Joy Stick Stick Shift




Introduction: Joy Stick Stick Shift

I have been using a Joy stick  stickshift in all my cars for years. Just recently i was asked how to do it. The Joy stick allows you to conrtol any number of functions as you drive- honk the horn, wash the windshield,  pop a door open,  dim your lights, change radio stations, and many more nifty things.
I am new to this group so I am not sure about how to do stuff on here so bear  with me.

Find an arcade game or PC joystick that has enough buttons to do what you want it to do, dis assemble the joystick, isolate the different switching circuits, solder new leads, route thru to a relay board,  wrap the stickshift lever with blue painter's tape,bondo the  shaft of the stickshift to one half of the joystick case, pull stickshift lever free and re do on the other joystick handle.   The relay board  allows the small circuit capacity of the joystick to operate higher circuit loads.

 Joy sticks will handle 1 amp max load thru their contacts.

Step 1: Choosing a Joystick

There are many different styles of joysticks from fighter jet style to tron style,  even Tnkerbell Joysticks. You have to decide the look you want and how much you want to spend on one.  I have been using a Quickshot Python type controller because that is what was available on the cheap. This particular joystick cost me 4 dollars at a garage sale. If you  go to  Ebay  and do a search for joystick you will find there are many styles available90 percent of them can be adapted to mount to your stick shift. NOTE_ Auto  shifts will not accept the joy stick knob due to the locking channel button required for auto shifts.

Try to find one that suits your fancy but doesn't cost you your first born.

Step 2: Disassembly

When you find a usable joy stick find a  shoe box to take apart the joystick. The reason for the shoe box is because some joy sticks have springs and other things that may drop out as you take them apart and you do not want to spend time looking for what it was that dropped. Mosy of the joysticks I have worked with came apart by unscrewing the screws in the handle.  The side with the  screw heads was usually the cap side of the controller. That means that if you firmly hold the other side and pulled the cap off,  the switch plates, buttons, knobs, wiring will stay with the held side not  the cap side.

Most controllers use momentary contact switches in the form of lever actuated or  rubber button topped. The lever actuated  switches generally have 2 functions normally open contacts and normally closed contacts. Button switches only close. Isolate these switches and you have your controls. Some Joysticks have built in rapid fire circuits that open and close very quickly for arcade games. If you scratch off the copper  printed board from the switches, you remove these rapid fire functions and are just using the switch.

Step 3: Prepping for Install

now that you have your controller taken apart and have isolated the various switches, find a cord that has at least 6 leads in it to tie your controller to your car. The base cord from the  old joy stick may work if it has more than 4 leads. You will need at least 5 leads to do 4 functions. A common or power lead, and 4  runner/switched leads to power your devices. The joystick contacts are  only rated for at most 1 amp so you cannot directly power anything that draws more than an amp. An isolation relay is needed to  tie your controller to your car.

 These can be made using Radio shack parts or purchased already made off ebay. The price and time to make one is far more than a prefabbed one. The isolation relay  board generally will have a power source and 4 switched relays. The contacts for these relays  are  - common, normally open and normally closed. You will be energizing these relays to operate a function so you would connect a lead to power the device on the normally open contact and a fused power lead to the  relay to be switched. These  prefabbed isolation relays  usually have under 10 amp  capacity so if you are powering anything heavier you will need an additional isolation relay with  higher capacity- - purchased thru Radio Shack- 3.85, purchased in quantity of 10 thru ebay 1.85 ea.

 run the  control wire 6 conductor thru the base of the  knob by drilling a1/4 inch hole at the bottom. Insert a 1/4 in diameter plastict tube  thru that hole and run your control wire thru the tube. Tie in the switching  leads and power supply. Now on to the final step.

Step 4:

Wrap blue painters tape around your shift lever, drill a hole where the handle  screw  can penetrate your shifft lever. Test fit the handle and see if you have to enlarge the bottom opening or make any changes to mount the handle/knob. Once you like the fit use blue paiters tape to line the seam of the  handle so no bondo will hurt the exterior.

mix up a little bondo, 2 golf ball sizes, add the hardener1 inch long to each golf ball size and add to the handle and push in around plastic tube add only enough to bring it almost up to the half edge. do not let the bondo cover anything you want to have access to like switches, wires, etc. Let the bondo cure. Do the same thing with the other half of the  handle, cover the  seam with painters tape and fill to seam with bondo. Take the  cap side of the handle and put a small baggie over the bondo as you  put both halves of the handle in position on the stick shift lever let cure in place by using painters tape. Once the bondo cures, take the two halves apart and install all the  circuit boards switches and springs and mount to the shift lever- there you go!. If you ahve any questions contact me at my handle or leave me a message here. Enjoy explaining how you got a joystick in your car.  I had a friend do this and he hooked up the trigger to a sound effects module and it made machine gun fire come out of his radio speakers. If a car cut him off- he pulled the trigger and the machine gun fire was startling . Have fun...........

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6 years ago on Step 4

Just an update. I have had a motorcycle project on hold for 8 yrs, I just wired in a joystick controller for that bike that controls the steering, lights, horn, dimmer, canopy motor, and radio staion switching. So far it works well. This bike is a reverse 3 wheeled vehicle resembling a jet fighter with a canopy and stands 36 inches tall. I will post my build when I get further along.


8 years ago on Introduction

very cool; .... as clumsy as I am I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally grind-up my gears while trying to activate whatever it was I had hooked up to the shift knob buttons (if I had a stick-shift)... but I dig it a'lot.