour each way but we took a nice cruising route. I am happy to have Mike work on my car. I've seen lots of his work (repairs and custom) and I trust him with my car. After time after time of bad experiences at the dealership service departments I am unwilling to let any of them work on my car so I checked out a few shops. Naturally, most of the tuning shops are overpriced. Most people will justify this because "they know what they are doing". While I agree (for the most part), I am just looking to get a clutch installed and any high quality, trusted shop should be able to complete the job. I read about all the people on here that do it in their driveway. While I would have loved to attempt it on my own I just don't have the time or the garage (since it is still a bit cold out for a big project).
Got the car back on Thursday, Feb 16th. This being my first heavy duty clutch I could tell immediately that there was going to be a bit of a learning curve. I could also immediately feel the difference in how much more grabby the clutch is as well as how much lighter the flywheel is. At first I was getting a bit of chatter especially when down shifting (it now requires rev-matching to downshift smoothly). Now that I have finished the break in miles I can be more aggressive with it. It took nearly all of the 400 break in miles to get used to the new setup. Between knowing how to drive on it now and having some miles on it, there is no longer any chatter or anything strange (as long as I engage it quickly). The hard part to get used to was that the "weight" of the clutch masks the feeling of the clutch engaging. This feeling makes it seem like the clutch is engaging much sooner than it really is. The lighter flywheel is nice as well and once again, now that I am used to it, everything is very relatively easy to drive on the street.
I had originally noticed a slight clunk coming from the front left when hitting moderate sized bumps on that side. I let the mechanic know to see if he had any input. He advised me I could just bring it back to him to look at but its a rather long hike so I took a look at things myself myself. I quickly and easily found that it was what I had expected; the sway bar end links weren't as tight as they needed to be. Easy fix.
With everything all situated I can't wait to see what it is capable of when launching at an autocross!