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Old 06-19-2009, 10:25 AM   #21
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well another thing that may help would be increasing the shifter length also as it should reduced the amount of force need to shift gears.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by neogenesis2004 View Post
Is trading the car in for an automatic out of the question? That seems like it would make his life infinitely more simple getting around from a to b. Especially if he hits traffic alot.
this is my thinking too, but maybe trade cars with someone who has an auto for a while
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:12 PM   #23
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Anyone want to refute my idea? Seems like it would work, and a hell of a lot better if you dont use his hand.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #24
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I love the discussion, but...

I have to back up Neo on this. Coming up with some makeshift device so the guy can drive in a perfect world is ******* stupid. He'll get into a place where he needs to downshift quickly, or back up quickly, or some situation where he needs to perform and his hand will fail him. It's an unnecessary risk for absolutely nothing.

I know that life isn't perfect and all that ****, but at some point your ego has to take a back seat. Be a good friend and tell him to do the right thing and sell it for an auto, or buy a spare car with an auto and park the Civic until he's rehab'd.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:29 PM   #25
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There was a guy that did track days locally. He had lost his right arm in his youth while racing motorcycles. His solution was to drive an automatic 911 with the tiptronic buttons.

That's the direction I'd go if I lost function of my right arm, not the 911, but the automatic transmission. Shift kits are easy enough to rig up if your motivated.


It's good you're there for your friend and trying to help. Keep in mind, he will be going through the 7 stages of grief, and some people get to a point that they resent you trying to "fix" him.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
I know that life isn't perfect and all that ****, but at some point your ego has to take a back seat. Be a good friend and tell him to do the right thing and sell it for an auto, or buy a spare car with an auto and park the Civic until he's rehab'd.
From a pragmatic standpoint, absolutely.

OTOH, I know from first-hand experience how much it can suck to be relegated to driving some shitbox because you can't physically operate the controls on your own car anymore. For me, it's always been simple orthopedic injuries (right clavicle meant I couldn't shift, left fifth metatarsal meant I couldn't work the clutch.) But as much as these things sucked for me, I knew that it was only temporary, and that as soon as my bones healed up enough I'd be back in my own car.

Sounds like things may be different for this guy. Nerve injuries don't just work themselves out, and he'll probably never be back to anything resembling 100% with his hand. If I were him, It'd just add insult to injury to think that I could never drive my own car again, especially since this fellow has apparently just put a lot of work into it. (Besides, there's a world of difference between a 911 tiptronic and a Honda slushbox.)

I once saw a guy who was a double amputee (both arms below the elbow) drive a Corvette with a manual transmission. It can be done.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #27
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Would he be willing to wear a glove on his right hand?

Imagine if you removed the shifter **** and got a small piece of pipe that fit over the threaded end of the shifter (with lots of slop) . Attach the small length of pipe to the back of a glove. Wants to shift? slide the glove/pipe over the shifter and go to town. Won't interfere with driving given the pipe is on the back of the hand. Might look a little strange ...

Should be pretty easy to work if the glove is tight enough.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:16 PM   #28
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:31 PM   #29
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If all of this happened about a month ago, has he started in Physical Therapy/Rehab yet? They should be able to assist with regaining strength or retraining for use. He's got a long, tough rebuild job ahead of him.

If he's really down, he may even need some psych counseling to work though some of the problems. That'll be a hard sell.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:43 PM   #30
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Wow, this has lots of good and bad thoughts in it. Yes he is doing some rehab. The rehab right now is just shock therapy for the little muscles in his hands to keep them from atrophying (sp?). He's got a good 4-6 months of nerve re-growth before he can even really start to regain use of his hand. After that, if the muscles aren't totally screwed, he's got a chance.

Thoughts on the automatic are valid. Keep in mind though that he is now hugely in debt and was already upside down in his car. Selling it go buy an auto isn't much of an option at this point. Besides, he really loves his car and the point of this thread is to find a way to make it work.

He's driving it right now, its just tough for him. I'm looking to make it easier so that if he has to do a quick emergency shift it'll be quick and 100% possible.

Thanks agian for the ideas and kind words. He's a trooper and is going to be fine. He knows he's lucky to just be alive...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #31
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You could also get a round ball shifter like a trailer hitch ball, and an brace that runs down the wrist with a cup in the palm of the hand. Kinda like a big spoon with wrist straps. You could probably fab something like that out of mild steel or aluminum in a few hours.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:40 PM   #32
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Ok here is my

Remove the shift ***, place a piece of slightly lager diameter pipe over it and bend it to a position of comfort. Kind of like a old truck shifter. leave the top of it open. Get a wrist guard like the ones used for skating or rollerblading. Epoxy a 1" or 2" stud to it at the base of the wrist, just before the palm. The stud will be a smaller diameter than the pipe and will fit into the top of it. It can be inserted and removed quickly, and allows his arm to do the work.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #33
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get a shifter extension, it'll take less physical force to shift gears given the fact there's more leverage (F x M and such..)
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstn2bdoa View Post
Ok here is my

Remove the shift ***, place a piece of slightly lager diameter pipe over it and bend it to a position of comfort. Kind of like a old truck shifter. leave the top of it open. Get a wrist guard like the ones used for skating or rollerblading. Epoxy a 1" or 2" stud to it at the base of the wrist, just before the palm. The stud will be a smaller diameter than the pipe and will fit into the top of it. It can be inserted and removed quickly, and allows his arm to do the work.
This is the best and most easily executed idea I've heard.

It allows an extension by way of the pipe to reduce effort, and is only unnatural by way of strapping in when getting in the car, and unstrapping on way out. It will get to be as natural as putting on a seat belt. The only thing it doesn't do is allow him to "practice" shifting with his hand, which may quicken recovery in that aspect.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #35
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So it's just his grip action he's lost?

If he's got bicep and shoulder movement then it's just something to attach the hand to the gear stick.

First thing he needs to do is check it out legally, if he's driving injured/disabled then his insurance and licence is invalid in every country in Europe so i'm guessing the US as well.

If he hits anyone then it won't matter if it was because he couldn't change gear or not he'll still be viewed as at fault and as his insurance is now void he'll be paying the rest of his life.

Again over here in Europe any modifications made to his car will need to be checked over by the driver license authority.

It might just be a case that legally he needs a Auto.

On the injury, sounds to me as though he's given up.
Can't personally understand that type of attitude so really can't offer any advice other than he might be suffering from PTSD and need some professional help.

For the nerve damage there's a few options available.

1/ Wait
Nerves repair at around 1mm a month, so as long as it's not a spinal or brachial plexus injury then he should get all movement back but possibly not as strong, eventually.

2/ Nerve graft
Another option is to remove some hardly used nerves in the calfs and reattach them to the damaged nerves in the hand.
Sort of gives em a jump start.


My own personal opinion is he should see someone and get assessed for PTSD.
He should see a few nerve damage specific surgeons.
He should flog the Civic and buy a Auto.

Has he lost wrist movement?
You can buy wrist braces that support the wrist, this'll help in everyday life.


Most important of all though, it's imperative that he keeps exercising his fooooked hand.
If not it'll atrophy and then he'll need to go through the long process of building up the muscle from nothing if it ever works again.

He should be moving his fingers and wrist, flexing the tendons and some type of electrical muscle stimulation, tens machines usually don't have enough juice so he might need to see a physiotherapist.
Basically it should be second sense that if he's watching tv for example he keeps stretching and moving his fingers and wrist.

The best thing is just not to give up, but i honestly have no idea of how you instil that in someone.
It's really their choice at the end of the day, but he does have a good chance of making a decent recovery and it'll be a quicker and easier recovery if he maintains focus and keeps doing the physiotherapy rather than just ignoring it.

Don't really do much to help, but i wish him me best of luck, nerve damage is a mother ******.



Cheers
Mark
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:18 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
This is the best and most easily executed idea I've heard.

It allows an extension by way of the pipe to reduce effort, and is only unnatural by way of strapping in when getting in the car, and unstrapping on way out. It will get to be as natural as putting on a seat belt. The only thing it doesn't do is allow him to "practice" shifting with his hand, which may quicken recovery in that aspect.
Thanks, If he uses it, I hope it helps.

As far as attitude goes, that's his own deal. Up here in the mountains we see a lot of handicap people who are totally hardcore. We see tons of paraplegics skiing\snowboarding and mtn biking. I'm not talking about ***** trails either, totally fun stuff.

My neighbor cut off three of his fingers on his right hand in an industrial accident. He gets along really well, I asked him how long it took him to adapt the loss? He said "by the time I got home from the hospital".

On the other hand, I visit peoples homes who have minor disabilities and have totally given up. They are unemployed, depressed, and incredibly negative. I guess it all boils down to what you want to do with it.
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