Paddle shifters for my 850
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    1. #1

      Paddle shifters for my 850

      I've been talking a little about the paddle shifter I am making for my non turbo automatic 850 and have them nearly completed so I figured its time for a post. Last night I did some test driving with my oscilloscope to verify the shift patterns and particularly the line pressure solenoid control strategy.

      I have seen paddle shifters done before on electronically controlled automatic transmission but each attempt has left some real considerations untouched. No overshift protection, failure to control the line pressure solenoid, no provision for tuning, failure to include standard auto shifting when you don't want to use the paddles, etc.

      So I started with running wire:

      As you can see I also installed a perfect power 6 at the same time, although this is for fuel/ignition tuning and has nothing to do with the paddle shifters.
      I also rewired the economy/sport selector on the center console so that when 'sport' is selected it hands over shift control to the microcontroller I'm programming (PIC16F628). Below you can see the harness extension that I am running to the microcontroller. The harness has 7 wires in; one for shift solenoid 1, one for shift solenoid 2, one for the torque convertor clutch solenoid, two for the trans output speed sensor, and two for the line pressure control solenoid.

      The microcontroller will use inputs (two paddles) to control the shift solenoid activation and will also provide a PWM signal to control the line pressure solenoid. The paddles will select both up and down shift and provide for some 'programming' to change the line pressure on the fly in +10% intervals as the user selects them. The microcontroller also looks at the transmission output speed and then calculates the RPM based on the current gear selection and the gear ratio thereof. By doing this it can calculate the projected engine RPM of the next gear (either up or down) and can prevent shifting that would over rev the engine.

      By pressing the right paddle you select a higher gear, while pressing the left paddle you select a lower gear. By pressing both paddles at the same time for more than 2 seconds you select 'programming' mode and by pressing the right paddle you add 10% to the line pressure for each press. To exit programming mode press the left paddle for 2 seconds. Once you switch back to 'economy' mode on the selector switch, the paddles are deactivated and normal automatic transmission operation continues.

      Well thats enough for this post, I'll have more pics tomorrow and video a day or two after that. For the prototype I have disconnected the washer squirter function and the high beam function (temporarily) and used those functions on the stalks as my paddles. So now when you pull the right hand stalk back you upshift and when you pull the left hand stalk back you down shift. This is just for testing and I'll most likely replace them with some fabricated paddles later, but it was too perfect not to use in the mean time


    2. #2
      Very very cool Lucky! Keep us posted

    3. #3

      Re: (MadeInJapan)

      Got home tonight and refined the code a bit, loaded it into the Micro and fit everything to the prototype board. Once I have a few days of driving on paddles I'll finalize the parts to a circuit board and install it in an aluminum enclosure. Here's the final components.

      You can see the three power transistors on the right, these control the shift solenoids. The power transistor on the upper left is for the line pressure control solenoid. The LED's are just for feedback so I can monitor the circuit outputs.


    4. #4
      Can I just say how utterly cool it is that you can do this kind of stuff, and the company -PAYS- you to do it? So awesome.

    5. #5

      Re: (Arbelac)

      Believe it or not, I am doing this on my own time. Not a company project.

    6. #6
      Junior Member heavyiron's Avatar
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      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Where did you go to school to the those SKILLZZZ??

    7. #7

      Re: (heavyiron)

      A few electronics electives in college.

    8. #8

      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Quote, originally posted by Ipd-Lucky »
      A few electronics electives in college.

      makes me want to switch over to elect eng instead of mech eng.

    9. #9

      Re: (Wagoneer)

      I fried a couple of my power transistors last night, apparently you shouldn't calculate base resistors when its past midnight...

      Last night was a blast though, the trans shifted nicely and crisply. It made 'spirited' driving so much more fun. I wasn't having to predict or fight the trans for the gear I wanted, and I didn't have to keep my foot in the throttle longer or harder than I wanted just to hold a gear longer.


      Anyway, new order placed with Digikey and they are en route!!!


    10. #10
      Member BeerEngineer's Avatar
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      Re: (Wagoneer)

      Nah, go chemical engineering like I did. You'll soon find out that, when you graduate, it was all training for something you don't know how to do, but you get to learn it really quickly.
      2005 S60R GT - Rica Stage II, Phuz DP, CAI, M1 0w-40, VPE Intercooler w/ IMEC GROM Bluetooth
      1992 960 - 225k, old and green - Sold 07/14/12

      Quote Originally Posted by aldebaran View Post
      the curves are really beautiful, I couldn't stop touching it.

    11. #11

      Re: (BeerEngineer)

      I do a little chemical engineering myself, mostly converting oxygen in to carbon dioxide. I don't have a degree but I've been doin it 30 some years now...

    12. #12
      Junior Member bdimag's Avatar
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      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Quote, originally posted by Ipd-Lucky »
      A few electronics electives in college.

      why don't you design an IPD version of the rev kit.. maybe shave off a few hundred $$

      Brian
      240 Brickerator
      S60 2.5T

    13. #13

      Re: (bdimag)

      Its on the long, long list of my "to do's"

      I'm just one guy and have to focus on the most economically viable products first. Stuff like paddle shifters are left for my own personally interests to develop.


    14. #14
      Member BeerEngineer's Avatar
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      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      nice job. I try to specialize in converting sugar to ethanol, and then into acetalyde and urine. not trying to be crude, btw.

      I also turn the needs of a hospital into billable hours.

      2005 S60R GT - Rica Stage II, Phuz DP, CAI, M1 0w-40, VPE Intercooler w/ IMEC GROM Bluetooth
      1992 960 - 225k, old and green - Sold 07/14/12

      Quote Originally Posted by aldebaran View Post
      the curves are really beautiful, I couldn't stop touching it.

    15. #15

      Re: (BeerEngineer)

      Update:

      Thought I would share my most recent findings on how the trans line pressure solenoid strategy works. First lets explain line pressure. This is basically the oil pressure of the transmission. Higher line pressure allows the clutch packs and shift servo to actuate quicker which also causes a firmer/harsher shift. Lower line pressure is obviously the opposite.

      The Trans control unit (TCU) changes line pressure on the fly. There is a mechanical pump (front pump) that creates the pressure through engine/trans rotation, then that pressure is feed via passageways in the valve body to the line pressure solenoid. The LPS then bleeds off the line pressure based on TCU command. The control signal to the LPS is a fixed 300 Hz frequency with a varying duty cycle. The on time in "D" at 0 mph is approx 50% bleed off and drops to about 25% bleed off at its highest point. This means the more load the transmission has applied to/through it, the higher the line pressure.

      Using the pulsout command through my PIC16F628 I can control the LPS in a similar fashion. I ran an additional wire to the ECU to pick up Rpm and feed that as an input to the PIC microcontroller. Now I can use RPM and gear selection to calculate a rough load value and adjust line pressure accordingly. This line pressure strategy can also be amplified or increased via the programming function I mentioned earlier.

      With the PIC programmed to utilize this new info I can get variable shift firmness when using paddles without having to do anything. So when I'm just cruising around using paddles, the shifts are softer. But when I get on it the shifts automatically get firmer and quicker. Plus I can adjust the entire range of soft to firm via the programming function on the PIC microcontroller. All this with 10 wires and less than 300 lines of code.

      I'll be posting video toward the beginning of next week when my new power transistors show up.


    16. #16
      Member Mika's Avatar
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      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      So you essentially programmed your own TCM... Pretty neat I must say.

    17. #17
      Wow, amazing work!!!!

      Very nice job.

      F1 style Volvo!

      Stock 2004 S60r
      Totalled: Stock 1991 Toyota Mr2 w/ 309k miles.
      Current: Turbo 1991 Mr2 w/ 220k Miles & 2013 Scion Iq

    18. #18

      Re: (chinaonnitrous1)

      I had one of those "Aha" moments this weekend.
      I got my hands on an extra TCU and instead of building my own complete circuit with 5V regulator, power transistors, pullup resistors, etc... I just interfaced the microcontroller directly with the TCU. So when I flip the selector switch to 'Sport' the TCU loses its 12v key on power but still gets its 12v constant power. This way I can interface my PIC chip directly to the hardware on the TCU circuit board and control the TCU power transistors for the shift solenoids and the line pressure solenoid. I can also get my 5V supply from the 5V regulator that is on board the TCU circuit board. By doing this I only have to run two wires; the upshift and downshift wires for my paddles. All the other 'wiring' is done inside the TCU box. There is plenty of space internally in the TCU to house my microcontroller and I can interface/access all my inputs & outputs with the exception of the two wires for the paddle switches.

      Now, with all this being said I could offer pre-wired TCU's that can plug and play into the car. The only wiring to be done would be for the two shift paddle switches.

      What do you guys think? Is there enough interest in such product?


    19. #19
      Sound like we'll be sending you our TCU's much like the way we sent you our ECU's for an upgrade...sounds great!

    20. #20

      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      I will buy a kit, you have my word (depending on the cost of course)

      This is so cool that someone is doing this. I HATE how the 4 speeds react and I've always wanted to have more control.

      BTW, what do you think a complete kit with the paddle shifters and the complete modified TCU will cost? Will there also be a core charge for our original TCU or will you be modding our own when we send them in?


    21. #21

      Re: (Wagoneer)

      Best way to do it would be to have a core stock so you don't have to have your car immobile while you wait for your TCU to come back. I would suspect cost to be around $150 per unit without paddles. Mostly its the time that contributes to the cost, the parts are pretty cost effective. I'll need to design some paddles and see what that might bring the cost to before I can give you a full kit price.
      Anybody have some time and want to search the internet for some aftermarket paddles? (Just the paddles and switches alone)

      Let me be clear this is not currently an Ipd product, this is just me playing around at home. It may become an Ipd product but let me finish this and get some video up so you can see exactly what its like before you start sending me TCU's.


    22. #22
      What are your thoughts on where to put the paddles? I know the light and washer arms are great but not practical in everyday use.

    23. #23

      Re: (MadeInJapan)

      Quote, originally posted by MadeInJapan »
      What are your thoughts on where to put the paddles? I know the light and washer arms are great but not practical in everyday use.

      Yeah on my way to work today I took some time to figure out where the paddles might go and I think finding a good place would be tricky. A custom bracket of some sort would be a must.

      Also, how's the reaction with the paddles? There isn't a giant lag like the GT trannies is there (specifically referring to my mother's '03 XC70). And would there be a full auto mode as well as a manual mode that you could switch back and forth? The stock rev limiter would also still be in place as well as something stopping you from downshifting to first when you're going 120 right? I know you talked about the shift varying shift firmness but I wasn't sure if it was you just playing around with the settings or if it's an actual feature.

      And that price sounds fair. I'll do some research on paddles and see if I can find anything. It's awesome that you're doing this all on your spare time, we all appreciate it!


    24. #24

      Re: (Wagoneer)

      My thought is to keep the paddles mounted to the steering column rather than the steering wheel. This if for two reasons, first its simplier. Second, the up and down paddles are always in the same position and not relative to the steering wheel so you won't have to think twice where the paddle you want is if the wheel is being turned.

      I have designed a few different shapes in CAD for possible paddles and so far my favorite style is the Ferrari/Bentley type and not the BMW/Mercedes type. Ferrari uses a paddle that essentially comes straight out and then turns to go upward (google images for a pic). I figure I'll have to design the paddles, integrate some switches, and a mounting bracket. This is honestly the bulk of the work and cost. If we can find a 'universal' aftermarket option that would be more desirable from a cost standpoint. The other option is to put on an aftermarket steering wheel with integrated button (Sparco, etc..) except then of course you will loose your airbag and I'd rather not do that.

      As for variable shifting firmness, the code is written so I would see no reason not to utilize that function. However, you could easily leave it out if desired.


    25. #25

      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Quote, originally posted by Ipd-Lucky »
      As for variable shifting firmness, the code is written so I would see no reason not to utilize that function. However, you could easily leave it out if desired.

      oh cool, I didn't know that would also work with the paddles. So essentially it's just the exact same shifting characteristics as stock accept of course you get to choose when it shifts... very cool.

      Quote, originally posted by Ipd-Lucky »
      My thought is to keep the paddles mounted to the steering column rather than the steering wheel. This if for two reasons, first its simplier. Second, the up and down paddles are always in the same position and not relative to the steering wheel so you won't have to think twice where the paddle you want is if the wheel is being turned.

      I wasn't thinking of mounting them to the wheel. The steering is not quick enough to make that useful. Only reason an F1 car's paddles are mounted to the wheel is because it's only about 180 degrees from TDC to full lock.

      I was more referring to the placement of the wiper/blinker arms will be tricky to mount paddles as the arms are closer to the wheel and larger then in most cars. You would almost have to go with a Ferrari-style paddle that goes straight up one way instead of the other ones where they're mounted in the middle (if you get what I mean from that).

      Speaking of steering ratios, care to tackle a kit to make the steering quicker in 850s while you're at it?

      As for aftermarket paddles, I haven't been able to find any sources except for OEM replacements for other cars. Could you just use OEM paddles from another car with a custom bracket (that would sure save you the time of designing and then making them)? I'm sure with all the cars with paddles out there these days there's got to be one that matches what you want. What were your thoughts for materials if you would custom make the paddles?

      But designing your own on AutoCAD would be cool... that would be a fun topic for my next eng. design project.


    26. #26

      Re: (Wagoneer)

      The paddles would be manufactured from aluminum and made to interface with a pivot that would provide the proper mechanical advantage to give enough tactile feedback for the switches.

      As for quicker steering there are two options of which I've done one.
      1. Design a custom rack and pinion for a quicker ratio (not done)
      2. Change the power steering pully to a smaller/larger one to change the steering effort.

      You can use a PS pully from S60/S80 and play around, the Serp belt adjuster can take up the slack for the most part although for my last one I ended up getting a different belt.


    27. #27

      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Quote, originally posted by Ipd-Lucky »

      As for quicker steering there are two options of which I've done one.
      1. Design a custom rack and pinion for a quicker ratio (not done)
      2. Change the power steering pully to a smaller/larger one to change the steering effort.

      So it's just as simple as changing the pulley? Will this just change the effort of the steering or will it change the quickness of it as well (lock to lock)?

    28. #28

      Re: (Wagoneer)

      Only changes the effort. No actual change to the steering ratio.

    29. #29
      Hi everyone, I'm new around here. I found this forum (love the name) from reference in the C30world forum (I just ordered one).

      Lucky, this is really cool.

      I'm getting the Geartronic, which is one of the C30's weaker points IMO.

      With your paddle shifter, what if anything would happen when you use the
      Manumatic or whatever Volvo's semiautomatic mode is called?

      Would the shift firmness transfer over?

      For that matter, what about just making the manual mode work better - less delay and firmer?

      Speaking of firmer, doesn't this create higher loads on the transmission?

      Either way, any thought as to whether this mod would affect the warranty?

      One last thing. My brother has an M5 w/paddle shifting, and one thing I love about it is that when you shift down, it blips the throttle to match rpm.

      How hard/$ would it be to do that? Not only does it sound cool, but it would reduce stress on the trans, right?

      Thanks


    30. #30

      Re: (noah katz)

      I think this is strictly for the 850/870 with the 4 speeds. I believe fiddling with the newer trannies would take a lot more work.

    31. #31
      Member Mika's Avatar
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      Re: (Wagoneer)

      Quote, originally posted by Wagoneer »
      I think this is strictly for the 850/870 with the 4 speeds. I believe fiddling with the newer trannies would take a lot more work.

      Actually, adding paddles to the GT should be pretty easy because the SW and wiring is already there. Just move the micro switches from the shifter to the paddles or add paddle switches in parallel.


    32. #32

      Re: (Mika)

      Quote, originally posted by Mika »

      Actually, adding paddles to the GT should be pretty easy because the SW and wiring is already there. Just move the micro switches from the shifter to the paddles or add paddle switches in parallel.


      Yes the paddles will be easy because the function is already there. But screwing around with the firmness etc. will be more complicated.

    33. #33

      Re: (noah katz)

      You could implement paddles into a later geartronic trans, as mentioned it would essentially just be another input to request an up shift or down shift.

      Adding line pressure on the fly or adaptively could also be done and probably without too much effort. I'll explain in a moment. Trying to 'blip' the throttle between gear shift could be done but it would be a pain trying to get the ECU/ETM to not throw a code.

      Changing the existing manual mode or reprogramming it could be done but to do it correctly means time and development. Expect something like a TCU flash to cost about what an ECU flash costs.

      Would it affect warranty, probably. If you show up at the dealer with trans codes and a set of paddles on the steering wheel, I would expect some eyebrows to be raised. My initial thought for the electroncis on later model transmissions and paddle shifters would be to introduce a 'Y' harness that would plug inline to the Gear selector module (GSM) and could be easily and cleanly removed so that there was no indication that it was ever there. The wiring would then run from the GSM to the paddles on the steering column. The paddles would also have to be designed to be easily installed/removed.

      Adaptive or additive line pressure could also be done and it would be similar to what I'm doing now. The later model GT transmissions utilize a trans line pressure sensor. This sensor output could simply be modified such that the TCU would then adjust trans line pressure. In other words, reduce the signal output slightly, and the TCU adds a some line pressure to bring the sensor output to where it is expecting/commanding it to be. Basically a signal offset. This could be mapped across load and shift points for a truly tunable line pressure strategy. This alone could fix some of the shifting issues with the Geartronic transmissions.

      Again something like a signal offset would be made with a 'Y' type connector and could simply go inline to the transmission harness connector so that it could be taken out if necessary. However, a TCU flash would be a better way to accomplish the same thing but it would probably be more costly.


    34. #34

      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Alright! New power transistors came in today. I'll get them installed tonight and paddle my way home


      Modified by Ipd-Lucky at 10:40 AM 1-18-2008

    35. #35
      Member Mika's Avatar
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      Re: (Ipd-Lucky)

      Volvo raised the line pressure a few of years ago with the TCM SW updates for the AW55 to help sticking valves in contaminated valve bodies. My tranny was shifting pretty slow under high torque when I got my first ECU upgrade. The new TCM SW made it shift crisply again. I don't think there's much room to tinker anymore in the 5 speed GT with the line pressure, especially when the transmission SW has proven rather brittle as it is.

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