DIY Tiptronic Paddle Shift Conversion - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums

Notices
987 - 981 Forum
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

DIY Tiptronic Paddle Shift Conversion

Reply

Old 10-11-2015, 07:30 PM
  #1  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default DIY Tiptronic Paddle Shift Conversion

Background:

I've owned several Porsche's in the past, always stick shift. When I picked up a 2008 Cayman S last year, it was the first Porsche I owned without a manual transmission... I wanted a car my wife could drive more easily and maybe even get her out for a DE. Yup, would have rather had a Paddle-PDK, but the Cayman S Tip I found was a gorgeous car at a price significantly less than a 997.2 PDK would have run.

I'm pretty happy with the Tiptronic shift performance, especially when combined with Sport Chrono and a sprint-booster to remap the throttle, but the steering wheel buttons are (IMHO) a definite weak point. I like to drive it in full manual mode, and the thumb rockers are not great when you are hustling the Cayman through esses.

I looked at third party steering wheel paddle shift solutions, but I really wasn't looking to spend $1,000-$1,500 on a solution, so I decided to try it myself.

Still finishing the project, here is what I've done so far.

Current Car:
  • 2008 Cayman S Tiptronic, Sport-chrono, Sprint Booster throttle remapper.
  • 'Sport' (round airbag) steering wheel
Parts Used:
  • Mercedes AMG paddle shifters, part 1712670046. ~$115-$130 from OEM Mercedes parts resellers
  • Spare Porsche Sport Steering wheel. You would use a non-sport triangular-airbag wheel if that's what you already have. You could also switch from round to triangular or vice versa, but you will need to source a replacement airbag as well. The other advantage of buying this spare wheel is it came with the standard filler plates on the front instead of the tiptronic rockers. Those little plastic pieces are about $70 each from Porsche...

Modification, Physical. General Steps:
  • Make a paper template the size of the recessed portion of the paddle shift.
  • Decide exactly where you want to place the paddle shift and mark the wheel.
  • Decide exactly where you want to place the paddle shift and mark the wheel. (yes, make really sure it's where you want it)
  • Cut the leather/vinyl covering around where you want to recess the steering wheel with razor knife.
  • Trim away the rubbery foam under the leather. I started with a razor knife, but then found that a dremel with a carving bit worked really well, faster and easy to control.
  • Go slowly and carefully. remove the foam down to the metal core of the steering wheel. Keep test fitting the paddle.
  • There is a mounting hole in the AMG paddle, but it didn't seem to be threaded. I tapped it with a M4x.7 tap for a M4 bolt.
  • Mark/drill a hole through the metal support for the mounting bolt.
  • Mark/drill a second hole through the metal support to feed the wires through. Location isn't critical, but make sure it won't interfere with anything else.
  • Continue test fitting/trimming, and finally mount the paddle with a M4 bolt.

Modification, Wiring:
[TBD]
Photos:

Before:


Half completed:


Surgery:







Last edited by pfbz; 10-11-2015 at 07:49 PM.
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2015, 01:56 AM
  #2  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Hadn't had a chance to finish up this project until today.... Mechanical portion completed, figured out the wiring to interface with the existing harness, soldered in the new switches and swapped the paddle wheel into the car.

In a word, awesome!

The paddle shifts look and work like they were put there by the factory (as they should have been). Flawless operation. Total investment under $250 including a spare steering wheel.

More pictures to follow...

New and old...


My chicken-scratches and a ohm-meter helped me figure out the correct wiring into the original wiring harness...
Red is downshift, white is upshift. Both connect momentarily to ground (black) for shift operation.


Soldered and shrink-tubed...

Last edited by pfbz; 11-08-2015 at 02:28 AM.
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2015, 02:30 AM
  #3  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Installed pictures...





Also got a chance to finally clean up my engine a bit and install a HIP engine cover. Nice!

pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2015, 12:10 PM
  #4  
Croc999
User
 
Croc999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 161
Default

cool!!!
Croc999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2016, 04:35 PM
  #5  
SpawnyWhippet
User
 
SpawnyWhippet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 87
Default

Very nice. Want to make another for my 07 Cayman S?
SpawnyWhippet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2016, 04:50 PM
  #6  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Originally Posted by SpawnyWhippet View Post
Very nice. Want to make another for my 07 Cayman S?
I might... Actually was thinking of doing a second one and selling my 'prototype'. It works pretty much perfectly, but I was thinking of trying version two with the paddles just slightly more outboard.

Let me know if you are interested.
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2016, 09:44 PM
  #7  
justin-in-athens
User
 
justin-in-athens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 617
Default

I am also interested! If the other op passes on your prototype, i'll take it off your hands. Either way, I NEED one. I just went through this with my 964 tip actually, except I utilized a Works Bell kit out of Japan for that application as I did not care about deleting the airbag. The integration was not as seamless, but worked well once completed.
justin-in-athens is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2016, 11:57 AM
  #8  
Archimedes
Super User
 
Archimedes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 7,734
Default

Wow, that's amazing. Mad props to you for tackling a project like this.
Archimedes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2016, 11:05 PM
  #9  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Quite a few folks have asked me if I'd be willing to do something like this for them...

Let me just say that I'm a hobbyist, not a pro. I'm always willing to do these kind of projects on my own vehicles, knowing that if things don't go well, I'll be buying parts and spending more money to go back to stock.

I'm always happy to help out if somebody wants to tackle this project themselves, but if I do decide to modify others wheels, understand it will be on a best-effort basis.

PS: This is still my absolute favorite mod on my 987.1CS! It gets used every single time I drive the car...
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 09:18 AM
  #10  
justin-in-athens
User
 
justin-in-athens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 617
Default

Do the paddles have any adjustability in terms of "throw?" Or is the paddle travel static?
justin-in-athens is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 12:40 PM
  #11  
66mustang
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
66mustang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 754
Default

OP, I think you need you this sticker on your car since you tackled this
Attached Images  
66mustang is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 06:54 PM
  #12  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Originally Posted by justin-in-athens View Post
Do the paddles have any adjustability in terms of "throw?" Or is the paddle travel static?
The paddles I used, OEM Mercedes AMG paddles, are not adjustable, but have a nice feel and positive engagement. Same paddles as used on high-end AMG models, but a bargain when purchased as parts.
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 07:09 PM
  #13  
justin-in-athens
User
 
justin-in-athens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 617
Default

I ordered a set today. I'm looking forward to the project. Any spacing suggestions you can make in regards to paddle location are welcomed.

If you decide to keep your prototype, I see that there are numerous sellers on ebay who sell extensions for the paddles--so you need only purchase a set of those to get the outboard reach you need.
justin-in-athens is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 07:28 PM
  #14  
pfbz
Addict
Rennlist Member
Thread Starter
 
pfbz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,840
Default

Originally Posted by justin-in-athens View Post
I ordered a set today. I'm looking forward to the project. Any spacing suggestions you can make in regards to paddle location are welcomed.

If you decide to keep your prototype, I see that there are numerous sellers on ebay who sell extensions for the paddles--so you need only purchase a set of those to get the outboard reach you need.
Good suggestion on the paddle extensions... I had seen them before but forgot about them.

Are you going to modify a sport (round airbag) or standard (triangular airbag) wheel? The placement might be a bit different between the two due to different shape/curvature on the back of the wheels.
pfbz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 07:32 PM
  #15  
justin-in-athens
User
 
justin-in-athens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 617
Default

I think I am going to attempt it with a standard wheel. I forgot that you used the sport wheel, which does have a "deeper dish" to it.
justin-in-athens is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: DIY Tiptronic Paddle Shift Conversion


Contact Us Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: