Although I have quite a way to go until I will need to install a gear shifter I do need to think about it as it will effect fabrication, wiring layout etc..... I was originally going to fabricate my own mechanical shifter like the one sold with other conversion kits. Something like this;
However, I stumbled across an eBay auction for one of these KlickTronic kits at a price I couldn't refuse, so I went ahead and purchased it.
sThese kits use an electronically energized solenoid to push or pull the gear selector in the desired direction. As pictured, my kit came with the red and green buttons that would normally be mounted on a motorbike handlebar. A quick inspection of the wiring behind the switches revealed they share a common ground.
For my car I thought about having steering wheel mounted shift buttons however they wouldn't fit in with the overall look of the car and I preferred the option of having paddles behind the steering wheel so off to eBay again I went.
I picked up these paddles for £15 that came from a Golf R32. They are solid aluminum and have a tactile feel to them. Pressing them simply operates an internal push switch.
I hooked them up to a multi-meter to check continuity on the existing wires and found that pressing the push switch did not bridge any of the contacts which means they wouldn't operate the KlickTronic kit.
I decided to dismantle them to see if I could modify them for my needs. Again, probing with the multi-meter I found a pair of contacts that are bridged when the button is pressed so I soldered a new cable to the contact and routed it along with the existing wires.
Mounting the Paddles
Next up was determining how I was going to mount the paddles behind the steering wheel and in what position. I started by attaching them directly to the steering wheel so I could check the reach and position.
Next I made a cardboard template of the steering wheel spokes and boss mounting hole positions. I then headed over to LibreCAD to draw up a template for a new mount.
The mount drawing has been sent off to a laser cutting service who will cut it from 2mm steel for me for £17. They will do a much better job than I possibly could in my garage with limited cutting tools. Once I get it back form them, I will need to bend the arms to follow the steering wheel shape and I'll also need to drill a couple of holes to mount the paddles.
The cables will be routed along the back of the mount and into the steering wheel boss. I am hoping that I can use the spare terminals on the standard rotary coupler to interface between the steering wheel and car wiring loom. The advantage of this approach is no unsightly cables and no issues with getting tangled.