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Thread: Install hand controls on our own

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    My portables are a floppy calamity which am rather apprehensive to use long-term, or with any sort of spritely driving (or emergency maneuvers for that matter) as I have zero functioning trunk muscles.
    Monte Carlo is 2001. I wish they still made them. Not a problem with gas. Just easier with the portables on the Bimmer. If your portables are a floppy calamity, they aren't installed correctly. You can reduce play with a strap around the steering wheel. You can eliminate play with a bracket.

    By the way, when I first installed the portables in the Bimmer, I felt the same way. Not optimal for spirited driving. But with a few tweaks they are fine now. First you have to secure them. Second, extend the tube for the gas as far as possible to increase sensitivity.

    Remember that not all portables are the same. They look similar. But they operate differently. I think I would hate the ones where you push with your thumb for gas.
    Last edited by August West; 04-10-2018 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    I got the thumb (sportaid) type, it's been a couple years since I needed them, they work ok for shuttling stuff around. I like something mounted to the car though. 2001? Man, that's a relic! I had one of those dinosaurs once, lol
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  3. #13
    1. When it comes to portable hand controls, you don't want thumb control (pic 1). That's too much stress on the hand.
    2. You want a push-pull lever (pic 2). It's easy on the hand and the location of the lever enables a neutral position for your arm (you can rest your elbow on your lap).
    3. A good quality portable hand control is very similar to a permanent type (pic 3).
    4. The main difference is that the permanent hand control comes with a mounting bracket (pic 4) whereas the portable ones come with a strap.
    5. To convert a portable hand control into a permanent hand control (to better secure the position), secure the brake tube with an electrical conduit bracket (pic 5). Line the bracket with something like pvc or fabric tape to prevent metal rubbing on metal.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    All's you need to know...1 finger, 1 thumb, and a martini glass in the other hand:


  5. #15
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    My experience in 22 years w/hand controls has been that there's so much friction in the somewhat complex hand control throttle linkage, that it's hard enough to get them to reliably return to fully-closed throttle/idle with both throttle return springs in play.
    Does this control always go to idle and if so, what kind is it?
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  6. #16
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Always back to idle. Brand is MPD, has its own adjustable gas function return spring for the controls themselves. After that you just need concern yourself with the gas pedal, which plucking one of the springs out helps immensely with hand usage vs. foot usage. Dealing with angularity from mechanism mounting location on the column to the gas pedal location becomes an issue with this vehicle/column, but with enough finesse you can tuck the controls in hidden nicely and sort-of maintain adequate leverage/angles for easy and smooth gas operation. Or just go to a mobility store and have them hack apart your dash, have the controls hitting your knees, and pay them an arm and a leg for their 'expertise', lol.

    On that car, I'm actually considering getting one or the other of the electronic controls currently on the market which replace the gas pedal. On the Howell Featherlites which I did see in person, the gas travel is about 1/2 of a mechanical control, adjustable to a 'really light' gas function, and allows re-installation of insulation panels etc under the dash as room for the mechanical mechanisms and linkage is not longer needed. Just need to put a base in for the assembly, which is easy. Maybe this Spring when I'm driving that again I'll consider stripping out the dash (cant hack what isn't there ) and hand the car over to the 'experts' to install a set. I wish those types weren't so new that you could get them used from ebay, avoiding having to experience the 'expert' mobility installers. But unfortunately the hand control industry is either overly paranoid, or thinks their customers are retards, or both. Sucks having to deal with them, but what can you do.

    At least one manufacturer is concerned with installation quality, now if mobility companies would heed these concerns so all the 'professional' installs we witness out there don't look like these, lol:
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  7. #17
    I hate the term "portable" they're all portable with a few tools. I make my own. My temporary one, I use straps that keep the handles near my legs, but away from each other and two different shaped handles, so I can feel the difference. No thumb, junk and especially running it through a washer on the brake. I remember someone getting one of those locked up and crashing their truck.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    I hate the term "portable" they're all portable with a few tools..
    And a roll of 3M doublesided foam tape to affix the gas rod to the triangle shaped plastic DBW gas pedal popular in modern cars

  9. #19
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    The controls I made are very neat, clean, and functional:
    Hand control for newer vehicles with electronic throttles
    Last edited by pfcs49; 04-11-2018 at 03:58 PM.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  10. #20
    I am currently driving with portable hand controls (quicksticks from Amazon). They work perfectly fine. No issues pushing with thumb all the time for gas line some people complain about. You get used to it pretty fast. I will be getting menox controls installed by a dealer soon, but I am in Canada and we have a program here with March of Dimes that will cover the costs. If we didn't have that I would be perfectly content to keep the ones I have in there.

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