Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Drivetrain discussion including Transmission, Differential, Driveshaft, and related items.
donthelegend
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 am

Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by donthelegend » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:25 am

Full disclosure up front - I didn't do any of the original troubleshooting/development of any of this myself, but the required info is scattered across multiple forums, multiple threads, from multiple users, with lots of dead links and paywalled or entirely missing pictures. After much scouring I got it all pieced together and installed it in my '13 caprice this weekend and everything works so I wanted to put everyting together all in one place. Full credit to the original authors- they are all listed at the bottom of my post.

First off, here is the circuit that replicates/replaces the G8/9C3 shifter:

Image

It's a basic voltage divider - power in comes from BCM Connector X1 Pin 17, and the output voltage is fed back to the BCM on X1 Pin 20. We don't have the shifter so we get to recreate the entire circuit rather than just duplicating part of it or piggy-backing onto the existing shifter.

Here it is re-drawn to try to better show the wiring we need to add and the termination points on the caprice assuming you want paddle shifters. You could also build something up inside an enclosure that you mount to the center console.

Image

Here's a parts list:
GM Paddle #13297281
GM Paddle #13297283
(2) 1K Ohm Resistors (Metal Film 1% 1/4Watt) (Mouser # 594-5063JD1K000FT)
(1) 680 Ohm Resistor (Metal Film 1% 1/4Watt) (Mouser # 594-5063JD680R0F )
(1) 220 Ohm Resistor (Metal Film 1% 1/4Watt) (Mouser # 594-5063JD220R0FT)
(1) BCM Pin (SNAC3-A021T-M0.64) (Mouser # 306-SNAC3-A021TM0.64)
(1) Toggle switch

The resistors don't need to be those exact ones - just so long as they're the same value and 1% tolerance or better you should be fine, those are just the ones I happened to pick.
Imgur Albums for reference below:
Swargolet's pics: https://imgur.com/a/5QNSN
Aaron407s pics: https://imgur.com/a/Vx8N1KC

Installing paddles into the steering wheel
1. Remove the paddles from the switch body. There is a small pin that gets pressed out with a pick or punch. Push it out from the harder to get to side where it's flush. Once the other side starts to pop out, you can grab it and remove it the rest of the way.
2. Cut the mounting boss and electrical connector off flush on the back of the switch body with a dremel. They don't fit in our steering wheel. You'll have to glue the switch bodies into the steering wheel shroud.
3. Create a template (or do it live, I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life) of the switch body and transfer it to the steering wheel shroud. Cut out holes in the steering wheel shroud that fit the paddle switch bodies. Don't glue them in yet.
4. De-solder the SMD resistors on the paddle switch board - they are the wrong values and we don't want them.
5. Solder wires onto one of the SMD resistor pads on one side, and one of the original electrical connectors on the other side. Use a multimeter to test for continuity with the switch open/closed (or just use the pads in Swargolet's pictures - I forgot to take new ones when I did mine).
6. Solder the appropriate resistors in-line on each paddle shifter. Make sure you keep + and - paddles with the correct switch body. They are skewed slighly differently and go back together with the matching body/paddle.
7. Glue the switch bodies into the steering wheel shroud.
8. Tie the other wires off the switch to a ground lug - this will be connected to the ground screw on the steering wheel.
9. Cut the dark green wire in the steering wheel harness ("low reference wire"). Extend the steering wheel side to the ground lug. Solder the other side to the resistor wire on the paddles.
10. Cut the dark green wire on the column side of the steering wheel connector (where it comes back out of the clockspring). Extend this wire from the back of the clockspring down to the BCM, where it needs to tie into BCM X1 Pin 20.

Image

BCM Wiring
We need BCM Connector X1 (dark green) for this - it's a pain to get to. Remove the floor air vent for better access. One screw, a plastic panel clip, and lots of cussing to get it to release from the air duct and it will come out. It took me a while to get the air duct to release from the main HVAC box, but once it did the BCM connectors are easy to get to.

Image

1. Our BCM is entirely missing X1 Pin 20 - hence the need to purchase the pin. You'll need a crimper that works with that terminal in order to add wire to it - a generic open barrel crimper is probably good enough, but proceed at your own risk. Alternatively, you can try to source a pigtail from a junkyard/part out and just re-pin the existing connector.
2. In order to add a wire, you slide the blue connector clip out to "unlock" the terminals. It only moves out a small amount. This will allow you to insert a new pin. It would also allow you to remove pins if you have the release tool to push them out from the front.
3. We need to tap into X1 pin 17 as the voltage source - I used a scotchlok (for shame). You should do something better.
4. Once you have the wires extended from the BCM, you can plug them back in.
5. I routed the wires to a small rocker switch and tucked them in behind the radio. The rocker is mounted just below my knee on the panel that goes on the side of the dash.
6. I added a ground to that ties into one of the screws that goes into metal underneath the dash. Location is un-important, just make sure it's a solid ground.
7. The resistors I needed I also wired inline in accordance with the schematic above so it's just a bundle of wires ziptied in the dash. Again, you should do better.


Operation:
Rocker switch off - Normal, nothing changes.
Rocker switch on - Manual mode, requires paddles to shift

You can switch back and forth as desired, no change to shift lever seems to be required.


Sources:

Original development and schematic:
https://www.g8board.com/threads/progres ... ept.55823/
Key post from prrii: https://www.g8board.com/threads/progres ... ost-849162

General G8 Paddle shift thread
https://www.g8board.com/threads/my-padd ... ect.58833/
Specific posts:
Aaron407 - https://www.g8board.com/threads/my-padd ... st-1811417
Swargolet - https://www.g8board.com/threads/my-padd ... st-2082385
Last edited by donthelegend on Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

Dut_The_SS_nuT
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:10 am
Location: Wichita KS

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by Dut_The_SS_nuT » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 am

I want to be very clear,

While it’s not an “exact” replication,
This design is MINE...

That said...
through months of research, development, several dozen prototypes, along with, temperature monitoring, heat sink experimentation, insulation testing, current monitoring,
1 BCM
And almost a burnt up car, I would very much advise against the recommended parts list.

If you care to have a “real” shift box, without the risk of
Burning down your car,
Cooking a BCM...
Cooking a TCM...
Walking out to a dead battery
Being stuck in 1st gear


I’ll be happy to provide information on the acquisition of a real one 😉
2007 Impala SS, K&N CAI, Flowmasters, Resonator Delete, Diablo Trinity tune
2011 Caprice 9C1 (rest in pieces)
2013 Caprice 9C1, "9C3 console upgrade" Modified Camaro Exhaust, Kayhan VE Series 2 Radio. (Soon to have 4 piston Brembos)
2013 9C1 Bone Stock
1956 Chevy 150 1211B trim code “Business Man Sedan" (currently gutting)

smwalker
Posts: 1803
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:44 am
Location: Azusa,CA

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by smwalker » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:44 am

While I applaud Dons epic gathering of information in to a great post on the board I also must concede there are other very credible members that have tried it and found out that hard way things do not work as written. So as an enthusiast I say good show as a board Admin I say:


ATTENTION MEMBERS....

The procedures detailed in this thread may cause damage to your vehicle. We here at NewCaprice.Com specifically disclaim any and all responsibility for damage caused to member vehicle(s) & equipment by utilizing the procedures in this thread.
USE THIS INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK!


And you know I am serious when I break out the red font!
Steve Walker
Azusa, CA
'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White

donthelegend
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 am

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by donthelegend » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:54 pm

Any EEs in the area that care to chime in?

Max voltage for this circuit is 14VDC - across a 1K resistor thats 14mA, which works out to a little under .2 watts - just fine in a .250 watt resistor. There's always at least 1k of resistance in circuit... and working as designed there's more than that so I'm failing to see where high current/power would come from unless there was a short someplace else in the circuit.

I certainly don't want to be responsible for a fire but so far the only person who is claiming a problem has a vested financial interest in the topic so I'd love a third party to provide some input.

Groundczero
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by Groundczero » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm

I think this is the same guy is claims he has a patent on this on FB.

But when you do a patent search on his name no patent comes up and he refuses to post the patent number.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... ing&d=PTXT

donthelegend
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 am

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by donthelegend » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:08 pm

Groundczero wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm
I think this is the same guy is claims he has a patent on this on FB.

But when you do a patent search on his name no patent comes up and he refuses to post the patent number.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... ing&d=PTXT
Yes it's the same person. He's admitted that what I posted is not infringing on his alleged patent on FB, although he still refuses to provide details that would make finding and verifying the patent extremely simple. Was hoping he'd actually send the cease and desist - it would have contained the patent number, and I could probably delete this thread and just replace it with a link to his patent filing and everyone would have the exact same info.

He's claiming a fire risk which is serious but I just don't see how. Under-sized/poorly spec'd resistors during development could certainly cause a problem. But what I showed looks fine to me (obviously or I wouldn't have posted it or built it). It's still installed in my car and I'm not particularly concerned about it. I should have some time this weekend to take it back apart and take some current readings to prove I'm not crazy (or that I am) but until then I'll continue enjoying my paddle shift caprice.

Groundczero
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by Groundczero » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:33 am

donthelegend wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:08 pm
Groundczero wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm
I think this is the same guy is claims he has a patent on this on FB.

But when you do a patent search on his name no patent comes up and he refuses to post the patent number.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... ing&d=PTXT
Yes it's the same person. He's admitted that what I posted is not infringing on his alleged patent on FB, although he still refuses to provide details that would make finding and verifying the patent extremely simple. Was hoping he'd actually send the cease and desist - it would have contained the patent number, and I could probably delete this thread and just replace it with a link to his patent filing and everyone would have the exact same info.

He's claiming a fire risk which is serious but I just don't see how. Under-sized/poorly spec'd resistors during development could certainly cause a problem. But what I showed looks fine to me (obviously or I wouldn't have posted it or built it). It's still installed in my car and I'm not particularly concerned about it. I should have some time this weekend to take it back apart and take some current readings to prove I'm not crazy (or that I am) but until then I'll continue enjoying my paddle shift caprice.
You were thinking the same thing I was more so cause of his actions online. I am all for someone making a product and making money, but I am not a fan of someone threatening other people especially when they do not have a leg to stand on. If you want I have access to circuit printing and would be happy to do some low quantity production runs to drive the cost of these thing way down since I am seeing maybe at most $5 in parts from digikey and most of that is in shipping.

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bearcatfan78
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana USA
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Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by bearcatfan78 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:25 am

donthelegend wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:54 pm
Any EEs in the area that care to chime in?

Max voltage for this circuit is 14VDC - across a 1K resistor thats 14mA, which works out to a little under .2 watts - just fine in a .250 watt resistor. There's always at least 1k of resistance in circuit... and working as designed there's more than that so I'm failing to see where high current/power would come from unless there was a short someplace else in the circuit.

I certainly don't want to be responsible for a fire but so far the only person who is claiming a problem has a vested financial interest in the topic so I'd love a third party to provide some input.
OK...time to chime in...

I am a CETsr, have an AAS in ECT, and have been in the electronics field for 22 years. I am friends with the person who is making these, but I was curious myself (like the saying goes...curiosity killed the cat) about the design. I reached out to a couple people I knew that bought his boxes, and I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow one to open up tonight. That being said, I will not confirm nor deny whats inside Dustin's box, just out of the courtesy that he is my friend and in the interests of protecting his research.

I will however say that based on the diagrams I have seen online in other forum posts, and a visit to my local pull-a-part this weekend to a totaled G8 that still had the console shifter, the diagram donthelegend posted ^^^^ will, without question, work 100%. I am in the process of gathering the parts to build one of my own, and have a local guy here in Indy with a 2011 who has volunteered to be my guinea pig. I see no reason the schematic diagram will not work. Will post an update once I confirm.
2015 Caprice PPV - Heron White
Holden Conversion
VCM OTR Intake
Solo Performance CAT-back exhaust
Custom tune

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bearcatfan78
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana USA
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Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by bearcatfan78 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:21 am

Just wanted to provide an update on this for you Don (et al)...

The "test vehicle" (2011) has proved to be a success. We installed the first box last Saturday and the owner has been using the box daily with zero issues. I was also able to help two more local guys out with their cars, another 2011 and a 2013 and they too are reporting zero issues. No magic smoke, no burnt up BCM, nothing abnormal at all.

There was some mention to me that the 1/4 watt resistors would be too big for this application and that if voltage exceeded 16V, it would result in issues ranging from overheating as well as potential catastrophic failure to the vehicle's BCM. Let me address that. IF (HUGE IF) the vehicle's charge system fails (alternator, voltage regulator, etc.) and voltage were to exceed 16V+, there are going to be a laundry list of problems that I'd worry about before I got even the slightest bit concerned about a $9 home made shift box. For sake of self-discovery and understanding, I did hook the prototype board to the variable power supply to observe the stability of the circuit. In a room with an ambient temperature of 73 degrees F, the board and component temperature never reached more than 80 degrees F with 20V and a full 10A applied for a full 6 hours.
2015 Caprice PPV - Heron White
Holden Conversion
VCM OTR Intake
Solo Performance CAT-back exhaust
Custom tune

Sanford
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:38 am
Location: Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Paddle Shifter Write-Up

Post by Sanford » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:12 pm

From what I have read on other posts about paddle or TUTD mods on 9C1 models, the gear selection is not shown on the DIC, like the 9C3’s do. Guess there is programming that would have to be done on the instrument cluster.

Next question, after the mod, will the DOD be locked out, when shifting with paddles or TUTD buttons. I have a 13 9C3 that will turn off the DOD off while the shifter is moved to the right and you are using the manual mode. I like the ability to turn off the DOD while on long highway trips. If you want to pass, you just have to remember to downshift. Does anyone know if that is programming in the BCM, TCM or the ECM or all of them. I have several stock 9C1’s that it would nice to mod if the DOD cut-out feature would be actives with the mod.

David

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