Note that this is an INITIAL review. This will be updated every 500 miles until I hit 1,500 miles. I am doing it this way as the first 500 will be break in, the second 500 will be normal driving, then the third 500 will have a few enthusiastic drives in it. I drive about 400 miles a week, so stay tuned here over the next month for updates. This review is done at about 75 miles.
Why the FX400 8 Puck?
Choosing the clutch was the hardest part for me. I wanted something that would reliably hold K04 levels of power that was not a pain in the ass to drive in traffic. Additionally, noise was a bit of a concern as I needed something my wife wouldn’t complain about. In a sense, this isn’t asking a lot, but with the potential issue with SBC, my default "go to" was eliminated. After emailing manufactures, talking to other people, checking out other threads, I came to the conclusion that the FX400 8 puck was the best balance between holding power and driveability. In a sense, it balances it without making a compromise.
So how does it drive?
To put it simply; like a dream. My one complaint is that pedal feel is very similar (identical) to stock. Yes, this is an odd complaint, but I was hoping for a slightly firmer pedal. For many this is going to be perfect. Clutch engagement is significantly lower but is totally predictable. It is a bit of an on/off switch, but I am already accustomed to it. I was in heavy stop and go today and I didn’t have to think about it at all.
How does it sound?
For me there is really only one thing that matters with sound and that is the dreaded wife test. I have two methods of the wife test: 1) is to see if she complains about added noise over bluetooth and 2) is to see if she comments while in the car. The FX400 passes both with flying colors.
This is not to say it has NO added sound, as it has a bit. When coasting and RPMs are dropping you do get a bit of "BECAUSE RACECAR!" sound, but its not over powering at all. In fact, others likely won’t hear it. You have to be listening to it. The other factor to consider is chatter….
I know this is probably the biggest question hanging over your heads right now. Lets be clear. This is a SMF, so there WILL be some chatter. You already knew that. So the question is "how much?". To really answer this question we need to break it down into segments/situations.
1) In gear or clutch engaged: None. Seriously. None. Doesn’t matter if you are under load or not, if you are in gear or the clutch is engaged, it doesn’t chatter
2) Out of gear, AC off: EXTREMELY slight. If you are having a normal conversation with someone, or the radio is on juuusssstttt a bit, you will not hear it. You have to really listen for it.
3) Out of gear, AC on: Some. Obviously this is the classic shudder situation. You can hear it. You know what it is. It isn’t terrible. If you have the AC on and the fan is on two or above, the fan noise itself will drown most of it out. Radio on and its all gone. Honestly, just like engagement while driving in traffic, it became part of the noise of the world very rapidly.
If you are VERY sensitive to chatter, you might feel differently. That said, for the vast majority of us (and our significant others) this will be a non-issue.
Overall, initial impressions:
This is the perfect set up for me. Keeping the mature nature and refinement of the car has been of critical importance to me as I modified it. The FX400 meets need, perfectly. The slight noise is not nearly enough to impact your daily life. The biggest complaint I have right now is that I have to wait 500 miles to really get on it!