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“Enjoy the Ride…your speed is under control”
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: “Enjoy the Ride…your speed is under control” Reply with quote

Have you ever wanted modern cruise control for your split bus?

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I know this topic is not for everyone so if it offends you move on to the next thread. But for those who would like to have modern great working cruise then read on. I have not yet installed this on any of my VWs yet but have it in hand and will soon. I have installed and used it on my sport-touring motorcycle. It is one of the best mods that I have ever done. If it fits inside the cowling of a motorcycle it should be easy to fit to a Bus or a Bug.
I can give you little info on the function and that will help describe the installation. Basically what it does on a manual transmission vehicle is to count spark pulses. Then it attempts to maintain that constant pulse rate. One wire needs to be connected to the coil for that. A wire goes to the brake light switch or brake light itself. When that goes to +12v the cruise disengages. That means one wire down to the brake light switch on a bus. The wire going to the coil that counts pulses also senses when RPM suddenly revs. This causes the cruise to disengage when the clutch is depressed or if the shifter is moved to neutral. On my high performance quick revving motorcycle it immediately disengages without any noticeable increase in revs. It must sense this very quick. There are other wire connections for plus and minus 12v but that is basically it. The kit does come with magnetic sensors if you want to go that route and count pulses generated by a drive shaft ( or axle) mounted magnet. I see no need for that.

A vacuum line needs to be connected to the unit as well since that is how it gets the pull for the accelerator cable.

There are a couple of DIP switches you set to configure the control unit for manual transmission and four cylinders.

There is a small thin control pad that fits within driver’s reach. You pick location.

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Three wires need to run from the control pad to the main control unit. This means three small wires from front of bus to engine compartment. Simple enough. The main control unit goes into the engine compartment. It has a flexible cable.

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You attach a metal chain to the cable then to your throttle linkage. This requires some minor fabrication or creativity to make a couple of brackets. It is not difficult and the unit comes with an assortment of parts for this. The simpler you do this the better. Just follow the instructions for proper clearance and operation that does not cause interference.

Some of the other parts and brackets.
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This is the main wiring harness that comes with it. Looks intimidating but is not. All connections you make are color coded. The instructions for the unit are good. Most of it you ignore because they are written for use with many different cars. Ample wire is supplied for most installations.

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As far as how it works. I kick myself every time I engage it for riding to 48 of the continental US sates before putting this on my motorcycle. It maintains speed to within 1 MPH. The control pad is lighted for easy use. And unlike modern factory cruise controls you can set the speed at any triple digit speed your vehicle is capable of. Shocked

Here are some pics of it installed on my m/c for reference.

The control pad. Mounted within easy reach of my thumb. You can see the control unit in the top left. One of the color coded wire connectors is visible also.
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Main control unit on right. Optional vacuum boost canister on left. Note how I had to loop the flexible cable around to make it end up pulling in the same direction as the existing throttle cable. Remember all this fits inside the front cowling of the bike.
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Chain from cable to carb linkage. A certain amount of slack when you manually open throttle is required. This means there is a min chain length. The instructions detail this.
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Bracket that holds the end of the flexible cable.
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Connection to throttle linkage. I used the supplied wire loop that clips into the metal chain. Drilled a whole in existing linkage and attached with a screw. Very simple. Just make sure chain pulls in same direction as manual throttle cable.
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This is the control unit wired up with some of motorcycle fairing put back on.
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Tee spliced into vacuum line.
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Wire (blue) tapped into +12v coil wire.
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My intention here is to describe this product and how I have used it. Please follow all of the manufactures directions if you plan to install on your vehicle.

As for cost? Typically you can pick up this unit for under $90.00. I have heard of places putting them on clearance for as little as $30.00. If you find one for that price send me a PM. I will buy a couple more for future projects. The first long trip you take it will pay for itself at any price.
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70 140
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like it is more of an electronic throttle lock. It maintains an RPM not a speed - is that correct?
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that not the same thing on a manual transmission car? Unless your clutch is slipping.
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catfish54-46
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject: cruise Reply with quote

it seems like a cool idea. i wonder if anyone here has ran one on their bus before.
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70 140
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you come to a grade or hill you are going to drop speed. When you go down a grade you are going to speed up. Not really a big deal. just sayin...
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: cruise Reply with quote

catfish54-46 wrote:
it seems like a cool idea. i wonder if anyone here has ran one on their bus before.


Someone will soon. My biggest issue seems to be going to find some place to pull on the linkage.
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

70 140 wrote:
When you come to a grade or hill you are going to drop speed. When you go down a grade you are going to speed up. Not really a big deal. just sayin...


Correct, Going up hill it will pull on throttle to attempt to maintain set speed. On the decline it will let off the gas and let you coast. It will not slow you down to the set speed but will lift the throttle.

You want to feel something strange? Ride a m/c the first time with one and feel the throttle twist under your hand and accelerate when you push resume. Just weird and unnatural at first. But sure does help fight fatigue.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: “Enjoy the Ride…your speed is under control” Reply with quote

Cool idea and compact but it only works in the gear you select right: like fourth for cruising?

GarryA wrote:
The kit does come with magnetic sensors if you want to go that route and count pulses generated by a drive shaft ( or axle) mounted magnet. I see no need for that.


Where would that be because that would be better for mph predicting but less precise for a computer to count.
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Ollie W
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone in a Bay Window bus had a write up about this already. Seemed to work pretty well. Might have been Ratwell?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: “Enjoy the Ride…your speed is under control” Reply with quote

Ollie W wrote:
Someone in a Bay Window bus had a write up about this already. Seemed to work pretty well. Might have been Ratwell?


Sorry if it is a re-post. I don't hang out much with fat chicks. Just recently got involved with busses. Very Happy



BarryL wrote:
Cool idea and compact but it only works in the gear you select right: like fourth for cruising?

GarryA wrote:
The kit does come with magnetic sensors if you want to go that route and count pulses generated by a drive shaft ( or axle) mounted magnet. I see no need for that.


Where would that be because that would be better for mph predicting but less precise for a computer to count.


Should work in any gear. You set the cruise at 35mph with the gear in 3rd and it will hold it at the RPM that you run 35 in 3rd.

You would have to rig some bracket to mount the provided magnetic sensor near the axle and attach the provided magnets in the kit.
Really don't see a need for that. Your RPM at any speed is relative to your MPH. 3500 RPM in fourth gear will always be XX miles per hour.
3500 RPM will always be the same number of spark pulses per minute unless you have adapted a new fangled variable displacement system where it turns off some cylinders at cruise speed. Or you got a serious misfire.
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GarryA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone has put this on their Bay.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69221
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've installed this exact unit on a few cars. It works great, and I've thought about installing it on my VW's, but here are a few points to consider:

The user interface has 6 wires that have to be run from the vacuum unit to the dash. This is a long run in a VW. So that's 12 splices and a substantial run of cable (especially in a bus) to think about.
Another is how hard the cruise treats your engine. This is somewhat adjustable on this unit, with the vacuum sensitivity settings. But when cruising uphill, I like to be in control of how much load is on the engine. I don't want the cruise flooring the poor ol' 1600 on a steep grade.

Also, the unit monitors engine rpm, and a VSS or magnet kit. On a swingaxle bus, finding a place to monitor axle or wheel speed can be a challenge. There was a guy on here who monitored wheel speed by a hall-effect sensor in place of the top fill hole on the RGB, which was nifty, but you only have a few choices on this unit as to how many pulses there are per wheel revolution.

For relatively flat driving, it should work fine. There is also a clutch safety feature, so if you accidently hit the clutch and the rpm's rise suddenly, the cruise kicks off.
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Aaron
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it come with a free arm rest?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed a similar unit on a 96 Toyota rav 4 (manual shift) it monitored engine rpm and speed of vehicle via wires from the cpu. it had minimum speed requirements and on a steep grade once the unit realizes your not maintaining speed going up or down it drops out. just like you pressed on the brake. it was tricky to install definitely not a direct bolt on. and remember where an automatic car with cruise control would shift, you cannot! pressing the clutch or brake disengages control of unit. I installed it because I was going to drive to Minnesota from California and back and knew there would be extended long flat roads where cruise would have been nice. But for fifteen miles on a busy freeway here in Ca forget about it. There is a reason most stick shift vehicles don't come with cruise control.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Re: cruise Reply with quote

catfish54-46 wrote:
it seems like a cool idea. i wonder if anyone here has ran one on their bus before.


Don't know if he's running the same unit but Dasdragon has been using a cruise control on his bus for a few years.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great idea, my problem wiht cruise control in a bus though is that i try my hardest to avoid the interstates, this leaves me on curvy hilly roads that if you maintain a constant speed on you're going in the ditch, or overheating on steep grades.

interstate driving would be great, but it's t rare of an occassion for me...and most likely others who enjoy the drive, not the speed
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Culito wrote:
I've installed this exact unit on a few cars. It works great, and I've thought about installing it on my VW's, but here are a few points to consider:

The user interface has 6 wires that have to be run from the vacuum unit to the dash. This is a long run in a VW. So that's 12 splices and a substantial run of cable (especially in a bus) to think about.
Another is how hard the cruise treats your engine. This is somewhat adjustable on this unit, with the vacuum sensitivity settings. But when cruising uphill, I like to be in control of how much load is on the engine. I don't want the cruise flooring the poor ol' 1600 on a steep grade.

Also, the unit monitors engine rpm, and a VSS or magnet kit. On a swingaxle bus, finding a place to monitor axle or wheel speed can be a challenge. There was a guy on here who monitored wheel speed by a hall-effect sensor in place of the top fill hole on the RGB, which was nifty, but you only have a few choices on this unit as to how many pulses there are per wheel revolution.

For relatively flat driving, it should work fine. There is also a clutch safety feature, so if you accidently hit the clutch and the rpm's rise suddenly, the cruise kicks off.


You can use either the magnetic pickup or the coil pulse counter. No need to use both. On my motorcycle I use the coil pulse with no issues.
Like I said , the motorcycle revs to 10K+ RPM in about a second. When the cruise disengages from clutch engagement there is barely any increase in engine RPM. I expect few VW motors rev as quick as a modern sport bike motor. I do not think there will be any issues with that.
This unit may not be for every bus or every stock motor. But from my experience it should work great for many. I have followed buses that could have used bricks instead. Old school technology works for some.Very Happy
Owners should install and use at their decision.
I have been pleasantly enlightened to see a lot of people driving their buses to events like Winter Jam and Bulli. Maybe this cruise will allow them to sit back and enjoy the ride even more.
I will give an update when I get it installed and running on my bus.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: “Enjoy the Ride…your speed is under control” Reply with quote

GarryA wrote:
Have you ever wanted modern cruise control for your split bus?


Mmm... no. Never crossed my mind.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, what was that, 04 that I put it in my 79 Westy? Worked great.

Back in 01-02 I installed it in my 64 Deluxe. Worked great in there too.

I did a lot of road trips back then, and my ankle really starts hurting pretty bad after an hour of driving a bus. And after about 7-8 hours, I can't walk on it at all. No sense driving it if it causes you pain to do it. I was able to enjoy the ride much more with the cruise control.

As fas as hills go, I built/tuned my buses so I could floor it up a hill or into a headwind without overheating it, so it was never an issue. My 64 topped out at 70mph for extended cruising, my 79 was good for 75mph extended cruising.

My 63 panel just used the stock governor to hold it at 65mph, so I could just relax and rest my foot on the floor. Got 31.1mpg @ 65mph/4000rpm that way. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

never crossed my mind. i just figured if i was that lazy i would take short trips. Shocked
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