(Note, this article is not complete as the pictures are not yet captioned. I will try to finish it as soon as I have an evening free where I don't have to work.)
A Better Modification:
Be sure to read all of Part I so you'll be able to identify parts in this section.
If you have a vise, drill and hacksaw or razor saw, there is an even better modification that takes very little time. You'll have to screw the upper and lower levers together, cut the black, plastic bracket, remove the stops from the bottom of the pedal pads, and lengthen the slots on the pedal cover. I suggest that you start with the gas pedal and finish it before you do the brake. That way you have something to refer to when putting it back together. Warning. Once you do this modification, there's no turning back. You may not be able to put the unit back together in stock configuration. Although I can think of no reason why anybody would want to.
Let's get started:
Pull the gear off the potentiometer. If you can't get it off with your fingertips, use light pressure from a screwdriver blade to get it started. Unhook the pedal spring from it's retainer and take out the main screw holding the lever assembly. If you have any wire ties in the way, cut them and remove them.
Remove the 3 screws holding the black, plastic bracket. Remove the bracket and cut it as shown. You will most likely need to put it in a vise, but it cuts easily with a hacksaw. Smooth the cut surface with a knife and reinstall it. Hang onto the extra screw, you'll need it for the joining the upper and lower levers. There is one mounting hole not covered by the newly cut bracket. Use an 11/64 or larger bit to drill a second hole about 1/2" from the existing hole, toward the bracket.
Assemble the new lever:
Use one of the large screws that originally was used to guide the lever in the slot of the black, plastic bracket to screw the upper and lower brackets together. Tighten the screw and line up the flat edge on each lever so they are parallel to each other. Lining them up on a flat surface will do. Use a 5/32" drill bit to drill a new hole as shown. The lower lever is softer metal than the upper, so it's best to drill from that side (through the lower lever first). Use the leftover black screw and lock nut from the cut plastic bracket to finish screwing the levers together.
Put the lever assembly back together but don't latch the spring yet. Run a 1/8" wire tie as shown. Don't tighten it too much yet, as the length of the wire tie will determine the rearward throw of the pedal.
Let the lever fall forward and rest on the base. Connect your wheel to your computer and get into the controller panel, 'Test Input' tab. I find it easier to calibrate the pedals when in split axis mode (the 'Operate Pedals Separately' box is checked). Turn the pot just tad past the point where the pedal box turns completely red and slip the gear on. If you are not in split axis mode, use the top or bottom of the crosshair box as your guide. Now hook the spring in place and wrap a wire tie around the lever and spring as a safety.
Push down on the large screw that holds the upper and lower levers together. Notice in controller panel how far you have to push before the red starts to show in the box. You'll want some free pedal movement, so adjust the wire tie so that there is about 1/4" of movement before the red shows in the box. If you decide you want less, you can re-adjust it later. Remember also that if you tighten it too much, you can always cut the wire tie and install a new one.
The last step before re-assembly is to make longer slots in the pedal base cover. The slots may only have to be 1/4" longer for rearward throw and 1/2" for forward throw, but it doesn't hurt anything to be safe and increase the rearward throw length 1/2" and the forward throw 3/4". Mark the base fore and aft of the slot and drill a 1/4" hole at each end. Use a hacksaw blade of razor saw to lengthen the slots to the drilled holes.
In order for the pedal pads to swivel on the levers, the lower stops on the pads will have to be removed. Drill a 5/8" hole through the stopper as close to the pad as you can get it, then use a razor saw to cut along each side of the stopper to the hole you just drilled. If the piece doesn't come out easily, use needle nose pliers to remove it. If there are any rough edges from removing the stopper, smooth them out.
Once you have the wire tie adjusted the way you like it, trim off the excess. Re-assemble the pedal base and install the pedal pads. You may want to play with the wire tie tension and gear placement. For testing purposes, I only install the screws on the bottom of the base that are in a cross pattern, not the ones under the rubber feet.
Your pedals will now operate as smooth as silk and you'll have much better control in your games.
Apr 10, 2000
The Best Modification:
(Note, this article is not finished, but the pictures tell a good story. I hope to have this done in a couple days, but in the meantime will leave it posted like this for those who want to get a jump on it. This modification is definitely worth the small effort it takes. Basically, what you are seeing here are my notes, or outline.)
The top bracket is the one I bought. It's a 5" bracket (actually 4 7/8") Manufactured by National. All but the large hole for the pot were already in it. Beneath that is the rough cut bracket. Use the stock lower lever to mark the hole for the sleeve.
This is the final cut I used. The notch on the lower right is to give the lever more travel and also provides a space for a secondary brake spring I'm working on. Missing in this photo is an 11/64" hole that was drilled 1/4" to the left of the notch. A large screw will go through the hole and a wire tie will loop around it.
Photo on left shows the 11/64" hole in the lever. Also shown is a thin 3/8" ID washer that I used for a spacer to eliminate side to side play in the lever. This washer, wire ties, rubber bumpers, and the "L" bracket that becomes the new lever are the only new parts. All the other parts are form the original pedals. The photo shows all the parts in the order that they slide over the sleeve. The photo on the right shows the pieces assembled and over the sleeve, but without the screw. It's easier to put it together if you assemble the parts and then install the black plastic bracket and finally put in the screw that holds everything on the sleeve.
The photos below show the black, plastic bracket in place. The screw was pushed up from the underside, the nut put on finger tight and the sleeve pushed through the black bracket. The second screw was installed and tightened, the first screw tightened, and the long screw was pushed through the sleeve. The last black, plastic washer was installed and the nut was applied, tight, but not too tight.
The photo on the left shows the lever resting on the base. Notice that the spring is not hooked to the half-gear. At this point I turned the pot shaft clockwise just past the point where red filled the block in the controller panel, and I slipped the gear in place.
Extra photo angles of completed assembly. Don't pay any attention to the 'paper-clip'. It's the beginning of a secondary spring for the brake pedal, but it's not quite done yet.
The slots in the base cover don't have to be as long as they were for PartII, but they do have to be made slightly wider on the right side of each pedal lever.
This photo shows that I installed rubber 'self-stick' bumpers, or little rubber feet. The lever hits the bumper just before it hits the base. In fact, if you push the lever hard enough it will still hit the base. If the bumpers were to take the total force of the lever, they would split. But the way they are installed, they should last a very long time and still deaden the sound of metal to metal.
Using these modified pedals really requires that you drive with your legs extended. The extra leverage applied to the springs may make the gas spring feel too soft for some of you. The brake spring is stronger than the gas spring. If this is the case, get another spring from your hardware store or order a brake spring from Act Labs. The other choice is to live with it for a while until I finish the modification for a secondary spring on the brake. Once this is done, you can switch the brake and gas springs.
These modified pedals are a real pleasure to drive with. They modulate very well in Grand Prix Legends and give incredible control. Well, I'm off to dance on the pedals in Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed.
Apr 10, 2000