Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Linked gearstick and handbrake

Control both simultaneously
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

I drive a small, front-wheel-drive car with an equally small engine. This doesn't stop me trying (and failing) to drive it like a '69 mustang.

I provoked it enough to get oversteer in a wet car park the other week. This requires a sharp turn in, followed by jerking the handbrake, then downshifting so I have a fighting chance of not wheelspinning for fifty yards afterwards, all while grabbing armfuls of opposite lock to keep everything pointing in the right (wrong?) direction.

I'm sure you get the picture - malcoordinated geek, arms flailing. Remarkably, it's the gearshifting that's the tricky bit for me; everything else is natural.

What I propose is a collar that fits over the gearstick and handbrake. Lifting it up would pull the handbrake, while moving forward, back, left, right etc would operate the gearlever in the normal way. Other implementations could achieve the same end; maybe pulling the gearlever up could pull the handbrake cable. Now I can pull the handbrake, change gear, release the handbrake without letting go of either.

david_scothern, Jun 07 2007


       how about just putting a handbrake lever on the gearshift? like a motorcycle handbrake, mounted to the shifter; requires a pistol style shifter knob, I imagine.   

       also, try stabbing the brake pedal just before you crank the wheel (may require short turn in opposite direction first, essentially making the corner tighter sooner); if you time the momentary forward weight shift right, the car should oversteer enough to let the rear end go. then full throttle out of the corner. that's how rally drivers get AWD cars pitched for corners, so I'm told.
oxen crossing, Jun 07 2007

       I drive a very similar car and would like to drive it like a sportier car, but its my parents car so I'm not going to try anything crazy.   

       Is this idea meant to go on an already existing car with a gearstick and a brake lever? Or is it something that would be designed into a new car?
BJS, Jun 07 2007

       Try pulling it up and down rapidly ...
nuclear hobo, Jun 07 2007

       I feel your pain, [david_scothern]. Until your splendid mechanical fix becomes available, I suggest carrying enough speed into the handbrake turn such that you can drop the handbrake before rotational motion ceases. This will give you a chance to hook the appropriate gear before the car stops sliding. That way you can avoid the amateurish slide-lurch-recoil-pause-go sequence that is necessitated by having only one free hand and insufficient initial speed.
Texticle, Jun 07 2007

       I believe rally cars already have this along with the sequential shift.   

       Remember, if all else fails, try it in reverse.
marklar, Jun 07 2007

       Personal opinion on this one: I think the handbrake is so hard to accomplish because it locks -- you have to keep the button depressed until you have the brake off again... if you took out the brake locking mechanism, I think it would solve a lot of problems, so you just had to pull and release, no button holding.   

       otherwise, great idea -- except some cars (like my v-dub) use up and down motion on the gear shift to get into reverse (even on the 5 speed tranny), so it wouldn't work on them.
CaptainClapper, Jun 07 2007

       Quickly eyeballing the "recent" page, I saw "Linked lipstick and handbrake".
normzone, Jun 07 2007

       Yes I got the picture, geek in a car-.
zeno, Jun 08 2007

       Mk I Golfs had rear-brake proportioning valves linked to the motion of the rear torsion beam: but on early cars they were mounted on the left-hand side. On my first Golf I could downshift into second while chucking the car into a tight right-hander, and planting the brakes at that point would gently bring the tail out. The loaded left rear would prevent the proportioning valve from coming into play, and allow the rear brakes to lock up. I haven't been able to do that with my subsequent Golf I's. I suppose the rear-brake proportioning system had been redesigned since.   

       [CaptainClapper]: It's called a fly-off handbrake and it's an old 30's-60's club-racing trick. The ratchet mechanism is reversed so that you have to push the button to lock the lever in the 'on' position. A quick tug releases it.
Ned_Ludd, Jun 08 2007

       [BJS] It would probably be easier to design into a new car, given that it needs to be made so as to retain good feel for what the gearbox is doing. With thought and care, I don't see an aftermarket kit as impossible though.
david_scothern, Jun 08 2007

       if you build momentem into the corner and select the lower gear but coast into the corner sharp early turn in and dump ths clutch and gun it that should see some fun for you! thanks Nick
randylandy666, Jul 25 2007

       Frank's old TR4a had the handbrake like that-Push to engage. Worked well. As to technique, In the USA we have a new motorsport called "Drifting".The whole idea seems to be to slide as much as possible. Has this gotten to Europe? Find a drifting affinity group and learn from the pro's.PS-I have seen grown men "Drifting Garden Tractors, so don't worry about limited CC's.
Bystander, Nov 10 2008

       You are simply trying to do it all wrong. 1) Power in, so you have speed to burn 2) Clutch and slap down into second (or even the same gear) 3) One hand on the E-brake and foot on the clutch, turn in hard and tap the brakes to settle the front suspension just as if you were braking late, try to feel for maximum lateral Gs 4) With the wheels at the inside apex pull the handbrake and, when you feel the rear break away gently employ the clutch. 5) With luck you are now in an oversteer skid, do not countersteer agressively but wait for the front wheels to pass outside the normal apex line. 6) Get in the gas enough to force the car into a drift. Maintain minimal countersteer to pull the car back to the line. 7) Punch the gas steer and lift to bring the car back to straight.   

       You are trying to force an oversteer with the gas with and ON-Turn-OFF-E-BRAKE-ON which tries to induce an AWD understeer drift when what you want is a gracefull RWD style drift. Using an ON-OFF-Ebrake-ON will give you a more RWD style because you replace the power breakaway of the rear tires with an E-brake breakaway. Forget joining a drift club as they will laugh at your FWD car. Also watch Robert DiNero in "Ronin", he does an eximplary FWD drift and all the hand and foot work is on camera. Join your local SCCA!
WcW, Nov 10 2008

       //Also watch Robert DiNero in "Ronin", he does an eximplary FWD drift and all the hand and foot work is on camera//
Probably done by a stunt driver in the real, right-hand driving seat.
coprocephalous, Nov 10 2008

       nope, DeNiro did all of his own "Stunts" in the film.
WcW, Nov 10 2008

       WcW, if you only knew what car I drive, you'd understand just how right you were about the local drift club laughing at it...
david_scothern, Nov 10 2008

       Oh go on and tell, I won't laugh.
WcW, Nov 10 2008

       Nissan Micra? Fun, but they're mainly grannymobiles. This one's still going at 140,000 miles. Great fun in a front-wheel slide, and has the slickest gearbox you've ever seen. Surprising all round - but an image-free city car.
david_scothern, Nov 10 2008

       Could be combined with a unitary accelerator/brake pedal.   

       When in the "free" position, the brake is fully applied; no need for a handbrake. Pressing the pedal to the "middle" position releases the brake; pressing beyond that point is the accelerator.   

       To stop suddenly, just take your foot off the pedal.
8th of 7, Nov 10 2008

       They homolgated an AWD super-turbo of the Micra. You never know what will happen when gradma pulls up next to you in her grocery getter.
WcW, Nov 11 2008

       Why did I see 'linked lipstick and handbrake'?
pertinax, Nov 11 2008

       // AWD super-turbo of the Micra //   

       Well, yes. There are people who land planes on aricraft carriers, or take to the skies in helecopters; then there's base-jumping, cave diving, and extreme ironing.   

       Just because something can be, or is, done, doesn't mean that it's actually a good idea.
8th of 7, Nov 11 2008


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