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  • #46
    You?re right, it?s all about resistance. There is absolutely no benefit to the user if the resistance is the same on a featherlite and a conventional rod to pedal assembly. Any additional friction, which is minimal, caused by the rod and or pedal assembly, or for that matter even in a non?fly by wire? vehicle, the throttle body or carburetor return spring, can be compensated for with spring rate or tension. So they would feel exactly the same to the user. All that is happening here is repositioning of the return springs to different locations. The difference between the two, featherlite and conventional type controls, is that the adjustability you have by positioning the rod at different distances from the pivot point on the pedal assembly is eliminated on the featherlites. This determines how far you have to turn the lever to get a certain amount of acceleration. On the feartherlites, it looks like they just mount an accelerator pedal position sensor directly to the end of the hand controls, at least on the push rock type. This only gives you the ability to turn the gas part of the controls about 3/16? to go from idle to wide open throttle. I?m guessing thats why the earlier poster was saying that they are very touchy. I know this because I tried doing this myself and it doesn?t look safe especially for a quad with no hand control. Unfortunately I can?t try it out yet because the vehicle is not ready to start yet. I was hoping to hear from someone with actual experience with featherlites. The only benefit to switching to a featherlite that I can see, assuming you can match the spring resistance, is the absence of the rod which, I guess, could interfere with your leg or an AB?s ability to use the gas pedal.

    The reason I?m considering it is because I?m building a custom vehicle that has no room for a pedal assembly.
    Because of this it?s impossible to get a featherlite from a mobility dealer in the middle of a build and might not be able to get anyone to install one in a non approved one-off vehicle even when it?s finished. If anyone has a way to just purchase one I?d love to hear it.

    pat@beachmobility.com

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    • #47
      Originally posted by pattherat View Post
      If anyone has a way to just purchase one I?d love to hear it.
      This worked for me when I wanted to obtain a Braun Swing-Away lift that was no longer available in the States. I contacted a Canadian mobility company and purchased one through them as replacement PARTS. Voc Rehab even approved of the process and paid for it and the shipping to Hawaii. American dealers, because of their dealer contract, usually have pretty tight rules on what they are allowed to do. When it is inventoried as parts, the Canadian dealer didn't have to install it and didn't have liability for its installation. I think, basically, the whole warranty becomes difficult, or perhaps, dead, so it is a bit of a risk. But, if you want it badly enough, it is worth it.
      C-6/7 incomplete

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      • #48
        Patterat: "The reason I?m considering it is because I?m building a custom vehicle that has no room for a pedal assembly.
        Because of this it?s impossible to get a featherlite from a mobility dealer in the middle of a build and might not be able to get anyone to install one in a non approved one-off vehicle even when it?s finished. If anyone has a way to just purchase one I?d love to hear it."

        Given your obvious fabrication and electronic skill, you might consider making your own.
        The
        accelerator sensor (sender) needs to match up to the vehicle electronics for their proprietary FBW setup which is almost exclusively the engine management computer, although I think one early BMW implementation had a separate throttle control module outside of the ECM
        There is surely a lot of mismatches that could work. AFAIK, all are 6 legged with two each B+, B-. and Signal, with various terminal layouts.
        But, wife's 01 Volvo T5 used potentiometers and one side was 2.5V reference the other 5.0V.
        VW/Audi uses two 5.0V circuits and Hall sensors.
        It may actually be possible to run resistance (pots) to a Hall sensor ECM; the output, (Signal & B-) would seem to match up w/either deal.

        Since you will not be running a (foot) pedal sensor, you can obviously move the sensor part and it's plug, up onto the hand control, lengthening the wires if necc.
        On my setup, I used a bicycle brake handle that reverses the cable into the tubing/handlebar it is mounted in. Although the stroke of the VW sensor is only 20mm (just over 3/4"), it was difficult to source a suitable handle with enough stroke. The pictured setup is great-it requires almost full stroke for WOT which makes it granular enough for finessing commands. (parenthetically, on the GTI, if you move the sensor too far, as in +.010"!, the car will immediately go into limp mode. At first I thought I'd screwed the pooch and somehow my setup wouldn't work when it kept slamming me into the windshield! Now I tune it for WOT by comparing the S/B- voltages of the floor/original sensor to my hand/cable operated sensor and adjust the cable to match voltage)
        Turns out the system is pretty reasonable with little glitches. For instance, there are two loads and two signals the ECM has access to. Initially I looked for a DP4T switch so all four would switch. I found you only need to switch a pair (DPDT swx), and you can do it while the engine is running, the ECM doesn't "see" the intermittently open circuit.

        I'm curious about your project. What is it, are you using the vehicle specific management system or is it a hot rod deal? Does it already have FBW throttle?
        I guess it must, or you'd be running mechanical linkage?

        Last edited by pfcs49; 09-20-2018, 05:14 PM.
        69yo male T12 complete since 1995
        NW NJ

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        • #49
          Originally posted by pfcs49 View Post

          Since you will not be running a (foot) pedal sensor, you can obviously move the sensor part and it's plug, up onto the hand control, lengthening the wires if necc.
          That's exactly what I'm doing. See the pic I posted above? I don't plan on having a pedal on the floor so there is no need for a switch. Even if I do find a way to fit a pedal, You would just need to unplug the handcontrols and plug the harness back into the pedal if needed. The problem is with the stroke. I don't understand how they(Sure-grip) are mounting the pedal position sensor directly to the end of the controls and getting more stroke than I am(#4 on diagram). Unless they make their own sensor and calibrate it to different model cars. I may have to move the sensor a little and add an additional linkage to get more stroke between idle and WOT. Or mount a pedal assembly somewhere under the dash and run a rod to it.



          Inside the Camaro's APPS:

          Above left is idle and right is WOT.

          I'm curious about your project. What is it, are you using the vehicle specific management system or is it a hot rod deal? Does it already have FBW throttle?
          I guess it must, or you'd be running mechanical linkage?

          I'm building a 70s "Muscle Van". It's a '75 Chevy Shorty Van on top a 2015 Camaro SS everything else. Dash, wiring, shifter, steering, suspension, independent rear, 6 speed auto behind a 400hp(for now) LS3. Everything. It's a big project but it's not easy for us quads to hotrod.
          pat@beachmobility.com

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          • #50
            Looks like that sender has potentiometers.
            At the level of modifications you?re doing I think the featherlight would be a waste of money. And, an innovative quad might come up with an interesting application once he ironed out the mechanical end!
            It looks like it has the same amount of angular motion as the Hella from the 01 T5 Volvo turbo, ~20*.
            This is a control I cobbled together so I could drive my wife?s Volvo wagon if I needed to. The stalk With the sensor and throttle lever was on and easily removable piece of 1 inch DOM tubing with the sensor and throttle lever was on an easily removable piece of 1 inch DOM tubing with a stub that fit inside the 1 inch tube and socketed into the brake lever and pushrod, mounted to the upper steering column in the same way as the one in the Golf.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by pfcs49; 09-20-2018, 08:56 PM.
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

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            • #51
              I thought about how to accommodate a quad when my buddy Ted, Mr. Sporto, got an Audi A3, same chassis as my GTI. The neat thing about these throttle position sensor is is that it's a small piece that can be incorporated into whatever hand control you fabricate. In my case the bicycle brake handle made it a slamdunk. I thought that perhaps the best for a quad would be a ball shape on the top of a vertical brake handle, that rocked on its center, viewed from outside the car, clockwise Idle, counter clockwise throttle.

              Here is a quick sketch of the rocking palm of my hand accelerator. Actually you could build it around the Volvo sensor and use a very short link between it and the fabricated arm of the Volvo sensor. The sensor is almost robust enough to let it be the fulcrum but that would be taking risks.
              I don’t know what spring I put inside the sensor but my gut feeling is that would be all return spring you would need for this rig.

              I would absolutely want to have a scheme where different muscle groups operated throttle and brake. The bicycle brake in the GTI and this scheme will do that.
              Any design that leaves you using the same muscle group for both functions will frustrate a high-performance driver real quick!
              In the GTI set up they are quite disconnected from another. I guess with the quad the best you can do is wrist and arm?

              Pat-if you wanted to mess with it, I could send you this and a bunch of split shaft collars, small rod ends/heim joints, small spherical bearings, and a bunch of bicycle brakes and cable stuff. I can tell you that when you get to the point where squeezing a handle accelerates the engine gears start turning. It’s good to think things up in a vacuum, but when you lay hands to something like that, things become a lot more palpable and it seems to enhance creativity!
              Attached Files
              Last edited by pfcs49; 09-20-2018, 11:28 PM.
              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
              NW NJ

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              • #52
                ???

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Andy View Post
                  ???

                  Exactly. Well pretty much.
                  pat@beachmobility.com

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by pfcs49 View Post
                    I thought about how to accommodate a quad when my buddy Ted, Mr. Sporto, got an Audi A3, same chassis as my GTI. The neat thing about these throttle position sensor is is that it's a small piece that can be incorporated into whatever hand control you fabricate. In my case the bicycle brake handle made it a slamdunk. I thought that perhaps the best for a quad would be a ball shape on the top of a vertical brake handle, that rocked on its center, viewed from outside the car, clockwise Idle, counter clockwise throttle.

                    Here is a quick sketch of the rocking palm of my hand accelerator. Actually you could build it around the Volvo sensor and use a very short link between it and the fabricated arm of the Volvo sensor. The sensor is almost robust enough to let it be the fulcrum but that would be taking risks.
                    I don?t know what spring I put inside the sensor but my gut feeling is that would be all return spring you would need for this rig.

                    I would absolutely want to have a scheme where different muscle groups operated throttle and brake. The bicycle brake in the GTI and this scheme will do that.
                    Any design that leaves you using the same muscle group for both functions will frustrate a high-performance driver real quick!
                    In the GTI set up they are quite disconnected from another. I guess with the quad the best you can do is wrist and arm?
                    Thanks for sharing all this knowledge, you have obviously put a lot of time and thought into this stuff.
                    I was thinking all last night and this morning about your Volvo controls and how I could make them work for me. Now this ball pivot has got me intrigued. I don?t think I want to try and mess with the electronic side of it. I?ll just stick with a stock pedal position sensor. Unfortunately there are no stops or springs built into it, those are both built into the bulky pedal assembly.
                    The possibilities are narrowed quite a bit though for me because I?m working with no hand, wrist or tricep function. My right arm is much better with decent hand function wrist and triceps but it?s busy with the steering wheel.
                    As far as different muscle groups for brake and accelerator, I think I?m limited to push for brakes and pull down or ?rock? for accelerator. I?m used to the push rock so I think I?ll first try adding an arm to the pedal potion sensor much like your Volvo one and adding a linkage between it and the Sure-grips to give it more of a safer acceleration.

                    Pat-if you wanted to mess with it, I could send you this and a bunch of split shaft collars, small rod ends/heim joints, small spherical bearings, and a bunch of bicycle brakes and cable stuff. I can tell you that when you get to the point where squeezing a handle accelerates the engine gears start turning. It?s good to think things up in a vacuum, but when you lay hands to something like that, things become a lot more palpable and it seems to enhance creativity!
                    PM sent.
                    pat@beachmobility.com

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      PM got-I'll ship once we figure out how much stuff to send.

                      Pat-you should try to find male and female TPS (throttle pos snsr) plugs. Perhaps GM supplies them? Or get a wrecking yard to cut one out as far back as they can (more lead length) when they sell you another used TPS/accelerator pedal. I've excised the male end out of components many times to make test hookups in the shop. You probably can hacksaw the male off a junkyard sensor and save the sensor for "research", soldering 6 wires to it. You'll really want the male/TPS side plug so you can plug into the GM system with no wires cut/unmodified.

                      When you're to this point, you can figure out what each terminal does by checking resistances (find the ends of both potentiometers) and their polarities (see voltages of of these pairs w/ign on; B+ and B-/ground)
                      The remaining two are the signal legs; you can distinguish them by taking a TPS and find which ground it works through by putting your meter on B- and S and finding continuity and if moving the sensor affects resistance.

                      Now draw two potentiometers and number them according to the plug markings or a diagram you make, 1-6, with and note by each number what it is, i.e.:snsr A: B+ B- S; B: B+ B- S. They may not be in logical order! VWs are in-line but wires are scrambled!

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrOhvSvKIhc

                      Record the sign on closed throttle voltages; full throttle voltages
                      Record the resistance of both B+/B- legs (disconnected from the computer) and the idle/WOT resistances.

                      Then please report and post this info!! This will forward the conversation for all! And, possibly, open the door for cross-species breeding of new hand controls!

                      One thing we might explore (if your voltages are 5V) is to see if the tiny VW module would work (I think that's quite likely!). The VW module can literally fit in a matchbox!
                      Last edited by pfcs49; 09-21-2018, 05:37 PM.
                      69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                      NW NJ

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Hello All,
                        So, I am having a bit of an issue and wondering if any of you have experienced the same thing. I am currently having a set of Featherlite controls installed in a 2017 VW Alltrack (Golf Wagon). I am a total motor head and personally think the idea of an electronic throttle is the way it should be. With that said I am a bit concerned as the install has not gone to plan. The installer is saying that VW did a mid year change to the harness and after 4 days there has been no resolution. Supposedly the Suregrip guys have been on the horn with VW to get this sorted but I have to say I am a bit concerned with the lack of progress. Have any of you guys experienced anything like this?

                        I have just bought myself a replacement for my Audi S4 (Manual Transmission) and went with a BMW 328ix Touring with the rare M-Sport package. I have found over the last 7 months that having a wagon just makes life easier hence me going with a wagon. Finding a wagon with any sporting intentions is not a easy ask here in the states as everyone wants a SUV, I just do not like SUV's save for maybe a Macan Turbo but that is not in my budget. After personally owning Audi's exclusively for 27 years it killed me to leave the family but I was just not interested in the Allroad, really wish we got the S4 Avant in the states. I hope I like the Featherlite controls and that the BWM's install goes easier.

                        Cheers,
                        Jim

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                        • #57
                          "The installer is saying that VW did a mid year change to the harness"

                          At my foreign car shop we stocked the multi-plug replacement leads with male and female ends as well as the most common (2 & 3 bays/terminals) housings.
                          Before changing over my controls from the 06 GTI to the 2015, I ordered a throttle pedal for the 2015 and found that the receptacle was somewhat different as was the housing for the chassis harness. The 06 plug mated fine to the 2015 throttle. I plugged an early/06 pedal into the 2015 car and it worked fine/posted no faults, so I went ahead and did the swap-two years ago.

                          This may be the change that they're confronting..or not!
                          Someone needs to enroll a cooperative VW parts person in checking part numbers over time and hopefully answering the questions.
                          69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                          NW NJ

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                          • #58
                            Alright....long story short I picked up the Alltrack yesterday, it was awesome to be behind the wheel of one of my own cars for the first time in 9 months.

                            It turns out the issue was actually a plug that was making intermittent contact deep inside the dash. It turns out that there was flashing on the plastic that prevented the plug from being completely inserted even though the plug "snapped" closed.

                            I only drove about 20 miles yesterday but I like the electronic throttle a lot so far, I think this was a good way to go and I do believe I will install these on the BMW. I just wish these things were not quite so agricultural looking.

                            Cheers,
                            Jim

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