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Thread: Hand control for newer vehicles with electronic throttles

  1. #21
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    I do like $35 for an experiment! Since you have an auto shop, you wouldn't happen to have an o scope function on one of your handheld voltmeters, would you? I would be really curious to see if that is a linear signal output from the gas pedal, or some sort of PWM signal, or ???. If I am gathering this info right, it seems that this may be just a voltage signal being fed to the PCM? I'm kind of not sure on that analog signal theory, as I would think that the PCM might be looking for a PWM or possibly digital signal considering wiring harness age/resistance changes from the design spec? That's why I'd like to find out just what the signal is coming out of the gas pedal. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of just using a different device to give the PCM pedal information...if it is just an analog signal.

  2. #22
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Accelerator pedal sender is pure analog DC.
    You might be able to get the ECM to accept a signal from a potentiometer-you might have to play with the nominal resistance of the pot to get it working properly.
    If indeed Dodge senders are inverted, you would absolutely need a ganged (two identical pots on single shaft) linear taper unit with one wired backwards to invert it's signal. (if not linear, with inversion signals won't be coherent)
    This is why I say it was helpful to get the circuit up where I could access it, with the 6 terminals in a (sensible) row. (I see the Dodge circuit is bisymmetrical which is at least easily comprehensible. Actually, if one circuit is inverted, then it acts electrically "parallel": Vsig from 1-2 & 4-5 would follow each other as would 2-3 &4-5)
    One little fact, at least w/VW: if the sensor is moved too far in the WOT end, the car will fall on it's face into limp mode. (I forget now if I needed to cycle the key or just operate the throttle several times to clear it, but I didm;t need to clear codes) I finally just took to reading the floor-boarded voltage of the pedal sensor, flipping the changeover switch and adjusting my throttle cable on the hand control to match. This way I'm pretty sure I get full throttle.

    I think you will need to access the stock setup signals in order to match them with whatever sender you might use, i.e.: although reference voyage is 5.0V, the signal may need to start above zero and end before 5V. Any good quality DVOM will be sufficient.
    The "ground" and 5V circuits may be electrically isolated/separate and I hunch you absolutely shouldn't couple them or use only one pair for both signals. And you absolutely mustn't drive the ECM with a single sender on two circuits even if it seems to work! This will disable the fail safe function of redundant circuits and could get incredibly ugly with such a powerful machine stuck at WOT!

    PS: if you do order any pedals from the yards, tell them you absolutely need the electrical plug to the sensor and as much of the harness as they can pull out with it. Tell them you'll gladly pay extra for it. And, if the pedal assys are cheap enough, you might be able to get a male connection by hacking it off the housing and soldering leads to it. When I did the Volvo setup in my wife's 01 V70, I did just that and basically made a "T" harness that inserted between the pedal and it's plug, bringing all of the circuits up to a place I could experiment and fabricate at. Now I can unplug the whole works if I put it in another Volvo. The VW I made the mistake of hard-wiring, so it's soldered to six wires down by the pedals.
    Last edited by pfcs49; 08-18-2015 at 06:58 PM.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Good tips. You are really getting me interested in rigging a finger throttle now. I gotta start looking into benders so I can fab an appropriate brake rod and figure out the cheapest way to thread the ends of that rod to accept heim joints. The rest I figure would be catalog shopping at McMaster Carr. Then I could have the brake lever next to the console for a right hand application close-in and I am thinking a throttle sort of like this trigger throttle:

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  4. #24
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    The brake rod on the GTI I bent by hand. It has a ~12-15* bend midway and is 7/8" x.083?" wall DOM steel tubing.
    The rod ends have 3/8NF ends. I ground down some old AH sprite lug bolts to just fit inside (they are 3/8NF & about 1"long), left a little protruding, and welded them. (They operate in compression so absolutely no danger of failing)
    I believe threaded inserts or tube nuts are available from chassis builders; they may very well be at M Carr or MSC Industrial. They still need welding, though.
    You might think about doing it like mine because it allows driving with both hands on the wheel while still able to throttle. What sucks about conventional controls is that people don't realize how tiring it is to hold up one arm while driving! The wheel doesn't support it or you turn right! With my setup, you can drive straight with both hands at the normal position, just like real people.

    If you do this, I'll be real interested to see what you come up with for throttle control. Bear in mind that if you can implement potentiometers, the will need to rotate ~270* for idle to WOT.
    Linear pots would be great if you could find high quality ones that were immune to getting dirty; a noisy volume control on a throttle would cause a limp mode fault.

    And, if you really want to do me a favor, figure out how to put the control on the wheel and get 6 circuits into the chassis! That would be great, especially with the paddle shifters on my DSG trans.
    Last edited by pfcs49; 08-18-2015 at 09:26 PM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    The brake rod on the GTI I bent by hand. It has a ~12-15* bend midway and is 7/8" x.083?" wall DOM steel tubing.


    What sucks about conventional controls is that people don't realize how tiring it is to hold up one arm while driving! The wheel doesn't support it or you turn right! With my setup, you can drive straight with both hands at the normal position, just like real people.

    figure out how to put the control on the wheel and get 6 circuits into the chassis! That would be great, especially with the paddle shifters on my DSG trans.
    Tubing, eh? Gotta look into that. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of what my MPD brake rod is, a solid rod, as a template of materials to use. Decisions....

    Ergonomics...tell me about it! My Challenger is actually quite nice, door armrest and console high up, and driving my elbow/forearm is on the door armrest and a straight shot to the hand control for 2 finger and a thumb operation. All in the wrist. I did have to drop my control lever some than what is shown in the photos of my thread about that car. I was having some sort of nerve pain from overuse issues with my hand/wrist/forearm/shoulder that made it very painful to use them like in the photo, but with the lever dropped down, all was much better. Thankfully that healed up, just gotta watch how heavy things are and how much I'm using my hand as a vice, lol. But with the armrests up where they should be for me, driving is quite stable. A deeply dished bucket seat also helps quite a bit.

    Now with the Crown Victoria (I really think they had quite a sense of humor when they put 'interceptor' on the trunk), that thing is a turd ergonomically. The door armrest is way too low, and driving that is an either lean left or kind of feel un-planted affair. I have an aftermarket console for a Jeep in between the buckets which help with tippyness. The height on that is adequate, I still need to scrounge around work and find some keyboard ergo pads and mouse pads to stick together and Velcro to the door to raise up the door armrest height. I'll bet that would help quite a bit making that car less annoying. I'll say this though, I think MPD used this car as a pattern for their standard control set. Amazing how tight-in you can get that control in there, and the brake rod is a perfect match for the underside of the dash. Almost looks like Ford designed it in.

    Control on the wheel? Start learning canbus programming, lol. Or find an old school clockspring column with 6 terminals for cruise control and such.

  6. #26
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Todays cars have a clock spring for the airbag and three wires to the steering wheel module, which on the GTI means power/ground and can bus. The shift paddles, horn, and radio and dash display controls on the wheel go into the wheel module and the signals go everywhere through the can bus.
    No manufacturer will entrust such critical data as throttling to flow that way-it's too slow and too easily corrupted. That's why there's a clock-spring for the airbag.

    RE ergonomics: sometimes I say my control is like Top Gun. With my arm comfortably perched on the armrest and my other elbow supported by the console armrest, I point and shoot by squeezing my "trigger"!
    The most comfortable setup of any car I've driven (except my A2 GTI race car; that had a ring throttle on the wheel (cables) and another like a bike brake handle on the brake arm as well as a super comfortable racing seat.)

  7. #27
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    A little follow up on this topic...

    For much better 'feel' get yourself a PCM tuning package and adjust that delay and wooden feel away from these drive by wire systems. I'm starting to drive my Ferd Polese Inpersonator, err, Ford cop car, with one of these systems some more now that winter is approaching, and it really does have a dogshit feel to it stock. I also happen to have HP Tuners from past Fast and Furious exploits, and noticed they are doing Ford and Chrysler a lot more now. So I bought 2 credits to hack into the Ford PCM and just by maxing out the rate of torque change vs. driver requested torque made the car feel a heck of a lot snappier. No more rowing a wooden oar through a pot of peanut butter feel to the gas. Makes the car light the tires up better also, as the engine is being commanded to make power 'now' vs. 'whenever', lol. Next up will probably change the torque produced in relation to gas pedal % to make it more hair triggered, gotta study the numbers a bit and decide how to work this without making it dangerous or throw a plausibility code, but should be an interesting mod there also.

    Of course be sure to know what you are doing when dicking with these things, but you can safely make them feel a heck of a lot better with some simple changes.

  8. #28
    I have the suregrip hand controls on my 2008 VW R32. (99% identical interior to the 2006 VW GTI.) My installer just drilled a hole in the gas pedal and sandwiched it between two aluminium plates that are fastened to a rod. It's very straightforward, no wiring, nothing dangling, and able-bodies can drive using the pedals without issue.
    Last edited by fasdude; 10-30-2015 at 03:26 PM.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by fasdude View Post
    I have the suregrip hand controls on my 2008 VW R32. (99% identical interior to the 2006 VW GTI.) My installer just drilled a hole in the gas pedal and sandwiched it between two aluminium plates that are fastened to a rod. It's very straightforward, no wiring, nothing dangling, and able-bodies can drive using the pedals without issue.
    Do you have any issues going WOT? I have a hard time getting my RPM'S when I want them?

    Is this the reason pfcs49 is doing this mod to the throttle?

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by TREA18 View Post
    Do you have any issues going WOT? I have a hard time getting my RPM'S when I want them?

    Is this the reason pfcs49 is doing this mod to the throttle?
    None whatsoever. The hand controls are designed to allow for complete pedal travel of both the accelerator and the brakes (if installed properly). Furthermore, the beauty of the cantilever part that pivots the rod going to the throttle is that minimal pressure on the knob is all that is required to maintain highway speeds (70mph).

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