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Old 04-14-2015, 06:52 PM   #1
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Transmission Controller

Has anyone ever used one of these really cool transmission controllers?



https://www.powertraincontrolsolutio...ller/TCM-2000/

I am probably going to take the plunge and install one on my 2000 7.3 with the 4R100 transmission. I have the Power Hungry Performance 6-position tuner but I absolutely hate the shift points they have setup. Especially with mountain driving, I find myself constantly going into overdrive just so it will downshift.

The cool thing about this programmable controller is that I can add a switch to change between 2 shift maps. Mountain/city or even manual/automatic! If I put it into manual mode I could have buttons for up/down shift. It will also accept an input for torque converter lock on/off. The options are endless. I'd like to build a bracket that sits behind the steering wheel with some push buttons for all of these functions...a sort of home made paddle shifter if you will.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: Transmission Controller

It looks really interesting. If you install it, I would be pleased to have your feedback. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: Transmission Controller

We recently had DP Tuner come here to live tune 2 different vans and the results were great. More transmission than the engine, big differences. We now have these tunes saved for future builds and currently re doing several old tunes.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: Transmission Controller

I believe it! With the final drive gearing and larger tires I think most of the "stock" tunes are wayyyyy off when it comes to shift points and TC lockup.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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Re: Transmission Controller

The thought of possibly having manual control over my 4R100 is getting me all excited!

I have the AW4 transmission in my Jeep XJ and I have a manual shift controller for it and I don't know how I could do without it anymore... Having one in the van too would be spectacular!
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Re: Transmission Controller

The same company sells paddle shifter kits but they are obsurdly expensive and require an aftermarket steering wheel (no more air bags). That is not an option for me. Maybe if I come up with a solution I could offer a kit for other members interested. I would like some opinions on shifter buttons behind the wheel...would you prefer them to travel with the wheel or be stationary?
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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Re: Transmission Controller

Well I just bought some paddle shifter switches to see if I can mach something up to work with the stock steering wheel.

http://www.ecstuning.com/ES1706897/





Initially I am thinking of 3D printing a housing/bracket for these switches that will mount to the steering column. They will not travel with the steering wheel, which I think will be better especially when off road and the wheel is constantly cranked in various directions, you don't want to have to think about which paddle to hit (even though they are marked)...it should be natural to reach to the same spot.

Once I play with this a bit and figure out the paddle shifters I will order the PCS controller and finish the install. I am trying to figure out if I can have a double paddle press switch between manual and automatic mode, which would be ideal. If not, then I will integrate a switch somewhere (maybe into the paddle shifter bracket) so that it can be easily switched on the fly preferably without removing your hands from the wheel. I would also like a light on top of the column that indicates you are in manual mode. PCS offers a gear indicator 8-segment display but it is pricey and I will just use the gear indicator function on my Edge CTS digital gauge.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Transmission Controller

I started modeling the steering column components so that I can design a support bracket for the paddle shifters. There really aren't many good points to mount to that could provide a solid structure. I found two mount points that I am going to utilize.







I plan to cut the plastic steering column cover to expose these mount points. Then I will 3D print a support bracket that hugs the geometry of the aluminum piece pictured above to constrain the bracket and prevent rotation (using only one mount screw). I will remove the torx screws and replace them with longer screws that will go through the new bracket.









Once the paddles show up I will model the support brackets and the steering wheel and get everything positioned.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:32 AM   #9
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Re: Transmission Controller

man, you dont mess around. look forward to seeing your creation/setup!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:34 PM   #10
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Re: Transmission Controller

Update: I have the TCM-2000 transmission controller installed and operational. I have to say, the wiring was a bit of a pain but in the end having control over the shift points has improved the drivability incredibly! I have the shift points tuned better than the factory did before I did any modifications to the van and I only spent 2 hours tuning. I am very impressed with the versatility of the unit and the software.

As for the paddle shifters, I have decided to mount them on the steering wheel. After putting together the 3D model of the steering columm/wheel assembly I just didn't feel like there was enough room for a bracket to fit between the steering wheel and the turn signal stem. Fortunately, PCS has provided a wiring schematic for a few unique solutions given that you cannot easily add wires to the steering wheel given the clock spring.

Option 1: Tap into the horn wire to send a signal to the TCM-2000 to up/down shift utilizing paddles that are added to the steering wheel. When a switch is turned on to go into manual mode, it interrupts the horn circuit and senses the voltages coming from the steering wheel. You add two different resistors in line with your up/down paddles to send a different voltage for each signal. The transmission controller is able to interpret these voltages and knows whether to up or down shift. This will obviously eliminate functionality of the horn, so to work around that the unit can sense when the horn is pressed because the signal goes to ground. It will then use one of its' digital outputs to send a signal to the horns to turn on. When you turn manual mode off, the normal circuit is connected and everything functions as it should in a stock vehicle. (See pictures below for information on this).





Option 2: You may use the stock cruise control buttons on the steering wheel to control the up/down shift commands in the same manner as option 1. You do not have to add paddles to the steering wheel but you will loose functionality of the cruise control when you are in manual mode. I wanted to be able to use manual mode and cruise control so I am opting for adding my own paddles and using the horn circuit. (See picture below for information on this).



I will post up the exact wiring schematic that I end up using in case others on here want to do the same thing. Just a warning to anyone that wants to use the TCM-2000: If you have an Edge CTS or other OBDII monitoring system you will no longer have access to your transmission temperature or current gear display. I am going to add a universal 5V input to my Edge CTS so that I can wire in the transmission temperature gauge to be able to track this. The TCM-2000 does monitor the transmission temperature and will try to prevent damage in the event of overheating but I prefer to monitor this myself. I did end up purchasing one of their gear indicators so that I can see what gear I am in when I am in manual mode.

IMPORTANT: You will need to flash your ECU to think that it has a manual transmission. I have a Power Hungry Performance chip that I use so I had them remove the automatic transmission functions and now I don't have any check engine lights or codes.
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