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Stick Mounted Clutch

Clutch button on gearstick
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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I want a pressure sensitive switch on the top of my gearstick that connects to an electronic assembly controlling a hydraulic pump that operates my clutch. When I want to change gears, I use my thumb to operate this button, before shifting. I know there are cars which allow you to shift through the gears automatically, thats NOT what I want.
senatorjam, Aug 29 2002

Alfa Romeo's interpretation http://www.autoweb....007031/article.html
An expensive version, but not quite what I am looking for [senatorjam, Aug 29 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Sequentially shifting manual transmission http://www.edmunds..../48985/article.html
My buddy's Toyota (if found please return) has this feature and it can be used if the familiar automatic tranny goes out, or independently if you're that type of driver. [reensure, Aug 29 2002]


       This is basically an automatic, since you have to press a button to shift in an auto, except with shifting between each individual gear (which some automatics do let you do).   

       I think this would cause many gear crunches if the button isnt pressed down far enough. Paddle-shifters (not manumatics, theres a difference) are better than manuals anyway, since they are capable of shifting far faster than anyone with a clutch pedal can.
Bert6322, Aug 29 2002

       [Bert] I take it you have never driven a stickshift car, and this concept is not basically an automatic. In an automatic, you press the button to prevent you from shifting into reverse from drive, etc , The car does most of the gear changes for you.   

       If the clutch pedal isn't pressed far enough you get gear crunches too.   

       Haven't driven any paddle shifters, I cannot make a comparison, but there are times while driving a stickshift car that you want to press the clutch pedal, therefore disengaging the engine, without changing the gear.
senatorjam, Aug 29 2002

       In point of fact, I had a good friend in college who had a brake lever from a ten speed mounted on the gear lever, with a cable that ran to the throttle, in order to solve this problem from the other direction. IT worked great in off-road situations, but he generally disconnected it on-road to minimize the complication of the setup.
mjd, Aug 30 2002

       Baked in about 1958. The P4 series Rover 110 had an optional "RoverDrive" transmission which consisted of a torque converter, a clutch, a two-speed manual gearbox and an electrically-selected overdrive. The clutch was operated by pressing a button on the end of the gear-stick, and controlled a vacuum servo which actuated the clutch release. If you really want me to, I'll scan and post the relevant part of the workshop manual.
angel, Aug 30 2002

       Pah! Who needs a clutch anyway? I used to drive a (manual) Morris Traveller and could make all the gear changes without using the clutch and without crashing the gears. When you can do this right, gear changes are smooth and fast.
My current car is a VW Passat, with what they call a 'Tiptronic' shift - basically an automatic gearbox with the ability to select whatever gear you want with a paddle.
hippo, Aug 30 2002

       This was also Re-Baked in several Group B rally cars in the mid-80's and I believe it is also used in some current F1 cars. There may be a Porsche Le Mans car that has this too.
8th of 7, Aug 30 2002

       [hippo]: I used to do that when I was driving double-decker buses. They had crash gearboxes (no synchromesh) so you had to double-declutch (double-clutch for USians). If you can manage a perfect change with the clutch, you can manage one without it.
angel, Aug 30 2002

       Baked, I've driven a Golf GTi mk2 that had been adapted for a paraplegic driver and the clutch was a button on the gearstick. You could even feather the clutch for hill starts. the same guy also had an Alfa for rallying that had the clutch operated by a ring on the steering wheel
oneoffdave, Aug 30 2002

       Baked. Citroen used the high-pressure hydraulic system in their D series of the 50's and GS of the 70's to operate a disc clutch automaticaly on semi-automatic models. The D did it all for you, letting the clutch in gently or sharply according to how hard you pressed the accelerator(gas pedal to you Yanks!)when you pulled away, the GS had a torque-converter for pulling away, and the disc clutch operated by movement of the gear-lever to change ratio. Incidentally, they also tried a Wankel engine in the GS, now one of those must be in the Rocking-Horse-shit category of rarity.
Antman, Apr 29 2003

       People tried this in the 1950s/60s, usually using microswitches in the gear lever so that when you put your hand on the lever to change gear, the clutch disengaged. The trouble was that it had to control the throttle as well (otherwise you got a jerky change) so the systems were terribly complicated.   

       Some of the makes on which you could get this type of transmission were Standard, Morris, MG, Austin, Wolseley, Simca, and I think VW's Sportomatic was this type.   

       Nowadays a similar result can be achieved by using electronics to tell when the gear lever is being moved - Saab, Fiat and Renault have done this.
jdw, May 02 2003

       but why would you want this? could you get the same mental feeling using a button as you would using your left foot? You do not want the choice of abusing your transmission?
Zimmy, May 03 2003

rapid transit, May 20 2003

       I rode a Yamaha motorcycle in the UK with a auto shift kit. Basicly it was automatic upshift only, but you can get kits that will do both, even control clutch during launches and prevent wheel stands (still in some R&D though). You press a button on the left handle bar for a upshift, and there is also a clutch button for downchanges which -- you still have to do with your foot. I'm not sure why - I guess just for safety since the thing is not electronicly controlled and you could over-rev the bike quite easily. The idea is you press the button, then clutch only cuts out when the gear lever starts on a downchange, and then comes back in when the bike is sucessfully in gear - aparently that's all faster than a rider could pull the clutch handle in and out. The kit was inexpensive and easy to fit too. I'll find the link and put it up.
venomx, Jul 16 2003

       aparently sentorjam never heard of power shifting   

       and better to use paddles on the wheel such as F1 cars they are an electric shift manual and still have a clutch.   

       just hit he paddle and lift off the gas momentarily to unload the drive train and the transmission shifts either up or down
matthewq4b, Aug 15 2003

       that would be realistic. 2004 dodge neon. f1 style clutching.complex pedal assembely is replaced with simple computer controlled hydrolic clutching system, reduces shift time to nano seconds.the only problem is the 130000 dallor price tag and a lazy left leg
mini1, Oct 13 2003

       Mercedes also had a 4-speed on the column with a torque converter and an electric clutch which disengaged when the lever was moved slightly. In the '50s.
moPuddin, Feb 20 2004

       I think this idea has great potential yet i have one suggestion inted of a high prussure line use a pressure sensetive electronic button that controls the clutch you would be able to cut down or complicated pressure lines and be able to add a computer assistance option
nathangk, May 19 2004

       Sorry guys been done!   

       MAN TG-A truck has this, it is called comfort shift. It's hydraulically operated clutch. If you are lazy and don’t want to press the clutch whilst in motion you simply press the button down, the computer activates the clutch and matches the engine speed to the road speed and gear box giving you extremely smooth shifting. It does not work when you stop the vehicle, you have to press the clutch pedal.   

       It's been out since 2000   


       It’s not such a stupid idea!
dave950, Jun 18 2004

       would it be positioned differently on pistol grip gear shifters?
andrew1, May 12 2005

       I think my friend had something like this on his baja bug. He called it a 'speed shifter' or something. It was just a little button on top of the gear lever. By the way, the word 'accelerator pedal' is a generally accepted term in the US.
discontinuuity, Sep 18 2005

       // Pah! Who needs a clutch anyway? I used to drive a (manual) Morris Traveller and could make all the gear changes without using the clutch and without crashing the gears. When you can do this right, gear changes are smooth and fast. //   

       Not too difficult in a Morris, given the small inertias involved. However, I wouldn't recommend it in today's vehicles; you'll be spending too much money on burnt trans synchronizers.
RayfordSteele, Aug 30 2007


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