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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-13-2020, 11:11 AM
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Default To cover wood steering wheel or not?

My new wood steering wheel is really great looking but is really slim when compared to the old wheel with it's leather cover. I have older hands that do not wrap and grip as well as they did 20 years ago. Any responses?
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:27 AM
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Default Steering Wheel

Ten minutes into the first ride I had with my car was enough to convince me the skinny wooden wheel had to go. I don't care how original it looks. I went with a thicker wooden wheel with some leather covering towards the center. The wheel has a slightly smaller diameter. See picture. Much better and very comfortable. There are certainly plenty of options available. Look at Sparco to get some ideas.

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Originally Posted by Michael C Henry View Post
My new wood steering wheel is really great looking but is really slim when compared to the old wheel with it's leather cover. I have older hands that do not wrap and grip as well as they did 20 years ago. Any responses?
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:19 PM
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Although I don't have a problem with the skinny wooden wheel, I do have a pair of leather driving gloves and find that the grip is much better with them. If you want to try to keep the look of the wheel, you might try that first. Ventilated driving gloves can be worn in warm weather, so it might just work for you.

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Old 11-13-2020, 01:47 PM
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I wouldn't dream of replacing my Moto-Lita. I love it. It's wonderful.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:09 PM
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You could wrap it with tape and have the '60s race look
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevins2 View Post
Although I don't have a problem with the skinny wooden wheel, I do have a pair of leather driving gloves and find that the grip is much better with them. If you want to try to keep the look of the wheel, you might try that first. Ventilated driving gloves can be worn in warm weather, so it might just work for you.

Kevin
Kevin, I totally agree. I have always used leather gloves. Best, cheapest, easiest solution when using a thin rim steering wheel (or any other wheel), and you keep the great looks of a Moto-Lita!

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Old 11-13-2020, 03:58 PM
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The wood wheel with leather gloves is probably the best option. Finding a good leather one is difficult, and potentially expensive if you have an original style hub. Had to remove my wooden wheel for racing and replace it with a leather one because wooden wheels are not allowed in vintage racing unless you have a pre-war vintage race car (pre-war being before WWI).

You might want to try the leather gloves first and see how that works.
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:03 PM
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Or just coat your hands with super glue.
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:31 PM
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You can get a very good ventilated pair on Amazon in Black or Brown for less than $30. I keep a pair in the Cobra and the Vette.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:04 PM
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There is a slight triangular section to many of the old wooden wheels. If you put your hand around the wheel you can catch it with your thumb in the groove. The thin leather gloves are very nice too and I drive a lot year round with them on.
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:25 PM
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Default I'd never cover mine

I love the look and feel of my wooden steering wheel!! And they look so damn nice back in the day! Nope, after 10 years of use I'm deeply attached to it and would never change it out.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:31 PM
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This all started when I had a soft top made and mounted to my replica. I have replaced my right knee and hip. I have retired and gotten fat. Getting in and out is a joke to watch now. I have noticed in a lot of photos points I never appreciated before. Like where the steering comes through the dash Mine is lower than some I've seen. The distances between the back of the steering wheel and the cowl vary. My steering wheel is 1 3/4" from the cowl. And that is with a flat steering wheel. I'm intent of changing my steering wheel and it's splined hub out for an "IDIDIT" Quick Release Steering Hub. The hubs come in 3, 5, and 6 bolt patterns I'm going with the 6 bolt pattern 70mm PCD same as MOMO, SPARCO, ISOTTA,NRG, FOREVER SHARP, and my choice FLASH POWER. I did not need or want t6he steering wheel any closer to my belly. It's present location works. Most 6 bolt pattern steering wheels are dished a minimum of 1 3/4" to over 4 1/2" to get a flat steering wheel I chose a 9 bolt FLASH POWER 15" OD and a 1/2 thick converter from 9 to 5 and 6 bolt patterns. It's great looking but it's riveted wood grip is slimmer than the leather covered wheel I'm replacing. My wife likes the new wood and polished aluminum steering wheel. The hub being replaced is 1 1/2" tall, The IDIDIT hub is 2" tall. The flat 15"OD Flash Power 9 bolt steering wheel and 1/2" thick spacer-converter 9 to 6 bolt is another 1/2" . So I figure the new QRSH and steering wheel with it's 9 to 6 bolt pattern converter- spacer moves the new steering wheel, 1 inch closer to me. It is only as of lately I found that some Originals had telescoping steering column for "fat Americans"
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:12 AM
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Just like Kevins2 & 1795 says ... wear a nice pair of driving leather gloves... I keep a pair in my car. They are also handy when the steering wheel gets super hot on those blistering days.
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:51 AM
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Default Quick release wheel.

I know what you mean. I have 2 fake hips and a fake knee but don't have any extra weight. Getting in and out is a process I have mastered. A slightly smaller wheel helps. There are some threads on here showing the installation of quick release hubs. Installing one would allow you to keep the impractical original looking wheel. Here is a link to one. Good luck.

Quick detachable steering wheel


Fred


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael C Henry View Post
This all started when I had a soft top made and mounted to my replica. I have replaced my right knee and hip. I have retired and gotten fat. Getting in and out is a joke to watch now. I have noticed in a lot of photos points I never appreciated before. Like where the steering comes through the dash Mine is lower than some I've seen. The distances between the back of the steering wheel and the cowl vary. My steering wheel is 1 3/4" from the cowl. And that is with a flat steering wheel. I'm intent of changing my steering wheel and it's splined hub out for an "IDIDIT" Quick Release Steering Hub. The hubs come in 3, 5, and 6 bolt patterns I'm going with the 6 bolt pattern 70mm PCD same as MOMO, SPARCO, ISOTTA,NRG, FOREVER SHARP, and my choice FLASH POWER. I did not need or want t6he steering wheel any closer to my belly. It's present location works. Most 6 bolt pattern steering wheels are dished a minimum of 1 3/4" to over 4 1/2" to get a flat steering wheel I chose a 9 bolt FLASH POWER 15" OD and a 1/2 thick converter from 9 to 5 and 6 bolt patterns. It's great looking but it's riveted wood grip is slimmer than the leather covered wheel I'm replacing. My wife likes the new wood and polished aluminum steering wheel. The hub being replaced is 1 1/2" tall, The IDIDIT hub is 2" tall. The flat 15"OD Flash Power 9 bolt steering wheel and 1/2" thick spacer-converter 9 to 6 bolt is another 1/2" . So I figure the new QRSH and steering wheel with it's 9 to 6 bolt pattern converter- spacer moves the new steering wheel, 1 inch closer to me. It is only as of lately I found that some Originals had telescoping steering column for "fat Americans"
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:53 AM
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Mine has an idit column with tilt.

I normally don't dig them too much but it is handy. The clearance around the driver at the wheel/cowl and for your left arm are tight and take time to get used to. Every fraction of an inch matters.

I did fit a smaller wheel for a while when autocrossing it but have gone back to the original with a spacer to give more room for my knuckles at the cowl.

The thin leather gloves are especially nice in hot or cold weather.

The net back beige gloves like Phil Hill used to run are perfect but costly. I still have at least one of them I bought in Europe in '73.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:00 AM
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Just buy some Fratelli Orsini driving gloves. About $80. Gives you all the grip you'll need, they feel wonderful on the hands, and also keep sweaty palms and fingerprints off the wood and aluminum surfaces. I never drive my Moto-Lita wheeled Cobra without them. If you're going to track or autocross a car, that's a different wheel and solution all together.
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:20 AM
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Another vote for gloves. They work great for providing grip on the wood and they keep the hands warm when it's old out there.
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danr55 View Post
Another vote for gloves. They work great for providing grip on the wood and they keep the hands warm when it's old out there.
I originally bought red driving gloves as an accessory to put on the transmission tunnel for car shows. One day when it was a little chilly I put the gloves on . I could not believe how much better the grip was on the wood wheel. I am now a believer ����
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:44 AM
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I bought a partial leather kit for my wooden wheel, from a vendor on the Factory Five forum site. It gave me a thicker grip in those areas, along with using driving gloves. Just an idea for you, but unfortunately he no longer makes it.


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Old 11-14-2020, 02:31 PM
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Looks very nice!
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