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A gearstick where once there was none...

Discussion in '612/599' started by brogenville, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Been a long time coming, but this is what I’ve been busy tinkering with for the past few months. It’s been quite a project (converting F1 to manual), but the result has been well worth it. It’s all been done in my little garage at home, but I’m proud to say I’ve been given help and advice from around the world. Many thanks go to Jason Hagen (Royal Autowerks- formerly of this parish) and Wil de Groot (Exoticars USA) for their mechanical advice, and huge appreciation to 360trev for creating his own software to convert the engine ecu flash files to gated operation. It’s been a long journey collecting all the parts, and some (notably the clutch pedal) have had to be designed in CAD and machined from scratch.

    I’m technically not 100% of the way there, as Trev and I are still chasing a few bugs on the body ecu configuration side of things. [Those who think this stuff is simple frankly don’t understand the complexity of the problem.]

    I’ve taken 100’s of photos to document the process, so happy to share one day if there’s interest.
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  2. flat_plane_eddie

    flat_plane_eddie F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 30, 2013
    2,586
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    Eddie
    Congrats and well done!
     
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  3. 360Marnix

    360Marnix Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2017
    320
    Holland
    Great! Hope you will solve the last issues.
     
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  4. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2013
    4,798
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    Paul
    WOW! I am impressed!
     
  5. m5shiv

    m5shiv Formula Junior

    Feb 25, 2013
    748
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Shiv
    Please share the pics !
     
  6. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 7, 2007
    2,862
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    John P
    Congrats!

    I definitely think people would be interested in seeing more info regarding the process.
     
  7. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,122
    Clarksville, Tennessee
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    Terry H Phillips
    Affirmative on not simple. Unless you do a one for one swap with all OEM parts and ECUs, many of which are NLA, it takes quite an effort.
     
  8. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
    260
    Homosassa, FL USA
    Full Name:
    Ian Joubert
    While you are at it, put the steering wheel on the correct side :D

    Nice project! The interior is a clean and professional looking install. Hope you can get the software bugs worked out sooner than later.
     
  9. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    74,128
    Vegas baby
    Now if you can just put the steering wheel back where it belongs....
     
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  10. Zaza

    Zaza Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 27, 2017
    196
    Brittany & Indonesia
    Full Name:
    Xavier
    Never seen this kind of radio !
     
  11. Philipnz

    Philipnz Rookie
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    Apr 12, 2015
    48
    Whitianga New Zealand
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    Philip Hart
    Great effort
     
  12. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    17,637
    socal
    Nice. Would like to see some pics of the build
     
  13. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Thanks guys, its taken a lot of effort pulling the whole thing together, and with 2 small children in the house progress usually only happens in the dead of night.

    I'm happy to share all aspect of the project for anyone else that wants to do something similar. I've a spreadsheet with all the part numbers needed, costs/availability at the time of purchase, and importantly the tricks along the way to overcome the lack of parts in some areas. Quite a few parts are shared with other Ferrari models (or Fiat group cars- at FRACTION of the Ferrari price), and some parts like the gear stick surround I designed myself and 3d printed (though I was greatly helped by getting hold of some technical drawings from Ferrari to accurately replicate them). That's actually been the most rewarding part of the project- getting to learn about loads of random things. For example, rather than sending the ECU's out, I learned how to flash them myself (using the flash file Trev created for me). Knowing what I know now, the project could be repeated fairly easily.

    Well, I say that, but as mentioned above, the configuration isn't quite complete. Its interesting- when you start off a project like this, you get focused on the parts, and the build itself. The real tricky part however is the ecu configuration. Trust me when I say that I have taken things as far as possible in getting any help out of Ferrari- they just do not want to support this type of project.

    Current state of play is that the car drives great, but there is a fault on the ABS module due to it missing some CAN signals from the (no longer attached) gearbox ecu. I've even done some network analysis to isolate the message data. I've a few options for how this might be overcome, but hopefully the solution I come up with is again something that others can use if they want to. Fundamentally its the configuration of the body ecu that is outstanding; base configuration comes pre-loaded from Ferrari, and there isn't a function in SD3 to alter this. I could buy a new body ECU pre-loaded with manual operation firmware, but it would need to be ordered using a VIN from a factory manual car, and I'm not sure if that wouldn't just lead to other issues as the VIN wouldn't match the other modules in the car. Be interested to hear if anyone has experience using a used body ecu.
     
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  14. 360trev

    360trev F1 Rookie
    Project Master

    Oct 29, 2005
    3,472
    isle Of Man
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    360trev
    Nice write up.. I'll be along shortly to help again. Just had a lot on lately.
     
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  15. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Cheers Trev- write up hasn’t really started though. Need to figure out which of the 177 photos I’ve got I’ll post up and in what order.

    No doubt it will make a scintillating read! ;)
     
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  16. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Not had a chance to go for a test drive since doing this, but signs are looking good that the configuration issue has been cracked. :D

    All this was done using:

    £10 galletto cable
    360trev flash correction
    £300 Ficom diagnostic tool.


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  17. SE16

    SE16 Karting

    Apr 13, 2007
    101
    UAE and London
    How does it drive????
     
  18. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 15, 2012
    17,617
    San Antonio, Texas
    Full Name:
    George Pepper
    Highly interested in this project. My choices now are between a factory manual 456M and converting a 612. Post as much detail as you can, and as many photos too. :)
     
  19. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Drives great! 2nd gear is the traditional Graziano notchy shift for the first couple of miles, which is interesting, as even though you couldn't feel it directly, you could tell the f1 system struggled to get it home smoothly when cold. Now that I'm in charge of the gears, I can choose to go straight to 3rd, or double clutch it in with a bit more finesse.

    I'm not trying to be an F1 basher, but for my purposes, the car is certainly improved. Its undoubtedly a slower car with me changing gear rather than a computer, but to pedal along a tight road it "feels" faster now, simply because the work rate as a driver has increased. But isn't that engagement with the car what its all about?

    Its been a fun project, so for all those considering doing it, then my advise is to crack on. Or at least start collecting the parts, as they're only going to get thinner on the ground.

    I will post a bunch of photos and a lot more description of the process, but I need to pull them off my phone and get the story together.
     
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  20. m5shiv

    m5shiv Formula Junior

    Feb 25, 2013
    748
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Shiv
    Bump ! We need those pictures !
     
  21. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    OK... I'll just work through my photo folder chronologically and see how it goes. Feel free to tune out if its getting a bit tedious....

    So whilst I was gathering parts (and I can share a list on that if anyone is intersted), I started doing some exploring about the car to look for evidence of where there is provision for the manual setup.

    First up I checked that the brake fluid reservoir had the connection for the clutch master cylinder. Sure I can check the parts drawings, but you learn a whole bunch of other stuff going after these few things.
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  22. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Here shows the trim covering the drivers foot-well. You can clearly see the seem where the part would be cut by ferrari to make it into the Manual transmission version. This is very much a recurring theme for loads of parts- you will find separate manual/F1 part listings, but really they're just the same part with a slightly different finishing.
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  23. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    And here is the view up into the pedal box- you can see where the clutch pedal goes. Main thing I was looking for was the clutch switch connector. I can confirm that it is there! In my car, it was hidden behind the body ecu. This is exactly the kind of stuff that you only figure out by looking yourself (as generally most pro's aren't sure, or don't want to give up their secrets), and its not always easy to find this stuff.
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  24. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    This was a big moment... the gear turret (as Ferrari call it) is obviously a crucial piece, and as its such a mechanically critical piece, I wasn't about to try to fabricate my own one. Partly because it wouldn't turn out well, but also I felt that these key functional pieces need to be original parts if the conversion is to be of an overall good quality.

    So was it a big moment? Well, for right hand drive cars, this part is no longer available (not sure about LHD), but... I noticed that on the 456 and 550, the 612 part number was quoted as being the replacement. By this rationale, I figured a used part from a 456 should work. They aren't available either from Ferrari, but I was able to pick up this part from a salvage 456. Notice the rather tired gear knob..
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  25. brogenville

    brogenville Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2012
    329
    UK
    Full Name:
    Robin
    And this is the same gear knob after a bit of TLC. Actually got it even brighter and smoother later on, but this was mainly to prove that it was a perfectly usable part.
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