Old-time cruise control - Chevelle Tech
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2009 General Tech Forum from 2009
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  #1  
Old May 24th, 09, 9:27 PM
68454SS 68454SS is offline
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Default Old-time cruise control

How did cruise control work on cars before computers? Is it possible to buy a complete aftermarket system like this, or do you have to scab together parts from old donor cars?
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  #2  
Old May 24th, 09, 10:03 PM
trw1111 trw1111 is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

Audiovox sells a cruise for older cars.
Puts a maganet on the driveshaft.
Sells for less than $100 complete.
Do a search.
Hope this helps.
Terry
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  #3  
Old May 24th, 09, 10:16 PM
novaderrik novaderrik is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

there were factory cruise control setups back before there were computers to control them- cars from the 60's and 70's had them.
how they worked, i don't know. but they worked.
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  #4  
Old May 24th, 09, 10:25 PM
Racing Racing is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

You can do it either way. DZAUTO went to a salvage yard and collected parts from a few different cars for a factory looking installation.

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  #5  
Old May 25th, 09, 3:40 PM
oldtimr oldtimr is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by trw1111 View Post
Audiovox sells a cruise for older cars.
Puts a maganet on the driveshaft.
Sells for less than $100 complete.
Do a search.
Hope this helps.
Terry
That's cool as hell. Wish scooters had such a thing, maybe they do now but when I lived through my last one and sold it in about the year uh-oh(2k) all scooters had was a throttle lock. Which is ****.

What older cars had was a control box that the speedo cable went to and a vacuum regulator that was governed by the control box. The vacuum regulator sent a vac signal to a large diaphragm motor up by the carb (linkage between diaphragm and carb)and it would accelerate/decelerate and seek the speedo cable rpm's that made the control box happy.
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  #6  
Old May 25th, 09, 4:00 PM
Chevelle_Nut Chevelle_Nut is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

They worked using vacuum, servos and speedometer cables, they were basic but did just fine as long at they were adjusted.
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  #7  
Old May 26th, 09, 11:13 AM
engineguy engineguy is offline
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Bill R
 
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

Old style cruise control worked, as stated above, through a complicated combination of speedometer cables, vacuum sensors, etc. An interesting fact: The first cruise control was invented and perfected by Ralph Teetor whose family owned Perfect Circle Ring Company. Mr. Teetor was 95% blind from an accident but he was an accomplished machinist and mechanical engineer.
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  #8  
Old May 26th, 09, 11:41 AM
jfkheat jfkheat is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

My 68 El Camino has a cruise control unit that was there when I bought the car. It looks like it has been on the car since the 70s. I think it is one of the Perfect Circle units.
James

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  #9  
Old May 26th, 09, 1:12 PM
DZAUTO DZAUTO is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

Does anyone remember what was used before cruise control? Yes, I'm serious------------------don't say your right foot!!!!!!!!!

Many cars of the 40s and very early 50s had a throttle cable which was nearly identical to a manual choke knob, but attached to the throttle at the carb.
When you reached a desired speed, you pulled out the throttle knob to set the carb and it worked quite well. Unlike cruise control, there was no automatic for load, uphill or downhill.
I remember going places with a friend in their family 49 Chevy. When they got out on the hiway (pre-Interstate system), they pulled the throttle knob out and left it there until coming to a stop or needed to slow down.
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Old May 26th, 09, 1:48 PM
riskyvt riskyvt is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

My dad installed a JC Whitney-brand cruise control kit on a late 70's Chevy small block V8 van with a Pathfinder 4x4 conversion...no computers and I don't know exactly what the sensors were that made it work.

Funny/Scary story about that van: We were on-route to Denver to visit my sister, circa 1978 or thereabouts, with said cruise control newly installed. As we merrily cruised along the Ohio section of I-90 and approached the western border toll plaza, the cruise would not dis-engage. Repeated pressing of the brake or manually switching off of the cruise control was not working. Traffic was slowing ahead in anticipation of the toll plaza. To this day, I don't know the exact sequence of events, but Dad threw the transmission into neutral which resulted in the engine free-wheeling into an RPM stratosphere. He tried to shut off the ignition with the key, but the engine kept running. I suppose it was his panic-mode that made him perform his next maneuver: He reached down for the transfer case handle, I suppose trying to put that into neutral too (although in retrospect I don't see the point, since the tranny was in neutral). Anyway, somehow the transmission got put back into drive and BANG.....the transfer case was asked to do something it wasn't designed for. The good news was the engine stopped, the van came to a stop (albeit in the middle of a sea of traffic before the toll plaza) and we all bailed out. The van was pushed to the side, and while waiting for a towtruck for the nearest town (Bryan, OH if my memory is right) Dad started ripping out all the JCW parts from that cruise control kit. So, we got to stay the night in a small hotel in town, awaiting a "coupler" from the inside of the transfer case for repairs at the local Chevy dealership. My Dad even tried to hire the young mechanic that did the work to the van....he couldn't up-root and said "No thanks". Ironic thing here was that the coupler was manufactured in Ohio, a few exits back on I-90.

Ah, the memories....
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  #11  
Old May 26th, 09, 2:50 PM
Chevelle_Nut Chevelle_Nut is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

My Velle had a Sears add on I installed back in the early 80's. The switch mounted on the turn signal and I ran the wire down inside the column. The pickup magnets were wire tied on the driveshaft and the pickup bracket was screwed into the floor pan. The thing had a servo and a yellow electronic box. the disconnect was operated by a vacuum switch on the brake pedal. It worked quite well for a number of years. I pulled it off when we started to realize that we wanted to keep the car for many more years. Just this past winter I finally repaired the two screw holes in the floor pan.
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  #12  
Old May 26th, 09, 3:17 PM
grandsport grandsport is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

They made it real easy to disconnect the speedometer cable with those old units.
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  #13  
Old May 26th, 09, 3:44 PM
charbilly2001 charbilly2001 is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZAUTO View Post
Does anyone remember what was used before cruise control? Yes, I'm serious------------------don't say your right foot!!!!!!!!!

Many cars of the 40s and very early 50s had a throttle cable which was nearly identical to a manual choke knob, but attached to the throttle at the carb.
When you reached a desired speed, you pulled out the throttle knob to set the carb and it worked quite well. Unlike cruise control, there was no automatic for load, uphill or downhill.
I remember going places with a friend in their family 49 Chevy. When they got out on the hiway (pre-Interstate system), they pulled the throttle knob out and left it there until coming to a stop or needed to slow down.
Ya I remember them well. I've driven several cars with them. Neat deals until you had to panic stop and forgot to push the throttle cable in. I think that is why they were outlawed. Too dangerous for todays style of driving. They were good for long open stretches of highway driving with few cars. No good for todays driving where people follow you a car length behind you at 80 MPH.
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  #14  
Old Jun 4th, 09, 10:11 AM
oregonjam oregonjam is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

I have a 1968 Camaro with Factory cruise Control. I am missing a couple of small parts but have recently uncovered a complete 1968 Dealer install kit that has never been opened.

I am researching what changed in the system from 67 to 68 and what vehicles shared this same system.

Does any one here have another vehicle between 1967 and 1972 with a factory or delaer installed system?
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  #15  
Old Aug 4th, 12, 1:23 PM
kernal kernal is offline
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Default Re: Old-time cruise control

John,
Old post, I know. Did you ever install this. My 68 has it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonjam View Post
I have a 1968 Camaro with Factory cruise Control. I am missing a couple of small parts but have recently uncovered a complete 1968 Dealer install kit that has never been opened.

I am researching what changed in the system from 67 to 68 and what vehicles shared this same system.

Does any one here have another vehicle between 1967 and 1972 with a factory or delaer installed system?
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