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1970 El Camino 350 Daily Driver Project - Lots of modern Modz

47229 Views 492 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  sdcerreta
I am new to this forum. I am hoping to share some of my modz and project work while gaining some insight from others as well.

I have been building a new 2019 Subaru Forester Sport for the past year or so since buying it. I am glad to learn that the El Camino Central forum uses the same forum engine. Should be easy transition.

I am known for posting detailed build projects with lots of photos and hope to do the same for this project. I will share a little about this car and then I will move forward with some projects.

This car belonged to my father-in-law. He bought it in about 1990. It was his pride to work on. He did a restoration himself including the paint. There is nothing original about this car. It does not have matching numbers. He built it the way he wanted to drive it and he was proud of that.

Before his passing, the car had sat untouched for about 3 years. We fired it up and in his last year of life we spent some time working on the car together. Since he has passed, I slowly began moddifying this car in about 2015 to become a daily driver. Like him, I wanted this car to be what I wanted to drive and enjoy. I also want this to be a car to remmeber him by and one that my wife will drive and enjoy as well, especially since it was her father.

Since 2015, my wife feels scared to drive this car. My pursuit has been long but continues with the premise that I want to convert this car into something with a modern and reliable feel. I have no interest in keeping this car original at all. Therefore, this project build is all about performance, comfort, and reliability.

And away we go . . .
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Selecta Speed Windshield Washer Upgrade-12 You can see the connector in place and a smaller loom coming off the top. This is for the washer wires. This worked out well, but took some time.

Selecta Speed Windshield Washer Upgrade-14 One of the big questions I had is if this was compatible with the hidden wipers, which I have in the 70 elky. The short answer is no. I had to do a mod to the drive side grooved post. The wiper motor moves in a 360 deg circle. This causes the arm to go up in one cycle and come down in the next cycle. The movement is from the resting position to full extension and back. The OEM wiper motor would move the arm up 3 inches from recessed, then move up and down the windshield without returning to the recessed position until the wipers are off. The post key forces the driver wiper to be at rest in a 5” off the recessed position. This looks crappy and affects visibility.

Selecta Speed Windshield Washer Upgrade-15 Out came the cutoff wheel and I removed the key Now I had the freedom to put the wiper in the correct position. I did a test then tweaked the adjuster to dial it in so it rests in the recessed position. The passenger pole does not have a key, so no mod needed.

Selecta Speed Windshield Washer Upgrade-16 Recessed position. The other disadvantage is that the wiper moves from this position on every stroke. This car will rarely be out in the rain and I expect some wear on the blades. But during testing on a dry windshield even, I did not cause any damage to the recessed trim piece which was treated and painted black. Time will tell if I have any problems.

Selecta Speed Windshield Washer Upgrade-17 Under the dash I installed the controller and that was it. Plugged in the washer motor and everything worked perfectly. Some slight tweaks were made to the squirter positions and that was about it.
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The Gear Vendors unit is being built this week and it should arrive in the mail next week in time for Christmas. Boy, is my wife going to be excited when she opens this gift up. :ROFLMAO: . . . not.

I also decided to swap out the steering wheel and install a PCS GSM electric shifter. Paddle shifters will be installed as well. This will certainly make the car very different from other El Caminos !

I currently have a Volante S9 14" leather wrapped wheel. I actually love this wheel, but the 3 spoke slotted center section is polished alum and I want to go black. There were very few black steering wheels available in the S9 series, so I started looking at Grant wheels. Lots of choices, but they did not offer the style and colors I wanted. So, I returned to the Volante and found an S6 series wheel with black 3 spokes, no slots. This will help hide the paddles. The grip is grey leather. The combo looks great and when I finish the interior upgrade with black buckets and grey stictching, this should look stellar.

The disadvantage to switching from a 9 bolt to 6 bolt wheel is that I need a new hub adapter and whole shebang. I will sell off my lightly used wheel if anyone is in the market for a Volante. The new wheel design has a straight across two spoke section. Most of the wheels have a slight upward pitch for these spokes. So, I am hoping the paddles are sitting in the perfect position with the flat spokes. The traditional wheel pattern seems like the paddels sit lower, so not as visually appealing, plus I may need to reach down a little to actuate the paddles if my hand(s) is above the spoke(s).

This is my current wheel:

Here is the new wheel:

I spent a lot of time on the phone these past two weeks with GV and PCS so I can understand how these two systems will work together along with the Dakota Digital VHX dash cluster. Here are some details about what I understand.

Gear Vendors will allow my to split gears. In simple terms I turn the 3 speed TH400 tranny into a 6 speed. The shift points are all based on speed settings, not rpms in the Auto mode. In Auto mode, with column shifter in Drive, you just drive and the car will shift from 1, to 1-over, 2 to 2-over, 3 to 3-over at preprogrammed speeds. I do not beive these are adjustable speed points. In manual mode I need to move the column shifter to 1, then I hit the foot or electric button (I ordered both for options) to 1-over. Then I can control the rpm and shift when I am ready with the column shifter to 2, then button to 2-over. I can also skip this overdrive too if I choose by not hitting the button and just moving the column shifter to Drive, then when ready button to 3-over. Essentially, in manual mode, the button acts as a simple on-off switch for the over drive.

Down shifting works the same way. If I am crusing at 70mph in 3-over, I can hit the button to get Drive (3) for a little power or I can just move the column shifter to 2nd for 2-over and more power. If I need more power, I hit the button to get 2nd gear and off I go like a rocketship from 70 to 85+mph in a sec or so. My car has a lot more top end speed right now with 3.08 posi, but this will be upgraded to 3.73 gears this summer.

I would really like to find a way to mount the OD button on the paddles or column shifter hole when I remove the stick. I have a couple thoughts on this already, but need to explore options.

Now moving on to the PCS electronic shifter. The main shifter is a GSM 5014. This is a cable box that mounts under the seat. A small hole in the floor lets the cable pass through the tranny tunnel and connects to the tranny linkage. The column shifter and all the linkage is removed. The GSM 5014 includes a black horitzontal Gear selector. Eventually I will upgrade the interior to include bucket seats with a center console. This will be mounted there. For now, I will build a simple hump console to locate the selector. The gear selector looks like a modern style selector and there are push buttons instead of now having the column shifter. So, it has P, R, N, D, +, -. I will now use this instead of the column to make my shifts. Below is a photo of the colors and styles of push button shifters. 3 styles and 2 color types. You can also see the control box with cable. The cable movement is programmed for the tranny during setup, then it is all ready to go.


But wait, there is more :D The paddles add in the fun-factor. When the push button is in Drive, the left paddle down shifts to 2nd then to 1st. The right paddle upshifts from 1st to 2nd to Drive. All on the fly while never removing my hands from the wheel.

So, putting everything together at a light in Drive with GV Auto mode on, a 2018 Camaro SS rolls up and revs its motor. Time for play.
I switch GV to manual mode, then hit the left paddle shifter to 1st. We race! I hit 5k rpm hit the button to 1-over motor drops to only 3800rpm. WOT, I hit 5k rpm and hit the right paddle to 2nd, drop rpm slightly staying in the power band and button up to 2-over, back to up to 5k rpm and paddle to Drive, button to 3-over and I am racing at 100mph and get a ticket in town. Dumbass.

Here is a look at the paddles with the display, which I will order.

There are a couple unknowns that i hope work out okay. First, is what happens when I downshift from 3-over to 2nd on the push button shifter. Will I be in 2-over or will this disengage the OD and I drop to 2. I did confirm that when going up gears I would go from 2-over to 3, not 3-over. Therefore the OD gets disengaged when changing gears.

Second, I am not quite sure what will happen with the compatibility for the Dakota Digital dash. Right now, my only gear indicator is on the DD. So, it will be nice to have the paddle display and the other display in the center console. This will let me change the DD to a different mode to monitor. I also don;t know which sensor to use, DD or PCS, so jest to be safe I was going to buy the PCS sensor and try to tap this one for the DD, which seemed doable in the instructions.

Ok, that is all for now. Some more exciting modz are on the horizon. 🌈
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GV should arrive tomorrow. Woohoo!
GV arrived and I started on the project. It is going to be harder than I hoped for. I got the stock tail section off, but the new adapter won't fit right in. I am going to have to modify the tunnel, which I was told I will need to do, but the instructions are pretty generic and do not describe this step. I also had to lower the exhaust and attempted to move the crossmember but it is stuck. I will give it a go again tomorrow. I need to remove one pipe from the header and see if I have enough room to remove the crossbar. With this out of the way I should be able to make the tunnel modz and get the new adapter piece installed.

I am afraid that the exhaust pipes are too close to the tunnel and may interfere with the overdrive unit when installed. This is totally going to suck. I may have to tow the car to the muffler shop if this is the case. Hopefully I will have more details tomorrow.
The PCS gear arrived today. Just waiting on the steering wheel and the time to complete the projects. Here is the unboxing.


GV adapter to replace OEM 9" tail housing.

GV Controller

GV over/underdrive unit

PCS cable box controller. All these components are made of CNC anodized aluminum.

PCS push button control pad. I chose the vertiacal mount in black of course.

PCS paddle shifters
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Gear Vendors Install​

Well, the car is still up on floor jacks. It pains me, but I have lots of parts laying around and still waiting on a few items to complete the GV install with PCS shifter and paddles.

The GV was finally installed. I had to cut a good section of the supprt rib out, but no other pounding modz were required to the tranny tunnel. The bummer is that I had to remove the cross beam to get the GV installed. That also required that I remove the custom built exhaust pipes. Problem is that after the GV was in, the pipes won't go back on without hitting the GV. So, I had to cut them out and now I have to make another trip to the muffler shop. They must love seeing me come in all the time. Cha-ching.

Here is a photo journey update on a few things.

GV Install-2 TH400 installed with driveshaft sticking out quite a bit. Support beam was hard to remove. I eventually had to remove both exhaust pipes from the headers and let them fall to the ground.

GV Install-8 Here you can see the speedo adapter and the crossbeam in place from the other side. The driveshaft was removed. Then I removed the cross beam tranny mount and lifted up the tranny slightly. Then I unbolted and removed the 9” tail housing. This was light.

GV Install-9 The tail housing is now removed. Here is a very good picture of the tranny tunnel. That support rib affects the install of the GV. I ended up removing a whole section of it. There was no pounding or any other modz required. It was quite easy with a cutoff wheel. There are other ribs under the chassis, so I felt good with cutting this out. Besides, it is not welded to the floor, it had a couple small tack welds here and there, but that was it.

GV Install-11 Here is the OEM 9” tail housing. It actually measures 9.5”

GV Install-12 The is the replacement GV tail housing. It measures 11.5” and mounts right to the tranny mount and crossbeam. No modz or additional supports needed here. Also, no driveshaft angle measurements or adjustments were needed. I did not even bother doing any of this as GV tech said the angles will not change on this car.

GV Install-13 In my first attempt to cut out the support rib I was hoping to cut out the center then pound down the sides to retain some support. But, I discovered that it was only tack welded and there were plenty other support areas plus the crossbeam in this mid-tunnel section, so I opted to remove the whole thing. It was easy and left a nice clean look.

GV Install-15 Here you can see the entire rib section cut out. I will add, that I did not cut far enough to each side. I had the GV installed and had to go back and cut out some more of the rib. This was hard. So, if you are installing a GV you want to cut about 3” more on each side. Basically, there should be no upward curvature. Cut the last part of the straight section on each side and you are good to go.

GV Install-16 The beast! About 40 pounds and hard to lift one handed while turning the shaft to line of the splines, but got er done.

GV Install-18 Okay, so now you can see the GV adapter and GV unit installed. Once this was done, I moved forward with the electronics on the interior. I will post those details separately as I am still working out some stuff for that. Of concern, there are three different speed sensors I need to wire up. One for the GV, one for the PCS shifter and one for the Dakota Digital dash. There are two speedo ports, one in the main TH400 body and one in the GV body. I plan to use both. The electronic speed sensor for the DD is in the TH400 body and I spliced the GV wires into the DD control box. Then, I installed the special PCS electronic sensor in the GV unit and will wire this to the PCS control box. Seems to easy, so fingers crossed that this works and each device will sense the speed it needs to see to operate correctly. The GV looks for speeds around 30 and 50 to down/up shift respectively out of and into overdrive. The PCS needs to see speeds over 3mph to lockout accidental switching into reverse and when over 1mph it will lock out accidental switching into Park. Makes sense, but I hope I got it wired correctly on the first go.

GV Install-19 Here is the final view for now from the other side.

Much more work to come.
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Volante Steering Wheel Install with Paddle Shifters​

I am still working out the bugs on this, but I am quite excited to see how this turns out. In fact, before I install the PCS shifter, I do plan to drive the car with jus the GV unit and the column shifter. Just, so I can experience how the GV works before adding in the electronic shifter which will complicate the driving.

I am also trying to get the right steering wheel. I had one on back order for awhile, then I called Volante and ordered one direct, but it was built for OE steering column and I need a 6 bolt wheel with GM adapter so that I can add in the paddles.

Here is a preview of some work and ideas. There is a long way to go on this one and a lot of long days ahead that I anticipate will require a lot of fine soldering and configurations. Hopefully my master plan will come alive and more importantly work the way I hope it will.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-1 This is a Volante S9 steering wheel. It is 14” with black leather grip. It features slotted brushed alum center and a Chevy Bowtie horn button. It is a 1.25” think grip and very comfortable. I love this wheel, but there were more color options in the S6 series, so this is the direction I took. Utimately I ordered the Gray leather wheel with back center, but it was back ordered. It was also an PE wheel and mounts to the OEM steering column. This was not correct. The bolt spacing on the standard 6 bolt wheel is 70mm. So, I am currently working with Volante to get the right wheel. I will describe where I am at currently.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-2 Here is a profile shot of the S9 wheel and adapter.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-3 The steering wheel I got from Volante had the OE bolt pattern, brushed alum center ( I ordered black, they sent the wrong one) and it also has a 1” diameter grip, I prefer the 1.25”. It also has a 2.75” dish and that is way too big.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-4 Here is a side-by-side look at the two wheels. I soft mounted the switches and paddles with the S6 wheel and adapter.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-5 The profile shot is where you can really see the difference. The paddles are about .5” thick plus about 1/8” for the carbon fiber switch plate. Plus more dish means the wheel is about 1” taller. This is too big and will push the steering wheel too close to me while driving. You can also see that the paddles are too far away from the fingers. I can reach them okay, but it would be better to have a 2” dish wheel for sure. I also checked clearance for the turn signals and that is no problem at all.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-6 Here is a down angle photo. Dish is too big, but looks pretty cool. The two switches are on top, I actually plan to run four switches, so another carbon fiber plate is on order. I removed the momentary horn buttons and installed latching buttons. The paddle sshifters also come with a drive indicator panel. This will be much better than having to look down at the electronic shifter panel or using this display window on the DD gauge set. I would rather display something else on the DD and have the drive indicator on this display. This setup will also look much better with an all black wheel, or if possible I would love to get the black center with gray leather grip to match the car.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-7 This photo shows a few things to note. One, the position of the steering wheel is centered, so I can install the new one in the right position. It also has the horn button installed. If you look to the left under the wiper motor I installed a new toggle switch for the DD gauges. I previously had the old style momentary switches and these were low quality and buggy. So, I am hoping this works out better. It is sticky taped in place. If you look at the right side of the steering column you will find two lights, green on top and red on bottom. This is where the DD buttons were located. I drilled out larger holes to install grommets and the colored lights. The green indicated GV Overdrive is on and the red light indicates that the GV Autodrive is on (this is there terminology for overdrive is off, but in autodrive mode at 50 mph the OD will turn on automatically). I opted for the new style stealth panel lights and switches from GV instead of their bulkier dash switch which is much more difficult to mount and look good.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-8 Here is a close up of the switches and adapter plate. I have the single switch Sparco black alum plate and an imitation double plate made in China from carbon fiber. I much prefer the CF plate and it is half the price. I have another one on order and will end up mounting one up and one down for four buttons. I also plan to use coiled 5ft phone cables. This will allow the steering wheel to turn and the coils will unwind to allow movement. I will likely use a single wire tie in one spot on the column to keep the coils up and off the knees.

Here is the plan for the button configuration. This may change in the future.

Upper Left – Power switch for GV Auto/Manual mode. This is a blue power button icon latching switch.

Upper Right – GV overdirve on/off button. This is a green LED latching switch.

Lower Left – Line Lock switch. This will be amber and will come later.

Lower Right – Open for now. I thought I had something planned for here already, but I can’t remember.

Volante Steering Wheel Upgrade-9 Here is a look at the parts and the back of the switches. You can also see that the latching switch is a high button switch. So, out is ON and inward position is OFF. The LED will also light up when in the on position. In addition to having the green OD on the switch and LED in the dash, I laso wired this to the DD control panel. So, I am very curious to see how that looks on the DD when OD is on. There should be some sort of indicator.

Ok, much more to come with this whole project. Very exciting to go for a ride. Fun factor will be amped up!!!
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The Volante wheels will not work for my intentions. I am very bummed out. It turns out that the 6 bolt pattern does not have the top bolt at 12 o'clock position. I also need a much shorter stack height. So, I bought a Momo Jet steering wheel. I made a mock up from a paper cut out and this looks like a winner. I am also goint to get a short NRG adapter kit so this combo with a 1.5" dish on the Momo wheel should do a nice job of covering up the paddles and keep the stack height low. Button looks nice too. Everythign is on order for attempt #3.


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This is taking forever. I got the chopped driveshaft back from the shop today and an appointment for next Friday to get the exhaust system rebuilt for the car. I hope the car runs well enough to make the 5 mile trip to the muffle shop. I have the EFI and the oxygen sensor is just dangling, so the car will be loud and rough. Fingers crossed.
Well, I hope to get the exhaust system reinstalled on Friday. The drive to the muffler shop is going to be exciting with just headers in place. I hope the car runs well enough to make the trip. And I hope I don;t get pulled over.

I also did some research and I am hoping to have the shop add in a H pipe. I have not seen many Elkys of this year with the H pipe so I hopoe it can happen. I also have the GV taking up more space int eh trans tunnel so there are some obstacles to overcome.

Here are a couple photos of the driveshaft install.


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Wow, the Momo Jet steering wheel arrived today. It has an even thicker grip compared to the Volante with some great contours for hand control. I could not be happier.

One step closer to getting this mounted with the paddles. Tomorrow, if hte weather holds up I will take the Elky in for the exhaust work. I am hoping to have an H pipe installed too. I think there is room right past the GV where the driveshaft starts. This should keep the pipes up high too.

Here are the photos and description of the Momo SW.

This wheel has excellent craftsmanship. Made in Italy, not China. Real carbon fiber inserts. Great stitch work and a combination of textered and perforrated leather. It is black on black with black horn button. The grip is very thick and has contours for control. Very close to modern steering wheels.

The first thing I checked out was the dish. When I opened the outer box I noticed that the wheel box was very thin. I was excited. With a tape this comes in at 1.75" tall. It has no dish. You can see clearly here that the mount and the wheel are both touching the counter. Perfect. This will allow for additional thickness and not come to close to me when driving. Now I am jsut waiting on the short NRG adapter and some coil cables for the buttons.

Horn button installed.

Now for a fit with the paddles. On first attempt the horn button does not sit flush as it hits the display circuit board. So, I am gonna need some spacers.

Turns out that one 1/4" spacer is all that is needed.

Perfect fit. Room for the horn button and still the paddles are much closer than when I attempted the fit with the Volante wheel which had a 2.5" dish. Also turns out that the knock-off CF sparco button plate is a perfect compliment for the CF inserts on the Momo wheel. This really looks great. $20 for the CF switch plate. I actually bought two, but will likely start off with just one for now to mount the GC latching buttons. One for man/auto and the other to activate/deactivate the OD.

The total stack height is just under 3". You can also see here that the paddles are located much closer to the wheel compared to the Volante mock-up.

I dont have the NRG short adapter yet, but I have a solid inch or slightly more of room to give. Not bad considering that I added 1" of height with the paddles, switch plate and spacer.
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The coil cable and NRG short hub adaptar arrived today. I also beat the weather and got the car down to the shop for the exhaust installation. I had just enough time for a quick drive before the snow came crashing down. I was able play with the GV a little bit, but I defineately need more play time. I did not have hte auto/man switch connected correctly either. So, I was only in manual mode.

Here are some snapshots of the steering wheel
Everything is mounted up here. The NRG adapter then the paddles, then a 1/4" spacer then the CF switch plate then the steering wheel then the horn button.

Side view. Overall stack is about the same as the old Volante wheel. I will have to measure tomorrow when I do the swap.

Back side view.

The shape of the wheel midsection does a nice job of hiding the paddles. Everything in black makes it look nice too. This spacer is perfect. Just enough room to get my hands completely around the wheel without touching the paddles.

Short reach required to activate the paddles.

The paddles can be easily reached from several postions. Reachign the buttons are not as easy. I will have to move my hand off the current position in most cases to activate a button.

Here is a 3-wire coil wire that i plan to use fo the switches. This will allow stretch when tuning and it will coil back up to stay out of the way when done.
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The other project today was exhaust system install. I also added in an H pipe. Everything came out great. It sounds better than before and i have a little more juice out of the hole.

The muffler back pipe was reused. These were fine and I had painted them black with VHT flame proof. They look nice and tight under the bumper.

The pipes in front of the mufflers all the way up to just past the H pipe is also new. The only other retained parts were the short pipe sections at the header collectors where the oxygen sensor was located.


The pipes are really high and well aligned. Nice bends in the pipes and I am really digging the H pipe add-on. There was a small gap right behind the support brace before the GV body began. This was a perfect spot for the H pipe.Overall the pipes sit abotu 1-2" higher than before, but they are still the lowest point under the car.

Close up shot of the H pipe.
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I'm not sure about the clearances with the GV unit, but my car has had an H pipe on it since about 2009.
So I had replied to your post about the possibility of an H pipe, before I saw the new exhaust work. Looks good! Is that 2" pipe? You should post a sound clip or link us to a Youtube video of the car running with the finished exhaust!
Hey Tony, thanks for the comments. Yeah, it came out great. The piping is 2.5". This is what I had before, which is an upgrade from 1.75 or 2" stock pipes that were attached to the stock manifold. All that got changed out a few years ago when I installed headers.

I will be posting a video shortly in regards to a test drive with the GV, but the windows were up and it is hard to hear the exhaust sounds.
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This weekend I was able to install the steering wheel and switch plate with paddles. I have not installed the PCS electronic shifter yet and good thing. I have a few challenges I need to work out before moving forward with the PCS. Here are those problems:

1. Speedo jumps down about 20mph when switching into OD.
2. GV shift points into and out of OD seems too low.
3. Dakota Digital (DD) gear selector not working. No OD indicator either, which I would really like to function.

I called GV today and it seems like the problem is very simple and related. First, I initially had the GV tied into the DD speedo pots. This created problem #2. I then installed the GV specific speed generator and the shift points were improved, but I still had a 20mph jump in speedo when going into or out of OD. GC tech support stated that the 3 wire PCS and DD signal generators are designed to use square wave tech and the GV signal generator is sine wave, so I must use that for the GV signals. The big problem is that I had the DD signal generator in the main transmission body and the GV generator was in the GV body. Tech support says this is why problem #1 is happening. The OD has a 22% effect on speed and all generators must be installed in the GV. So, I will make that improvement this weekend.

The other thing to note is that I have 3 signal generators and would prefer to minimize all this if possible. I also learned that I can stack all 3 on top of each other as long as they are connected to the GV body. So, I am going to use the GV generator for the GV controller and use the DD generator to feed the DD and PCS systems. Hopefully this will work okay.

The steering wheel combination worked out really well. I am so happy with the Momo Jet wheel and its pairing with the PCS paddles is about as good as possible. Most of the paddle body is hidden. I did have troubles with the coil cord breaking and not being long enough. I think I got that worked out for now and will end up replacing the cables once I get everything dialed in.

Here are some photos and test drive video to share.

The Momo Jet is a flat wheel and when combined with the NRG short hub adapter and paddles shifters with 1/4" spacer the Stack height is right about the same as what I had previously.

If anything, the Momo is a little shorter. On the test drive my knuckles did hit the paddles, so I will likely swap out the spacer to the 1/2" stack for more clearance.

Here is the Momo Jet installed with paddles, CF switch plate and buttons. It looks really modern and cool. The contours of the wheel are awesome and makes it fun on the test drive.

Just to the right of the switch plate you can see the green and red LED indicators in the dash next to the stereo. These tell you the operation status of the GV unit. Red is computer on and looking for speed/manual signal to switch to OD. The green LED indicates that the OD is engaged. I used

I used 3-wire coil cable for the switches. This allows the wheel to turn and the cord stretches. I am still dialling this in. I already cut the cord with the sharp plastic dash pieces so once I get things dialed in I will have to replace the cords and hope they do not break apart again. I may have to buy different cables if that keeps happening.

This is how tight I had them to start. Way too tight. Basically I have the cords hanging down about 2" below the columns and had to use a couple wire ties on the straight cable section to tie this to the steering wheel down spoke. This helps keep the cables away from the turn signal and key switch when turning. That was a discovered problem. I will show final photos of the setup once all dialed in.

This is the first of several videos that I will share on how this system performs together. In this first video, I test the GV over/undrive with the PCS not installed. The paddles are there, but they are not in operation yet. Right now the column shifter works as normal to shift the main TH400 transmission from first to second to drive.

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Nice video, how are you liking the GV so far?
Nice video, how are you liking the GV so far?
I absolutely love it! I am so happy to make this purchase and pair it with the TH400 rather than go to a more modern 4 speed electronic tranny like the 4L60 or 4L80.

Got the PCS shifter installed today. Will post some more photos and videos soon.
PCS Electronic Shifter and PCS Paddle Shifter Install​

Today I completed the installation for the PCS e-shifter and the companion paddles. It took me about 10 hours for the install. I really like electronic projects, soldering and cable routing much more than heavy lifting projects like gears in the rear end or installing the GV overdrive unit.

This was a fun install and like usual, I prefer to strip the car down as much as possible so I am not fighting the install process. I also through the years learned to do electrical tests before putting the car back together before finding out that I missed something and I have to pull the car apart again.

With that said, the electrical test was a success on the first try. I did have to program the e-shifter twice, since I missed Drive on the first calibration.

Here is the install journal:

On Blocks This is my usual setup for getting under the car now. I find that it is just enough room to crawl under on my back with plenty of room for working. I use a creeper at times, but the car is not high enough for all my work when using the creeper.

PCS Shifter-6 After trying to mount the PCS GSM 5000 control module under the seat I realized that it was too tall. So, I opted to hide the GSM in the cubby below the subwoofer. The other advantage here is that the cable is 6 feet long, so getting the right location and punching a hole through the metal is important that you get it right the first time. I did some measuring and this seemed like the best location based on the cable length. You also need to run the cable from the rear to the front of the car where it connects to the tranny linkage on the driver side of the tranny. This is important to recognize and it was not crystal clear in the install manual.

PCS Shifter-7 I drilled the first pilot hole. By looking under the car there was a curve just backwards of this location and I did not want the cable coming out into the tranny tunnel facing the rear of the car as it would require a big arc to turn forward. This first pilot hole was in the perfect location. First shot, got lucky. I drilled a ½” hole in order to get the cable through. I also have a grommet that required a ½” hole so that will protect the cable housing from getting chaffed when sliding through
and vibrations.

PCS Shifter-8 Once the hole was drilled I pulled the carpet back into position and cut a slit into the carpet for the wiring harness.

PCS Shifter-10 Here is a look into the tranny tunnel. Grommet in place. The cable is nice and high and away from the exhaust pipe. It is also 2.5-3” above the rotating parts like the u-joint and driveshaft. I ran the cable up to the tranny linkage. I removed the factory column shifter linkage, added the PCS tranny mounting plate and installed the cable. At this point the instructions said not to connect the linkage because it needs to be calibrated for the transmission which requires a sequence of moving the cable for each linkage indentation: Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Second, First.

PCS Shifter-11 This is where the magic happens. I love showing the messy side of an install project. Tools everywhere, instructions on the floor and of course a hammer to beat things into position or just to make me feel better by hitting something when things don’t go right. You can also see the PCS e-shifter interface panel. In the future, I am going to upgrade the interior and mount this in a center console. For now it will be stored in a center console I mount on the bench seat. I am going to have a buddy build me a temporary panel for the control interface for now. This will make things look nice until I can upgrade the interior.

This is the phase where I get everything wired up for a test before routing all the harness wire looms only to find out that something is not working correctly. Here is a short video on the test. This took place right after calibration of the control module.

PCS Shifter-12 The wiring harnesses were just barely the right length with the location I chose to install the PCS module. I did end up routing the cables behind the module and to the driver side door sill. This was better than running the wires along the tranny hump, which often becomes noticeable. Once I got the harnesses up to the front, I routed them through the kick panel access location. I used duct tape to keep the harnesses in place and away from the seat mounting holes.

PCS Shifter-13 I had to remove the steering wheel to connect the horn wire to the PCS display for power. The paddles are wireless, so they just need power from the horn wire to make all the magic happen. You can also see here that the column shifter lever is gone. Woohoo!

PCS Shifter-14 Here is a close-up of the steering wheel with carbon fiber accents and the switch plate.

PCS Shifter-15 While I had the kick panels off, this was a good time to install the new custom Lloyd floor mats which had to be tucked up under the kick panels and it has a hole to go over the floor dimmer switch. These mats have excellent coverage. Now I just need to put the seat back into place and do a few more tests before heading out on a test drive.

The PCS requires some safety features to ensure you won’t hurt the car. The first is that the brake pedal must be actuated to switch the car into or out of Park. It also requires a neutral safety switch to ensure that the car will not start in any gear other than Park or neutral. Mine failed this test and it can start in Drive. So, I will be working on that in the near future.

The PCS also requires a connection to the speed sensor. Instead of installing a third sensor, I spliced into the Dakota Digital controller which uses the same style electronic speed senor. This ended up working great for me and prevented more wiring from having to travel through the firewall and into the tranny tunnel. The purpose of the speed sensor to recognize low speeds and prevent shifting into Park when travelling more than 1mph. It prevent shifting into reverse when travelling above 3mph. I tested these feature in the driveway before heading out for a test drive and both tests passed. The PCS interface panel has an LCD screen that scrolls messages when you try to do something and there is a safety feature that prevents you. For example, If you try to switch into Drive without a foot on the pedal, the display will scroll the message “Depress Brake Pedal”.

Okay that it all for now. Here are two test videos:

Video #1 is a quick tour outside the car.

Video #2 is a tour of the PCS e-shifter, paddles and GV operation. Then I head out for some test driving where I show the paddles and GV switches in action.

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