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      09-22-2018, 12:26 PM   #1
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GM files patent for clutch-by-wire system

Of Interest For the SAVE THE MANUALS Guys

https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...te-mid-engine/
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      09-22-2018, 01:53 PM   #2
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Very, very interesting.
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      09-22-2018, 02:20 PM   #3
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Looks cool. But with comments of "the cars computer can control the engagement and disengagement", then it falls into "why bother". Computer will ensure you have perfect shifts and prevent you from doing stupid stuff.

At that point, you have an automatic transmission with joystick instead of paddles.
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      09-22-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
Looks cool. But with comments of "the cars computer can control the engagement and disengagement", then it falls into "why bother". Computer will ensure you have perfect shifts and prevent you from doing stupid stuff.

At that point, you have an automatic transmission with joystick instead of paddles.
Not necessarily. It would be exactly the same as the zf8, where in manual mode, the driver controls when the shift is made. The computer in GMs case could still interpret the pedal signal into something of use for disengagement/engagement smoothness in its own sort of "manual" mode. The driver still has to operate a shift lever, press the pedal, and choose the appropriate time to shift in an rpm range.
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      09-22-2018, 03:28 PM   #5
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sounds interesting. would be a good fail safe to prevent mis-shifts and blown engines.

i just hope it doesn't lock you out of doing stupid things like clutch kicks
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      09-22-2018, 11:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
sounds interesting. would be a good fail safe to prevent mis-shifts and blown engines.

i just hope it doesn't lock you out of doing stupid things like clutch kicks
I guarantee it will. That's the biggest issue with high HP and clutches. Inexperienced drivers destroy them.

For years now the manual Vette does gear lockouts to force you to skip shifts to higher gears.


As much as you have the 3rd petal, it's no different than a paddle shifting auto.
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      09-23-2018, 02:34 AM   #7
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This is just stupid writing: "The traditional hydraulic clutch gets a bit complicated in a mid-engine vehicle, requiring a hydraulic circuit running from the (rear-mounted) transmission to the passenger compartment and back. A clutch-by-wire system would save weight and eliminate complication, potentially making it easier for an automaker to offer a stick-shift in a mid-engine platform."

First off hydraulic "circuits" don't run "to" and "back", the just run "to"; there is no return line (err circuit). Running a hydraulic line from the firewall (front bulkhead in this case) to a rear-sitting transmission is no more complicated than installing a brake line. Whoever wrote this is either just blabbering on, or doesn't understand the principles of hydraulic mechanisms. The transmission has been in the rear of the Corvette since the C4 with a hydraulic clutch, and the current C7 still offers a hydraulic operated clutch. Plus, there will be no weight savings; any minuscule weight saved by removing the hydraulic line and replacing it with copper/fiberoptic wires will be added back in by whatever servo motor is added to operate the clutch. There are no weight savings benefit and it is far more complicated (software and more parts to break) than a hydraulic operated clutch. I doubt the cost benefit will be realized based on the significant engineering and testing campaign that will be required to bring it to production and meet durability requirements. Plus no matter how good the engineering is, I'd bet there will still be an artificial feel to the clutch operation to those people who grew up on cable and/or hydraulic operated clutches.

I can see, as the article mentions, it tying computer-controlled clutch operation to the engine management system, but other than slight emissions gains, I really can't see a benefit. I'd think any gain is offset by complication of software bugs and eventual faulty operation of the electric clutch mechanism.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 09-23-2018 at 10:52 AM.
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      09-23-2018, 02:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
I guarantee it will. That's the biggest issue with high HP and clutches. Inexperienced drivers destroy them.

For years now the manual Vette does gear lockouts to force you to skip shifts to higher gears.


As much as you have the 3rd petal, it's no different than a paddle shifting auto.
It has gear lock out (skip shift) for fuel consumption purposes. The C4 introduced that tech. I doubt many inexperienced drivers buy 600HP MT Corvettes. Just a thought.

This whole thing is probably thought up as a way to reduce driver-intended clutch abuse on lease and rental fleet 'Vettes.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 09-23-2018 at 10:45 AM.
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      09-23-2018, 09:21 PM   #9
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I shouldn't say "inexperienced". All it takes is a brain fart or a slip of the foot with that much HP to glaze a flywheel or risk destroying a driveline.

It would prevent those "money shifts" when you miss 3rd and find 1st.
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      09-23-2018, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
I shouldn't say "inexperienced". All it takes is a brain fart or a slip of the foot with that much HP to glaze a flywheel or risk destroying a driveline.

It would prevent those "money shifts" when you miss 3rd and find 1st.
Iíve been driving manuals for years and have never done that on a downshift.
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      09-24-2018, 02:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savageenterprise View Post
Iíve been driving manuals for years and have never done that on a downshift.
Me neither - Most people haven't, but it's one of those 'low risk, massive impact' events.

Also, some gearboxes are more prone to it than others.
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      09-24-2018, 02:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
Looks cool. But with comments of "the cars computer can control the engagement and disengagement", then it falls into "why bother". Computer will ensure you have perfect shifts and prevent you from doing stupid stuff.

At that point, you have an automatic transmission with joystick instead of paddles.
Yeah, the obvious question is once you have an electronically controlled clutch, why only have one clutch ... you can get much quicker and smoother shifts with two clutches.

Then, if you're electronically controlling two clutches via a pedal to change gears, why not do away with the pedal altogether.

Someone should patent that... Maybe call it a twin clutch transmission... two clutch transmission... double clutch transmission ... I dunno... something similar.

Lastly, the gear leaver on the floor is a bit inconvenient, maybe there'll be a way to put it somewhere where the driver can keep their hands on the wheel while they change gears.

... enthusiasts will LOVE IT!
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      09-24-2018, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
Me neither - Most people haven't, but it's one of those 'low risk, massive impact' events.

Also, some gearboxes are more prone to it than others.
True. I can see it happening but I get it. Def would be major damage, especially if you were on the throttle and didnít pull back in time
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      09-24-2018, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
It has gear lock out (skip shift) for fuel consumption purposes. The C4 introduced that tech. I doubt many inexperienced drivers buy 600HP MT Corvettes. Just a thought.

This whole thing is probably thought up as a way to reduce driver-intended clutch abuse on lease and rental fleet 'Vettes.
Exactly. I had a 4th gen Z28 with the T56 Borg Warner trans. To disable the system was as simple as unplugging the skip shift solenoid. You would get a trouble code but it didn't impact operating the vehicle. I chose to keep things clean by getting a bypass plug to insert into the harness.
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      09-24-2018, 02:01 PM   #15
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so basically this is the clutch pedal version of engine noise coming through the speakers.
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      09-24-2018, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savageenterprise View Post
Iíve been driving manuals for years and have never done that on a downshift.
Upshift, not downshift. The swing from 2nd to 3rd ends up in 1st on a gearbox with close gates.
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      09-25-2018, 12:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Wires View Post
Upshift, not downshift. The swing from 2nd to 3rd ends up in 1st on a gearbox with close gates.
You know what I meant. Dick
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      09-25-2018, 08:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
Yeah, the obvious question is once you have an electronically controlled clutch, why only have one clutch ... you can get much quicker and smoother shifts with two clutches.

Then, if you're electronically controlling two clutches via a pedal to change gears, why not do away with the pedal altogether.

Someone should patent that... Maybe call it a twin clutch transmission... two clutch transmission... double clutch transmission ... I dunno... something similar.

Lastly, the gear leaver on the floor is a bit inconvenient, maybe there'll be a way to put it somewhere where the driver can keep their hands on the wheel while they change gears.

... enthusiasts will LOVE IT!
A lot of auto makers already do that in the auto-tranny. The DCT is a dual clutch automatic that runs two mechanical clutches for alternating gears to minimize gear change times.

It is odd the F1 sequential trannies never ended up in production cars though. That is basically what you are asking for.
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      09-25-2018, 08:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Savageenterprise View Post
True. I can see it happening but I get it. Def would be major damage, especially if you were on the throttle and didnít pull back in time
When my 2003 Acura 6MT had to do into the shop for a collapsed dual mass flywheel, their policy was for me to agree to the $1500 to drop the transmission and inspect the flywheel. If it wasn't abuse, they waived the charge. If it was, I had to pay the $1500 to get it out of the shop.

Acura RSX's had a lot of cases of people doing this, over-rev'ing and trashing the top end of the engine.
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      09-25-2018, 08:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
A lot of auto makers already do that in the auto-tranny. The DCT is a dual clutch automatic that runs two mechanical clutches for alternating gears to minimize gear change times.

It is odd the F1 sequential trannies never ended up in production cars though. That is basically what you are asking for.
Sarcasm from XqX.....
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      09-25-2018, 10:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wires View Post
A lot of auto makers already do that in the auto-tranny. The DCT is a dual clutch automatic that runs two mechanical clutches for alternating gears to minimize gear change times.

It is odd the F1 sequential trannies never ended up in production cars though. That is basically what you are asking for.
As IllSic_Design said, I was trying to be sarcastic... It's a natural progression in cars these say to change mechanical systems to hydraulic systems to fully electronic 'drive-by-wire' systems; which is cool; but once you start second-guessing the user and introducing "safeguards" - basically all it's doing is re-packaging the semi-automatic or automatic gearbox to look more like a manual.

From what I've read the original BMW SMG (single-autoclutch Sequential Manual Gearbox) was similar to the F1 sequential tranny; which was then refined in to the DCT; because running a dual-clutch sequential gearbox is far more user-friendly than a single-clutch sequential. ... of course, it's rather a sensitive topic in some circles if a DCT/SMG (semi-automatic sequential gearbox) should be classed as a manual gearbox, or lumped into the same category as an old-school slushbox automatic gearbox.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if this is an initiative to reduce cost or complexity, then great. If you want 'raw engineering' you can always by a Caterham or a Lotus. But if this is an initiative to protect us from ourselves (by preventing a moneyshift) or to 'enhance the manual shifting experience' somehow - then not only is it as unwelcome as steer-by-wire (see the enthusiasm for the last BMW's that still had hydraulic power steering); but it's a technology that has already been made totally obsolete by DCT.

... Which provides faster, smoother shifting than a manual, lets you dump the clutch into a perfect launch every time, wears the clutch less, handles more power and allows you to change gears without using only one hand to control the rest of the car - but is almost universally hated by 'real drivers' because a) it's not the same as a real manual; and b) some fucktard owners list their DCT cars on carsales as "manual" cars, making it harder to find the 'real' manual cars
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      09-25-2018, 10:42 PM   #22
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This is not something new. There are so many patents regarding clutch by wire systems.
Patents regarding the control systems, regarding the actuation etc etc
Regarding the actuation you can use a complete electrical system, but also an electro-hydraulic system etc.
This is just a version how GM is going to do it. Thats why this is such a detailed patent of the whole system. Most patents are much more obscure and divided up in multiple patents so that for a possiby copycat its not quite clear what is and what isnt patented.
Lots of tech that is highlighted in the GM patent is free/unpatented. How the clutch gets actuated, GM describes multiple processes, but that doenst mean others cant use that, as those mechanical acutators (like a ballscrew, wormscrew wheel etc what gm all describes) doenst fall under anyones intellectual property.

Road and track present it as something revolutionairy new, but thats probably because they havent heard of it or think writing it this way sells better.
The Jalopnik piece it references too is written much better.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that this might now be more cheaper to make. The cost of materials is becoming more and more important as the cost of technology is decreasing. This system uses probably less material (no piping, no big brake booster, no slave cylinder etc; just a pedalsensor, an electronic actuator and a control circuit)
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Last edited by GuidoK; 09-26-2018 at 12:43 AM.
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