DesignerDave

Manual Shift, Manual Clutch Cdi

30 posts in this topic

Very interesting for sure. Thank you for your feedback, I'm certain that if you would prefer the less labor intensive installed unit and you are already capable of doing the more labor intensive install, that easily holds weight with anyone who doesn't actually work on the car themselves. 10 hours worth of labor (likely more by the time it's all said and done) is a lot of money to be saved and easily justifies a little more cost on the kit itself. 

 

Dave

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I've been spending a little time getting a feel for what is reasonable in the world of racing pedals, in terms of spacing between them.

 

As I mentioned earlier my racing background is on the motorcycle side so I don't claim to be an expert in what works best in the world of pedals.

 

What you see below is the preferred pedal spacing used by some drivers. The Lotus Elan came from factory with actually a tighter spacing than this, so this isn't actually as bad as it looks, and this is with the carpet still in place. If I ditched the carpet there would be plenty of extra space, but that isn't the plan. (Although the carpet is heavy and I would love to ditch it)

 

The location and width of the throttle is the same as stock. The really wide (ugly) brake pedal tread is gone, instead is a racing setup sized pedal used on all three, which is common.

 

I think the wide brake pedal makes it look impossible to install a clutch pedal with any reasonable amount of leftover space. I'm going to make the pedals adjustable on the arms to adjust as needed once it's together. 

 

Also I'm getting rid of that annoying offset between the pedals from the driver, flat across will be much more comfortable I think. Obviously since the dead pedal is also the wheel well, that will still be there.

Smart_Pedal_Asm.JPG

Smart_Pedal_Asm2.JPG

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Would anyone care if we just ditched the carpet around the pedals and put in a vacuum formed thermoplastic mat instead? As you can see in this image of the same pedals with only the sheet metal shown, there is much more room when you ditch the carpet. 

 

I'm thinking something similar to a weathertech mat style material. I consult and machine for a plastics company here that uses the same vac forming machine WeatherTech does, it wouldn't be too hard to make a new custom mat for that area. 

 

This would not only really help with the space down there, but also make it easier to keep rain and snow away from everything. Also it would be easier to install the clutch master cylinder below the floor and make a new "box" that bolts on from underneath to attach the brake and clutch to. My understanding is that the existing unit isn't perfect anyway. Not sure if people would hate the idea of cutting a hole in the floor if a template was provided? I'll see how far I can get without resorting to any of that.

 

I'm open to feedback as always! 

Pedals_Sheet_Metal.JPG

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For me personally, just having a clutch pedal would be enough, and still electronic shifting. I am not after faster shifts, but control off the line and taking it easier on the engine (my driveway is sloped, and it works hard to move when cold) plus no confusion about which gear it is really in when in stop and go.

I don't think you will find too many buyers for a kit that requires transmission removal and floor cutting plus a high cost, the cars are too old and owners too cheap. Maybe poll people what they think is reasonable for a kit (cost wise), you might get some good feedback and an idea of how small the budget will be. Some owners here will be willing, but most in the real world (based on working on them in  professional shop) don't care to spend any money on them.

I don't think it is unreasonable to have to remove the transmission to install parts like a clutch slave (think that one is an awesome idea, doing away with weak parts).

 

 

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Thank you very much for your feedback. 

 

I agree with you that really the electronic shifting isn't nearly as important as the manual clutch, the only real problem is you can't really have one without the other. Mercedes could easily do it but without the ability to make drastic changes to the ECU software it really isn't practical to keep the entire OEM shifting configuration. I could interface with the electrical motor and add a solenoid to the shift lever assembly, it is important the driver have feedback as to the exact moment the gear is engaged. Even so, to keep the gauges showing the gear is still unlikely. You couldn't have the ECU trying to shift for you on it's own because you need to press the clutch to do this. The ECU still needs to think the car is in neutral or it'll show three bars the second it requests for clutch movement and it doesn't happen. At least this is what I assume it would do if it didn't have clutch movement within a certain time allowance. 

 

This first design has an external slave and external cable operated detent/shift unit. We'll see how that works out and if we need to go back to the drawing board that is okay too. I'm trying to make this as cheap as it can be both from a manufacturing and installation standpoint. Hopefully this will not require any sheetmetal cutting, that will be confirmed next.

 

We'll probably build a bunch of other smart widgets along the way. Would anyone find tapered plates to slightly widen the rear wheel spacing and take out the camber angle useful? I could whip those up like hotcakes, better than cutting, welding and painting, especially for the average owner?

 

Thanks again for your helpful perspective!

 

Dave

 

 

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