In contrast to a rotational or even linear potentiometer to measure the position of the brake pedal, a load cell is just that- a cell that measures load. This load sensor features 16-bit resolution, offering a massive sensitivity increase. But, the real win here is that the brake pedal is measuring the force of your foot as opposed to how far you manage to push the pedal. This helps to give the pedal a much more realistic feel.
The Loadcell kit comes with a different “brain” box. You simply replace the brain that came with the pedal set. This new brain also features a direct USB connection, as opposed to a cable that plugs into the steering wheel base.
Once the brains are swapped, it’s simply a matter of bolting the pedals to the base in the desired location. You can see here that there are mounting holes running the entire width of the pedal base. This allows you to customize the distance between the brake-clutch and the brake-gas to optimally suit your feet.
Fanatec kindly includes both an Allen wrench as well as a box wrench for you to use to bolt these components together. They did not include the teeny screwdriver needed to swap the brains, but that’s OK.
Once the pedals are bolted to the base, you can plug them into the brain box.
If you glance at them quickly, you might mistake the Fanatec CSL Elite pedals for being a real racing pedal setup. Their all metal construction gives them an extremely sturdy feel. The pedals come with rubber covers, but these can also be removed and you can put on grippy stickers that Fanatec also supplies.
Without any tools you can quickly detach the brake pedal stiffness adjuster and exchange the rubber inserts. Fanatec provides 3 different durometer insert sets that can be mixed and matched to achieve the desired stiffness. From street-car mush to formula car rock-solid, it is a trivial exercise. If I had one complaint here, it would be that the durometer is only very faintly printed on the inserts, making it hard to figure out which ones are which. An ink with slightly more contrast would go a long way, but this is a pretty trivial complaint.
Just like with the steering wheel, the GTR Simulator GTA-F cockpit is not designed with Fanatec’s products in mind. The pedal base has slots to attach pedal kits, but they put the Fanatec set a little further away than I would like. I again spent some time with the templates and my drill to try to get things better, and again, I somehow managed to end up with a hole in the wrong place. That’s OK, though. You can’t see it.
With pedals in place and steering attached it was almost time to get driving, but there was one more special component waiting in the wings- the Clubsport Shifter.