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Old 14th Apr 2021, 07:17
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Centre Console Steering. SAAB did it in the early 90's

How I miss them, wish I had never sold my 1989 900 Turbo a great car.

Now Kiltrash, where can I get an Allegro with the Quadrangle Wheel....so I can set fire to it
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 07:47
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The Allegro was actually ahead of it's time. Many steering wheels today have a flattened bit at the top to allow a good view of instruments. As for doing away with the wheel, well that would give another piece of expensive electronics to go wrong, and it will. Good memories of the Allegro. Early in my car sales career I was sold a 1750HL by a BMC main dealer. It turned out to be a cracking deal. I think I doubled my investment in a week.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 07:54
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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The late, great Fred Lanchester used what he called a "Steering Lever" in the early 20th C.
Unlike his contemporaries who used a front-pivotted tiller, Lanchester pivotted the lever at the rear so you pointed the lever towards the direction you wanted the car to go. With a very limited arc of operation of the lever the steering must have been quite heavy and deserved to be re-evaluated once power assistance had been invented.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 08:43
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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("Brodie Knobs") on the wheel rim, which approximated the one-point/one-hand control of a tiller
In my day we called them 'Honeymoon Knobs.' With a fifties yank with four plus turns from lock to lock you needed them.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:35
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Drift Warning...

Didn't they do a trial on an H53, where the pilot had a FBW joystick which worked in 4 axes as a cyclic; with an up-down range for collective and a twist grip for yaw? Clearly went nowhere. Commercially I mean!

CG
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 11:35
  #26 (permalink)  
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Interesting responses - particularly on an aviation forum.! One might suppose that the process of guiding a 744 or a Tristar or VC10 around the modern day airport or, indeed, the equivalent in earlier days, with direction controlled by pneumatic braking, would have been so traumatic as to be impractical. I hadn't seen the SAAB idea previously, but that is exactly the sort of possibility I envisaged. Who else but SAAB, the great motoring innovator ! My 99 was a magnificent bit of engineering let down by the Dolomite/1/2 a Stag powerplant. Their demo clip shows the complete practicality of the idea, and, one assumes that was at a time of much less available control systems. tdracer's lack of enthusiasm would seem to be predicated on equating road cars with machinery intended for competition - maybe something to do with his (or her) preferred marque.
Having experienced wheel steering on a large variety of cars, from a scrapyard relic Austin 8 via at least a dozen different makes, the ones of note were :-
The Austin - 3/4 of a turn free play
Morris J2 - vertical column, seat over the front wheels, nose heavy and a dream to drift
Peugeot 205 early model,- no power steering and upper torso workouts to ease parking
Ford 'Pop' - turn and hope, with body roll an indicator of courage (or stupidity!)
The steering controls on the aircraft mentioned earlier were infinitely superior..
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 14:50
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I think grummaniser explains it well.
The steering wheel is more than just a command input device, it gives different types of feedback to the driver you wouldn't get with a sidestick, and it's size allows pretty precise control for us lumbering humans. Some of the feedback it gives, once you are a little experienced with driving, is pretty much sub-conscious. Most of us wouldn't have to think at all about accurately adjusting the wheel position based on physical and visual cues, even if the vehicle changed direction unexpectedly.
And I agree, parking would be more tricky.
I wouldn't fancy reversing a lorry/trailer combo with stick control.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 16:20
  #28 (permalink)  
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For the OP (not as a mod): what is the point of trying to fix what isn't broken?
The steering wheel, from an ergonomic perspective (see the point Blues&twos makes), is a user interface that is fit for purpose.
Other example include the crescent wrench, the screwdriver, and the jack that you use to raise the vehicle when needing to change a flat.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 16:26
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by T28B View Post
For the OP (not as a mod): what is the point of trying to fix what isn't broken?
Often to get around a patent. For instance, there was a "floppy disc" that used a fixed magnetic surface and spun the heads.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 16:31
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Interesting responses - particularly on an aviation forum.! One might suppose that the process of guiding a 744 or a Tristar or VC10 around the modern day airport or, indeed, the equivalent in earlier days, with direction controlled by pneumatic braking, would have been so traumatic as to be impractical. I hadn't seen the SAAB idea previously, but that is exactly the sort of possibility I envisaged. Who else but SAAB, the great motoring innovator ! My 99 was a magnificent bit of engineering let down by the Dolomite/1/2 a Stag powerplant. Their demo clip shows the complete practicality of the idea, and, one assumes that was at a time of much less available control systems. tdracer's lack of enthusiasm would seem to be predicated on equating road cars with machinery intended for competition - maybe something to do with his (or her) preferred marque.
Having experienced wheel steering on a large variety of cars, from a scrapyard relic Austin 8 via at least a dozen different makes, the ones of note were :-
The Austin - 3/4 of a turn free play
Morris J2 - vertical column, seat over the front wheels, nose heavy and a dream to drift
Peugeot 205 early model,- no power steering and upper torso workouts to ease parking
Ford 'Pop' - turn and hope, with body roll an indicator of courage (or stupidity!)
The steering controls on the aircraft mentioned earlier were infinitely superior..
Even airbus aircraft still have a steering wheel for ground directional control, the tiller. It simply works. And yes, in that case it is steer by wire, which has been used in some cars already but with limited success.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 17:16
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Wait till they give Lewis thought control steering on his F1 car, then that filters down to Ford. My car will only then turn onto the pub as it comes into view.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 21:15
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Loose Rivets

I had one in the style of a Jeep, just a few years later (1947) Apparently I loved it so much I had a permanent black and blue bruise across my lower back where it pressed on the stiffener for the back panel.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 22:57
  #33 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
The Allegro was actually ahead of it's time. Many steering wheels today have a flattened bit at the top to allow a good view of instruments. As for doing away with the wheel, well that would give another piece of expensive electronics to go wrong, and it will. Good memories of the Allegro. Early in my car sales career I was sold a 1750HL by a BMC main dealer. It turned out to be a cracking deal. I think I doubled my investment in a week.
If my memory is correct, it was advertised as the “Quartic” steering wheel when the Allagro first hit the market....although the word “hit” might be giving the car more credit than it deserved. They soon binned it and went back to a round type.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 23:02
  #34 (permalink)  
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I can remember just where I was standing in our shop in Colchester, Mum and her aunt silhouetted against the shop window. I recall my wail of protest when I heard it had gone to the sale room.


My 1100, £500 from the lady next door, became near a 1300 with three outlet manifold and two SU's. It had monumental torque. I rebuilt the gearbox while the engine was at the engineering company. 159 parts, IIRC, the same as one key on a roller grand piano. (much harder to tune :-) The steering wheel was fabulous, picked up from a mate's Go-faster shop for £14. Small with thick leather and 3 very solid aluminium spokes. They lent themselves to holding buttons, one of which was to blip the wipers. However, these early days I couldn't take the information to the things by signals so I used a fine old telephone curly wire wrapped around the column a couple of times. Plenty of wires and it was faultless for years. Trustan squirted everywhere every so many weeks and solid as a rock.

Oh, and when one pressed the indicators, a little speaker next to the oil pressure gauge made a sound like Enterprise's Red Alert.
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Last edited by Loose rivets; 14th Apr 2021 at 23:18.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 23:27
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
In my day we called them 'Honeymoon Knobs.' With a fifties yank with four plus turns from lock to lock you needed them.
We called them 'suicide knobs' here in the States 'cause you could catch clothing on them......

The Reliant Robin didn't need a steering wheel, as it just tipped over.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 23:54
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Was taught never to take either hand through the 12 O'clock position, i.e when turning right, as the right hand approaches 5 O'clock and the left hand 12, move the right hand back up to 1 O'clock and take over the movement, shifting the left hand back down to 9 or 10 Is this correct ? I'm currently upset at the sight of drivers shown on TV taking the left hand all the way over the top and down to 6 or 7. Or maybe I've been doing it all wrong for 70 years ?

Slightly off thread, but as comparison with aviation has been made, I was also taught "Everything forward for speed" ( i.e. in the case of an unexpected go around, or near stall ) Power, Pitch, Flaps, Spoilers, Carb heat, Brakes, etc, Each control lever moving forward if acceleration was required, but I recently drove an electric Nissan Leaf, with no gear lever in the accepted sense, just a simple lever on the central console that moved 1 click forward or back, but ... it moved forward for reverse, and backwards for forward motion. Why ? This does tend to follow the long accepted practice of standard automatic gear shift levers, which by and large one moves backwards, sometimes also passing through Reverse, tho' occasionally moving one click forward from Park, but electric cars are new experiences from all sorts of angles, so as it is only a simple forward and back lever why not make it a KISS action Keep It Simple, Stupid ?
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 01:36
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
Even airbus aircraft still have a steering wheel for ground directional control, the tiller. It simply works. And yes, in that case it is steer by wire, which has been used in some cars already but with limited success.
But isn't the tiller 90 degrees from a normal steering wheel? and it is also not very intuitive at takeoff or landing speeds
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 01:46
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Italian fighters during WW2 had reverse throttles. Fwd to idle back for power.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 02:38
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Blues&twos View Post
I think grummaniser explains it well.
The steering wheel is more than just a command input device, it gives different types of feedback to the driver you wouldn't get with a sidestick, and it's size allows pretty precise control for us lumbering humans. Some of the feedback it gives, once you are a little experienced with driving, is pretty much sub-conscious. Most of us wouldn't have to think at all about accurately adjusting the wheel position based on physical and visual cues, even if the vehicle changed direction unexpectedly.
Don't underestimate this point - steering feedback through the wheel is important - even if it's largely sub-conscious. It tells you how much grip the front tires are getting, which can be critical in low friction encounters such as ice and snow. And it's something that would be very, very difficult to synthesize with any accuracy. Force feedback in games consoles is a simple algorithm based on speed and wheel angle - the real world is not nearly that simple.
When I was driving that loaner car and it started raining, it started making me nervous but I had to think about it for minute to understand why - it was the almost total lack of steering feel which in turn was denying me that critical information about what sort of traction I was getting.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 03:32
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Italian fighters during WW2 had reverse throttles. Fwd to idle back for power.
Once taught a farmer to fly, on one approach "You're too low Fred, you're too slow Fred, power on Fred " at which point he pulled the throttle backwards. I nearly broke his wrist.
Turned out he was used to driving a tractor on which power was increased by pulling the throttle backwards. Do they all ?
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