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Old 04-22-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Getting Back Into Enjoying My Car...

Hi All,

It's been some time since I've posted... And in many ways I feel like I got off track on the enjoyment I get from simply doing mods on my car... I got involved in another forum (mostly to sell things) and I find that after a year I've lost touch with simply enjoying my car and working on it. I also miss the folks here on this site... It really is the best forum for getting to know people and sharing our common love of these cars...

Although there are so many things we can do with our cars, Lately I've become more interested in doing technical modifications. My 300C is the only automatic transmission car I've owned in the past 20 years. And needless to say I was not completely happy with the shifting strategy of the car. The transmission shifting program is designed to increase fuel mileage. It simply does not have much of a "Sporty" feel to it IMO.

There have been a number of devices cretaed that increase the "Firmness" of the shifts but they do nothing to change "When" the car will shift. This lead me to thinking, why not build a programmable shifting system that you can adjust to your liking? So that's what I did. I call it the VTCM. (Vitruial Transmission Control Module) It actually ended up being a group of modules in the end... A system per-se.

I did run a VTCM beta program last year but I've decided not to sell this system any longer. Mostly because It is something that I work on all the time... And frankly, I enjoy it more as a personal project.

The current build is called V2. And it is VERY different from the beta systems in both programming and hardware. I'm very happy with the V2 but already see things I want to do for V3 LOL...

Anyway, Enough talk... Let's toss some pictures in here too...

* Here is a picture of the pre-Beta system. The thing that really stood out with that system was the mess of wires involved. It actually would take me close to 3 hours just to make the harness. It also required 9 wire taps to install in the car.



*So for V2 my goals were to increase performance, streamline the design, and minumize the number of wire taps... Here is the result...


The V2 system is a "Plug-In" system that plugs directly into the TCM. This dropped the number of wire taps from 9 to 2. The only taps needed are for the CAN B-Bus about one foot away. And because the Main SFC board is physically between the TCM plug and the TCM itself, I was able to increase the control effect of the shift and modulation pressures from 82% to 100%. In other words, it works better with less stress on the TCM...

* Here is a picture of the Main Controller (Brain Board) in it's protective rubber boot... I like to keep it in the glovebox where I can easily remove it and bring it in the house while I continue code development. It's quite small and will fit in the palm of your hand.




Here's a photo of the V2 SFC Board plugged into the TCM. Only 2 external t-taps are needed for the B-bus under the steering column 1 foot away...



*In this photo you can see a small angle bracket added to the bottom mounting screw for the TCM... The SFC Board screws into this bracket for stability and to make ground...



*Here is the SFC board plugged in and screwed in position



*Two taps to the B-Bus and plug in the Controller and we are good to go :-)



So in the end what do I get from this?



A fully programable shifting control system that controls...
  • Firmness
  • Upshift points (limited by the TCM hard limits)
  • Downshift points
  • KickDowns
  • Wireless paddle shifter controler (No wires in the clockspring needed)
  • (Pause / Engage / Gear Hold) via Cruise control wand movements
  • Two saved modes of control that can be moved between on the fly
  • Full management utility that controls settings, graphical monitoring, datalogging, and data playback for analysis.
*Here's a picture of the opertion as seen in the graphical view on the management utility. In this case I was looking at why there seems to be more of a flare on the 3>4 shift then there is in other gears. You can see it in the higher then normal modulation pressure increase during that shift...


---

Anyway, Just thought I'd share my work and want to say I love this project. I've not driven my car in "D" for almost a year now. I would not want to drive my car without this little mod I've created :-)

Thanks for looking... Cheers!

Tim

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Last edited by trs300; 04-22-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:21 PM
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Holy crap, that sounds sweet! Glad to see you're back enjoying that sweet ride of yours.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:39 PM
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you have been busy Tim. looks like you got something good on your hands there
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:33 PM
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Amazing work Tim!

Sad I missed getting a ride this year again at SF to check this system out and how it feels.

There's always next year right?
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by brannigan03 View Post
Holy crap, that sounds sweet! Glad to see you're back enjoying that sweet ride of yours.
Holy crap yourself! Turn my back for a bit and your in a kick A$$ Avenger and your rep is way up there. Way cool... Nice to hear from you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cibalo View Post
you have been busy Tim. looks like you got something good on your hands there
Thanks Man... It's hard to explain how cool (and exhausting at times) this project is. I've both learned so much and still have so much to learn. I guess that is why I like this kind of thing. Always room to learn and grow my skills... That aside, the difference it makes in the way the car behaves is awesome. It's about a 3/4 step toward driving by paddles all the time. Nothing takes the place of a human making the decisions on when to make a shift. But the VTCM takes it a far cry better then what the stock TCM program does...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG SMOOTH View Post
Amazing work Tim!

Sad I missed getting a ride this year again at SF to check this system out and how it feels.

There's always next year right?
Ha! No your not LOL... Every time I try and show you this you're like "Yeah, Yeah..." But that's cool... Your car is looking amaizing Nik. The modifications you have done are really unique. I LOVE your car... To bad it probably shifts not much better then this does lol...

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Old 04-23-2012, 10:38 AM
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outstanding! That's pretty awesome!
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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outstanding! That's pretty awesome!
Thanks Eric!

It is pretty amazing considering that 2.5 years ago I barely knew how to connect an LED .

Now if I could just learn the proper protocol for transmitting CAN Bus commands and getting the car to respond properly... I've got the CAN Message reading and decoding part down, but the transmitting is still something I've not mastered yet...

Tim

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Old 04-23-2012, 01:15 PM
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man Tim, one of these days I should be talkin g to you about a product Ken and I have tossed around but cant wrap my head around how exactly to implement it or simply build it. But I cant get over how professional your product looks, and how far you have come. People that I know who had the chance to help you in the BETA absolutely love these things.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd View Post
man Tim, one of these days I should be talkin g to you about a product Ken and I have tossed around but cant wrap my head around how exactly to implement it or simply build it. But I cant get over how professional your product looks, and how far you have come. People that I know who had the chance to help you in the BETA absolutely love these things.
Hi Todd, Nice to hear from you. It's been awhile... Pop me a PM or email on your Idea and we can discuss... If you want me to sign off on anything as far as rights to the idea I'm cool with that. It is your idea after all... Tim

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Last edited by trs300; 04-23-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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That is some great product refinement, you really do some amazing things.
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