Over the last 31 years of drag racing, street driving, and trips to “Mexico” there are many things that you learn while building a car. The biggest lesson I have learned is do it right the first time. There are lots of sayings that also fall in line with this:
“Buy Once, Cry Once”
“Two cheap parts cost more than the best parts”
Over the last 4 years of development, testing, redesign, and more testing of The Bang Shift Billy Digital Clutch Controller a few things became apparent. I was not interested in putting something in my car that wasn’t going to be quality and last. Coming from an aviation maintenance background I was familiar with quality parts and pieces. When I had narrowed down the components that were needed, I had a few parameters:
- Keep it simple
- Weight is always a factor
- Quality components
- Don’t re-invent the wheel
- Made in the USA
The first part of the equation was the hydraulic components. Just in case you didn’t know, our Digital Clutch Controller needs to have a hydraulic clutch to be used. After going through my checklist, especially #5, there were only a few choices. Enter SUN Hydraulics. A 50-year-old US company. Extensive product lines in industrial applications. Additionally, the cartridge and manifold assembly that we use is incredibly compact which means it is lightweight yet durable and tested over millions of cycles in industrial applications. The choice for the AN fittings was easy, Fragola. US made fittings, manifolds, cartridges, and coils.
The second component was the Bluetooth Controller. I explored numerous already available solutions for this but none of them had the exact operating parameters I needed. I mean there wasn’t a device for controlling a diaphragm clutch in a drag racing environment, yet. So with the help of others way smarter than myself, we developed our own Bluetooth Controller and app for Android and iOS. This took hundreds of versions of code and dozens of prototypes to get what I wanted.
The wiring harness is an integral part of the entire assembly and certainly not the part to cheap out on anything. We use exclusively Deutsch connectors. The sockets used in the plugs are closed barrel nickel plated and we are using the correct type of Deutsch, HDT-48-00, crimper for assembly. These are the same type found in aerospace harnesses that I used to work with. The wires are all TXL cross linked, labeled every 6 inches and color coded for ease of installation. We also use Techflex high temperature fiberglass sleeving for the coil/solenoid wires since they are typically going to be in the engine compartment.
Quality components don’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for.