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Old 06-18-2009, 03:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Aftermarket Cruise Control, AKA Hand Throttle.

I'd like to thank you all for coming on this suspicious occasion..... May I present my very first mod!

Disclaimer: Since they seem to be releasing newer, more updated idiots every day, this mod cannot be made idiot-proof. Therefore, this is presented as documentation of a mod I have done. If you do it yourself and it causes you to crash your car and you break your legs don't come running after me!

The victim in question is a 95 Corolla with no cruise control. A week from today I will be traveling from Texas to Missouri and Michigan. Since I have made this trip before in this car, my right leg was already beginning to cramp in anticipation!

Step one: I found a bike from which I removed a gear shifter. (and other misc parts which were used)


2: I removed console and panel under steering wheel (and whatever else needed to be removed to remove those!)


3: Mounted the shifter to the shifter


4: What could be the purpose of that bracket next to the shifter, I hear you ask? Why thats the perfect location to mount a toggle switch which will eventually become a kill/start switch (as soon as I get a round toit)


5: Routed the cable from the shifter towards the gas pedal: taped it securely to the shifter and various places along the way, also added tape in potential wear areas.


6: Found a mounting point under the steering wheel near the gas pedal


7: Created a bracket to which the cable will mount, placing the cable relatively square on with the gas pedal, since the cable will be pulling on the upper end of the pedal. Also, created an attachment point on the pedal so I can adjust the slack in the cable.


8: Once it's all hooked up try it with the engine off: make sure the pedal goes back up when the hand throttle is returned to the "off" position.

9: reinstalled interior. Pondered origin of excess screws (seen in console)


10: Test in driveway and played with it until it worked right. At first cable didn't have enough slack, and engine ran @ 2000rpm with throttle off.
2nd test with more slack: after using hand throttle engine didn't return completely to idle unless gas pedal was tapped.
3rd test: more slack. Engine returned to idle after using hand throttle.

11: Road test! Works quite nicely. It's positioned low enough to be out of the way for shifting, but is right at hand.


The picture makes it look as if the switch sticks out far, but it also in a very comfortable location. Now all it needs is to be wired up! (probably not till after the trip though)

12: Issues: Both the hand throttle (in off position) and the switch touch the cupholder (extends out just below the large opening) when the shifter is in 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I haven't tried driving with the cupholder open yet. shifting in the driveway with it open seems to be ok.

The range of motion of the throttle lever is quite large (150deg?), but the usable area is quite small. The engine dosn't come off idle until the 3rd click, and highway cruising at 70mph was about 7 clicks (abt 1/3rd of total motion).

The previously mentioned clicks are a bit loud.

I had a vague idea of how it could "cancel" when the brake or clutch was pressed, but decided for simplicity sake to just get it working first. I'd like to eventually go back and make that happen, as well as change the ratio to allow finer adjustments for the same motion.

But that's all for another day. Even if it can be improved, it works as it stands, and will be light years better than nothing for my trip.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting mod. You'll have to let us know how it works out on your long trip.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Neat! Pictures of all the gorey details... and no apparent blood! Two points for surgical efficiency... extra parts for the next job!!!

I'll have to check that out when you are at the Missouri point of your trip. Wiring in a kill switch is something I need to investigate for future less-idiot-proof mods myself!
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As long as you can get the speed dialed in correct on the highway, this should be better than cruise control for FE, since it is a fixed throttle position, it is DWL for you.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll definitely have a followup once I'm back home. So far I'm liking it!

------------

Nope, no blood sacrifices to the car gods; I'll have to try harder next time!

I'm ready to have a kill switch too; I've been wanting to do it for awhile, when I was mounting the hand throttle that seemed to be the perfect place for the switch. Now I've gotta follow through and figure out how and where to wire it in, and probably will have to get (read "buy") a relay. (the switch I bought 10 yrs ago for a project, and had sitting around, the rest was free) I've got a repair book with wiring diagrams, just gotta find the right place in the diagram (easy) and find that place on the car (maybe not so easy). The start switch should be no problem; even though I'll have to tear the inside apart, the 2nd time will be faster since it's familiar ground.

The plan right now has me headed to KC for the meet on the 27th, so you'll get to see it 1st hand.

-------------

I've never really liked the way cruise control worked, especially in vehicles with auto trans. When I'm driving a vehicle with cruise once I start getting into hills most of the time I'll turn the cruise off anyway to keep it from upshifting and/or going full throttle.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Relays!!!

Hey, I have a dozen or so relays sitting around somewhere! (I NEVER throw anything away... )

...must make note to self to dig out a couple of relays...

I'm with you on the cruise control kicking down the tranny a couple of gears and going full-throttle. Had mine do that as I passed by a Highway Patrolman once...

...must make note to self to dig out a couple of relays...
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrigued View Post
Hey, I have a dozen or so relays sitting around somewhere! (I NEVER throw anything away... )

...must make note to self to dig out a couple of relays...

I'm with you on the cruise control kicking down the tranny a couple of gears and going full-throttle. Had mine do that as I passed by a Highway Patrolman once...

...must make note to self to dig out a couple of relays...
Sweet! I'm thinking It'll need to be a Double Pole relay: where it has a live contact when it's closed, as well as when it's open, since it looks like I'll only want to break the circuit I'm cutting into during the short times I push the "kill switch" and energize the relay.

Hey, don't forget to make a note to yourself to dig out a couple of relays

I don't throw anything away either (as evidenced by the 10 yr old switch) and find it hard to resist rescuing something that someone else is throwing away. Kind of funny, at work I've been helping replace the HVAC controllers in one of the buildings and running new wire between them. The only reason I haven't brought that old wire home with me is because I still have the large majority of the wire I took home from the LAST time I helped rewire that same building's HVAC controllers!
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The last time I did something like this, it was a hand controlled throttle built from a bike's brake handle. (I drive with one hand on the shifter most times, except if I'm racing.)

Obviously, it required a slightly heavier spring on the throttle, but I set it up with a cable clamp that just made it pull on the accelerator pedal's cable, instead of changing the throttle cam on the throttle body.

I got so good at driving with it, I could drive with no feet after starting from a stop, by using the hand throttle and speed matching my upshifts and downshifts.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
...I got so good at driving with it, I could drive with no feet after starting from a stop, by using the hand throttle and speed matching my upshifts and downshifts.
Hey, Christ! That sounds a lot like some of the disabled mechanisms I have looked at over the years! I came mighty close to needing something like that, but the doctor and therapist finally cleared me for automatic trans driving. My left foot just has too much nerve damage... :-(

Hugh Jim: DPDT relay, complete with schematic impressed into the case, IN HAND!!! I have no idea where it came from... it's been a lot longer than 10 years, since it was in '99 I got hurt. I think it is a headlamp relay. I hope the silly thing works... *worried face*
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrigued View Post
Hugh Jim: DPDT relay, complete with schematic impressed into the case, IN HAND!!!
Oops, I meant I need a double throw, probably only need single pole, but better to have a double and need a single, rather than the other way round!

Schematic on the case?!? What are you trying to do, spoil me?!?

Anything I can bring you in exchange?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
...speed matching my upshifts and downshifts.
I've tried this on most of the manual trans cars I've owned, and never been all that good at matching the speeds with the throttle. I did have an 89? Dodge Shadow that I didn't need to manually match speeds: just give the stick a touch of pressure and get the engine headed in the right direction. When the gear and engine speeds met it'd drop right into gear with no grinding. I could do that in some of my other cars (all Toyotas) with some degree of success, but it was too easy for them to grind if I didn't do it right, so I just didn't do it. Guess I got spoiled by the Shadow's transmission since it was my 2nd car, and I think the first in which I tried clutchless shifting.

That was one of the two things I missed when I upgraded from that car: the other was it was a hatchback (masquerading as a sedan). Looked just like a sedan, but the trunk lid and back glass were connected and hinged at the top of the glass. So easy to load my bike.

Oh, to return to the topic of the thread, the hand throttle has been working good. No problems shifting with the cup holder out. However, when I have some time I definitely want to work out a clutch/brake cancel, and "gear it down" for more sensitivity. As it is, I've taken to keeping a hand on it when I'm using it to make sure I don't forget to shut it off when I need to slow down. It's also a bit hard to pick and set a speed (though a lot of that is due to the highway being very inconsistent in slope).


Last edited by Hugh Jim Bissel; 06-22-2009 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: Trying to keep at least a little of my post related to the original topic.
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