Porsche 911UK Forum

Welcome to the @Porsche911UK website. Register a free account today to become a member! Sign up is quick and easy, then you can view, participate in topics and posts across the site that covers all things Porsche.

Already registered and looking to recovery your account, select 'login in' and then the 'forget your password' option.

Tiptronic paddle shift extensions - potential new option

pj_sibley

Well-known member
Joined
12 Nov 2012
Messages
572
Some of you with Tiptronic gearboxes may have considered replacing your OE wheel with a paddle shift enabled wheel, which can work out fairly expensive but offers improved functionality over the OE shift buttons.

Another option, until now, has been Agency Power's carbon fiber paddle shift extensions, which simply adhere to the OE shift buttons and provide a greater activation range to the 'manual' shift mechanism:

AP Paddle Shift Extensions

The above product is no longer available; I have had this confirmed to me this week by AP. It strikes me that this is potentially a far cheaper and nearly as effective means of achieving a paddle shift type system for cars equipped with the Tiptronic gearbox. It won't be for everyone of course but may be of interest to those who take their cars on track for example.

Anyway, I have made inquiries with a number of carbon fiber fabricators here in the UK about making up a similar set of paddle shift extensions, very similar to those originally developed by AP but taking a fresh look at the design and quality of materials. The feedback has been positive, although the costs of developing moulds/tooling etc. is prohibitive for a one-off set. For an order of say 20 units (each unit includes a pair of paddle shift extensions) at approximately £150 per unit, the mould/tooling cost would be covered.

So, the question is....would anyone be interested in such a product?
 
Tinker said:
In black plastic, yes. Carbon fibre, no.

The message I've been getting from the CF fabricators is that the cost of moulds/tooling would be the same if using alternative materials, making it a marginal cost difference overall. However, I'll perhaps explore this avenue further and see what comes of it.

If anyone can recommend a good plastics company who you reckon could help out, let me know!!
 
Carbon fibre would look silly in a car that doesn't have it anywhere else. And most cars don't.

Carbon fibre's strength could be a reason to use it, of course, but, in this case, if the lever's only glued on, it ain't the lever that's going to break.

So, black plastic with accurately moulded surfaces to glue onto the faces of the existing thumb-pieces should be the way to go, shouldn't it?
 
It's only my opinion, but judging by the picture on the AP website I think they look rather naff. I'd rather stick with just buttons, or go the whole hog and have real paddle shifters mounted at the back of the wheel, one for up and one for down.
 
Tinker said:
Carbon fibre would look silly in a car that doesn't have it anywhere else. And most cars don't.

Carbon fibre's strength could be a reason to use it, of course, but, in this case, if the lever's only glued on, it ain't the lever that's going to break.

So, black plastic with accurately moulded surfaces to glue onto the faces of the existing thumb-pieces should be the way to go, shouldn't it?
Or better still, replacement thumb-pieces with extensions, so there's nothing to come unglued.

The AP stick-on extensions work very easily with the +/- buttons that are on both sides, of course. (Flappy-paddle Left = down and Right = up is intuitive. but to delete existing functions from the +/- buttons is unnecessary: they work fine.)
 
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll continue to look into the options/costs etc. and report back if anything looks viable :thumb:

I have some friends in the engineering profession, who are also capable with CAD. We have been discussing the potential to use a 3D printing process in ABS for example.
 
I think this an excellent idea and would be interested.
 
It occurs to me that the basic AR design may well be fatally flawed.

The 'normal' Tip buttons are each 'Push' only (and not 'Pull') and '+' above the horizontal axis and '-' below and, unless you catch them by chance, are foolproof.

The AR levers, although they appear to be only extensions of the Tip buttons, are fundamentally different. So, for example, imagine the fingers of your right hand are around the steering wheel and the AR lever is by your right thumb. If you push the upper part of the lever with your thumb, you change up and, obviously, if you push the lower part, you change down.

However, if you push the upper part of the lever with your fingers from behind the wheel, you change down and, obviously, if you push the lower part of the lever from behind the wheel, you change up. The very opposite of using your thumb.

Now, this may be perceived as an advantage. More likely, I would have thought, it's a recipe for confusion and, consequently, perhaps dangerous. (I know there are other 'front & back' buttons that can be operated like the AR levers, but they're not as long and, equally, not as potentially hazardous as the AR.)

There is a solution, of course. To have an AR type of extension, but only above the Tip button. A 'half AR lever'. Then, 'Push' with your thumb from in front of the wheel will change up and 'Pull' with your fingers from behind the wheel will change down.

So, upper button extensions on the left hand and right hand sides of the wheel will be like flappy paddles, but better, because the extensions are ambidextrously (+) and (-).
 
^^ Some interesting thoughts. I know exactly what you mean about the AP extensions though. However, and I may be wrong, I don't think AP meant their paddles to be anything more than extensions of the existing range of motion i.e only 'push' activated by thumbs rather than adding a 'pull' function (although this may indeed be a side effect and add to the confusion as you suggest). I believe they are still marked '+' above the mid-line and '-' below, same as the buttons.

If indeed the 'pull' action could be introduced to both sides (as it may be by the AP items), then your suggestion of just having extensions extending above the mid-line of the wheel seems to be well worth considering in all of this. So, 'push' for an up-shift and 'pull' for a down-shift. This may be easier to design/fabricate too, potentially even as a replacement for the OE buttons (rather than a stick-on solution).

Following some PM correspondence from others on the forum, I'm also looking at retrofit paddle options using a custom bracket and some 'simple' button re-wiring. Fortunately, I have a spare Tiptronic wheel and buttons to play with!
 
Not having a spare Tip wheel, wanting to avoid wiring difficulties and not wanting to spend a lot anyway, the upper lever/extension or button replacement appeals to me.

The present buttons are certainly not intuitive nor comfortable to use and a lever would be a definite improvement. And, as I've said, probably even better than paddles.
 
Just done Maidstone to Leicester in the dark & the rain. Discovered another reason a 996.2 C4 Tip 2 is a good car. It eats miles in bad conditions.

While doing this, I was playing with the right-hand Tip button with my fingers & thumb (eyes firmly on the road) and realised how small a modification to the button is necessary to make it much better.

So, because I actually changed down inadvertently with the finger nail of my forefinger from behind the wheel, while feeling to see how high the button sits above its recess, I understood how small a new vertical extension needs to be.

A round 'ear' to sit in the existing thumb recess of the wheel would be enough.
 
Tinker said:
A round 'ear' to sit in the existing thumb recess of the wheel would be enough.

And that's exactly what we're looking to do, thanks for the input :thumb:

We took a good look at the existing button design yesterday on my spare Tip wheel and have some neat ideas about extending the '+' side of the buttons into the thumb recess area and slightly behind the rim, whilst still making use of the rocking motion of the OE switch. The idea is to try and develop a physical replacement for the OE switch, rather than a stick-on effort.

The aim is to allow fore/middle finger control of the Tip function initially i.e. with upshift and downshift remaining on both sides. By swapping over the two switch wires inside the wheel for the right hand button, we can then move towards a 'right pull for upshift' and 'left pull for downshift' arrangement.

The reverse engineering on the existing button, which will form the basis for the replacements, starts this week hopefully. Will keep this thread updated with progress....
 
Tinker said:
Well, if you need an impartial tester ...

Noted, thanks :thumb:

Will keep you posted on progress via PM.
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
124,090
Messages
1,437,030
Members
48,483
Latest member
7CUU
Back
Top