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NASkeet
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upgrade Reply with quote

BRAKE-SYSTEM, ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT MODIFICATIONS & UPGRADES: HYDRAULIC-BRAKE-CIRCUIT FAILURE WARNING LIGHT, HAND-ACTIVATED SWITCH, BRAKE-ON/OFF WARNING LIGHT, INTERMEDIATE RELAY, SUPPLEMENTARY BRAKE LIGHTS & LED BRAKE-LIGHT BULBS

Although my British specification, 1973 VW "1600" Type 2, is equipped with dual-circuit hydraulic brakes (front disc brakes & rear drum brakes), it lacked both vacuum servo assistance and a hydraulic-brake-circuit failure warning light; facilities which owners of USA specification, 1971~79 VW Type 2s take for granted!

Whilst I was addressing the former (by incorporating a pair of mid-1970s vintage, righ-hand drive, BMW, ATE, remote-acting, vacuum servos into the separate hydraulic circuits, mounted in a home-made, tubular-steel cradle, beneath the chassis), during the 1988 Christmas vacation, I also substituted a pair of 3-terminal brake-light switches, for the existing 2-terminal variety and retro-fitted the late-model, 4-terminal (terminals labelled 15, 31, 61 & K) warning-light unit (VW part No. 113 919 233B). I then supplemented the existing electrical circuit, as indicated to me, by comparison of the electrical circuit diagrams, in the early edition Haynes manuals, for the British specification, 1968~72 VW 1600 Type 2 and 1972~75 VW 17/1800 Type 2.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Key to diagram

A = electric switch inside brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit

B = 3-terminal brake-light switch

C = 4-terminal, dual-circuit brake warning lamp (VW part No. 113 919 233B)

a = blue cable to brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit's
internal switch-terminal 61 (shared with ignition warning light)

b = black cable to fuse-box terminal 15

c = brown cable to Earth (i.e. Ground in USA parlance)

d = black/red cable to brake lights


If I had known of it at the time, I could alternatively have used, the early-model, press-to-test, 2-terminal (terminals labelled 15 & K) warning-light unit (VW part No. 111 919 233B), with separate, 1-terminal bulb holder (identical to the normal warning-light & instrument-illumination bulb holders), instead of the late-model warning-light unit (VW part No. 113 919 233B), whose part numbers, differ in the third digit; being a 1, instead of a 3.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Key to diagram

a = black-cable connection to ignition-controlled supply terminal 15.

b = black/red-cable connection to rear brake lights


As far as I am aware, British specification, 1968~79 VW Type 2s, also lack the hand-brake (i.e. parking or emergency brake, in USA parlance) warning-light facility, so that might be another upgrade on my agenda, if and when I can obtain the requisite parts.

The British specification, 1968~79 VW Type 2's instrument panel, has two D-shaped, pre-formed hole cut-outs, adjacent to the heater-control-lever slots, so someday, I might use another one of these brake-circuit failure warning-light units of either type (with the brake-emblem removed), as part of an engine-knock (i.e. detonation, spark-knock, pinking or pinging - characterised by a high-frequency metallic rattle, if audible) warning system, as a guard against low-octane or contaminated fuel, if I can acquire a suitable knock sensor, to retro-fit to the cylinder heads or crankcase.

When slowing down, I commonly just ease off the accelerator pedal, using engine braking rather than the hydraulic brakes. Unfortunately, this often takes tail-gating drivers unawares, so I wanted a means of activating the brake lights, without actually using the hydraulic brakes!

When driving my 1974 British Leyland, Triumph Toledo 1300, it was a relatively simple matter, to slightly depress the brake pedal, to take up the free play and listen for the click of the brake-pedal-lever operated, brake-light switch, but this is not an option with the hydraulic-pressure operated brake-light switches, fitted to Volkswagens.

Hence, I mounted on the steering column (shares the cast alloy clamp-on shroud, with the combination direction-indicator & headlamp dip switch), a hand-operated, push-button momentary micro-switch, connected in parallel with the hydraulic-pressure operated brake-light switches, so that I could illuminate the brake lights, without having to use the brake pedal.

Alternatively, I probably could have used an old style, floor-mounted, headlamp dip switch; preferably with the internal latching device removed, so that it would act as a momentary switch. this option would probably be more appropriate, for the 1975~79 VW Type 2s, whose steering column and steering-column mounted switches, are of a different configuration.

The micro switch has a current rating of only 1A, so it was necessary to incorporate an intermediate accessory relay (I suggest a current rating of at least 15A) into the circuit. A further refinement, was to connect a dashboard warning light, in parallel with the brake lights, to show when the brake lights illuminated; a similar function to that of the direction-indicator warning lights.

Recognising that additional brake lights, such as one or two high-level, supplementary brake lights (a scheduled future project), plus two or more, trailer or caravan brake lights, would subject the ignition switch and hydraulic-pressure operated brake-light switches, to increased current loadings (at least 5 x 2•1 amps @ 14•5 volts and possibly as much as 8 x 2•1 amps @ 14•5 volts ), I further modified the circuit, so that the brake-light current is borne solely by the relay; the switches carrying just a nominal switch-current, of less than 1 amp.

The brake-light current loading could be reduced by substituting automotive LED bulbs, which confers an additional benefit of shorter illumination turn-on times, giving earlier warning to following drivers. The following eight-page report, which is probably somewhat biased, states that automotive LED bulbs, typically exhibit a 200 milliseconds shorter turn-on time, than the traditional, automotive incandescent-filament bulbs; giving an increased safety margin of 19•1 feet, at 65mph.

"LED Stop Lamps Help Reduce the Number and Severity of Automobile Accidents", Application Note 1155-3, Hewlett Packard, 5968-1823E, November 1998.

http://www.hp.com/go/led_lamps

The same report, also mentions that even the use of a single, central, high-level, supplementary brake light, with a traditional, automotive incandescent-filament bulb, reduces the braking response time of following drivers, by circa 90~110 milliseconds; reducing the incidence of rear-end collisions by 4•33%.

Given that the use of a relay, in the brake-light circuit, will marginally increase the brake-light bulb's turn-on time, I shall in the future, probably substitute a solid-state relay, with negligible time delay (expressed in nanoseconds), as well as substituting LED bulbs.
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Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net


Last edited by NASkeet on Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad someone here really knows their electronics. Nice job. Maybe you should figure out what size capacitor to use to buffer the voltage drop which occurs when one turns the headlights on. This voltage drop causes Blaupunkt dash units to powerdown for a second.

I'm not sure whether to put the capacitor in series or parallel, and whether to put it on the headlight track or the stereo track. It wouldn't take me long to research it, but I have a slew of legal and medical matters to attend to presently.
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Rocknrod
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nigel, thats the opposite of what hotrodders wire in.

Momentary switch so you can hit the switch and break the circuit... stomp the brakes and no tail lights... cop check!

(The bus isn't exactly a vehicle that requires such modifications...)

Laughing
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ccpalmer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocknrod wrote:
Nigel, thats the opposite of what hotrodders wire in.

Momentary switch so you can hit the switch and break the circuit... stomp the brakes and no tail lights... cop check!

(The bus isn't exactly a vehicle that requires such modifications...)

Laughing


cool man
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah a system to make the brake lights come on during engine braking would be nice. My wife got pulled a couple of months ago because her brake lights supposedly were not working. A cop had trailed her for miles through a small city where even though there were stoplights she never had to drop below 20mph or so to time them. She also drove down a long 2-3% grade at 30 mph without using her brakes.

The cop said that the only time that the brake lights came on was when she was finally pulled and that they had failed to work the rest of the time. We had to explain that there was nothing wrong with the brake lights, but that with the low gearing we just had not needed to use the brakes.

I have thought about putting a switch into the brake pedal so the brake lights would come on whenever the pedal is just touch and the brakes are not yet applied.


Last edited by Wildthings on Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting...unless going down hills, or just getting off the gas while I'm already in a gear, I don't generally downshift, with the idea that brakes are cheaper than a tranny/engine. Am I totally misguided? I had thought that downshifting was hard on the engine and transmission...
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

agreendaya wrote:
This is interesting...unless going down hills, or just getting off the gas while I'm already in a gear, I don't generally downshift, with the idea that brakes are cheaper than a tranny/engine. Am I totally misguided? I had thought that downshifting was hard on the engine and transmission...


I agree. Brake systems are easy to fix/rebuild/overhaul/replace
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not sure whether to put the capacitor in series or parallel


The cap should be in parallel- A capacitor in series actually blocks DC!

For those of us with nerdy inclinations... it helps to think of a capacitor as a frequency dependent resistor: the lower the frequency, the higher the resistance. DC = 0 Hz.

I'm gonna go organize my pocket protectors alphabetically.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brenthughes wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure whether to put the capacitor in series or parallel


The cap should be in parallel- A capacitor in series actually blocks DC!

For those of us with nerdy inclinations... it helps to think of a capacitor as a frequency dependent resistor: the lower the frequency, the higher the resistance. DC = 0 Hz.

I'm gonna go organize my pocket protectors alphabetically.

Brent Hughes


Yea, duh, I knew that. I hadn't pulled those files out of my mind yet but I knew the cap should be in parallel. So.... does it matter where one puts the cap? Come to think of it, my sub might have a built in cap and it is wired directly to the battery. I should do a test with the sub turned way up. But my neighbors hate me right now apparently. Time to take a drive in the country on the back roads!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write-up Nigel. The relay install for the brake light switches is also detailed here, with lots of good photos:

http://huelsmann.us/bugman/brake_light_switch_tech.htm

You have to be careful about substituting an LED bulb into the stock tail light assembly. Ratwell and Stepponmeboooom have written extensively on other threads that the reflector design is not optimized for LED's, and the visibility may be worse, because it will not illuminate the whole lens.

I have installed the relay for the brake lights, and have installed the Hella LED third brake light (from Daniel Stern Lighting) at the top of my rear hatch window. Works great
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Lastly, you just referred to US citizens as 'Americans'. Exactly what kind of Canadian are you? From what continent?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upgrade Reply with quote

dwill49965 wrote:
Good write-up Nigel. The relay install for the brake light switches is also detailed here, with lots of good photos:

http://huelsmann.us/bugman/brake_light_switch_tech.htm

You have to be careful about substituting an LED bulb into the stock tail light assembly. Ratwell and Stepponmeboooom have written extensively on other threads that the reflector design is not optimized for LED's, and the visibility may be worse, because it will not illuminate the whole lens.

I have installed the relay for the brake lights, and have installed the Hella LED third brake light (from Daniel Stern Lighting) at the top of my rear hatch window. Works great


I too, would wish to further investigate the efficacy of substitute LED bulbs, before abandoning conventional incandescent-filament bulbs, being aware of directional nature of LEDs' light emission.

I wasn't previously aware of problems with poor quality, short lasting, brake-light switches. I've never had any fail, but then I tend to make modest use of the brakes anyway; preferring to anticipate traffic flow and adjust my speed by adjusting the throttle position, which reduces fuel consumption, plus minimising wear & tear on both the vehicle and driver.

Rocknrod wrote:
Nigel, thats the opposite of what hotrodders wire in.

Momentary switch so you can hit the switch and break the circuit... stomp the brakes and no tail lights... cop check!

(The bus isn't exactly a vehicle that requires such modifications...)

Laughing


If hot rodders are modifying their brake-light circuits, so that the brake lights do not illuminate when the brakes are applied, then they are being extremely irresponsible and should have their driving licences revoked!

ccpalmer wrote:
I'm glad someone here really knows their electronics. Nice job. Maybe you should figure out what size capacitor to use to buffer the voltage drop which occurs when one turns the headlights on. This voltage drop causes Blaupunkt dash units to powerdown for a second.

I'm not sure whether to put the capacitor in series or parallel, and whether to put it on the headlight track or the stereo track. It wouldn't take me long to research it, but I have a slew of legal and medical matters to attend to presently.


I might be overlooking something obvious, but rack my brains as I might, I fail to recognise the relevance of this reply!
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Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brenthughes wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure whether to put the capacitor in series or parallel


The cap should be in parallel- A capacitor in series actually blocks DC!

For those of us with nerdy inclinations... it helps to think of a capacitor as a frequency dependent resistor: the lower the frequency, the higher the resistance. DC = 0 Hz.

I'm gonna go organize my pocket protectors alphabetically.

Brent Hughes


When discussing AC current flow, one speaks of the impedance of inductive and capacitive elements, not resistance. I studied the topic, as part of B.Sc. Applied Physics.
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Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Usefull post M8. Can we get the bits here in the UK? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upgrade Reply with quote

chrisradioman wrote:
Very Happy Usefull post M8. Can we get the bits here in the UK? Very Happy


To which bits do you refer?

All of the VW parts I used for my braking system, electrical circuit modifications, were purchased new in the UK, through my local franchised VW dealership, but whether they are all now available new, is open to question! Some might only be available now, as second-hand salvaged items.

I believe the 3-terminal brake-light switches, are available new from Just Kampers et al, but the water-proof rubber boots, moulded nylon 3-way connectors and latched, right-angled, 6·3 mm, female blade connectors, might not be. The brake-circuit failure warning-light unit, is also unlikely to be available new, but they appear to have been a standard item, on 1972~79 VW 17/18/2000 Type 2s and a large proportion of USA specification, air-cooled VWs.

Somewhere at home, I have a sketch of the PCB circuit-board circuit, inside the 4-terminal, late-model, brake-circuit failure warning-light unit, showing the components and values.
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Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net


Last edited by NASkeet on Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy I would need to get all of the parts for me to fi this as it was not fitted to my German spec Helsinki. I'll tr to get the switches from JK any further help would be great.
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upgrade Reply with quote

chrisradioman wrote:
Very Happy I would need to get all of the parts for me to fit this as it was not fitted to my German spec Helsinki. I'll try to get the switches from JK any further help would be great.
Very Happy


What is the model year, of your German specification, VW Type 2 Westfalia Helsinki campervan and does it have the VW 1600 Type 1 style engine and no vacuum brake servo system?

If as you mentioned elsewhere, that you are journeying to the USA, early next year, you can probably obtain the necessary, second-hand parts from a breaker's yard there, for modest cost.

In particular, you will need from a USA specification, 1970~71 VW 1600 Type 2 or any 1972~79 VW 17/18/2000 Type 2, the brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit, plus that part of the electrical wiring loom, which connects the brake-light switches to the main fusebox, brake lights and brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit.

Note also, that I have edited & supplemented some of my earlier posts on this topic.
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Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, not the anti-downshifting thing again! Shocked Laughing

A truly American phenomenon.
I have owned a couple of dozen cars and NEVER had transmission troubles. Downshifting is appropriate. It is also appropriate to trigger the brake lights so the ass tailgating you has time to back off. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upg Reply with quote

NASkeet wrote:
chrisradioman wrote:
Very Happy I would need to get all of the parts for me to fit this as it was not fitted to my German spec Helsinki. I'll try to get the switches from JK any further help would be great.
Very Happy


What is the model year, of your German specification, VW Type 2 Westfalia Helsinki campervan and does it have the VW 1600 Type 1 style engine and no vacuum brake servo system?

If as you mentioned elsewhere, that you are journeying to the USA, early next year, you can probably obtain the necessary, second-hand parts from a breaker's yard there, for modest cost.

In particular, you will need from a USA specification, 1970~71 VW 1600 Type 2 or any 1972~79 VW 17/18/2000 Type 2, the brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit, plus that part of the electrical wiring loom, which connects the brake-light switches to the main fusebox, brake lights and brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit.

Note also, that I have edited & supplemented some of my earlier posts on this topic.

Its a 1977 Helsinki with the 2.0L Tyype 4 engine. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Brake-system, electrical circuit modifications & upgrade Reply with quote

chrisradioman wrote:
NASkeet wrote:
chrisradioman wrote:
Very Happy I would need to get all of the parts for me to fit this as it was not fitted to my German spec Helsinki. I'll try to get the switches from JK any further help would be great.
Very Happy


What is the model year, of your German specification, VW Type 2 Westfalia Helsinki campervan and does it have the VW 1600 Type 1 style engine and no vacuum brake servo system?

If as you mentioned elsewhere, that you are journeying to the USA, early next year, you can probably obtain the necessary, second-hand parts from a breaker's yard there, for modest cost.

In particular, you will need from a USA specification, 1970~71 VW 1600 Type 2 or any 1972~79 VW 17/18/2000 Type 2, the brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit, plus that part of the electrical wiring loom, which connects the brake-light switches to the main fusebox, brake lights and brake-circuit-failure warning-light unit.

Note also, that I have edited & supplemented some of my earlier posts on this topic.


Its a 1977 Helsinki with the 2.0L Type 4 engine. Very Happy


If it has a factory-fitted, 1976~79 VW 2000 Type 2 engine, then you should already have the 3-terminal brake-light switches, vacuum brake-servo assistance and the instrument-panel mounted, brake-circuit-failure warning light!

Anyway, here are a few British VW dismantlers or second-hand parts suppliers, one of whom is just down the road from you.

FBIVW, Unit 2, White City Road, Fforestfach, Swansea, SA5 4EE, Wales.

Tel. 01792 - 585 544
http://www.fbivw.com
e-mail: [email protected]


Mega Bug, Unit 3, White Hart Road, London, SE18 1DG, England.

Tel. 020 - 8317 7333
http://www.megabug.co.uk
e-mail: [email protected]


Kombi Klassics, Unit 2, John's Road, Carey Wareham, Dorset, BH20 4BG, England.

Tel. 01929 - 553336
http://www.kombiklassics.co.uk
_________________
Regards.

Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

agreendaya wrote:
This is interesting...unless going down hills, or just getting off the gas while I'm already in a gear, I don't generally downshift, with the idea that brakes are cheaper than a tranny/engine. Am I totally misguided? I had thought that downshifting was hard on the engine and transmission...


Duncwarw wrote:
Oh no, not the anti-downshifting thing again! Shocked Laughing

A truly American phenomenon.
I have owned a couple of dozen cars and NEVER had transmission troubles. Downshifting is appropriate. It is also appropriate to trigger the brake lights so the ass tailgating you has time to back off. Wink


For those who were professionally trained to drive, in vehicles with manual transmission, downshifting gears should be a doddle!

It's simply a matter of co-ordinating one's right & left feet, so that the engine revs are increased as appropriate, to match the vehicle's road speed in the lower gear, so that there is negligible mismatch in rotational speed, between the engine's flywheel and the clutch driven plate (i.e. friction plate). It takes a little practice, but it's not rocket science!

In Great Britain, if one passes one's driving test, on a car with manual transmission, then one is also fully qualified to drive solo, in a car with automatic transmission, but not vice versa! I realise that the majority of USA drivers, were probably trained on cars with automatic transmission, so unless they have undergone additional training and a supplementary driving test, they would probably be unable to hire the majority of hire cars, in Great Britain & Europe.
_________________
Regards.

Nigel A. Skeet

Much modified, RHD 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continental campervan, with the World's only decent, cross-over-arm, SWF pantograph rear-window wiper

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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