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Old 08-05-2004, 11:14 PM
Strife's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
First Gear Start Module (Another Design)

I was considering buying the BergWerks first gear module. It looked like a good idea, and the company and product are well thought of, but the module cost a little more than I wanted to pay. So, I cloned it, using stuff I had around the house! Of course, the contents of my house may differ somewhat from the contents of your house. I'm fairly certain that what I did is in principle similar to BergWerks but my algorithm is different (I don't see the value of 2-1 downshift, but I may update the firmware later).

While doing this, I noticed that my 1st gear didn't seem to work at all, and worse, I would blow fuses when shifting into B. Solution: cut/reroute solenoid wire trapped and shorted between transmission and transmission pan (great work by MB dealership for the previous owner).

I mounted a Chicago Ace key and a mil-spec pilot lamp (lit with a blue LED) on the console. The lamp has a built in iris so that you can mechanically dim it at night with a 1/2 turn. The key is kind of redundant, because no one else drives my car! It is visible in the day with the top down.

Starting in first gear is a subtle improvement until you need the speed. Then, it's not so subtle. However, I'm almost certain that my gas mileage has dropped a bit (but I may be enjoying the performance more, so I'm putting more pedal into it, so it's hard to say).

I don't intend to build any more of these (liability reasons, among other things), but I thoroughly enjoyed this project. A symbiosis of my two favorite hobbies!

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Old 08-05-2004, 11:16 PM
Strife's Avatar
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Attached picture...hopefully....
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First Gear Start Module (Another Design)-m66.jpg  
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Posts: 1,150
While I do have Molex connectors, 3 pin 7800 series reulators, resistors, capacitors, Proms, and even some G-10 circuit board material laying about the house, your post was lacking a bit in the details on how you threw them all together to "clone" your project, let alone how you integrated it into the vehicle. Nice effort, but.....
Resistance is Futile.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:01 AM
Strife's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
There is more detail at:

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