Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 32- Getting sequentially better with S1
using black racer tape to hold nut underneath shift arm
Bolting in the adapter block is tricky because there’s really no possible way to hold the bottom nut assembly with your fingers while you’re trying to thread in the screw.

There’s just enough space underneath the bottom nut assembly to insert it after rotating the shifter arm, but not a lot more. Racer tape to the rescue! We put the sticky side up on one segment to keep the nut in place, and the sticky side down to hold everything to the trans tunnel. Repeat for the front, and then the adapter can be put into place, and the screws tightened.

 

showing blue machined anodized aluminum adapter bolted to shift arm
Here’s the installed adapter.

The installation instructions tell you to use a thread locking compound (not included). We didn’t do that – YET! The instructions also tell you about installing the shifter and jiggling it around and doing many other not-final-sounding things, so we decided that we were going to install the shifter twice. Once to test fit everything and run the car through the gears, and then once with all the rest of the liquid gasket and thread locking compound as required.

 

screwing adapter plate onto transmission
An adapter plate bolts to the T56, then a thin metal “gasket” that S1 provides, and then the shifter bolts to that.

 

close up of 3 deutsch pins crimped onto a shielded cable with sequential shifter adapter in the background
This is an excellent time to tell you about the gear position sensor.

You will want to install the gear position sensor onto the adapter well before putting everything on the transmission unless you are installing the shifter adapter out of the car. Why? You need to rotate the gear position sensor so that, as the shifter adapter moves through the gears, you get the “correct” voltages. It ends up looking something like the following, where 5V is applied to the orange wire, the blue wire is grounded, and you read the output voltage on the white wire:

1 – 4.212
2 – 3.537
3 – 2.868
4 – 2.204
5 – 1.531
6 – 0.855
N – 0.528

Note that reverse has no indication here. This is because the reverse engagement isn’t related to the shifter adapter’s internals’ rotational position. To detect reverse, you need to use the factory T56 reverse switch, and handle your wiring accordingly.

In the SC300, we’ll be reading the analog voltage from the gear position sensor using the Autosport Labs RaceCapture/Pro MK2. Eventually, I’ll wire in the reverse position switch from the transmission, and then program the logger to detect it accordingly. The logger will use CAN to send the gear position to the AEM CD-7 dash, and then the dash will display the gear position.

If you don’t have a fancy programmable dash, S1 sells a segmented LED gauge that can be used to indicate the gear position.

Here is a close up of the Deutsch DTM pins that I attached to the gear position sensor wires. These will go into a 4-pin connector (because I had 4s and not 3s lying around), then go to the logger. Easy peasy, right?

12 comments

    1. If you subscribe to my personal YouTube channel I’ll have video from Carolina Motorsports Park where I was beating it up a good bit. Even ended up mowing the lawn at some point! I ran 1:48 which is almost 9sec off the TT2 pace, but this is the first real experiment on the car and my first time at CMP in over a decade. I’ve got a lot to learn about the corner speed limits of the car. Looking at my data it’s basically “yeah just go faster everywhere”. Ha!

  1. Awesome! Those shifters look like so much fun. The date on the vid os wrong? It says 2010. I will check out your You tube.

  2. I’ve driven that shifter before and you really can’t rush a shift with it. My friend wallered one out after a couple of race seasons and it began to miss gears, I think there’s a lot of leverage working against it. That and once worn, I think the housing grows with heat and makes it worse. I had the B&M and it sucked when it heated up. I love my new MGW and don’t see myself running anything else now.

    1. I noticed that the shifter assembly was pretty warm after a session, but I’m also not running a transmission fluid cooler.

      The MGW looks nice, but it’s a standard H-pattern and not a sequential. I didn’t really have any issue with the factory Tremec shifter, other than I really wanted a teeny tiny short handle. That Hurst handle I had was pretty good, but I would’ve liked something even shorter. The THROW wasn’t the problem. It was more the shift handle length.

      We’ll see how the S1 holds up after time. My only issue with it is more user error than a problem with the shifter. For whatever reason, I tend not to push it forward enough, so I end up not fully engaging the next gear down. It’s not really a big deal — just something I need to work on or perhaps adjust the shifter angle a bit more.

      1. The shifter sort of has 2 clunks to grab a gear, don’t let the first one fool you. It can be pretty convincing. I’ve found with the MGW that reverse is an asspain to grab, so if this doesn’t do it for you long term consider the MGW as an alternative to not grabbing reverse when you want 5th. I did that years ago to another T56 with a worn out stock shifter and reverse was never the same after that.

  3. Great article, this Soarer content is always so interesting to read. Great vocab too, automotive project car stories can often fall into “catalogue details” faster than the wonders of gearbox black magic. 10/10

  4. is there a difference between a sequential trans and a sequential shift trans? reason I ask is because I had a chance to get an “ikeya sequential shifter” for cheap but a friend poo-pooed it saying that is not a real sequential trans –can anyone shed some light on the subject

    1. Yes, and no, and kind of. Context matters.

      In the case of the S1, Ikeya, and other adapters, you are attaching a sequential shifter assembly to an otherwise normal tranmission. So, while the activation of gears becomes sequential (you can only select the next or previous gear, “sequentially”), the clutch is still required in order to keep the other parts of the transmission happy (namely the synchronizers on the transmission gears).

      A true sequential transmission usually has an internal construction that allows for changing gears without needing to disengage the engine from the transmission via the clutch. A true sequential transmission may use either a physical shift lever (like V8 Supercar a few years back, late 90s BTCC, old DTM, etc) or shift paddles on the steering wheel.

      Sequential transmissions may, but don’t have to be, integrated into the engine management system to handle things like rev matching. They often still have a clutch for starting from a dead stop, but the clutch is not required for switching gears once moving.

      Where it gets funky is in modern dual-clutch transmissions and automated manual transmissions. I think the Volkswagen-Audi group DSG may have been one of the first “passenger” units on the dual-clutch side, and BMW with the SMG on the E46 M3… maybe.

      In the case of the dual-clutch unit, it is much like a regular manual inside, but there are two clutches and two input shafts and a computer that controls how things work. While the experience is sequential (use a paddle or push/pull on the shifter to get the next gear), there are still clutches and synchros inside. The BMW SMG more or less used a computer to actuate the regular single clutch. These systems may or may not have a clutch pedal at all, as the computers do all of the work, including starting from a dead stop.

      I hope this helps!

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