by Heusinkveld Engineering
If you have been eyeing the newly unveiled Logitech G27 which Chunx reviewed here, and thinking that those adjustable pedals on the new wheel would come in as a deciding factor to upgrade from your G25, consider as an alternative a mod kit for the pedals of the existing G25.
Very recently, I took delivery of a highly anticipated package containing parts for a modification of the pedals on my Logitech G25 steering wheel (reviewed here).
In fact the PAD G25 pedal modification kit which sells for a very reasonable 30 Euro (approximately $43 USD) came from Heusinkveld Engineering, a company located in Groningen, The Netherlands, and the creation of Niels Heusinkveld.
A pressure sensitive pedal modification for the G25 is in development as well and we hope to be able to follow that project as well in the future.
We’ll devote more time to Niels and his projects in future articles and find out more about the company and its products, catering to sim racers, real racers and racing teams, but first things first. The pedal mod, its installation and application, this is what will make up the bulk of this review.
Unpacking and Installing
From the quality of the packing to the contents, I felt like the whole thing could easily have come from Williams F1 Engineering — or straight from the McLaren Factory in Woking — but they did not.
The kit comes in a small package which will easily fit into your mailbox and contains four small plastic bags with various spacers, a bag with washers, bolts and fitting tools, and a well laid out and easy to understand page with installation instructions. The whole kit spells quality work from A-Z.
The parts are made of high quality aluminum and cut to specification by laser equipment.
Before going to work on the pedals I laid out all the contents of the package in an orderly, in what was quintessentially a true James May moment.
Detailed installation instructions are included.
The Logitech G25 steering wheel when released provided the sim racers with a relatively inexpensive quality steering wheel looking not like a toy but rather more like a proper steering wheel. It offered a clutch pedal as well as brake and throttle, 900 degrees of steering rotation, two force feedback motors, large quality paddle shifters, and a six speed gated shifter which could be configured into a sequential shifter.
I have owned one from the day they came out, and it has not given me any trouble at all.
For all its advantages, the G25 does have a couple of disadvantages: One of them the fact that for some unknown reason, the pedals are laid out in such a way that you can forget about practicing your performance driving on the G25 pedals, see the photo of the un-modded G25 pedals below.
Un-modded pedal configuration.
The brake and throttle pedals are too far apart, and on the same vertical line. To be able to heel and toe properly, the brake and the accelerator need to be closer together, The brake also ought to be raised relative to the throttle.
This problem is addressed by the pedal mod kit, and it does this in a way that I would have applied myself, had I had the time, the talent and the energy to do my own pedal mod. It even surpasses my own ideas by being customizable to your preferences, as you simply add spacers to bring the brake and throttle pedals closer together and raise the brake pedal.
The images below details the many different combinations of pedal adjustments that can be achieved by the PAD kit, illustrating the amount of thought that has gone into the making of this kit (images by courtesy of Heusinkveld Engineering):
Image by courtesy of Heusinkveld Engineering.
Image by courtesy of Heusinkveld Engineering.
The first set of spacers serve to bring the brake and throttle pedals closer together (or further apart if that is what you wish); with the additional spacers you raise the individual pedals:
…and then pedals for heel-and-toe.
Initially I brought the throttle and the bake pedals closer together and additionally I have used four spacers to raise the brake pedal, and one to mount the throttle. You cannot elect to use no spacers at all but must use at least one, since each pedal has been formed by Logitech to slot in to a hole in their original mounts.
I’ve left the clutch as is, but as for the other pedals you can move it up, down, left and right should you wish so.
The assembly is both elegant and sturdy and I have no reason to suspect any material failures in the future.
Driving the Mod Kit
Now why exactly is it that we should care about and go to such trouble, so as to move the pedals of a game controller some inches closer towards each other, move them up or down, and to raise one or more of them?
Surely it is to have the best possible choice of emulating different driving styles and finding which one suits you the best.
Have a look at the instructional video below from Car and Driver to study the principles of the classic driving style using the heel and toe technique.
You’d want to use this technique when driving cars such as the 1960’s Grand Prix Legends era, but if you go back even further in time, you would find that pre-war era cars can have the oddest pedal arrangements; throttle and clutch to the left hand side of the steering column and the brake to the right, in fact quite the opposite of what we’ve come to expect as the standard layout in any modern car.
Pre-war pedal configuration.
In combination with the manual gearbox you’d want to match the engine revs especially when shifting down, to avoid locking up the rear wheels or damaging the engine as you disengage the clutch.
As we move up in time towards present day, several drivers use left foot braking as a carry-over form their karting days. Michael Schumacher was one driver who apparently used left-foot braking.
Some drivers in modern sports cars and prototypes such as the Audis or Peugeots used in Le Mans and ALMS also left-foot brake and naturally, with the semi- or fully automatic gearboxes and flappy paddle shifters on the steering wheel, electronics manage the engine revs to such an extent that shifting up in an Audi R-10 and R-15 only requires a flip on the paddle, the driver does not even have to let off the throttle while doing so.
Some sims model the transmission and the differential to a greater extent of realism than others.
netKar PRO and Live for Speed come to mind as examples of sims that actually let you use the clutch, the gearbox and the pedals in a way to closely emulate the proper operation of the real cars, but of course you can also opt for assists that will let you drive these sims without having to worry about matching engine revs, clutch operation and mechanical delays in the transmission.
Other sims such as the ISI-based titles like rFactor and the GTR2 series offer a more generic model where you have the option of ticking on or off an auto-blip function to let you choose if you wish to blip the throttle when changing gears or not.
Firing up some of my favorite sims; iRacing, GPL, rFactor, netKar PRO, LFS, GTR2, I instantly took to heel and toeing, forsaking the left foot braking adopted from when I started sim racing many moons ago, and forced upon me from my first set of pedals, when only brake and throttle were available. A short while after, I realized that I can use the technique I find most appropriate to the given sim I’m driving, and that is another fine aspect of the G25 pedal adjustment mod: It doesn’t take away existing options but adds new ones and let’s you decide which technique you want to use.
Priced at 30 Euros, approximately $43 USD, the pedal mod is a very attractive alternative to bringing out your own saw and drill to make your own mod, and in my opinion it is a must-have mod if you’ve missed the option of adjustable pedals on your G25.
Perhaps it will even be an alternative to a brand new G27?
Reviewer’s System Specs
• Windows XP Pro SP3
• AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 2.8 GHz
• Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
• 2 GB RAM (Kingston and Danelec)
• Western Digital External 300 Gb hard disk
• ATI Radeon X1800, Catalyst 9.3
• SoundBlaster Live external sound card
• Logitech G25, v5.04 drivers
• NaturalPoint TrackIR 5
• Broadband 4096/512
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