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Old 19th January 2014, 23:32   #1
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Default My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

My Tucson is now 8 years old and has done 1,31,000 km and it's been a true work-horse. In spite of the age and the mileage, Tuc took us to Ladakh and back without missing a beat. But clutch is the weak link in this car. The pedal is heavy. Over the years, it was taking toll on my left leg, especially the left knee. And for last 3 years, I have taken to long distance running (half marathon), and my performance was getting restricted due to my left knee which would start complaining after ~15 km mark. I am enjoying my running so much, I can't even think of giving it up. The thought of selling the Tuc and getting an automatic SUV kept crossing my mind, but there is nothing worthwhile available in the reasonable price bracket (and apart from the heavy clutch, Tuc is a lovely SUV).

So started looking for solutions, explored getting the AT box from Hyundai but no luck and it would be a real complex job, so desperate search on the internet continued. Found some hand operated clutch mechanisms but they did not seem to be available in India. Fortunately one day, I bumped into http://www.handicappedpeople.com/products.aspx#a3 and got in touch with Mr. Ferdinand Rodricks who agreed to install the hand operated clutch on the Tuc .

I have been using it for a couple of weeks now and it's fantastic.
Here is a video of my very own Hyundai Tucson AT :-)



Practiced the button modulation in and around Ferdi sir's workshop and drove straight out of Mumbai (in some thick Dadar - Vashi traffic) to Pune. It was such a great relief. In fact, I have been driving in the Pune traffic for last 2 weeks and my left knee is now getting the much needed rest!

As you can see from the video, I can do half-clutching as well. One important observation - the press of the pedal is pretty fast, but the return is a bit slow. In a way it's good for me to learn and adapt myself - especially in bumper to bumper traffic and uphill start/stop situations. But the delay certainly causes a slight loss of momentum when I am in a mood for some quick up-shifts (say while darting in a straight line or climbing ghats). Will get it tuned, though it's certainly not a deal breaker. I will happily live with a slight loss of 0-100 timing in the SUV, if it allows me run fast and long!

Long live Ferdi Sir!

Last edited by anandpadhye : 19th January 2014 at 23:35.
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Old 19th January 2014, 23:44   #2
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Wow...I would say a brilliant addition for an awesome vehicle. In the video, we can hear audio like "press the button" and the clutch lever goes down; as you clearly said, it takes a bit of time to come back. It would be much appreciated if you could post pictures of the set-up to get a clearer aspect of it.

Last edited by GTO : 20th January 2014 at 15:20. Reason: Typos
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Old 20th January 2014, 00:24   #3
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Default re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Thank you.
Yes, I will update more details and will also keep everyone posted on how it goes over a long term.
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Old 20th January 2014, 00:29   #4
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Default re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Thanks for the report. Few questions from my side:
  1. How much did it cost?
  2. Does the installation involve major modification (like drilling, cutting, welding) to the car body/frame?
  3. Can you override it manually? (ex: if I want to slip the clutch and rev the engine for some reason)
  4. Does the car stall if you step on the brake in a low speed without touching the clutch button?
  5. Can this be installed on any MT car?
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Old 20th January 2014, 00:33   #5
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Default re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Should the half clutching be done manually or can the system sense engine speed and accordingly engage the clutch partially so as to not let the engine speed drop below a certain level? Could you post pictures explaining the whole system in detail?
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Old 20th January 2014, 02:00   #6
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Default re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
My Tucson is now 8 years old and has done 1,31,000 km and it's been a true work-horse. In spite of the age and the mileage, Tuc took us to Ladakh and back without missing a beat. But clutch is the weak link in this car. The pedal is heavy. Over the years, it was taking toll on my left leg, especially the left knee.
Long live Ferdi Sir!
Fantastic innovation.

Please post pictures of the hand operation.

What is the impact on the clutch life due to this mechanism ?
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Old 20th January 2014, 07:24   #7
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Default re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Hi, this is a very good innovation. How much time does one take to get use to driving a car with hand operated clutch. You had mentioned that the clutch of Tucson is on a harder side, is it because of the age of the vehicle or was like this from the beginning.

The best part in the whole thing is that your knee now get the must desired rest. Buddy, do take care of your knee and get is checked thoroughly.

Best wishes
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Old 20th January 2014, 15:25   #8
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

You just beat Maruti's AMT to the market (link).

Ferdi's work is top-notch; I should know. Have been getting my Jeep fixed at his place since the late nineties.

There's no one to beat him in building cars for the disabled. Although, this is the first time I've heard of a perfectly healthy man getting a hand-operated clutch. Congrats on adopting a different line of thought. Where most people would have sold the Tucson and bought another Automatic, you modded your car unconventionally and got the desired result at a fraction of the $$$. Hats off
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Old 20th January 2014, 16:19   #9
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You just beat Maruti's AMT to the market (link).
GTO, if the clutch in Anandpadhye's Tucson is operated by a switch, I dont think that can be related to the AMT since in the AMT one cant have any sort of control over the clutch. This is just an automated clutch IMO.
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Old 20th January 2014, 16:36   #10
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Can you please post an image of clutch button?
While changing gears, does button itself/step of pressing button hinder gear changes (mostly in quick shifts)?
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Old 20th January 2014, 17:04   #11
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Good Job Anand!
You seem to have a penchant for going above and beyond to get your Tuc to your perfection. Congrats!

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 20th January 2014 at 17:22.
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Old 20th January 2014, 17:30   #12
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Cool! Happy to see your Tuc get a new lease of life! Wishing you many more stress free kms on this car :-)

P.S: Please send me a PM with the details. I would love to explore this option too.

Last edited by K a s h : 20th January 2014 at 17:36.
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Old 20th January 2014, 19:22   #13
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Dear Sir,
How much did it cost you?
Also does it have a sensor button on the gear knob which is a feather touch to operate the clutch?

Regards,
Dr.Abhay Shah.
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Old 20th January 2014, 20:54   #14
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Very very interesting. From the look of it, it seems like a simple and very effective design.
You mention the pedal being controlled by a cable. Am I correct in assuming that so you could always override it manually whenever you wanted - without pressing the button of course!
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Old 21st January 2014, 00:01   #15
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Default Re: My Hyundai Tucson: Hand-operated Clutch installed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
How much did it cost?
@Rs.25,000

Quote:
Does the installation involve major modification (like drilling, cutting, welding) to the car body/frame?
Yes, will post details.

Quote:
Can you override it manually? (ex: if I want to slip the clutch and rev the engine for some reason)
Yes. The clutch can be operated by left foot as usual.

Quote:
Does the car stall if you step on the brake in a low speed without touching the clutch button?
Yes. Only the actuation of the clutch has moved to a button. No further intelligence added :-)

Quote:
Can this be installed on any MT car?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Should the half clutching be done manually or can the system sense engine speed and accordingly engage the clutch partially so as to not let the engine speed drop below a certain level? Could you post pictures explaining the whole system in detail?
Half clutching has to be done by modulating via button. Yes, I will post detailed pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Fantastic innovation.

Please post pictures of the hand operation.

What is the impact on the clutch life due to this mechanism ?
Thank you. Yes will add pics.
Well, just like you slip some clutch when learning to drive for the first time, I did some unintentional slipping/stalling initially for a few minutes. Other than that no impact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mints21 View Post
Hi, this is a very good innovation. How much time does one take to get use to driving a car with hand operated clutch. You had mentioned that the clutch of Tucson is on a harder side, is it because of the age of the vehicle or was like this from the beginning.

The best part in the whole thing is that your knee now get the must desired rest. Buddy, do take care of your knee and get is checked thoroughly.

Best wishes
Thank you.
It took some 15 min for me to learn. Of course, I was a bit tentative from Dadar till Chembur. By the time I reached Vashi, I was OK. But I did stall/rolled back on the ghat section of the express-way. I still practice hand-brake and clutch button modulation on deserted inclines in the night - to master the art. Good thing is, I can always operate the clutch by foot so no real risk.

And yes, my left leg is so happy, I posted one of my best timing in a recent 16 km hill marathon in Matheran :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Ferdi's work is top-notch; I should know. Have been getting my Jeep fixed at his place since the late nineties.

There's no one to beat him in building cars for the disabled. Although, this is the first time I've heard of a perfectly healthy man getting a hand-operated clutch. Congrats on adopting a different line of thought. Where most people would have sold the Tucson and bought another Automatic, you modded your car unconventionally and got the desired result at a fraction of the $$$. Hats off
Oh yes, I saw an open Jeep with team-bhp sticker in his workshop and was thinking if it would be yours! Yes, his workmanship is awesome. All components seem to be of very good quality and plumbing/fitting seems very well done!

I saw quite a few handicapped/challenged customers that Ferdi was interacting with. Very humbling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Can you please post an image of clutch button?
While changing gears, does button itself/step of pressing button hinder gear changes (mostly in quick shifts)?
Yes pics will follow. The button does not hinder, but I need to remember that I should press the button and wait till the clutch goes down fully before shifting the lever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
Good Job Anand!
You seem to have a penchant for going above and beyond to get your Tuc to your perfection. Congrats!
Danke :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by K a s h View Post
Cool! Happy to see your Tuc get a new lease of life! Wishing you many more stress free kms on this car :-)

P.S: Please send me a PM with the details. I would love to explore this option too.
Thank you. Will PM you as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drabhayshah76 View Post
Dear Sir,
How much did it cost you?
Also does it have a sensor button on the gear knob which is a feather touch to operate the clutch?

Regards,
Dr.Abhay Shah.
Cost: @Rs.25,000
Will post a picture. The button is not feather touch, but not hard either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nihar View Post
Very very interesting. From the look of it, it seems like a simple and very effective design. Absolutely
You mention the pedal being controlled by a cable. Am I correct in assuming that so you could always override it manually whenever you wanted - without pressing the button of course!
Yes, you can always operate the clutch by foot. I will post a video of that as well.

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2014 at 14:52. Reason: Please avoid typing in BOLD, unless absolutely necessary. Thanks
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