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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got around to installing the Rostra Cruise Control in my 97 Defender 90. I had been putting this off for a few months since I really couldn’t find a good spot to mount the actuator. I eventually realized it would fit under the air filter. So using the supplied mount and a piece of Stereo mounting bracket, I bent the brackets to clear and bolted the actuator under the Air Filter. There are a lot of wires that go to the Actuator and I needed to open up one of the blank holes in the bulkhead pass through and install another grommet. I picked up power and VSS signal in the instrument cluster area.

I didn’t want yet another stalk on the Defenders steering column. So I opted for the surface mount unit, which is internally lit and also has power and engaged lights. It had one feature I didn’t realize when I ordered it. It required two holes be drilled for the fir tree pins on the back, along with a hole for the wires. Well I didn’t want to drill holes in the panel. I made a block from ABS sheet and drilled the holes and made a channel for the wires to pass along. I mounted this with cold weather double backed foam tape (really grips and is thin).

I had to eliminate the Tach signal, as for some reason, it is not compatible. So for over-rev protection, you have to use the Neutral Safety Switch, which the unit accepts as an alternate. Also you need to set high gain, 4000 pulses per mile and high sensitivity response. It works, which does relieve your leg on long trips. I got the unit and control off ebay, all for under $200. For reference it is the model 250-1223, the universal model.








 

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Nice...I thought to myself, why? then I remembered, you're a pilot....lol. I guess it's kinda like cruise control on a motorcycle!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Look, if we (pilots) don't have a lot of buttons to push, along with lots of flashing lights, we go all German. Here in the open country, there is a lot of distance between anyplace, so it is boring and long. The other thing I use on long trips in the Defender, Bluetooth, noise eliminating, earbuds. Yeah, I use my AC as well. I spent way to many years in the Eastern Sahara without it.
 

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Really nice! I'll be getting to that someday! If I'm driving a whole tank of gas off, I usually buckle my knee as I get out of the truck from the strain! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the other side already has switches for the diff lock. They do make stalk models, but the Defender already looks like some kind vegetable with all the stalks. The strong cold weather double backed tape makes it semi-permanent without any holes, allowing you to change your mind later on.
 

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I have the AudioVox unit, it's been in place since about 2000. I used the pulse signal from transponder(?) signal that drives the speedometer, at the rear of the transfer case, on my '97 to drive the cruise unit. The operational buttons on yours look almost identical to mine.
 

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James,

Thanks for the write up. Where did you tap into for the neutral wire? What about for the brake light switch positive and negative? And power? Do our 97 have sine or square signals from the VSS? Just started to work on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The brake switch is there, nicely hidden on top of the brake pedal box. The switch completes a circuit, which goes to a couple of items, mainly the brake lights and tranny. I believe, dim recollection, you can select high or low on the controller, high being a 12V signal and low being a ground signal. You need to test it with a meter, I believe it went high, to 12 V. I do believe the VSS is a square wave. One thing I noticed, to keep it from hunting, I needed to keep the cable to the throttle cluster tight, if it has too much slack it is slow to respond.

My mounting location, while nicely tucked away, makes it impossible to re-set any of the switches without removing the unit and flipping it over so you can actually see the ridiculously tiny switches. I still have not tapped the neutral switch, since it is too cold here to do much lie on the ground work here at the moment (water freezes nearly instantly on the floor of my hanger). Not a big issue, it is really easy to switch it off manually, should it ever get bumped into neutral. Besides, if you tap the brake it disconnects as well.
 

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On my '97, I tapped into the speedo sensor wire right behind the instrument cluster.
Don't remember which of the 2 wires I tapped, that was in the year 2000 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here this might help a bit to find the sensor wire:

 

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I finally got mine dialed in. However, I set gain to low, pulses to 8000. For me, setting gain to high made the cruise do some weird things. The tech support folks I talked to said they've only seen gain set to high in a few instances such as a motorhome or some diesel trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Motorhome or diesel, both kind of fit. I had to experiment with the installation on my VW Syncro to get it to run smooth. For the Defender, I actually jacked up the truck and rotated the wheel to count the pulses, but is 8,000 working? I think it only effects the minimum speed setting, which should be ~30mph.
 

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I calibrated my VDO speedometer via GPS and the result was approximately 8400 pulses. The Rostra tech did say the minimum speed the cruise control should activate was 35MPH. I have not tested that yet.
 
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