Over the last week, I've been installing and wiring a Baumann TCS. I'm standalone, so this gives me the ability to change my shift points, and shift pressure. An additional feature that cought my eye was the Manumatic function through the cruise control switches.
The install was relatively easy since I had planned out my Megasquirt wiring harness for the use of this controller. I ran the transmission wires between the head and the trans dipstick tube, and then down over the top of the transmission to the respective connectors. From this harness, there are 4 additional white wires. One goes to the starter, and the other needs to be tapped into your steering column's ignition switch. The other two are for the reverse lamps, which I am not using at the moment.
I ran the parallel connector through the plug in the firewall behind the HVAC box on the passenger side (aft of the shock tower). This gave me enough room to run the white (Ignition) wire and the blue (manumatic) wire over to the driver's side of the car while having enough slack to put the TCS in the glovebox. I found grounds inside the car which were in range and adequate for the solonoids and controller. An orange (TPS) and red (Power) wire were left, which I ran into the engine bay.
There are a few pairs of wires that need wire loomed, but other than that, everything turned out relatively clean. One of my gripes is that the TCS computer itself has no mounting hardware, or screw holes to fasten it to anything.
My first attempt at splicing into the ignition harness was a failure lol. I did a search on here, and found something about a purple wire.... Man was that wrong. The real wire is red with a blue stripe. Anywho, I got it togeather the wrong way, hit the key, and nothing... I get under the car, and jump the terminals, and guess what! It fires, and then dies (Other issues).... Apparently, the purple wire is hot after the car has fired??? Yeah... So I'm sitting there, 11:30 at night, Woman has gone home, Roomie is off at the office with my tools in his back seat... Car is CRANKING CONSTANTLY. Ughhhhhhh..... No tools.... Look around franticly... Pull the key out... Still going.... AHHH!!! Hey wait! A screwdriver!!! My salvation! I pryed the ground off the battery, threw the screwdriver, and went to bed.
The next day, I find the correct wire, tap into it, and get my cranking issue resolved. No more crawling under the car! Yay! My main power relay for my engine management system was working correctly at the time, so I was able to load on some generic information into the controller and go for a drive.... The gears were WAY longer than they should have been..... Oh, did I mention that I dont have a speedometer yet? Yeah. I need to make a Y connector still so it can share.
I hotrod down the street, pass a couple joggers making god awful amounts of noise, decide that it SHOULD be ok with my shift points set at 4500... Uhh... Yeah... I underestimated the inaccuracy of the software, and how quickly my motor revs in first.... The "OH F***" alarm went off in my head at 6600rpms when no shift occurred... Let's just say 18 psi at 6970rpms is fast, terrifying, and I have reflexes of a god.
I was on my way back to the house, turned a corner, and everything went dead. Obscenities were heard for miles. Great. The one time I didn't wear shoes on my test drive.... My roomie is beinga fat f*** and eating, so I have to walk half a block back to the house to get a light and tools. Talk about rough pavement... Jeez. When I got to the car I checked the inline EDIS fuse (Single point of failure) and it was showing 3.3v.... Great.... I untaped my main relay, and noticed it switching when I was removing the tape... All of the connectors are seated flushly, and look normal, so the problem is too obscure to solve with just a flashlight. I jumpered the wires, and drove back home to be fat with my roommate.
After a rousing game of who could eat more pizza, I convinced him to take the DSM out with me to see what the difference in speed readings were between my car and his.... I had programmed in 4.10 gears, which apparently is wrong..... His car said 30mph where mine said 15, and 50 where mine said 25.... Ok... Lets park and try 2.05 gears..... SUCCESS!!! MPH is now accurate.... But the rpms don't even linearly correspond now in the software... Oh well, they erally didn't before. It was getting late, so we went home to play some video games, and hit on myspace chicks.
The next day was the day of the big annual Mustang and Camaro meet. There are ALWAYS good races after the show, and I wanted to be a part of that. Tuning time... Step 1) Add a rev limiter at 6500!! No more 7000rpms, thank you very much. We drove through a retirement community, and set shift points to where we had the most positive feel through the car when just cruising, and then went out into a more rural area to test higher throttle positions.
One of the first things we noticed is how harsh the torque converter lockup is. My MAIN gripe with this product is how little time was spent to code anything converter related. The parameters you are given are "Minimum apply speed (mph)", "Maximum throttle position (Voltags)", "Minimum gear", and "Qualification time (Which appears to be how long to wait after a shift completes)". Now here's the issue... I've got a 3800 stall converter which can lock under full throttle.... I also have a vortech, which makes boost based on RPM.... With this setup, I need a window between what WOULD be like 1500rpms and 4000rpms where the converter unlocks for more power. With one blanket range, I can either get my unlock-to-pass functionality, or full on haul balls locked up racecar mode. Guess which one I chose?
Yeah, so the torque converter lockup is very violent, and it will chirp the 255x55x18 Toyo truck tires I'm running out back. I'm not a fan, but I can learn to drive the car so that it's friendly. It appears the driver used in applying the clutch is a digital pulse rather than using the modulation the later transmissions allow. I'm not a fan. With a stock replacement converter, I probably woudn't have any complaints with this setup, but since when do I wuss out on parts??
I didn't want to hit the rev limiter again, so I set my shift points at what the software said was going to be 3000rpms. Should be OK for a WOT run, right??? Now look who happens to be rolling up on me... a 2003ish Mach1 with a cobra hood.... He gets up by me at 35ish, and I lay on it, only to have the car downshift into first, bounce off the limiter, and shoot flames out of my exhaust at him. What I didn't know, is this Mach1 had a supercharger the size of my torso. Seriously. I saw him at the meet later in the night, and the thing was built to the TEETH! He was cool about it though, and we shot the **** for a while before rolling on...
I dropped the shift points to 2000rpms, and finally saw some results with the car shifting at 5000rpms... It's an improvement I guess..... The blower was heatsoaked, so we stopped at Travis's office to let it cool down.
While at the office, I decided to take a more scientific approach. I downloaded one of my favorite programs, CarTest (http://www.cartestsoftware.com/
). I opened up a generic 95 T-bird LX, and threw in parameters reflecting my power curve, upper rev limit, gears, and tires, and noted my shift points in MPH corresponding to 5500, 6000, and 6500rpms.
We went out to the car, plugged in the MPH values for 5500 (-2mph) and it shifted at 5400. Yay! I put in the 6000 values (-2mph) and got 5900rpms. Finally, I put in the 6500 valus (-1mph) and got 6400rpms. Good enough.
The night of racing went well. I still didn't have my manumatic function working right, so for rolls I was using manual 2nd, and forcing it into drive after the car was underway. The TCS had no complaints through it all, and I even won some races!
The next day, I came upon a C5 corvette who wanted to play. He jammed it, and I followed suit, still having to downshift and pull around him. I needed my manumatic. Subsequently, we lined up at a light, and I did a massive peelout while trying to catch him. I need tires bad.
Tires are expensive, and the manumatic is relatively free, so I tapped into the blue and black cruise control wire, and took the car for a spin.... It took a while to figgure out how to use the new function, but after I got it turned on, it was easy. The "Set" button is shift up, and the "Coast" button is shfit down... Sweet.... I decide to hold first at about 4000.... And then lay into it.... WHOW! I about crapped my pants! Yay Torque! It was so much fun that I had to let Travis drive.... He pulls up on an eclipse with some chickypoos in it.... Holds it in 2nd with the converter locked at 3500.... Time to pucker up!!! Sucker straight up plants you in the seat!
I'm satisfied with the TCS. The Torque converter controls suck, but the fun factor, and racing advantage of being able to hold gears for rolls greatly outweigh the downfalls.