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After reading John M's write-up of installing cruise control in his S4 Spider & Joe Papa Sr's query about CC in an S3, I finally got busy installing an AudioVox CC unit in our '84 Spider.

As John M predicted, most of my efforts were spent figuring out a way to have the CC actuate the throttle without interfering with proper normal operation of the throttle. I decided to make a bracket that attaches to the plenum support (this support runs diagonally from the underside of the plenum to the top of the motor mount. This bracket holds the business end of the CC's cable nearly parallel to the horizontal throttle rod under the intake plenum.

I installed the servo/brain on the right side inner fender and routed the CC cable forwards then made a gentle 180 degree turn to run it down to the bracket on the plenum support.

I installed a clip onto the horizontal throttle rod. To this clip I attached a connector for the bead-chain included in the kit of parts. Then I installed the bead chain between the throttle rod and the end of the CC's cable. Slight slack in the bead chain ensures that when 'off' the CC will not interfere with throttle operation.

I connected the CC's vacuum supply hose to the small hose below the brake booster hose - the 'manifold pressure sensor' take off - using a T-connector in the kit's bag 'o parts.

Next, I routed the wires along the rear, upper edge of the firewall towards the left, rear corner. There you will find a large rubber gromet where the harness passes through the firewall. I poked the wires through the grommet (except for a blue wire that needs to be connected to the coil's negative terminal). I connected the wires poked inside the ****pit to the brake light switch & switched 12V+ per the instructions included with the CC. The blue wire is just the right length to run along the left inner fender then across the front of the radiator support and end up at the coil. BTW, the long grey & black wires are not used. For now I just looped them up in the corner near the servo. A short black wire is connected to the body work as a ground.

I decided to mount the controller in the space normally occupied by the clock. (My radio displays time so the clock won't be missed.) I made a small wooden block that is a friction fit into the space previously occupied by the clock and inset the controller into that piece. I painted it semi-flat black (because that is what I had lying about) then routed the controller's wires inside the console. I used the clock's light supply & ground wires to supply 12V for the controller's LED's (makes the buttons light up when the lights are on).

Nothing is irreversable - I can remove the controller and re-install the clock in just a few minutes should I desire to do so.

Here are a few pictures. The sketch is how I made the bracket attached to to the plenum support. Two pieces of aluminum bent to fit around the support with 1/4" dia holes drilled through them. A bolt goes through one side and the CC's cable end goes through the other hole.

Someday, if I get really motivated, I'd like to re-do the fit of the controller so it fits a bit more 'flush' with the console.
 

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So, I'm sure the question on everybody's mind is, how does it work?

At first, not so good. I drove along a secondary road at about 45mph and switched on the CC then pressed 'set'. I could feel it grab hold of the throttle and it would hold that speed but it seemed kind of tentative. Next I pressed 'accell' and it started to pick up speed then it cut off. I accelerated to ~ 55 mph and pressed 'set' . The car slowed down to about 45 mph and sort of erratically held that speed.

I headed home and perused the CC instruction manual. One option is to set the internal dip switches in one of three possible modes - "light vehicles with high horsepower", "most vehicles", or "low power/heavy vehicles". Changing those setting made no difference. I couldn't get it to set to a speed much over ~ 50 mph.

Thinking that I might need to add a vacuum reservoir, I hooked up a vacuum gauge and went for a ride. Full throttle acceleration would cause the needle to drop to near zero but otherwise it seemed like steady cruising had enough vacuum to run the unit.

Back home to ponder a bit more...

Finally I found a link to installing the AudioVox CC in a Miata. Scrolling down I saw where this fellow had a similar problem. He changed an internal setting from 4000 PPM (pulses/mile) to 8000 PPM. The AudioVox instruction manual doesn't mention anything about changing this but it was worth a try.

Bingo! I took her out on the Interstate, accellerated up to ~ 65 mph, switched on the CC and pressed 'set'.

It worked! Press accell and sped up to ~ 75 mph. Touch the brake, CC disengages. Press 'resume' and it goes back to previous setting. (Also - depress the clutch ~ 1/2 way and it also disengages.)
 

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Now all you need is power steering and you can just curl up on the cargo panel and fall alseep :D

Looking at the throttle linkage bellcrank, how does it actually hold the speed? Or is there something else that actually bypasses air or holds the throttle in position somehow?
 

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...Thinking that I might need to add a vacuum reservoir, ...
When we did an AROC tech clinic 4 years ago, one of our members installed the same unit in my s2 Spider, and he did install a vacuum reservoir... He's done this more than once, so it didn't take him that long, and he knew where he would be mounting everything and fabricated the brackets rather quickly... Anyway, he insisted on the vacuum reservoir and the unit worked great...

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looking at the throttle linkage bellcrank, how does it actually hold the speed? Or is there something else that actually bypasses air or holds the throttle in position somehow?
The CC servo is vacuum powered. I assume some sort of diaphragm inside pulls on the cable to adjust the throttle to its set speed. i.e. pull a little harder to speed up, release a little to slow down.

The picture above is not the best. I just stuck the camera in under the plenum and shot blindly. The CC's cable attaches to the horrizontal throttle rod - not to the bell crank under the plenum. When you push down on the throttle pedal with your foot you push that horizontal rod forwards - the bell crank then turns that into an upwards motion and opens the throttle plate.

The CC cable pulls that horizontal rod in a forwards direction, thus also opening the throttle.

Clear as mud? I'll try to get a better photo. It would have been smarter to take pictures as I went along...


he insisted on the vacuum reservoir and the unit worked great...
So far it holds set speed quite nicely on level roads & moderate hills. I'll let you know how it works on a longer hill tonight - there is a hill about 3/4 mile long on the Interstate I'll drive home from work.
 

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Very nice Eric. I remember I ended up reading that same Miata install site to aid me in my install and settings. Looks like you conquered the throttle link beast. That was the hurdle.

I've told that "Enrique":D that no booster required with this setup. But he is a Sith Lord worshiper and doesn't listen!:D:D:D I have logged some 20k miles with mine and it works perfectly. I have noticed in my travels through mountainous areas....you can see as much as a 4-5 mph drop in speed on a hill climb in 5th gear. No different than my Honda Pilot and its got 250 hp. So of no concern to me. Otherwise she should hold rock steady in 5th gear. Big Congrats!!!! Now you can get to work on a custom control and get rid of that ugly box (although your use of the audiovox controller looks great).

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Thanks, John. I really like your use of stock switches to operate the CC. I am considering moving the hazard light switch and using a pair of power window switches in place of the hazard switch and a blank spot that is there now.

Another idea I had was to hide the controller in the ash tray. Flip the lid open to access the CC, close it for a stock look. But I can't find a cheap ash tray. And I'm cheap...

Oh, and the ride home last night included a hill about 1/2 to 3/4 mile long. The CC held the set speed fine. I am pleased. It will make long trips much more comfortable. I have noticed that it seems to hunt a bit if I use to hold a speed in the 45-50 mph range in 5th gear. But I don't see that as much of a problem as I doubt I'd be using it on secondary roads. Those are usually the twisty ones when I want to enjoy driving the Spider - not just sitting numbly behind the wheel.
 

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...I've told that "Enrique":D that no booster required with this setup. ...
You really thought I would fall for your underhanded attempt to sabotage my light and nimble '74?... the one that can show people how to do a 360 around the cones... No way! :D:D:D But if you must know who did do the install, it was BB member "ScooterS"... ;)

Best regards,
 

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Thanks, John. I really like your use of stock switches to operate the CC. I am considering moving the hazard light switch and using a pair of power window switches in place of the hazard switch and a blank spot that is there now.

Another idea I had was to hide the controller in the ash tray. Flip the lid open to access the CC, close it for a stock look. But I can't find a cheap ash tray. And I'm cheap...

Oh, and the ride home last night included a hill about 1/2 to 3/4 mile long. The CC held the set speed fine. I am pleased. It will make long trips much more comfortable. I have noticed that it seems to hunt a bit if I use to hold a speed in the 45-50 mph range in 5th gear. But I don't see that as much of a problem as I doubt I'd be using it on secondary roads. Those are usually the twisty ones when I want to enjoy driving the Spider - not just sitting numbly behind the wheel.

Another idea on controlling it could be the use of a stalk from another car. You'd need one that was fixed and just bolted to the column cover. The Audiovox only needs 12 V constant for power, a 0V off position, and then 12V for the set/resume (short press) and accel/decel (press and hold). The unit's brain will sort out whether you did a short press or press and hold.

I can tell Enrique is very jealous!:D Good Show!!! I bet you could sell some brackets too!

Best Regards,
John M
 

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You really thought I would fall for your underhanded attempt to sabotage my light and nimble '74?... the one that can show people how to do a 360 around the cones... No way! :D:D:D But if you must know who did do the install, it was BB member "ScooterS"... ;)

Best regards,
Listen here Starsky....Hutch ain't impressed by you hijacking this thread!:D:D:D Don't go blaming your sucker install (aka vacuum booster) on someone else on the BB!:D

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Another method yet that might be OK would be another clamshell half drilled and set up with a little switch behind the dimmer reostat. (relay elsewhere of course so you don't burn up said little switch)

Alternatively I'm kinda fond of these (in black) for use in the empty console switch spots


As seen here (switches set in so the cover 'pulls back' as I use my ashtray, and they interfered when put in in the more conventional fashion. They'll shut off whatever they have turned on in a front end impact with that orientation, and besides, they are more asthetically appealing to me that way :D )
 

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Another method yet that might be OK would be another clamshell half drilled and set up with a little switch behind the dimmer reostat. (relay elsewhere of course so you don't burn up said little switch)

Alternatively I'm kinda fond of these (in black) for use in the empty console switch spots


As seen here (switches set in so the cover 'pulls back' as I use my ashtray, and they interfered when put in in the more conventional fashion. They'll shut off whatever they have turned on in a front end impact with that orientation, and besides, they are more asthetically appealing to me that way :D )
they look nice, you may add labels on them, "missiles-front", "missiles-rear", "Passenger-eject"....

;)
 

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Why would I do that when they can remain unlabeled (heck, I know what they do) and the pasenger can live in fear every time I reach for one :)

(R to L are: fog lights, amplifier power, and the last will just get you in trouble with johnny law)

Oh, just to further the thought:

NO modifications were done to the console or the existing holes.

The switch bases cover up the rectangular holes quite nicely, and with a bit of sheetmetal on the underside on the switch housing so that the switch locknut sandwiches the stock stuff between said sheetmetal and the rocker cover, they don't go anywhere.

It takes about 10-15 minutes to get them all out and replace them with the blanking plug thingies, which are in bag, in a box, over there ----> on the shelf in the garage.
 

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The cruise comes in very handy for anyone who is taller than a midget :D:D:D driving a series 4 spider with the airbag steering wheel. The anti-submarine dash bolsters with the airbag wheel make them particularly painful to drive long haul with the pedal position. Of course you young gymnist types may be more limber than us tall old fat types!:D:D:D

BTW, I could smoke Enrique with my cruise on!:D:D:D And I have the pininfarina hardtop as well!:D

Best Regards,
John M
 
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