StaffAllpar HomeMore NewsCarsTrucksUpcomingRepairsTest drives

FCA still looking for better shifters

by David Zatz on

FCA is once again on the hunt for better shifters. They tried the ZF monostable unit (which always springs back to “straight up”), which proved to be, let’s be kind, unsatisfactory, and the basis for lawsuits. They tried The Knob, borrowed from big rigs, which works well but has met with some potential-customer resistance.

“Monostable” and Knob

While FCA finally returned to traditional-feel electronic shifters, where the lever stays where you put it, Jay TenBrink and Michael Perecki of FCA US apparently felt there’s still a problem to be solved, because they solved it.  They wrote in their patent application that modern “polystable” electronic shifters — the kind that look and feel like the old cable-operated mechanisms — don’t actually have any physical motion damping, so the feel could be improved.

In response, these FCA US employees developed a “shift-by-wire” shifter with a speed-sensitive damping setup — where the “speed” is the speed of driver moving the shifter, not the speed of the car. It works mechanically, using well-greased stacked plates, so that there is resistance to movement in the shifter mechanism itself; the idea is to provide a “smooth, controlled shifter feel while also working to aid in preventing overshoot of a desired gear.” In short, to replace the mechanical feel of the transmission itself with the mechanical feel of the shifter.

When will we see it? Possibly never; possibly next month. The patent was filed with the US Patent Office on April 15, 2015, and was granted on March 14, 2017. Courtesy Steven St. Laurent. 


Here’s when we’ll find out the new name; PSA merging into FCA
peugeot
Presenting at FCA’s new partner, and their record profits

Tommy Johnson Jr makes 2-for-2 for Don Schumacher Racing in 2020

More Mopar Car
and Truck News

Some popular Allpar pages





Dodge Demon

2018 Wrangler JL



Staff details/contactsTerms of ServiceInformation is presented to the best of our knowledge. Plans change and sometimes mistakes are made. Decisions or purchases made based on this site's verbiage or images are done at the reader's own risk. Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.