F430 Progressive Shift Light Installation guide - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Progressive Shift Light Installation guide

Since a couple of months, I’ve been testing several shift lights I wanted to install on my F430 manual.

The main challenge of the system I want to assemble is that I don’t want to touch or cut any of the ECU or Coil pack wires. That would be the easiest solution indeed, just bring a wire to one of the Motronic Ecu’s and connect it with any of the 4 coil pack signals to get an equivalent tacho signal.


I don’t care to cut wires elsewhere in my car as I’ve already done for several mods but not those of the Motronic Ecu’s. These Ecu’s are the heart of the engine and it wouldn’t be a good idea to add any impedance or distortion on one of these wires.

The main challenge was to connect the progressive shift light on a Can bus interface which is able to capture the broadcasted rpm frames on the Can bus. On the F430, the Can bus can be easily found as it is part of the OBD connector. I will come back on this part of the mod a bit later.


Regarding the shift light itself, I chose the Shift-I solution made by Ecliptech (Australian company). This shift light is just a brilliant piece of engineering using 7 bright LED’s (double LED’s per LED) ! I’ve totally tested it using my oscilloscope and my wave signal generators and it never failed. It was extremely precise and very fast.


It can be completely configured :
- Rpm Calibration value : 0,5 to 8 (default 2)
- Rpm Sensitivity
- Rpm hysteresis
- Shift points : set lower and upper RPM set points
- Rpm set point interval : intervals of 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 rpm
- Display mode : 12 different RPM display modes
- Automatic battery voltage indication at ignition on and during cranking the engine
- Over voltage warning : alerts if voltage exceeds 15.5V or 16.0V or 16.5V
- Battery mode only : the shift light can be set to run only in battery mode
- Cruise mode timer : dims the display if the RPM has remained steady foIr a period of 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 secs
- Startup display configuration : off, shift sequence, shift sequence then battery voltage, battery voltage then shift sequence
- Brightness control : the level of brightness of the LEDs can be set and varies depending on the ambient light (dark, they automatically dim).
- Temperature protection : automatic LED dimming when operating in hot environment


The Shift-I exists in 4 different versions :
- Straight / Green-Amber-Red LED's
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- Straight / Blue-Red LED’s (the one I chose)
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- Curved / Green-Amber-Red LED's
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- Curved / Blue-Red LED’s
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It has only 3 wires to connect :
- +12V : ignition 12V (+15)
- Ground
- Tacho signal : 5V or 12V


You can find more information on their website : http://www.ecliptech.com.au/


I’ve been in contact with them many many times for technical support as I wanted to dig deep into the technical specs of the Shift-I, especially regarding how the Shift-I manages the different pulse signals. Tony, part of the Ecliptech support team, has been answered very fast on all my question. Sometimes, I was really wondering if he ever sleeps ! Great guy, really hats off to him.



Manuals can be downloaded here : http://www.ecliptech.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&It emid=70


The following picture shows how you would normally connect the Tacho wire but in this mod, I will take the Can bus approach as explained before :

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Last edited by StefVan; 11-12-2011 at 01:33 PM. Reason: spelling ;)
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post #2 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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The CAN BUS Interface

Now the next step is the Can bus interface. As mentioned before, I want to get the rpm signal directly from the Can bus. Such data is real-time broadcasted by the Motronic Ecu in such way that other Ecuís like the F1 TCU can get this important information.

Iíve been studying and testing many of them. Most failed and were not able to communicate correctly with the F430 Can bus. Some were able to connect to the Can bus but were unable to get the broadcasted rpm frame.

I came to the end with only two possible solutions. Iím still working on them as they still have some minor issues but Iím getting now very close.


One of these 2 Can bus interfaces is able to read perfectly well the rpm data from the Can bus.

These pulses will have to be understood by the Shift-I. The problem here is that we have 1Hz:1Rpm pulses. That means that the Shift-I will see for 1000Rpm, 1Khz which is 60 times too high (=60.000 rpm). Indeed, 1000Rpm should generate 16.6Hz instead because we work here with one revolution per second and not per minute! Iíve been working with the manufacturer of this Can bus and he will change his firmware to obtain a 60:1 division.
I should receive it soon and cross fingers.

Hereís a picture of my oscilloscope where you can see the rpm pulses generated by the Can bus interface. My car is idling here at 1024rpm generating a pulse of 0-13.66V with a rise time of 996ns.

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For those interested, here's how you can scope a Can bus data frame :

CAN BUS HI
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CAN BUS LO
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The second Can bus interface is generating a 2 pulse per revolution which should be very good. Although, I had to return it as there was a failure in the rpm signal generation. This Can bus is although still short listed and I should have some news soon.

Last but not least, here's a picture of one of my bench test solutions
I'm using several male OBD connectors where I can easily solder the wires to facilitate the tests on the car.

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I will followup this thread as soon as I will get the Can bus interfaces back and then we'll look a bit closer how to make a neat installation in the F430.

Last edited by StefVan; 11-13-2011 at 01:37 AM. Reason: Posted a better Scope picture
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post #3 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 01:42 PM
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That looks very impressive Stef!

Where are you planing to position the led unit?
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post #4 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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That looks very impressive Stef!

Where are you planing to position the led unit?
Thanks very much Harry

I chose the straight shift light because I can install it on the straight VIN number plate located on the upper part of the steering column. The VIN plate is large enough to install the Shift-I without hiding the VIN number. I checked also that all Dashboard lights remain still visible which was the case. On this place, it is right in the middle of the steering wheel which is just perfect It's a good place also to hide the 3 wires.
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post #5 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 02:25 PM
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Stef would something like this work on the 2.7 Motronic for the early 355?
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post #6 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by a1exander View Post
Stef would something like this work on the 2.7 Motronic for the early 355?
Peter, on the F355, unfortunately the only solution would be to connect the Shift-I directly on one of the coil primary current wire as it is indicated in the above installation guide. The F430 was the first V8 using a Can Bus.

But there is a solution without cutting the coil wires. You can use a inductive capture device like this one.

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I haven't tested it out but I think it's worth a try

Here's the link : Tach Signal GMR Pickup - 8918

Installation manual :
8918_instructions.pdf

Please let us know if you try this out
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post #7 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for the links Stef.
It looks a simple install on the earlier cars with the MSD pickup.

I have to speak to a friend with a 360 to see if he will join me. ( will the setup for the 360 be similar to the 355?)

I will in time be posting a step by step of my installation experience.

I have just had a look at my car and it appears as though the light unit will fit well just behind the steering wheel (non airbag) on the column cover ahead of the chassis plate or even in the instrument binnacle.
I think a straight light unit mounted in the instrument binnacle will give the best results from an installation point of view as well as visibility.
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post #8 of 119 Old 11-12-2011, 10:06 PM
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My oh my Stef! You've done it again.
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post #9 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1exander View Post
I have to speak to a friend with a 360 to see if he will join me. ( will the setup for the 360 be similar to the 355?)

I will in time be posting a step by step of my installation experience.

I have just had a look at my car and it appears as though the light unit will fit well just behind the steering wheel (non airbag) on the column cover ahead of the chassis plate or even in the instrument binnacle.
I think a straight light unit mounted in the instrument binnacle will give the best results from an installation point of view as well as visibility.
Yes Peter, with a MSD pickup, you can install this shift light on any car, even on a 308 is should work. It would be great if you can post also your instructions for such installation

To make sure which shape to use and where the best place is, I found on their website a scaled 1:1 cutout which I printed and then cutted out the 2 shapes. It was then quite easy to find out the best location.

shift_i_cutouts.pdf

Let me know how it goes
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post #10 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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My oh my Stef! You've done it again.
hey hey, yes buddy

That will be your next DIY on your super F430 If there was a contest of the best good looking modded F430, you would win hands up

Last edited by StefVan; 11-13-2011 at 11:36 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #11 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 01:43 AM
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This is extremly nice. Thanks Stefvan. Have been away in the Porsche World for a while, so I had to read this story twice to try to understand it.
Will go through it once more tonight and order the things needed for this lovely modyfication. Never had a shift light before.
Thanks again.

Anders

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post #12 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 04:33 AM
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Stef, Very impressive.
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post #13 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefVan View Post
hey hey, yes buddy

That will be your next DIY on your super F430 If there was a context of the best good looking modded F430, you would win hands up
I'd probably have to fly you over to perform the op. No way on earth am going to mess with the can bus.
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post #14 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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I put together a small synoptic schema to make the global system easier to understand. Connecting to the Can bus is very straight forward on the F430 because the Can Hi and Can Lo signals are directly available on the OBD connector, resp, pin 6 and pin 14. We just have to connect our wires there but without using a OBD male connector otherwise, you'll have this connector touching your legs while driving . We'll have to unscrew the OBD female connector and solder our 2 Can wires directly there. On pin 16, we have a Vbatt +12V (permanent voltage) which is perfect for the Can bus interface, as well as the ground on pin 5. But I'll come back to this in details once I've validated the reflashed Can interfaces.

It looks complicated but it really isn't. The complex part is more what going on inside the Can interface (firmware).
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post #15 of 119 Old 11-13-2011, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefVan View Post
I put together a small synoptic schema to make the global system easier to understand. Connecting to the Can bus is very straight forward on the F430 because the Can Hi and Can Lo signals are directly available on the OBD connector, resp, pin 6 and pin 14. We just have to connect our wires there but without using a OBD male connector otherwise, you'll have this connector touching your legs while driving . We'll have to unscrew the OBD female connector and solder our 2 Can wires directly there. On pin 16, we have a Vbatt +12V (permanent voltage) which is perfect for the Can bus interface, as well as the ground on pin 5. But I'll come back to this in details once I've validated the reflashed Can interfaces.

It looks complicated but it really isn't. The complex part is more what going on inside the Can interface (firmware).
OK. This looks deceivingly simple. LOL....I'd still probably wish for my Scuderia steering wheel to work though. It sucks but I've just got no time at all to pull it off and transfer the wheel node.

Once again, sorry to go OT, but the wheel node you were referring to is the entire black pod behind the mannetino right? It's encased in the plastic black pod? So all I need to do is to disconnect the wires and transfer the pod from the old to the new wheel?
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post #16 of 119 Old 11-14-2011, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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OK. This looks deceivingly simple. LOL....I'd still probably wish for my Scuderia steering wheel to work though. It sucks but I've just got no time at all to pull it off and transfer the wheel node.

Once again, sorry to go OT, but the wheel node you were referring to is the entire black pod behind the mannetino right? It's encased in the plastic black pod? So all I need to do is to disconnect the wires and transfer the pod from the old to the new wheel?
Hi buddy, I don't want to ping pong your steering wheel issue between both threads Please open a new one so that we can all follow this specific subject. As I wrote in the other thread, the first step is to make detailed photos of your Scud steering wheel so that I can analyse the wiring. Without this, we're just turning in rounds and making assumptions which isn't going to help you. Thanks mate
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post #17 of 119 Old 12-10-2011, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Good news

A little update with some good news. The new Canbus firmware is now successfully working on the F430

As I wrote before, we needed here a 60:1 division to obtain a normal pulsed rpm signal which can be used by the Shift Light. I made a scope test as well as a real test drive this afternoon and the new Canbus and the Shift Light was operating perfectly well. As we have a 1 pulse/revolution, the Shift Light must be set to a calibration value of 1 (while 2 is the default). I still need to play a bit with the sensitivity values of the Shift Light.

Also, this Proof of Concept wouldnít be complete without a double validation of the rpm value. The tacho isnít reference as they often display very inaccurate values. Although, the crank sensor is a reliable source which I can use to compare the rpm signal output from the Canbus interface. That will be the next step.


I will post also how to integrate the Canbus+Shift Light in the best way in the F430 using the existing +30 and +15 power sources.


Hereís a picture of the new rpm signal from the Canbus interface and it is now pulsed at the right frequency. For 1000rpm, we have now a 16.6 Hz signal (16.6 pulses per second). On this picture, my engine was idling at 783rpm = 13.05Hz. The pulse width has also be decreased from 13.66V to 12.95V which is perfect.


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In the second picture, we can observe the engine revving up to 2000rpm, generating a precise 33.3Hz signal.

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More to come soon
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post #18 of 119 Old 12-10-2011, 06:11 PM
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For Christ sake Stef! Speak English!!!
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post #19 of 119 Old 12-11-2011, 12:38 AM
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What he said. Put it into plain English so that I can also understand
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post #20 of 119 Old 12-11-2011, 01:07 AM
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Hi Stef, have been away in the old Porsche 993 world for a while. Soon ready and will be back and start with 430 winter projects in January. I have saved all my money for the Shift Light, so let me know when to transfere.
Meanwhile - timing new camshafts on an old 993.

All the best
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