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Thread: Featherlite Hand Controls

  1. #31
    My daugher just got Featherlite hand controls on Kia Soul and she can't reach the blinker control. She was able to do it with no problem on her old Volvo wagon with MPS . Does anybody has a similar problem ? I am not sure if it is the problem with hand controls , the car or combination of both. Is there any solution ? Right now she needs to let go of hand controls to reach the lever and she hates it.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by pete4sake View Post
    I am interested as to how they the Featherlites' work as well. I just ordered as set on my trusted vendors recommendation. He said they are getting very popular because of the lack of muscle fatigue compared to MPD's mechanical controls. I also wonder how they are on ice and snow where you really have to have a feel for the vehicle as far as how fast you can go. Anybody use them in a cold climate?
    The featherlite sounds interesting. But I do like the feedback of mechanical controls. It's like a Mercedes vs BMW. The Mercedes dampens everything so you feel like you're floating over the road. The BMW gives you feedback to enable you to be more in tune with the car, road, and driving conditions.

    I like the BMW style. For the same reasons I like the Freedom Staff hand controls. You can feel the gas and how the gas interacts with the road. They are portable, easy to install, and have a great deal of flexibility. They are marketed as a push/pull type. But you can apply the gas in many ways. The intended way to apply the gas is to pull on the left side (handle). But you can also push on the right side (directly on the post that goes to the accelerator). Or you can swing to the right to apply a a small amount of gas, which is great when you turn corners.

    All these options reduce stress and overuse because they give you the option to use different muscles groups, or even a different hand. They also make driving more fun. I don't know if I'd want to drive a sports car and "mush up" the gas.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by kasia View Post
    My daugher just got Featherlite hand controls on Kia Soul and she can't reach the blinker control. She was able to do it with no problem on her old Volvo wagon with MPS . Does anybody has a similar problem ? I am not sure if it is the problem with hand controls , the car or combination of both. Is there any solution ? Right now she needs to let go of hand controls to reach the lever and she hates it.
    There are rods that attach to the turn signal that can be bent or positioned where you want it. Sure-grip makes a crossover rod that allows you to operate the turn signal from the right side of the steering wheel.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ResonantEcho View Post
    Wow! You have to really be careful with these on first use. They're very, very touchy. I was pulling out of their shop down a steep decline and applied the break. Since it takes very little pressure to engage the gas, I had both going at the same time (gas and break) and started freaking out. The engine was really revving. Thought there was an issue with the install. Slammed the car into park real quick. The installer came running toward the car asking if something was wrong. He said it would take a bit to get used to.

    Before heading out on the highway into traffic I drove it around their parking lot for a while and up and down a side street. I finally adjusted. Now when applying the break I push not only toward the dash but up as well. That way I don't accidentally accelerate. It takes VERY little effort to accelerate the car.

    A few more days and I should be good to go.
    Happen to have a 6 month review? Did you get used to them or get rid of them?

  5. #35
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    A West: "The featherlite sounds interesting. But I do like the feedback of mechanical controls. It's like a Mercedes vs BMW. The Mercedes dampens everything so you feel like you're floating over the road. The BMW gives you feedback to enable you to be more in tune with the car, road, and driving conditions."

    Unless your German car is pretty old (~20 yrs) the accelerator is already electronic! (FBW/fly by wire)
    Featherlight just changes where the throttle position sensor (what the electronic pedal is called) is.
    And, IMO, they could have made a better implementation for the hand part!
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  6. #36
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I know some here like tinkering with these DBW gas pedals like I do. Anyway, I was jacking with a '15 Honda Accord pedal...and it made me feel dumb. Nothing like the snap the cover off pedals found in Ford or Chryslers. I splurged and had a $22 delivered used pedal shipped from Ebay to get medieval on to figure it out. Anyway...very different electronics than Ford or Chrysler...Honda uses a Hall Effect sensor. In the pic below, the end of the round shaft thingy is magnetized, the sensor is a plastic nub sensor thing hanging around at the end of the shaft.


    More importantly...you need something mimicking an arbor press, or an actual arbor press to push the shaft out of the pedal assembly. After that, things get really good...the smaller spring works very very well as a 'hand operation' spring. An actually weaker spring not typically found within these, so it modifies out much better than other pedals without a selection of spring rates available to choose from. Anyway, I went and got a coupling and some rod to extend the gas arm in my MPD's that I'm using in that Honda maybe an additional inch or so...and with the small spring with extended gas arm length...my Honda has gas extremely similar to the Featherlight operation. Very short, very light gas. I actually drive in traffic with my index finger steering, and my middle finger doing the gas and brake it turned out so well
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  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    A West: "The featherlite sounds interesting. But I do like the feedback of mechanical controls. It's like a Mercedes vs BMW. The Mercedes dampens everything so you feel like you're floating over the road. The BMW gives you feedback to enable you to be more in tune with the car, road, and driving conditions."

    Unless your German car is pretty old (~20 yrs) the accelerator is already electronic! (FBW/fly by wire)
    Featherlight just changes where the throttle position sensor (what the electronic pedal is called) is.
    And, IMO, they could have made a better implementation for the hand part!
    I understand what you are saying. But the gas pedal is not fully electronic. Better description would be electromechanical. It's that mechanical component that provides feedback. I don't want to lose that.

    For example, would you want to apply gas with a joystick? I wouldn't. That would be fully electronic. Of course, there is still a slight mechanical component to even a joystick. But it's negligible. A gas pedal should have a mechanical feel. Even if it's electronic.
    Last edited by August West; 09-19-2018 at 01:16 AM.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I know some here like tinkering with these DBW gas pedals like I do. Anyway, I was jacking with a '15 Honda Accord pedal...and it made me feel dumb. Nothing like the snap the cover off pedals found in Ford or Chryslers. I splurged and had a $22 delivered used pedal shipped from Ebay to get medieval on to figure it out. Anyway...very different electronics than Ford or Chrysler...Honda uses a Hall Effect sensor. In the pic below, the end of the round shaft thingy is magnetized, the sensor is a plastic nub sensor thing hanging around at the end of the shaft.


    More importantly...you need something mimicking an arbor press, or an actual arbor press to push the shaft out of the pedal assembly. After that, things get really good...the smaller spring works very very well as a 'hand operation' spring. An actually weaker spring not typically found within these, so it modifies out much better than other pedals without a selection of spring rates available to choose from. Anyway, I went and got a coupling and some rod to extend the gas arm in my MPD's that I'm using in that Honda maybe an additional inch or so...and with the small spring with extended gas arm length...my Honda has gas extremely similar to the Featherlight operation. Very short, very light gas. I actually drive in traffic with my index finger steering, and my middle finger doing the gas and brake it turned out so well
    2015 Camaro APPS is similar. There are two metal roll pins on the door of the compartment that hold the two springs in place. Once you knock these pins out you can disassemble the rest easily without a press. You have to be very careful if you remove the electronics though because the end stops are built into the pedal assembly and not in the switch. So when you remove the shaft, the sensor's very delicate contacts can easily be damaged.
    The Camaro pedal doesn't have a Hall sensor and I'm not seeing it in your pic. Could you post the inside of the switch?

  9. #39
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattherat View Post
    2015 Camaro APPS is similar. There are two metal roll pins on the door of the compartment that hold the two springs in place. Once you knock these pins out you can disassemble the rest easily without a press. You have to be very careful if you remove the electronics though because the end stops are built into the pedal assembly and not in the switch. So when you remove the shaft, the sensor's very delicate contacts can easily be damaged.
    The Camaro pedal doesn't have a Hall sensor and I'm not seeing it in your pic. Could you post the inside of the switch?

    I still have my 'test subject'...so here it is: The silver-ish tabs on the round shaft are magnetized. The round shaft moves with the pedal and acts as the pivot for the pedal. The sensor is affixed to the side of the pedal assembly housing with the sensor nub component residing within the end of shaft area. It does not contact or move with the shaft, it just floats within the magnetic field.

    I do not have a software 'tuning' package that reads Honda PCM's...so I have no idea what it is looking for as a signal from this sensor. I'd be real curious...but not $400 curious for a package that is available (if that particular software actually provides this parameter info, lol)


    I'm learning that Honda likes doing things its own way...with in-house CVT's, automatics that resemble manuals in design (they didnt want to pay royalties to planetary gearset patent holders), and now apparently...DBW gas pedals. I'd be real curious if other manufacturers stray from the typical dual-track potentiometer setup also?
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  10. #40
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    For those of you talking about how the Featherlites are very touchy and you don't get feedback, don't forget there is a torsion spring on the end specifically for that purpose. I had them put in my Subaru in 2016 and did not like how light the feel was and how there was no force feedback. I looked through the manual and found out about the spring, so when I got my new Minivan in July, I made sure they tightened up that spring to where I felt it best reminded me of my mechanical hand controls.

    If you want the feedback, I suggest taking the car back to whoever installed the hand controls and work with them to set the spring at the correct tension. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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