Steering wheel paddles completed
I was happy with the Arduino code and tested as much as I could using a digital simulation so the next step was to build the actuation element of the circuit: this is the part that varies the resistance of the circuit based on paddle position, and it is controlled by my Arduino code. The first prototype is complete and tested and shown below.
I've housed the three elements; Arduino, power regulation & protection, and the actuation circuit within a plastic box. I've used a panel mount Molex connector to join to the car wiring loom. Internally I've used locking DuPont connectors, but for added reliability and vibration resistance I've sealed the locking tabs with butyl. I have matched the OEM wire colours where I'm interfacing with existing wiring.
I found a nice space behind the steering module next to the OE timer module. I've secured my module with Velcro.
Next I turned to the Maserati clock spring. To recap, it is a dual stage airbag version of the single stage airbag F430 clock spring, and I'm re-purposing one of the airbag stages for my paddle wires. I found I had to attach the F430 plugs because the Maserati uses a different type with inbuilt wire wound resistor.
Here's my clock spring mounted with the F430 airbag connector and two additional paddle connectors that I wired in.
On the column side of the steering wheel I had to add some pins to the clock spring connector. They are fairly generic Tyco pins of which I had some in stock from a BMW project. I added the pins and ran a power and earth (same earth as the paddles) to my new module behind the dashboard. I also extended a second set of wires from the existing F1 paddle plug to my module rather than cutting off the OE plug and relocating the wires; one of my design requirements was to ensure the entire conversion was reversible if required - if my module is disconnected the OE paddles will still plug in and function without any further changes.
Manual gearbox steering column trims - no cut outs for the OE column mount paddles.
Wheel and airbag mounted.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding. I used the Autel to first check the OE paddles were working and the Autel was recording their status - it was. I next checked what errors to expect if the OE paddle assembly was disconnected: the TCU reports error for up, down, and neutral (nothing pressed). I then cleared codes and plugged in my module: it worked first time. I am quite proud of that because despite the conversion appearing to be a simple change, in the end it actually wasn't.
I'll trial the system over the coming months and make any programming or paddle position adjustments if necessary.
I've been waiting a while now for a good set of OE mirrors to come up for sale and now I have some.
A RHD set is next to impossible to find so I settled for LHD. On the F430 it is the mirror base which determines this - the mirror cases themselves are identical between LHD/RHD.
For now I have reassembled my mirrors using the carbon casings, and I'm going to send off the carbon bases to be modified for RHD. Total weight saved by the mirrors is 0.679kg.
In the end I decided I would fit stainless pistons to the Scuderia calipers, because they are temporary until I finish the Speciale conversion and new stainless pistons would make them a more attractive proposition for others at sale time. I commissioned a set of new pistons to my spec including some spares, for £100. The complete set is 351 grammes heavier than the original pistons, but they are lighter than other stainless pistons available commercially.
I've used 458 pad wear sensors because they monitor both pads in each caliper.
I took a shot of the Scud Ing Swiss Ultimate DRLs in the new carbon headlight housings. Very pleased with both!
The car is not totally complete because I'm still waiting for some of the interior parts to be re-trimmed, but I'm at a stage where it can go back to Christian Lewis for another shot at the gearbox configuration.