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Technical Edsel teletouch question

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by SGCustoms, May 17, 2015.

  1. SGCustoms
    Joined: Mar 10, 2013
    Posts: 10

    from illinois

    I had seen a 1958 edsel teletouch was curious if there was a way to hook the teletouch up to a gm transmission?
  2. Anything is possible, but the short answer here is no. You'd need the Edsel wheel, column, steering shaft and shift solenoids, there would be a considerable amount of custom machining/parts involved, and this is the feature that gave the Edsel it's 'lemon' status due to the problems Ford had with it (which is why it disappeared after only one year).

    I have a Teletouch wheel I'm planning to use and have toyed with the thought of converting the pushbuttons to control an electronic cruise control, but even this will require quite a bit of custom machining not to mention wiring. I'll probably just use the Mercury horn button (with a custom adaptor) I bought to replace the Teletouch center instead...
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,298


  4. It would take LOTS of drugs to accomplish this !!!


  5. This guy is primarily looking at mounting the pushbuttons somewhere besides the center of the wheel. If you want to use the Edsel wheel/buttons, then you also need to use the Edsel column/shaft. The shift panel didn't rotate with the wheel; it stayed stationary so there was a hollow steering shaft and a set of nine 'wiper' contacts inside the shaft that transferred the 'signals' through the shaft and from there to the shift motor. These contacts are one of the problem areas with these; if any contact makes a poor connection, you'll have issues with gear selection. The pushbuttons themselves were mechanically interlocked; pushing one button opened any other contacts.

    Given the technology available at the time, it was an ingenious system; it just didn't prove to be all that reliable in actual use. With modern electronics, most of these issues could be addressed but I wouldn't expect it to be either cheap or easy. GTO seemed very reluctant to share his 'secrets' so the impression I got is he was trying to drum up some business.
  6. LOL If it were me I would take something that didn't work in its original form and try and make it work with something entirely different. :rolleyes:

    I don't doubt that it could be done, I am doubt full that it would be an easy or cheap endeavor. maybe using modern day paddle shifter tech it could be done and made to be dependable enough.
  7. Perhaps a Mopar or Mercury push button selector system would be a better ??? choice.
  8. Unless he has the Edsel stuff like wheel column etc and wants to use it in a project.

    I am having Déjà vu here. Have we had this discussion before?
  9. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    from ma

    the dial shift in my Ram truck works damn nice... :rolleyes:
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,760


    I think the newer "paddle shifter" tech is valid only in the fact that they use internal solenoids in the trans.Now you could possibly get a 4l60e gm trans,same as 700r4 except electronic shift and use the internal solenoids in it. They just use 12 volt dc current so all you need is a way to switch it. I actually think it would be easier than most think ,its just electricity after all.
  11. I originally built my '33 Plymouth with a 392 and cast iron Torqueflite....and the shifter was/is a pushbutton shifter from a '58 Dodge. The TF was in bad shape and a friend gave me a 700R4 that I ended up putting in my '40 Ford. I put the TH350 from the '40 behind the 392 in the Mopar and adapted the cable shifter and pushbuttons from the '58 Dodge. I had to go into the tranny and 1) sharpen the points on the detent arm, 2) machine the detent roller to a smaller diameter, and 3) reduce the detent spring force. Then I built a bellcrank on the outside of the transmission to double the travel of the cable and I now have probably the world's only TH350 shifted with a '58 Dodge pushbutton shifter. I had to give up Park, but I have had that system since 2009 and it still works fine.

    So, YES, it can be done....and getting there is half the fun (and maybe a little agrivation)!
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
    36taildragger and Hnstray like this.
  12. The edsel is electric.

    Joe maybe the contacts can be adapted for use with the edsel teletouch was what I was thinking.

    I personally hate to say it cannot be done because I hate to step too hard on anyone's dreams. I personally have been dreaming about hooking up with Racheal Welch for a very long time and even though she is old I would hate for someone to tell me it can't be done. :)
  13. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    Irishjr, do you think you could have kept "PARK" if you had used a later shifter like maybe one from a '63? Always thought what you describe as doable and you have. -Dave
  14. czuch az
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 161

    czuch az

    Mr. Beaner,
    I'm in your corner brother. She might be old, but there are those of us who lust after a '32.
    She's a '40 so that IS a newer model. And, her lines are still fine. Much like a '40 Lincoln.
    Timeless, baby, timeless.
  15. I can think of several dodges that could be used to 'convert' the Edsel unit to operate other transmissions, even with using the OEM wheel and shifter but all would require either a custom-built steering column or somebody with more electronics knowledge than what I have. Or maybe both.... But either way, this wouldn't be something you could whomp up in a few weekends. A very good understanding of electrical control wiring would be a minimum, the ability to design and build needed parts, and if you use the Edsel servomotor, a dependence on a 57-year-old bit of rare electrical gear would give me pause. If you have an Edsel with a functioning system and simply want to do an engine/trans swap, then the degree of difficulty goes down. But unless you're very smart/talented, or very familiar with the system, or have a ton of money to throw at it, trying to swap this into another vehicle would be an exercise in patience.

    The 50s was the era when 'electronics' and 'atomic power' were promises of a brighter future and Detroit tried to cash in on it. Features like automatic headlight dimmers, electronic fuel injection, hardtop convertibles, and yes, 'teletouch' shifting were all things that were tried with limited success. Very few survived into the 60s as the technology simply wasn't that reliable yet...
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  16. I agree, but that would mean modifying the dash that had the pushbutton shifter frenched in place. I've just gotten used to setting the e-brake.
  17. From what I remember the Edsel used a motor similar to a wiper motor to control rotation of a fairly standard automatic transmission, There was no cable, so all this talk about using Dodge parts would be a totally different system. Along with the nightmares of the steering column, the idiots put that wiper motor right next to the exhaust pipe, guess what, the motor burned up!
    In this build thread, he tells of his shifter set-up that might be helpful.
  18. I heard that what Killed the Teletouch was the automatic "hitting the middle of your steering wheel when some clown cuts you off thinking you are hitting your horn", enabling you to select all gears (and reverse) at once!
  19. I"m sure there were built in speed interlocks, so the "blowing the horn" thing didn't happen.

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