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328 Quick Release for Steering Wheel

Discussion in '308/328' started by LuigiVampa, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
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    Jan 17, 2020
    65
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    Todd
    The first thing I noticed when I drove my 328 for the first time was that I needed the seat all the way back and that caused me to feel like I was driving the car with my finger tips.

    I took off the steering wheel and held it where I thought it might be comfortable and decided that I wanted to go with a 50mm spacer. Being 6 foot, and 250 pounds on a good day, I also decided that it might be better to go with a quick release steering wheel. I have one on both of my Porsche track cars but the only difference is I needed a quick release that would work with a horn.

    I decided to go with an NRG 2.8 quick release in black. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BXVWCGK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The MOMO steering wheel came off no problem but when I went to put on the piece that bolts to the hub I noticed it was flat and the hub has a ring to accept the MOMO steering wheel. I've ordered a spacer ring which I hope will fill the gap - set to arrive in two days.

    Before ordering the BRG I found this spacer (not quick release) on Amazon and decided to give it a whirl as it said it was compatible with MOMO. It wasn't. Although it had six bolt holes they did not line up with the holes on the hub.

    Pictures below show the lip in the hub which I have to overcome. Hopefully by the end of the week I will be cruising around using more than my fingertips!


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  3. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    11,062
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    Jimmie
    For future reference Ricambi should have the Hill Engineering spacer which is the go-to item
     
  4. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
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    Jan 17, 2020
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    Todd
    As a backup, in case the washer I bought doesn't work out I bought the 50mm Hill Engineering spacer as well.

    SWS02B 50mm Steering Wheel Spacer

    I want the wheel to be a quick release to facilitate getting in and out a little easier but I am sure the Hill Engineering one will be just fine if I can't get the NRG to work.

    At the end of the day I will just have a spacer machined if I can't find anything commercially available.
     
  5. 308 milano

    308 milano F1 Rookie
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    Jan 15, 2007
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    Kim
    Thinking of pulling my steering column and replacing it with one from an 78 Cadillac El Dorado. Tilt AND telescoping steering.
     
  6. 328GTSinPA

    328GTSinPA Rookie
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    Dec 22, 2019
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    David Felker
    Really interested in seeing the finished product, Todd. Please keep the pics and updates coming.
     
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  8. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula 3

    Apr 17, 2014
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    Paul
    Seems like it would be pretty simple for a machinist to just cut a groove in your adapter to fit over the lip. Better than having another spacer to fiddle with.
     
  9. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
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    Jan 17, 2020
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    Todd
    Actually, as a backup plan my idea is to remove the hub and machine the ring off. Also, to machine a grove into the piece that attaches to the hub would not leave enough material for structural integrity.

    The reason why I don't want to do that is because it involves an extra step and modifies the original hub.

    Additionally, when I bounce around threads looking for projects I like ones where everything is laid out and there is a minimum of fuss. If this mod involves pulling the hub and machining off the ring there are people who just won't do that. A washer/spacer is not going to cause any structural issues and will make the job that much more easy. The one I have on order is "hopefully" the one for the job and also has the holes for the bolts already cut into it.

    If I have to source a blank washer/spacer, and drill the holes myself, it my make me want to have the hub machined.
     
  10. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
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    Jan 17, 2020
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    Todd
    The ring which would allow me to use the quick release has not shown up yet but the Hill Engineering space I purchased from Ricambi has so I installed it to see what it was like to drive the 328 with my hands instead of my finger tips. https://www.ricambiamerica.com/sws02b-50mm-steering-wheel-spacer.html

    Its well made, and as you can see from the picture, has a ring machined into on the bottom to fit over the raised retaining ring which helps keep the steering wheel centered.

    Installation was pretty easy, you start with the bottom and bolt it onto the hub, and then bolt on the steering wheel. The hardest part is not to let the horn wire hit the side of the extension so you don't have to listen to it the whole time during the install. I put a piece of electrical tape over it to prevent this.

    At some point I think someone had used locktite because there was a little "gunk" when I unscrewed everything. I figured there was residual gunk when I screwed everything on so that will be enough.

    The one issue I had was that the horn wire length made it almost impossible to get the horn button back on. What I wound up doing was very carefully bending the copper horn lead down 90 degrees and hold the horn wire with a pair of needle nose pliers. The horn honked the whole time I was doing this but eventually I got it on and snapped the horn button in place.

    It was a huge improvement but dare I say that I would actually prefer 75mm instead of the 50mm of this part? It is still not long enough and I am hoping my seat will go back another inch once I finish getting it unstuck.

    When the ring comes I may pull this spacer off and see how the NRG quick release fares. I also bought the special socket to remove the steering wheel bolt. I guess Ferrari believes in making everyone spend money on special part when a plain old bolt would have done the job?

    Bottom line - the drive is much improved but I am looking for a little bit better.




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  11. LuigiVampa

    LuigiVampa Karting
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    Jan 17, 2020
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    Todd
    Thought I would post an update. With the angle of the steering wheel a quick release was really not necessary - there is plenty of room to slide underneath.

    What I would up doing with combining the Hill Engineering 50mm spacer with a Hill Engineering 25mm spacer and now I have good grip when the seat it where it needs to be.

    I reached out to Hill Engineering, before all this quarantine crap, and asked if they would make a 75mm version. The reply a few months ago was that they were busy with production but might be able to bang it out for me in the summer months. Who knows when that will happen at this point? I just thought it would look nicer, and be more rigid (even though there isn't any rigidity issues) if it were all one piece.

    I do wish there was a way to get the steering wheel lowered as little bit but it looks like that is not possible.

    This is a very simple mod that provides a lot of comfort to anyone with long legs! Be safe everyone!
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  13. hrlevy

    hrlevy Karting
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    May 3, 2005
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    upstate NY
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    Howard R. Levy
    "I do wish there was a way to get the steering wheel lowered as little bit but it looks like that is not possible."

    I believe that the height of the wheel is adjustable.
    There are 2 bolts that mount the whole steering column. Tab 41 (328 parts book) part 58.
    I'm 6'3"I've been down this road before.
    Years ago I had a local machine shop make me a simple spacer used long bolts, still on car 34 years later.
     

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