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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 05:30:00 AM   #1
codyshaw
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Default Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

Hey guys!

Just a few weeks ago my OEM clutch blew on my 71000 mile 2004 M3. Looks like the plastic clutch fork pivot pin snapped when I was on the highway and it tore it all up.

Since I occasionally track the car, I decided getting a replacement that would be suitable for track use would be a good investment. A friend recommended the ClutchMasters package, so I got the FX250 Sprung clutch with Steel flywheel. I opted against the super light aluminum flywheel since my friends harmonic damper had just ripped apart on his car and I didn't want that happening to mine anytime soon. I got quite a surprise...

I have the usual light(er)weight flywheel chatter at idle, but I also have an incredibly worrying drone at the harmonic frequency of the S54 (5000-5500 RPM). I've searched online and found other posts referencing this, but also people saying they don't have this at all. I'm a bit worried, as this droning/vibration from the transmission makes shifting into 3rd very nasty unless you shift under 5500 or at redline so that the shift is completed before the 5000-5500 RPM vibrations hit hard. It almost sounds like the gears grinding on a poor shift, but not quite. Almost like it's the gears not meshing properly cus everything is rattling around. I notice this is not an issue between 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6, and I haven't experienced any issues with downshifts (the lightweight flywheel makes them super easy though)! Unfortunately I can see this being a problem on the track as I'm still quite a novice and could see myself not perfectly shifting at redline from 2nd to 3rd and getting some of this harsh grinding.

I've inspected my harmonic damper and there are no cracks, it looks like it's in good condition.

I can't really tell if this is natural behavior since the engine is no longer properly damped, or if I should be worried I'm going to soon have a blown transmission. There's no way having such a loud noise that also affects shifting is good. Has anyone experienced this before? Any recommendations, or should I live with it?

I'd prefer not to destroy this car... I've put a lot of work into bulletproofing it. I'd like it to be my forever car, and other than the clutch and brakes/rotors, it's all stock. Any master suggestions would be highly appreciated.
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 02:25:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

I have a pretty loud harmonic at ~5200 RPM with my lightweight flywheel. Since my car was used as a prototype for the updated ACT design, I was asked to provide feedback to their engineering team.

I brought this issue up, and apparently it's inherent to the S54 and part of the reason why BMW went with a dual mass flywheel -- according to their team, it should not hurt the car in anyway.

Anyway, I changed the headers out on my car, and it greatly reduced the noise. I've had the kit on the car for ~15000 miles and I have not had any engine related issues (Knock on wood).
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 02:50:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

What kind of fluid is in the transmission? Harmonic damper ripping apart due to lightweight flywheel... first I've heard. I thought they get killed by heat. Since you said the rest of the car is stock, have you replaced engine and transmission mounts yet?
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 03:13:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

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Originally Posted by CrookedCommie View Post
What kind of fluid is in the transmission? Harmonic damper ripping apart due to lightweight flywheel... first I've heard. I thought they get killed by heat. Since you said the rest of the car is stock, have you replaced engine and transmission mounts yet?
Not sure what fluid is in the transmission, I've not personally swapped it since I got the car. I have heard that putting a heavier fluid in helps with lightweight flywheel issues. Maybe I'll put that next on my todo list. Recommendation on a specific brand/type?

I have not replaced engine/trans mounts. The things I've done since I've got it is the rod bearings, RTABs, rear subframe mount reinforcement, CDV delete, brake pads and rotors, this clutch change and oil/brake fluid changes.

I had FCABs on the list next once I find a place to rent with a garage instead of a shared parking garage spot, guess at that point I should be able to do mounts too. I can see new mounts helping with any vibration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LakerE46 View Post
I have a pretty loud harmonic at ~5200 RPM with my lightweight flywheel. Since my car was used as a prototype for the updated ACT design, I was asked to provide feedback to their engineering team.

I brought this issue up, and apparently it's inherent to the S54 and part of the reason why BMW went with a dual mass flywheel -- according to their team, it should not hurt the car in anyway.

Anyway, I changed the headers out on my car, and it greatly reduced the noise. I've had the kit on the car for ~15000 miles and I have not had any engine related issues (Knock on wood).

Noise doesn't even concern me too much honestly. I understand weird noises are part of the game with a performance vehicle. Really it's the rough shifting into 3rd that gets me. Maybe it's not even shifting rough and it just sounds bad... I've never actually had an issue getting into 3rd, but it's usually a "that didn't sound good..." moment.

Last edited by codyshaw; Wed, Mar-14-2018 at 03:21:19 PM.
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Old Fri, Mar-30-2018, 10:47:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

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Originally Posted by codyshaw View Post
... I have heard that putting a heavier fluid in helps with lightweight flywheel issues...
It will only help with the chatter noise, and then only until the trans gets hot then the noise returns quite a bit. It will make the car hard to shift when cold due to the higher viscosity.
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 03:18:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

I have the same flywheel and mine does the same thing. Right around 5500rpm, it's like the undamped resonant frequency of the transmission which sounds pretty awful but I don't think it's doing any damage.

If you haven't changed your fluid I'd do that before passing judgement with 3rd gear. I recently switched to Pennzoil Synchromesh and it's my favorite by far.


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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 05:01:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus454 View Post
I have the same flywheel and mine does the same thing. Right around 5500rpm, it's like the undamped resonant frequency of the transmission which sounds pretty awful but I don't think it's doing any damage.

If you haven't changed your fluid I'd do that before passing judgement with 3rd gear. I recently switched to Pennzoil Synchromesh and it's my favorite by far.


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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 01:19:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 02:54:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

I don't care what anyone says, additional resonant sounds only indicate more friction and vibration. Stick with OEM, and yes harmonic dampers will melt and fall apart from the lack of inertial weight with a lighter flywheel.
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 04:55:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee

Common for lightweight flywheels - which is why most people (including track folks) avoid them. If it is a track only car - live with it (its trailered anyway). If not - live with it for 98% street use or replace with OE.
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Discussing Loud Droning at 5000-5500 RPM with new Lightweight Flywhee in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)