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Aftermarket steering wheel size?

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NSFW Avatar
NSFW Rob S.
Pembroke, Massachusetts, USA   USA
I'm jumping ahead a bit and buying up some of the interior components that I'll eventually need, one of the more important items is a replacement steering wheel for the large diameter stocker. I want a nice thin rim three spoke wooden rimmed wheel, somewhat smaller in diameter than the stock wheel, but sort of need to hear from others who have replaced their steering wheels to find out what the optimum diameter might be. Looking for something that will provide a bit more room and still be adequately sized to turn the wheels without too much additional effort. I was thinking of a fifteen or fourteen inch wheel, but would consider a 13.5 inch wheel if it didn't look too awkward and undersized. Thank you, Rob—

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3066james Avatar
3066james Gold Member Jim Cheatham
Amelia, VA, USA   USA
Moto Lita has a nice selection of steering wheels. https://www.moto-lita.co.uk/steering-wheels/

Jim

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, Kansas, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
Absolutely! In fact, they have a design which is almost identical to the wooden rimmed wheel that was offered by the factory but at 15" rather than the original's 17".

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Zur Avatar
Zur Silver Member Dave H.
Amarillo, Texas, USA   USA
Take a look at these guys...they represent several different makers.

https://www.europaspares.com/interior-parts/steering-wheels.html

It's a British company but gives a good look at what is available. Some are sold in the U.S.
They even have a nice selection of wheels for your Cobra!



Dave

NSFW Avatar
NSFW Rob S.
Pembroke, Massachusetts, USA   USA
I'll no doubt have to look for a repairable used wheel rather than pay out for a new one, the extra money can be better spent on the front end rebuild. It looks like a flat-faced fifteen inch wheel is the way forward over the stock seventeen inch. Anyone have a fifteen inch wheel in their car right now? How is it for drivability and ease or difficulty in steering? Is the effort that much greater with the reduced leverage? Rob—

David.Coan Avatar
David.Coan David C
Reading, England, UK   GBR
I replaced my 17" stock wheel with a moto-lita 15" wheel, because i preferred the look and i wanted more leg room to get in and out of the car. It transformed the ease of getting in and out, i find the effort to turn the wheel on slower corners has gone up, but not unacceptably so. If i could go back i would probably go for 16" as a compromise, but i am happy enough with 15" and love the ease of getting in/out so i am not changing again.

ghnl Avatar
ghnl Eric Russell
Mebane, North Carolina, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
When I was driving my MGA on the street I had a 15" wood rim steering wheel. That was a good compromise between steering effort and leg room (I'm 6'1" ). Now that I am vintage racing the MGA, I have a 14" steering wheel. I don't care about slow speed steering effort or parking but I like the quicker steering. Once upon a time I tried a 13" steering wheel. The car felt like a go-cart but was hard to handle on the highway (too darty).

Pictures shows the 15" wood rim steering wheel (during the re-restoration/conversion to race car) & the 14" steering wheel I use now.



Eric Russell ~ Mebane, NC
1961 MGA #61, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1991 Honda ST1100



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-13 04:52 PM by ghnl.

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NSFW Avatar
NSFW Rob S.
Pembroke, Massachusetts, USA   USA
Thanks for the info and pictures. Rob—



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-13 12:42 PM by NSFW.

Randy England Avatar
Asquith, Saskatchewan, Canada   CAN
Hi Rob
You could try what I did. I built my own. I found a writeup on NAMGAR magazine. At least I think it was NAMGAR. I'll try to explain the process.

First I broke all the old bakelite off the old rim. Then I cut the rim off the old wheel and sized it to the dimensions I liked. Mine turned out to 14.5 " od. I next cut the spokes to the right length to fit and welded these back to the steel rim.

Now you're ready for the wood. I cut pieces to make an octagon that my wheel would fit on. I made 2 of these octagons. The two pieces I made were 1/2 inch thick. My wheel rim is 1" thick. Once you get the pieces cut and glued together to make the octagons place your wheel on the blanks and trace its outline onto the wood. I used cedar because it's easy to work with plus I had some on hand. I was on a very thin budget at the time. Now I routed out the groove where the rim sits. I epoxied the crap out of everything then clamped the octagons together on the rim. After the glue set up you can form the final shape with a router. I made a jig to hold it in the proper place.

I should add that I am NOT a woodwoker kind of guy at all. That's what surprised me the most because I think it turned out pretty good. I also made the center piece and shift knob to match.

I googled how to do this and there is an article on the MGB page of this site. It wasn't as difficult as I thought and I remember enjoying the job.

As to size I find my wheel at 14 inches is just about right. The car lane changes pretty much just by thinking about it. Its just a pressure on the wheel to lane change. Slow speed steering is easy. That 17 inch wheel is big enough to steer the queen Mary. Lol.

Hope this helps.
Randy

P.s. Sorry for the poor pics but it's really cold here again today. The garage is pretty dark. Lol

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Zur Avatar
Zur Silver Member Dave H.
Amarillo, Texas, USA   USA
Good show, Randy!



Dave

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