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ZF Auto - "Flappy Paddles" 

 

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 Post subject: ZF Auto - "Flappy Paddles"
Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:54 pm 
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I've been working on and off for weeks on a secret project, now as it nears completion, I'm revealing to the Ford world.

Ever since I picked up my GT-P I wondered why Ford didn't offer steering wheel mounted shifting (like Tickford did with the T series, and other performance car makers do, even ones which use the same ZF transmission). So I set about researching how to go about doing it.

Initial research was based off the BTR4 speed tiptronic module, after realising the ZF uses a completely different system of communicating to the box, and some initial incorrect information that it uses the CAN bus I was left despondent thinking it'd moved "out of my league" (of electronics skills).

However I persevered and one lazy weekend, I pulled the shifter apart, and had a look at the tiptronic module. I realised there wasn't anything special or CAN related on the board, figured I may still have a chance.

ImageImageImage
Shifter unit, and control module

So multimeter in had, I poked and prodded, getting a feel for what the module does. It uses an array of hall effect switches (magnetic sensitive) activated by a magnet attached to the shifter itself, and some hex added ICs to light up the corresponding red LEDs to show the shifter location on the module, and for the tiptronic function send a combination of high/low signals over three wires to the transmissions TCU (computer). These signals are only used for the tiptronic function, and the Performance mode. The other positions (Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive) are determined from the transmission itself via the position of the cable operated shift selector.

So soldering iron, protoboard, and hook up wire in hand I set forth building something to emulate the outputs of the module. After trying to find the correct parts needed for the connectors to the module (they're not a common size or shape) I managed to find them from a place that'd sell them in small batches, not the bags of 1000 the manufacturer wants to sell. Today, after a small set back, with my initial mapping of the signals needed (I got one of them backwards), resulting in a quick rewire of the protoboard I've had success.

Hooked up in between the cars loom (to the transmission) and the control module, I can control up and down shifts from the new micro switches.

ImageImage
Protoboard control module and micro switch modules

In line with the rest of the car, I've made the paddles up from carbon fibre.

Image
Carbon fibre paddles attached to the micro switch modules

All that's left now is to affix the micro switch modules to the steering column (I've and idea for that, but some trial and error will be needed to figure out something daily usable).

 

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Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:02 pm 
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f**k yeah man, thats awesome. well done

so this will leave you able to use the t-bar to shift as well wont it? i imagine it will

 

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Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:03 pm 
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At the moment, I've disabled that, as I've added some protection circuitry (don't want to blow up the TCM or the shifter module while I'm playing around).

Version 2, already in planning will keep everything functional.

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:09 pm 
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hahah f**k awesome man!

this will be sweet to see!

i how with the paddles u will keep the in the same spot while the wheel turns around them

should be easy to make somthign up then

or see if u can find the paddles off another car?

 

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Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:19 pm 
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Version one has them stuck to the steering column - they don't move (I figure you should have your gears sorted before you turn in anyway).

Version two will have them mounted to the wheel.

 

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2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:58 pm 
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that some good electrical engineering! Good to see someone who knows there s**t going about it and not some cowboy with no clue jsut f**k good stuff up!

look forward to seeing pics of the finished product!

Well done!?
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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Will the same trigger mechanism also work to activate the BTR type shift electronics?

BenJ

 

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:43 pm 
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It'll only work on cars with the tiptronic feature already.

Currently then only one it'll work on is BF's with the ZF 6 speed. With some tweaking, I'm sure I can get it to work on the BA and BF BTR 4 speed.

The older cars, don't have the tiptronic feature I can tap in to. (unsure about the AU T series, they had wheel mounted buttons).

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:53 pm 
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What I was thinking is to use the module Muzza builds for those that have installed the BA shifter into the Eseries cars.

But not use the BA shifter. Just have a button that activates the sports mode, and then use the paddles to make the changes.

Any thoughts?

BenJ

 

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:59 pm 
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You'd be best talking to him about how he does his module. I haven't seen one, so don't know how it works.

Assuming however, it takes the input from a BA shifter exactly the same as a BA would, then yeah it's possible.

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Wow, amazing Work Data_mine!
look forward to seeing your version2

 

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:39 pm 
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I reckon you could be on to making some serious cash from Ford if your business minded as well as being technically very proficient like you are.

 

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Last edited by Timmeh on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:41 pm 
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I have designed units for the 4speeds quite a while ago, which when the gear lever is over in the performance mode, will allow you to use the std steering wheel buttons to change gears.
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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:56 am 
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I'm betting that the hardest part to get sturdy and reliable will be the flappy paddles themselves.

Nice work - now that it's out in the open!


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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:59 am 
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66 coupe wrote:
I have designed units for the 4speeds quite a while ago, which when the gear lever is over in the performance mode, will allow you to use the std steering wheel buttons to change gears.


Now that's a neat idea. First I've heard of it. No reason why it couldn't be adapted to the 6-speeds really is there?

Were these units commercialised - or was it a DIY job?


Lukeyson
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