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Old 16th November 2007, 17:41   #1
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Default Why dont we see column mounted gear shifters anymore?

I would like to know why the hand gear system in cars has phrased out, I heard from many people (example premier padmini, old ambassador) that hand gear is very convenient for driving and more over you get one extra seat in front !!!

Now a days , I do'nt think any car is comming with hand gear, why this was discontinued and what is the advantage of floor gear against hand gear.
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Old 17th November 2007, 11:45   #2
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Actually, it isnt phased out. Column-mounted gearshifts are standard in the Merc S and the BMW 7 series, although both have automatic transmissions only. There are a ton of American cars / trucks that are still sold with column-mounted gearlevers.

Floor-mounted gear levers are simply better to use! And in the era of bucket seats, the space saved is inconsequential too. From Wiki:

Quote:
Column shifters are mechanically similar to floor shifters, although shifting occurs in a vertical plane instead of a horizontal one. Column shifters also generally involve additional linkages to connect the shifter with the transmission. Also, the pattern is not "intuitive," as the shifter has to be moved backward and upward into R to make the car go backward.
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Old 17th November 2007, 12:01   #3
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i think the column shifters were there in the first place to make space for a second passenger ...

i think safety norms no longer permit a third passenger in the front.....
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Old 17th November 2007, 14:31   #4
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At one point in past (era of Amby and Padminis), people used to turn away from floor shifter as it took away a passenger seat.

But there was another advantage of column shifter - the had had to travel less compared to floor shifters.

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Column-mounted gearshifts are standard in the Merc S and the BMW 7 series
What goes around comes around
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Old 17th November 2007, 16:11   #5
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I think column shifts were just a trendy thing in their day. I was a very small child when my parents were driving Ford Consuls with column shift and bench front seat.

One of the reasons the bench seats are gone is seatbelts, and greater awareness (well, in the rest of the world, at least ) of risk.

The one I find odd is the gear lever sticking out of the dashboard in the centre of the car. I'm sure I've seen it recently, can't remember where, though.
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Old 17th November 2007, 17:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I think column shifts were just a trendy thing in their day. I was a very small child when my parents were driving Ford Consuls with column shift and bench front seat.

One of the reasons the bench seats are gone is seatbelts, and greater awareness (well, in the rest of the world, at least ) of risk.

The one I find odd is the gear lever sticking out of the dashboard in the centre of the car. I'm sure I've seen it recently, can't remember where, though.

u referring to the new crv type lever ? the i10 also has a similar type of mounting
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Old 24th July 2008, 19:59   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deva kuduvalli View Post
I would like to know why the hand gear system in cars has phrased out....
Floor mounted gear shift is a direct link to the gearbox = Immediate response.

Column mounted is not...longer travel and shaft has to negotiate more angles to get to the gear box, hence more linkages, bushes etc. = more play = lag in response. Also More parts = more cost...etc.

In the auto shift, you do not use the shift as often as the manual, hence acceptable.

Watch a cab driver on the Premier Padmini in Mumbai or the Ambassador in Delhi shift gears.

Hope this helps.
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Old 25th July 2008, 05:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohnish View Post
Floor mounted gear shift is a direct link to the gearbox...
Not always!

However you are right about all the other points - more parts = more things to break = more cost = more play etc

cya
R
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Old 25th July 2008, 07:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Not always!

However you are right about all the other points - more parts = more things to break = more cost = more play etc

cya
R
Appreciate the correction Rehaan, Thanks
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Old 25th July 2008, 08:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The one I find odd is the gear lever sticking out of the dashboard in the centre of the car. I'm sure I've seen it recently, can't remember where, though.
look at my quest in my garage. in conjunction with collapsible middle console, it gives freedom to move between rows of seats.....very much needed in the van.

by the way, it doesn't feel odd because once you put it in drive, u don't need to access it until u park, or you need to reverse. on a manual transmission it will never work

that makes me think further, column mounted shifters need more precision and attention ( I think), plus they interfere with steering's motion with the other hand. that's the reason I don't like them. once when I drove an impala, all my attention was on the display on my instrument panel to see what gear I am in.

Last edited by vivekiny2k : 25th July 2008 at 09:05.
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Old 25th July 2008, 10:02   #11
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I have driven a new Ford Taurus once in the US with a coulum shift. Also, a stone age Chevy Lumina once. In my experience, I would say with conviction that the comfort and ease of use provided by the floor shift is far superior than that of the column shift.
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