PEGA Clutch QP Rebuild - LIFE CYCLE REVIEW - Maserati Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-17-2016, 04:53 PM Thread Starter

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PEGA Clutch QP Rebuild - LIFE CYCLE REVIEW

As I was driving back from a business trip yesterday, my clutch slipped. It slipped on takeoff from 1st gear and 2nd, and it did it twice, which leads me to believe that clutch is finally getting tired and will need replaced.

I find it necessary to report on my experience because, as many of you know, I am running a PEGA clutch - an $800 rebuild kit I had installed at GTE performance in Pompano Beach, FL. I can almost guarantee that I am the only person who has had one of these units installed and used it throughout its entire useful life, due to how much I drive my car. With that said, here is my LIFE CYCLE review:

BREAK IN PERIOD: TERRIBLE. I will explain.
PERFORMANCE: GOOD
LONGEVITY: EXCELLENT
COST: EXCELLENT
QUALITY: EXCELLENT

SUMMARY:

When I had this installed by GTE, the car had considerable trouble following the install. It shifted hard, then soft, sometimes skipping gears and there was NO reverse. After driving the car, the gear changes smoothed out however there was no reverse at all. You could hear it engage, but nothing. After a thorough diagnosis from GTE, the owner Serkan claimed I needed a new TCU. Well that didn't help. Then he said I needed a new actuator, which he can rebuild. Then he said I needed a total of approximately $15K in repairs and "I shouldn't be driving a car I can't afford to maintain" if I don't pay up. Convinced that this was not the case, I paid $6,300 in charges to have my car released (including many charges for parts/services I knew I didn't need - I just wanted to get the car out) with no reverse.

After driving my car hard for about a week, my suspicions proved to be true (that the plates were slightly thicker than standard and needed to be broken into) and reverse came back and my car again was reliable. After a quick SD3 adjustment, the car then shifted as new.

Despite my experience with GTE and Serkan, I refuse to rob him and his business of credit when its due. The PEGA clutch is a quality product. If I was able to pay the $2,700 I was initially quoted and warned about the break in period, then I would be singing high praises for GTE! I arrived at his shop in Pompano Beach with approximately 48K miles - now at 94K miles, it is finally slipping. Keep in mind my flywheel (which he resurfaced) is original, my TO bearing is original, etc. Not too shabby.

Since my original post in 2015, I have had countless calls from QP owners who were serviced at GTE and had PEGA clutches installed with the same issues. They call me upset and say "I have no reverse. The dealer can't figure it out, etc." I tell them to just calm down and spend a week driving the cars hard. Then they call me back and say "you were right!! It works now!" One last year called with the same issue and he was told by Serkan that his "transmission was shot." I told him that THERE IS NO WAY his transmission is bad. Turns out he had a PEGA installed and it had no reverse and was not shifting properly. I told him to get that car out now or demand a OEM part replacement. He chose the OEM clutch and the car is back on the road.

This post was not intended to be a strike against Serkan or GTE. However, based on the input from his customers and my long term experience with his product, he is doing himself a huge disservice by not simply marketing this product with the inherent risks attached instead of bilking customers for unnecessary repairs. THE PEGA PRODUCT IS A GOOD PRODUCT! It's actually an amazing product for the money!

BREAK-IN:

You will likely not have reverse if you order this part on ebay or from GTE. Don't panic. The friction discs on this unit are either slightly out of spec or the material is different. Regardless, the TCU doesn't like it. Based on my experience and feedback from others, just drive the car hard for about 5-7 days. The reverse issue will correct itself.

Also, the gearbox will act funky in the beginning. Again, just drive it. Wear it in a bit.

PERFORMANCE:

The performance is not great but not bad. High RPM shifting is flawless. Low RPM shifting is a bit unpredictable. All QPs have a tendency to slip between gears but this clutch is sometimes hard, sometimes soft with quite a bit of variance in between. The Valeo units don't necessarily feel "better," but they are more "consistent." With a little practice, the PEGA will work just fine. It will probably work better for a daily driver than a weekend car for this reason.

LONGEVITY:

Excellent! I am sure that if I drove mine with a little more discipline, the PEGA would last over 50K easy.

COST:

Excellent! $800 part, $2,000 installed with a big, fat asterisk.

QUALITY:

Excellent. I put this one to the test. Hot Florida sun, daily driving, track, cross-country (FL-AZ), freezing temps, etc. Good quality product.

ANY ISSUES THAT HAVE SURFACED:

I do have the "clutch squeal" which MNA diagnoses as a spigot/bell housing bearing issue in their service bulletin. This is caused by excessive torque changes at the shaft, eventually dislodging the bearing from its seat, making it squeal. A sticky clutch and a heavy car can cause this - I would think that a kevlar clutch would encourage this if installed in a QP or maybe even a PEGA, depending on the friction disc's material. However, since this has occurred also with the OEM units, I can't attribute this to PEGA, even though it happened to me shortly after install (correlation over causation).

WHO MAKES THE PEGA CLUTCH?:

This is the million dollar question. At GTE, he indeed does resurface flywheels in-house with his own equipment. The actual clutch manufacturing, however, simply cannot take place in a small repair bay next to three cars and an aluminum desk so it makes me question if these are outsourced or private-labeled somewhere. Again, I don't know the whole story so maybe Serkan is indeed responsible for this technology, but I don't see them being manufactured at GTE in Pompano.

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Actually under certain circumstances, yes. If you have $1,000 and triple-A-plus, you have a new clutch. The part is $800, so if you do your own work, and ship your car to Maserati for a final SD3 PIS adjustment, you're on the road! You really can't beat that in a pinch. Just remember my experience and my feedback. I reported it to you exactly as it happened. I will likely opt for a new Valeo this time but only because I need a new bearing, flywheel, etc.

Erik Di Somma
2005 Quattroporte
1989 228 (past)
1985 Quattroporte III (past)
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-17-2016, 10:25 PM
 
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Interesting article thanks.
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post #3 of 21 Old 12-18-2016, 01:14 AM
 
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This is an excellent and detailed writeup!! The additional learning lesson here is to beware of "expert" repair shops, you really have to do your own due diligence. I hope that shop understand their sarcastic "if you can't afford to maintain" comment goes the other way, when they inevitably screw the wrong guy and are staring at costly litigation.

Love the overall results and thanks for sharing!!

Doug - Outside Philadelphia

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02 MB G500
84 MB 300D

Former:
95 Alfa 164, 86 Jag VP, 83 Porsche 928, 99 Carrera, 04 Saab 9-5, 01 Saab 9-3, 00 Range Rover, 00 MB S500, 04 Jag XJ8, 99 Jag XJ8, and more!
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post #4 of 21 Old 12-18-2016, 03:00 AM
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For those that don't remember or haven't looked it up, @ErikDiSomma started this thread back here couple of years ago:

https://www.maseratilife.com/forums/q...h-organic.html

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post #5 of 21 Old 12-19-2016, 10:34 PM
 
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Good write up, but I`m not so sure why somebody would want an exotic car that won`t go into reverse for a week(hopefully).. Just sounds like a nightmare scenario from a shop stand point.. Probably will never install one based on the info. provided...Jason

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post #6 of 21 Old 12-20-2016, 07:05 PM
 
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New Clutch Replacement Issues

Forum,

I just got my clutch replaced on a 2007 Quattroporte (Duo Select) by an Independent Mechanic that has replaced three prior to mine with no issues per the shop. In my case, after leaving the shop I'm getting alot of vibration at certain RPMs per gear and sometimes a howling sound...it just feels really rough. The gears do switch fine whether in automatic or manual mode but I also tooke notice that I hear a "clattering sound" sometimes when switching from 2nd to 3rd gear. Maybe something needs reprogrammed, parameters set, etc. I don't know..I just retired from the Air Force (24 years) doing IT work so I have no clue about cars...lol. Any suggestions or help?

The shop changed out the following parts:

Clutch Pack (OEM - Valeo)
Thrust Bearing
F1 sensor

Note 1: The shop said my flywheel was good.
Note 2: The shop is using the Navigator TXC diagnostic tool with the Supercar software option
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-27-2016, 08:16 PM Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by mendezjayc1 View Post
Forum,

I just got my clutch replaced on a 2007 Quattroporte (Duo Select) by an Independent Mechanic that has replaced three prior to mine with no issues per the shop. In my case, after leaving the shop I'm getting alot of vibration at certain RPMs per gear and sometimes a howling sound...it just feels really rough. The gears do switch fine whether in automatic or manual mode but I also tooke notice that I hear a "clattering sound" sometimes when switching from 2nd to 3rd gear. Maybe something needs reprogrammed, parameters set, etc. I don't know..I just retired from the Air Force (24 years) doing IT work so I have no clue about cars...lol. Any suggestions or help?

The shop changed out the following parts:

Clutch Pack (OEM - Valeo)
Thrust Bearing
F1 sensor

Note 1: The shop said my flywheel was good.
Note 2: The shop is using the Navigator TXC diagnostic tool with the Supercar software option
From what I read on this forum, those TXC units simply are not accurate for PIS adjustment. The defaults are not accurate and the reads aren't either. I would quit driving it and get a read/adjustment from the dealer with an SD3 or with a Leo.

Regardless, the noise you are describing is not normal. I'm no mechanic but sounds to me like you hear your syncros during gear changes, possibly a result of your friction discs remaining in contact with the flywheel too long or perhaps sticking to it a bit during those gear changes. Please tell me they resurfaced the flywheel!

Erik Di Somma
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post #8 of 21 Old 12-29-2016, 01:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikDiSomma View Post
From what I read on this forum, those TXC units simply are not accurate for PIS adjustment. The defaults are not accurate and the reads aren't either. I would quit driving it and get a read/adjustment from the dealer with an SD3 or with a Leo.

Regardless, the noise you are describing is not normal. I'm no mechanic but sounds to me like you hear your syncros during gear changes, possibly a result of your friction discs remaining in contact with the flywheel too long or perhaps sticking to it a bit during those gear changes. Please tell me they resurfaced the flywheel!
If you are not a mechanic, and don`t work on these cars...Why are you guessing what is wrong with them? I don`t know you personally and I hate to pick on you, but you really talk a lot about stuff you don`t know about...You should stick to clutch review since you had one..

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Last edited by [email protected] Enzo`s Atlanta; 12-29-2016 at 09:07 AM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-29-2016, 07:29 PM Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by [email protected] Enzo`s Atlanta View Post
If you are not a mechanic, and don`t work on these cars...Why are you guessing what is wrong with them? I don`t know you personally and I hate to pick on you, but you really talk a lot about stuff you don`t know about...You should stick to clutch review since you had one..
To answer your question, "guessing" is all you can do remotely via a forum, correct? Well, that's what I am doing. This forum, and all forums, are created as a tool for the exchange of ideas of owners of like cars and according to those who I have given advice, it has value.

You are correct, that I am not a mechanic, but that is by choice. Quite candidly, I cannot make the money I want to make doing this for a living, however over the course of 20 years, I have owned almost 30 exotic cars and worked on all myself for various reasons. I am an investor in a garage here in SF (which only a few of you know about) and I have not once promoted it on this forum. Regardless of what you may think it's simply not the purpose here. I simply am an avid enthusiast with an interest in cars who wants to share my experience with those who will likely go through the things I have gone through.

Finally, your comments on this post are not so bad, but in the past your condescending and intentionally insulting remarks on prior posts have been absorbed by many people in a way that is counterproductive in your marketing attempts on Maserati Life. I know that because I hear from them. Like me, many have taken a break from interacting on this forum for that reason and that is a shame. So, going forward, I hope that your opinions are contained to the area of your expertise, which by the way I don't deny is very valuable, and not about individuals who post. It will only help you in the long run.

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1985 Quattroporte III (past)
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-29-2016, 10:12 PM
 
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Erik, the thought I have offended a bunch of ML users and they PMed you about it and left the site is absurd...I have helped hundreds of ML members...On occasion I can get snarky with people, but that is just the internet...It is not uncommon when you post something incorrect on any kind of forum on the internet for someone to call you out.. I do tend to pick at you and I`m gonna tell you why...I see a lot of misinformation in a lot of your post and it honestly makes me crazy as you make it sound like Gospel...example...Earlier this week you posted about the variators again...You basically told a car shop owner how VVT works and were totally wrong again...The camshaft is not advanced at idle and startup...It`s in a retarded position..That was one of many inaccuracies ...Then there is your whole reman. variator and skunkworks intake manifold thing you were talking about a while back......A lot of your post consist of "I hear" and "I read".. It is just nonsense and I`m simply calling you out...If I post something incorrect I would expect others to call me out..That is how it works sir..

In closing, I`m not going to high jack your nice clutch thread as it was well written and you did have one of these clutches..If you notice I posted kindly about your post...regards....Jason

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post #11 of 21 Old 12-29-2016, 11:43 PM
 
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I would consider your experience 100% mechanic ripoff- nightmare. No reverse?!!!
$6300 to get it out after unnecessary work and parts?!!! sorry this is not acceptable- not in this country.
Recommending an , at the very least -incompetent- or maybe dishonest mechanic. You've got to be joking !!!
how do you even know that the F1pump, actuators, gearbox would even survive this "break in period- no reverse"
That's total nonsense- it's not how cars get fixed. total FAIL IMO.
I have just completed clutch replacement in my spyder. Factory (actually new Valeo) clutch and yes- new factory TO bearing, flywheel resurfaced, F1 sensor for about $2500 labor included and yes- SD3 setup too. Car came alive on day one and keeps thrilling me every time. But then again- I'm a patient, prudent shopper. Emergencies can get very costly, it is much better to have work done on a toy that just waits its turn....
patience my friends...
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Originally Posted by jacek View Post
I would consider your experience 100% mechanic ripoff- nightmare. No reverse?!!!
$6300 to get it out after unnecessary work and parts?!!! sorry this is not acceptable- not in this country.
Recommending an , at the very least -incompetent- or maybe dishonest mechanic. You've got to be joking !!!
how do you even know that the F1pump, actuators, gearbox would even survive this "break in period- no reverse"
That's total nonsense- it's not how cars get fixed. total FAIL IMO.
I have just completed clutch replacement in my spyder. Factory (actually new Valeo) clutch and yes- new factory TO bearing, flywheel resurfaced, F1 sensor for about $2500 labor included and yes- SD3 setup too. Car came alive on day one and keeps thrilling me every time. But then again- I'm a patient, prudent shopper. Emergencies can get very costly, it is much better to have work done on a toy that just waits its turn....
patience my friends...
You completely misunderstood the point of the review.

I agree that I was "ripped off," for a lack of better phrases. I was very upset at the time and learned from my experience and would never recommend the mechanic again. This review however was concerning the part itself, with all biases against the installer aside. I refuse to rob the PEGA product of deserved credit, regardless of how I feel about Serkan, considering how long and hard I have driven my car. Please don't consider this an endorsement - this is just an honest review of what was expected to be a long-term mistake.

Erik Di Somma
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1989 228 (past)
1985 Quattroporte III (past)
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-16-2017, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ErikDiSomma View Post
You completely misunderstood the point of the review.

I agree that I was "ripped off," for a lack of better phrases. I was very upset at the time and learned from my experience and would never recommend the mechanic again. This review however was concerning the part itself, with all biases against the installer aside. I refuse to rob the PEGA product of deserved credit, regardless of how I feel about Serkan, considering how long and hard I have driven my car. Please don't consider this an endorsement - this is just an honest review of what was expected to be a long-term mistake.
Not completely- maybe just a little- because these stories keep reappearing... but they shouldn't!!!
Isn't the point of spending time on an enthusiast forum avoiding others mistakes? (and yes car porn too)
Regardless of the mechanics incompetence IMO it is not acceptable having to break in the clutch without reverse.
I have few questions:
1. Are you sure that you weren't just lucky to get the reverse back?
2. are you sure that nothing that was done afterwards (unnecessary work and parts) didn't help you in getting the reverse back and the clutch operating properly?
3. Are you sure that the reverse comes back and the pump trying to engage won't get damaged, solenoids, actuators, accumulator, TO bearing, gears, syncros, etc...?
4. are you sure that the new clutch break in did not cause the pilot bearing to go?
I would honestly answer yourself these questions before recommending a product.
There are too many expensive "if" here IMO.....
You may not get so lucky next time....
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-19-2017, 05:15 PM Thread Starter

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Not completely- maybe just a little- because these stories keep reappearing... but they shouldn't!!!
Isn't the point of spending time on an enthusiast forum avoiding others mistakes? (and yes car porn too)
Regardless of the mechanics incompetence IMO it is not acceptable having to break in the clutch without reverse.
I have few questions:
1. Are you sure that you weren't just lucky to get the reverse back?
2. are you sure that nothing that was done afterwards (unnecessary work and parts) didn't help you in getting the reverse back and the clutch operating properly?
3. Are you sure that the reverse comes back and the pump trying to engage won't get damaged, solenoids, actuators, accumulator, TO bearing, gears, syncros, etc...?
4. are you sure that the new clutch break in did not cause the pilot bearing to go?
I would honestly answer yourself these questions before recommending a product.
There are too many expensive "if" here IMO.....
You may not get so lucky next time....
Of course, I want to help other forum members avoid mistakes, not to mention avoiding the hassle and expense of my experience! However, although it is very difficult for me at times, it is only fair to give an isolated review on the actual part and its performance, rather than have my opinion of that part be reflective of my feelings for the installer. Trust me - it's hard, but fair is fair.

Let me answer these questions in order and address anyone's fears based on my understanding of how the F1 system works, keeping in mind that before I really understood these machines (no, not to the point of a Ferrari certified mechanic, but that level of understanding is not required in this case), I would let fear answer my questions for me.

1. Are you sure you weren't just lucky to get reverse back?

YES. I'm sure. I've worked with many high performance clutches and the fact that the tall gears of Reverse, and even 1st and 2nd at times are affected first is a sure symptom of the clutch sticking to the flywheel. It was easier to explain the breakin period as wearing in a thicker friction surface, which could have been the case, however it also could simply be the friction material's composition itself. If, on a newly resurfaced flywheel, you introduce a denser, stickier material, your lower gear syncros (which there likely no synconizing ring in reverse on the QP (maybe a mechanic wants to chime in on this) will not let it engage without grinding. Fortunately, the F1 system will detect that variance and throw the car into N. I had the same problem with installing high-performance clutches in Porsches and even a Centerforce in a modified Delorean! So, I knew that whatever the "break-in" period would accomplish mechanically, it would bring back reverse.

2. are you sure that nothing that was done afterwards (unnecessary work and parts) didn't help you in getting the reverse back and the clutch operating properly?Nothing was done in addition to installing the part.

After I received a long list of unnecessary repairs, I cashed out. I just wanted to get it out of the shop. Many Indy shops charge to diagnose and replace and replace until the problem goes away. On these cars, as you know, that's a financial death wish. I couldn't become the guinea pig. The final PIS adjustment was done at FM Palm Beach.

3. Are you sure that the reverse comes back and the pump trying to engage won't get damaged, solenoids, actuators, accumulator, TO bearing, gears, syncros, etc...?

Absolutely not. If your clutch sticks, the pump shouldn't continue to run. The TCU should stop it since you've got torque going into the tranny. That's why it should just jump into N. I know there are settings that can affect this, but out of the gate, these do a pretty good job in replicating a manual shift. Solenoids and actuator also - these parts are pretty strong remember. I know the cost of these parts can scare you into believing they are at risk but these same parts are used on the track with 1000HP cars at super-high temperatures. Same with the accumulator - if it shoots some pressure an extra time or two trying to go into gear before going into N, it shouldn't hurt a thing. If your accumulator is already leaky and your pump is running off the hook, spooling every 15 seconds, then you have a problem, but a sticky clutch? Not at all. The TO bearing is only working when the clutch is free so that component is completely separate from the issue when it is in contact.

4. are you sure that the new clutch break in did not cause the pilot bearing to go?
I would honestly answer yourself these questions before recommending a product.
There are too many expensive "if" here IMO.....
You may not get so lucky next time...

I am sure. The bell housing bearing is a known and well-documented problem with daily driving QPs. Mine is probably original and unscored.

These break-in issues are no stranger to other aftermarket clutches, including Kevlar, which is even worse. The Kevlar clutches are more solid, slippery and sticky (yes, both) than OEM, which means they either will work great or not at all, depending on the engagement. Ideally, I recommend them on a standard transmission since you can control engagement with the clutch pedal, but with a F1, your PIS needs to be just right or it won't work. The TCUs of the QPs seem to be much less tolerant than the F430s and egears. I suspect it's because the QP was programmed to have a slight amount of slippage and neither will allow that until they are finally broken in and adjusted properly, outside of spec.

This brings me to my next point. In terms of performance, I equate the PEGA clutch as a cross between the stock Valeo and a Kevlar. I mean this in terms of break-in issues and performance.

Over the last week, I just repaired a 2005 stock QP with a new OEM clutch pack installed (about 1000 mi since install). Jumping out of my car and into his, you can clearly feel my gear changes were much faster, firmer, no doubt. The owner even commented on the shifting characteristics of my car when we drove both - "how to I get me car to shift like that?" Granted, I do play with the throttle a bit to shift quickly, but that technique does not work on the Valeos. They slip too much for my taste. The drawback is that the PEGA slips more on takeoff. It seems that once it has made contact with the flywheel once, it's good to go and performs better than stock. In fact, with the exception of takeoff, it feels like a DBW. I may decide to throw in a DBW before replacing my clutch just to see the performance limits. I would not recommend doing this until the clutch is fully broken into since the DBW limits the slip, which is required in breaking in the PEGA.

As far as solid recommendations, I can't fully recommend this product unless the buyer knows what he/she's getting into. That's the case with any aftermarket part. Just keep in mind that Valeo manufactures parts for OEM and aftermarket and farms out to many companies, and so might PEGA. I think the biggest risk is associated with the fact that while Valeo is an established brand with a solid reputation to protect, PEGA is not/does not. And, whose to say that my clutch was manufactured in the same place as one you will buy? I can't make that guarantee.

Finally, I hate the word "luck." I have had a lot of exotics and the most common response to my good experiences have been "well, you were lucky." I've heard it all my life. These cars, like others I have owned, are amazing machines that are feared more than enjoyed. Hell, try driving the '85 QPIII to college classes. When something broke, the dealers didn't even know what to do with that thing! With the smart mechanically inclined people joined together by forums like this, there's no real risk in having some fun and trying some things out. I just find it responsible to give accurate reports of my experiences, regardless of my personal differences with those who caused them.

Erik Di Somma
2005 Quattroporte
1989 228 (past)
1985 Quattroporte III (past)
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-19-2017, 08:35 PM
 
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Of course it's good to have options. But good options and this isn't one of them IMO.
I personally would not want to expose my car to a no reverse scenario. More so, I don't want to expose myself to it. My life is stressful enough.
$800 isn't exactly pocket change either
But there may be brave souls out there that don't mind- When I was in my 20's I probably would dive into it. Not any more. Good luck to everyone trying this !!!!
Erik it is not a punt at you to be clear. We are just having a debate.
These few hundred $$$ especially with the labor cost involved are not worth it IMO.
Unless it is DYI maybe...
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