To help harness the air, and get it ready for shifting a tank will be used. We call this tank the accumulator. It will store air and keep about a half gallon ready to send to the solenoids. The accumulator will be suited with a 0-150PSIg sensor that will give the ECU information on the air volume inside the accumulator. Mine has 4 ports: main feed from the compressor, the out line to the solenoids, a drain for accumulated water in the system, and a gauge port for the pressure sensor.
The solenoids are from an Indy/F1 car specialty company out of England called Shiftec. Shiftec makes parts for top tier race teams and impressed me with their machined housings and Autosport electrical connections. As some of you know I am a sucker for AS connectors, so early on these became a must have on my list. This solenoid box controls the air (up and down) from two separate -4 air ports on the side and one main air inlet on the bottom that connects to the accumulator. This unit is also equipped with an internal pressure sensor, which was an added bonus.
The actuator is a forward/backward moving air lever that acts as a ram rod for the transmission gear change lever. It is also equipped with an up and down line that (you guessed it!) connects directly to the solenoid box. I had to get creative with the mounting of this unit to the trans case as the Quaife transmission I am using is mainly set up for a cable shifter. The actuator needed to be able to hinge and swivel on its axis as the gear changer lever on the transmission moves in a round motion. Thank goodness for Heim joints and threaded adjustable bodies!
Getting the paddle up/down request to the ECU is directly wired into the ECU via the Shiftec paddle clicker buttons. These paddle clickers are mounted behind the grips on the driver's steering wheel. The right side will be set up to request an up shift and the left will be set to request a down shift. These two channels will be wired into my MoTeC M1 ECU on two different digital inputs. Having these inputs wired to the ECU directly gives it the ability to cut the ignition and allow the driver to keep his foot on throttle between shifts. Very handy while on the circuit, this system can give the driver some serious advantage over the other “H pattern” cars.
Other steering requests that I have decided to use are a button on my steering wheel for Neutral, and Reverse. An override button can be selected when paddling down with zero wheel speed past the first gear mark. This digital input wired into the ECU can let it know when I want to request a neutral, or reverse gear. If any other driver inputs need to be added, we can use my CAN bus connected Keypad located on my center console. This can be used to switch on a device as an override or during an unexpected situation.