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R34 Tiptronic Buttons Or Lever?


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Just a question.

How many people with Tiptronic auto R34s use the buttons on the steering wheel to chanage gears compared to using the gear selector lever?

I am about to take delivery of an R34 but the buttons seem to me to be a bit of a gimmick.

Another question, what if i want to put an aftermarket non airbag steering wheel on a Tiptronic R34.

I know it's probably illegal but I much prefer aftermarket wheels and wondered what happens with the wiring or other controls for the gearshift.

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100% lever. I only used the buttons to play around but like you said it really is a gimmick. They are simply too narrow. I don't know why they decided to occupy half a steering branch and have the + and - on both sides. I might try and modify it to have upshifts on the right and downshifts on the left. Paddles would be ideal but that'll be much much harder to blend in for a "factory" look.

Congrats on the new car and enjoy it. The factory steering wheel may not look awesome but it is functional and feels comfortable. I am not very satisfied about the way I went with mods and I now know I should've worked on the suspension first, then get the shift kit from MV and then whatever else I did. Seriously. That is the best order. Power is ok factory. If you're a new driver, you need time to get accustomed to the car anyway but out of the box it handles a bit poorly. I eventually understeered into a curb and had the car off the road for 3 months. That wouldn't have happened with a good suspension setup. Factory bilsteins are of course excellent but understeer is awful so either have them dropped just a slight bit with some lowering springs to get the car sitting nice and flat instead of "arse-up" factory stance, or just go aftermarket. But otherwise, excellent car. Just do the regular servicing and it'll have you grinning for months. I gave mine more kick than I think I should and yet it hasn't faulted me once. That's 30 000kms of hard driving starting at 75 000 kms but it was very much pampered until I got my hands on it so that always helps. Enjoy

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I use both..but mainly use the lever. I usually enable the buttons out of habit. The buttons come in handy if you've got people in the car who decide to browse through songs on the stereo when you're ready for the next gear as you can just change from the wheel instead, or when you're drinking your slurpee between lights and still insist on driving tip lol

It is definitely more of a gimmick though... down shifts can be a bit more awkward just cause of the design of the buttons.

And as everyone else said about the non-airbag steering wheel. I've been wanting to change mine just cause of the way the leathers been peeling and starting to look crap...but legal or not, why would you want to remove something that could save your life.

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Maybe it "seems" faster with the buttons since you only have to nudge them with your thumbs with hands still on the wheel, as opposed to moving your hand to the lever then moving the lever to shift. I know to me it sort of feels that way...weird lol

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No, it's quite obvious when the switch has been tripped and when it goes into gear. There is a notable difference between the lever and the buttons but only on the 1st - 2nd shift..

I have come to the conclusion that the reason it has trouble shifting into 2nd (flares heaps) if probably due to the Haltech not talking to the gearbox :huh:

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When I opened up the center console, I found the microswitch for the gear lever, and there's wiring that goes up into the steering wheel to the buttons. So they are operating off the same line. I'm not entirely sure how it's set up in your haltech, but it'd be safe to assume the same mechanism used to shift gears on the lever is the same as the steering wheel buttons. Not doubting what you're saying, just trying to understand for my benefit why it'd be the case that the buttons should be quicker.

By the way, anyone here running a MV Automatics shift kit? I'm sick of the flare up between gears, and that'll definately be the next mod I do to the car.

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Hmm so the flare up isn't just in my case? I thought the Haltech wasn't dropping timing when the gearbox wanted to changes gears resulting in the huge flare, if these are factory shifts then that's pretty gay..

I will be getting an MV Auto's valvebody soon though.

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What I find annoying is the inconsistency of the flaring. Well first of all it pretty much only happens to me on the 1-2 shift, but then doesn't do it all the time. it's about 50/50 on full throttle shifts but I find it works better with the right timing i.e. the gearbox ECU is ready to shift just as you hit the limiter getting about 2 exhaust pops (running rich I know...). It doesn't really happen on part-throttle shifts and definitely doesn't seem to happen at all when in drive regardless of the driving style. Drive just seems to shift much more precisely and consistently smoothly as opposed to the tiptronic mode. I will test the steering buttons for shift quality tomorrow on various throttle position shifts (normal/half/full) and report back with my POV...

There's another thing that confuses me a little. In drive the gearbox locks up quickly (bang on 60 kph in 4th when cruising) whereas in tiptronic mode it tends to slip a lot. I figured that was inorder to have more power available by letting the revs move up (tiptronic mode). So now I am wondering if the flaring is definitely the clutch bands slipping or is it maybe because the gearbox ECU is disabling the lock to be in the ideal power zone for acceleration. Or is the ECU going into oh-shit-I'm-gonna-blow mode and lets everything slip. I must say when it happens it feels exactly like a CVT gearbox except the revs drop slowly instead of staying up in the range. Definitely feels the same as a BADLY slipping clutch in a manual car. But why 1-2 and not in say 1st which is the most abused gear in the box.

Ideally, I would like to have a c. 3000 rpm torque converter but with full lock-up on 2-3-4 instead of feeling like a 1000 rpm lock up in 1st then 3000 in 2-3-4. I never really used drive before but in recent months I switched a lot between drive and tiptronic (though tiptronic is still my favored mode 70% of the time) and since I've noticed the flaring (ok it's been a few months) I am observing the gearbox shifting patterns closely. Again, the flaring showed up after mods were carried out on the car (notably exhaust, pod filter, fmic). I have driven spiritedly for 30,000 kms since then and the problem hasn't gotten better (duh) or worse but I did get a full flush done around the time I had the mods done...hmmmmm that seems to be another common factor. Maybe coincidence but interesting nonetheless.

Been thinking about the shift kit for aaaages but being in NZ it's a little more logistically troublesome and it means having 1 car off the road for some time which I can't afford to do when my R32 is not running reliably enough. Thank nissan these cars are built tough...they just don't die out of the blues when you expect them to but I always err on the side of caution because I know I don't quite treat my cars up to the standard I'd like to ($ always an issue lol), and then I know for a fact "shit happens".

Good luck guys.

P.S. Thank you Howie for the info about the microswitch, now I know for sure I can rewire it for paddle shifts when I get that sort of time :D

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No worries :D Someone in another thread talked about making paddle shifts for the 34 sometime this year.. i'm happy to be their test mule. Will keep you informed of any progress we make.

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Fusion, I've noticed the same too. Full throttle shifts 1-2 (but mine also flares a fair bit in D) it flares badly. Part-throttle shifts it's all fine, gets in the pretty quickly.

I really thought in my case it was down to the Haltech not pulling timing when the gearbox needs to change. The difference between not letting it hit limiter and letting it hit limiter once, is like day and night. Hit the limiter once and wham, it's in gear.

Making a fair bit more power than stock though so *shrug*, I'm going to ditch the Haltech and get a Vipec :(

Howie, I came across a paddleshift kit not long ago, I'll try remember where I saw it.

Edited by bubba
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  • 2 weeks later...
Another question, what if i want to put an aftermarket non airbag steering wheel on a Tiptronic R34.

I know it's probably illegal but I much prefer aftermarket wheels and wondered what happens with the wiring or other controls for the gearshift.

Porsche's with factory tiptronic steering wheels with buttons built into the factory steering wheel have the same issue.

The solution for track cars to fit an aftermarket steering wheel is to fit a paddle shifter behind the aftermarket steering wheel.

That way, an aftermarket steering wheel can be fitted and the buttons are replaced by the paddle shifter kit.

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+1 for the custom column shifter. been really interested in this idea. but haven't seen anyone try installing a paddle shifter into the r34

It's definitely do-able electrically speaking. We have customers running Works Bell paddle shifters on everything from a Honda Fit / Jazz daily driver road car, to a team who race off road who use one on a Dakar Rally style off road custom buggy, to a European rally team running one on a WRX rally car.

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