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Author Topic: Shift lights - options and installation questions  (Read 35573 times)

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Offline Kenny

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Shift lights - options and installation questions
« on: November 27, 2009, 07:08:27 PM »
Hey ya'll. So there was a small discussion on shift lights a few days ago, and I really want to get something soon so I'm curious of the groups opinions on the matter.

What I'd most like to clone is the logic behind F1 style steering wheel lights, which during DEcelleration, go from redline to orange to green and when they turn off indicates that it is safe to downshift.

The easiest setup is probably this 7 LED sequential unit:

http://store.traqmate.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=48
(video of the different modes, and in action here)
http://www.scoobymods.com/ecliptech_shift_sequential_shift-t8526.html

I was thinking of doing this with either one or two solid lights, such as a drag racing light like this Raptor:

http://www.raptorperformance.com/products/Dual%20Mode%20Shift%20Light.htm

There is also a pretty cool one here, but I think it's too long to properly mount anywhere on the Sky

http://lumitach.com/

Ideas? Discuss amongst yourself

------------------------------------------------------------

I've decided to update the first post of this thread with the install info so they don't get lost at the end of this talky thread.

The one I (and a few others) choose is the Ecliptech Shift-I. It combines a customized tach and shift light.

Install will be easy for everyone after seeing this guide. It was a real huge pain in the ass for me. Because I had a fight with a gasket.

First I wired up my power and ground. I already have a fuse tap on fuse 18 for my iPhone, and Valentine 1. Just tapped that and ran the wires behind the radio and hooked that up. I don't have photos, I forgot to take them.

The hard part of the install is the cylinder tap. I choose to tap cylinder 4 so there is less wire in the engine compartment. It's tough to do this one because there isn't much exposed wire. But I was able to make it fit.

The wire to tap is the wire that is different on each cylinder. For cylinder 4 it is the green wire. Take the connector off and cut away the tape. I found the included wire taps to be pretty cool because I could easily do one the cylinder wire side first, and the new wire second so I didn't have to try to keep as many wires steady with my hands. (This is the first time I've ever used wire taps in my life, so I was very nervous that I would break something)

Once I got that tapped I made sure the car started, and I had misfires... I freaked out, then realized I forgot to connect the wires back to the coil. WHEW Once I did everything was fine.

Uranium suggested that the best way to get into the cabin through the firewall is to go through the gasket that the main ECU wires go through. It is definitely the easiest way once you learn how the gasket works. This took me an hour and a big scare. Originally I didn't realize that there were two layers of rubber I had to get through. So I poked a hole, taped the wires to a hangar, and started pushing through. Everything seemed fine then it started to get tough to push. I look under the dash and saw frayed wire! I thought I has cut the ECU wires! Again panic! Then I realized that that the boot actually funnels flush with the wiring harness and I had actually been pushing the new wire through tape holding the ECU harness together and the frayed wire was just the new wire. Pulled it out. Started the car. WHEW #2 everything was fine.

So I decided to pull out the entire gasket, and saw how it was made. Poked holes on each side and used this awesome plier technique to feed it through without the hanger. Once it was through, just popped the gasket back and used a screwdriver to push it into place.

Connected all the wires to the shift light, jammed then under the dash and bam it worked!

I wrapped the tap up with electrical tape, hopefully nothing melts. U has suggested aluminum tape. Gotta get around to getting some.

I haven't decided on the final mounting point so I just jammed it between the steering wheel.

Gotta also learn how to calibrate it. Right now I just have one light going on for every 1k RPM. But I'm going to plan on having  the lights start at 4k RPM and blink just before redline.

Pic uploading is having some problems today so here is a gallery for now:

http://gallery.me.com/kennysabarese#100364
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 08:26:36 PM by kennysabarese »
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
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Offline Kelu

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 08:44:52 PM »
Isn't dashhawk have this feature?
Or GTech?
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 09:21:33 PM »
gtech has a tach with lights and other logging that i can do with hptuners... and costs a lot more than this shift light

i think it's overkill. unless i'm missing something

2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 09:31:35 PM »
Kenny, I was thinking about the curved sequential setup. Might be tall enough to place in the recessed area of the gauge cluster cover. If you could make it work that would be the cleanest looking install, I think.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 09:36:47 PM »
do you mean in between the tach and speedo? or attach the top of the light to the bottom of the cover which would cover the gas guage?
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 09:38:59 PM »
No, I mean like were JPM has the alcantara in this pic:



Not sure if the tach is tall enough, but I think that may still hold the most potential.
2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab, LM7 4L60E (What I traded my Kappa for. I regret nothing.)
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2009, 09:42:13 PM »
oh yeah. on top. yeah as close as to the window the better. i could always make some little mount to raise it up as well.
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
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Offline snaponbob

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 09:33:28 AM »
I've been watching this thread with interest as a "shift light" is certainly something that can come in handy in some spots on Solo courses. There is just no time to look at the tach. If one goes to the manufacturers site, there is a printable template that can come in handy. Mine printed out a bit smaller than true scale (about 13%). The curved unit appears to be ~4" across. Too big to fit IN one of the nacelles, but on top of the cover could be very good. This might help --  http://www.ecliptech.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=109%29 . It's an Australian company, so our weak dollar may be the reason the price has gone up so much over the past 1-2 years. I have found one other programmable sequential shift light, but the import can not assure me how to properly capture an input signal and says a signal adapter (such as an Autometer unit) may be needed, so even though it is $80 I have passed on it. It seems that the shift-i is very flexible when it comes to installation, so a call to a reseller on Monday will be a must.   
Bob Buxbaum
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2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
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Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 09:38:50 AM »
I have my Dash Hawk setup to change colors at specific RPMs, I use this to catch my eye when drag racing so I don't have to take my eyes off the track

Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2009, 09:47:21 AM »
I have my Dash Hawk setup to change colors at specific RPMs, I use this to catch my eye when drag racing so I don't have to take my eyes off the track

Very cool. It gets the RPM from OBD I assume?

Also do you know where you can pickup an RPM wire in the car to hookup a standard shift light?
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2009, 10:08:49 AM »
It seems that the shift-i is very flexible when it comes to installation, so a call to a reseller on Monday will be a must.   

a local race shop has this thing. i think i'll buy it since I am going there today anyway. if you find a great price, i will return it.
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline snaponbob

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2009, 10:10:17 AM »
Kenny, I think I mentioned something along those lines in my post above. Since we have a COP ignition, a shift light signal varies with each unit. Some tap in to ALDL lines, some to coil leads, etc. Some even require an additional piece of hardware to generate a signal that is needed. So far, when I have asked vendors, the answer usually sounds like "well, we aren't 100% sure about YOUR application so you'll just have to try it". Problem is, "just trying it" could damage the unit, or worse yet maybe the ECU !!!!
Bob Buxbaum
snaponbob AT comcast DOT net
2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline snaponbob

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2009, 10:16:39 AM »
a local race shop has this thing. i think i'll buy it since I am going there today anyway. if you find a great price, i will return it.

Seems like everybody is at a $169 price point. It is pretty easy to pop the top off the instrument pack and fish wires through the dashboard. If you plan on taking a signal from the low side of a coil, just make REAL sure that the wire can never chafe on ANYTHING or a long walk will be yours some day !!!   :f:  :goat:  :censor: :cryin:
Bob Buxbaum
snaponbob AT comcast DOT net
2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 10:20:35 AM »
Oh this mounting option might work in our cars


There is no RPM wire anywhere else in the car?
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2009, 10:39:34 AM »
 
Kenny, I think I mentioned something along those lines in my post above. Since we have a COP ignition, a shift light signal varies with each unit. Some tap in to ALDL lines, some to coil leads, etc. Some even require an additional piece of hardware to generate a signal that is needed. So far, when I have asked vendors, the answer usually sounds like "well, we aren't 100% sure about YOUR application so you'll just have to try it". Problem is, "just trying it" could damage the unit, or worse yet maybe the ECU !!!!
Yeah i dunno what half of that stuff means.

Only 3 wires to connect! Ground, Ignition and Tacho.

This is what their installation guide says.
The tacho input is quite flexible and can be connected to either...
5 or 12V digital tacho signals (ECU to instrument)
Electronic ignition outputs (ECU to coil, including wasted spark systems and coil on plug systems)
Fuel injector outputs (ECU to fuel injector)

Full guide is here:

http://www.ecliptech.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=69
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline snaponbob

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2009, 10:56:36 AM »
Sorry.
ALDL = Assembly Line Data Link which what the data plug next to the steering column is all about.
COP = Coil Over Plug.

The idea of connecting to the low voltage lead at a coil seems best as there is no doubt about what is being read.
Bob Buxbaum
snaponbob AT comcast DOT net
2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2009, 03:03:18 PM »
So I just bought the Shift I at the local raceshop. I'll play with positions and take some pics.

Anyone know the math to figure out the safe RPM for downshifting? It's tough to watch while driving.
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2009, 03:11:26 PM »
I can get on that, using my favorite testbed: Forza 3!
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2009, 03:18:56 PM »
HAHA!
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2009, 04:30:20 PM »
OK, working off the theory that whatever your RPM drops to when you shift at redline is the safe place to downshift, 3,750 RPM is safe across all gears.

*****DISCLAIMER*****
This has not been mathematically proved, nor real world tested-yet. I'll check the lower gears myself, I'm not running 4th or 5th to redline, thanks.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2009, 05:20:26 PM »
4th to redline is tough to do on the street but i've done it (I WISH)

5th I don't think it's possible.
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2009, 07:15:54 PM »
OK, the street test shows that 4k would be safe. Apparently Forza 3 assumes everyone don't know how to shift fast...
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2009, 07:41:06 PM »
:) sweet thanks man.  the most important one for me is 4th to 3rd. i might upgrade my valve springs just to protect myself from making a mistake :)
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2009, 07:46:23 PM »
Well, 2nd to 1st is the biggest jump. If you wanted to, you could fine-tune the lights for 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and that would be at a point higher than 4k.

I know in my case, I'd get so used to the lights that if I did that sooner or later I'd downshift into 1st early. So, 4k it will be for me. That's pretty well into the powerband anyway.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Shift lights - options and installation questions
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2009, 07:52:23 PM »
I've never downshifted into first while moving more than 5mph. Not to worried about that :)
2007 Sky Redline - Wester's Tuned - GMPP sensors - RMR Roll Bar - Kirkey Seats
Schroth Harnesses - SSR Wheels - Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs - Complete Mod List
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