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  • steering wheel materials

    After looking at the Ratco steering wheel and feeling increasingly cramped by the original steering wheel in my '69, I'm thinking about making my own steering wheel as a winter project. It would essentially be a clone of the '69 wheel, but more like 13-13.5" in diameter and slightly larger rim of about 3/4" tube. Painted black with leather cover.

    I'll have to see what the local metal yards have in stock, but it appears that my original wheel is made of aluminum. Is that a feasible route, assuming I can get the right thickness of material? I'm pretty sure there's at least someone in the local club who can weld aluminum for me. Or, would steel be better? Just thinking out loud and looking for ideas.
    Bill Connell
    1969 TR6 CC28790
    TR6 project log
    St. Paul MN

  • #2
    Bill--

    Don't know about '69, but my '74 wheel was steel, with the spokes chrome plated, and the rim covered with molded foam.

    I dont see why aluminum wouldn't work.

    Ed
    Last edited by ed_h; 10-19-2021, 12:16 PM.
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Ed, it helps to have a sanity check before I get too far down the road. It SEEMS like a fairly simple project anyway.
      Bill Connell
      1969 TR6 CC28790
      TR6 project log
      St. Paul MN

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      • #4
        Originally posted by frostr6 View Post
        It SEEMS like a fairly simple project anyway.
        Yeah, I hate projects that start out that way.

        Should be fun, though.

        Ed
        For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

        Comment


        • #5
          My steering wheels are made of a sandwich of hardwood with an aluminum center disc that bolts to the OEM hub. Stock horn and pad. 13.5” diameter and 11” effective at the bottom half. Buy one of my aluminum cores, glue and shape Masonite on the front and back and put a leather cover on it. Easy easy.

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          • frostr6
            frostr6 commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd like to take a look, do you have a link to your steering wheels or blanks?

        • #6
          Please show pics of your project. I've experimented with different wheels, though not of my own design or manufacture, and have found that the steering wheel is about the most intimate factor ot the driving experience.
          CF1634U+O Pimento/Chestnut
          2nd owner, since 1975
          Now in Fair Oaks, CA

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          • frostr6
            frostr6 commented
            Editing a comment
            If I go ahead with it I'll definitely take lots of pictures. I found this video of a fully DIY wheel and good result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HEZS95IaM8

            It would be a lot easier to have a CNC jet to cut it out like that, but I don't have easy access to that kind of machinery - there's a Makerspace shop in Mpls that has one, but it's a $55/month membership to get access. Not worth it to me unless they also have a roll bender, so I'll likely end up cutting it out by hand. I'd also like a little dish, so I assume I'll need to make the spokes and rim as separate parts.

        • #7
          Bill--

          That video was mesmerizing. I watched the whole thing.

          For those of us without CNC, here's my TR6 wheel project. I wanted to retain the TR6 hub and spokes, but have a wood rim to match the dash.

          http://bullfire.net/TR6/TR6-59/TR6-59.html

          Ed
          For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

          Comment


          • #8
            Here are some pictures. The aluminum cores are 6061, water jetted to out of 1/4 “ plate. My hard wood wheels have 1/2” thick front and rear rings laminated on. Rear ring is profiled to half round, front ring is profiled with corner edges knocked off and partial flat front. Various comparisons and a trial fit in a GT6 demonstrating leg room. Click image for larger version

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            my experience in my TR6 is that my right leg goes straight ahead and my knee doesn’t hurt anymore.

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            • frostr6
              frostr6 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the photos, I think I've seen a picture of that wheel before, but didn't know it was yours. It makes a lot of sense for leg room, but I think I'm going to try making why own anyway. I need a good winter project.

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