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What company can carbon fiber a sterring wheel?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by TTG, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. TTG

    TTG Formula 3

    Jun 11, 2002
    1,517
    East Hanover, NJ
    Full Name:
    Todd Gieger
    I want to have a steering wheel sent to a company that can carbon fiber the outer perimeter of a steering wheel to match the interior of a car...does anyone know who can do this? Has anyone had a good experience with a company that does this type of work?

    Thanks,

    Todd
     
  2. thomas_b

    thomas_b Formula Junior

    Sep 15, 2003
    765

    one site I have found so far

    http://www.rau-autowood.com/ferrari360.htm

    don't have any more info or how they do it - would be great if you could post your findings
     
  3. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,335
    Denver, CO
    Full Name:
    Sunny
    Check with Byron, user bymth here on F-chat. He might know a couple companies that have done some carbon fibre work. I'll drop him a note to check this thread.

    Sunny
     
  4. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron
    TTG,
    If you want some quality carbon fiber pieces, especially custom work, a company I would recommend is Valence USA. They are not only a sponsor of FerrariChat, but also a top notch company that stands by their work! I have a few pieces for my 348 done already, with the rest coming soon.

    Contact Chris Coffing. He is focused on delivering quality products, so I'm sure it will be worth your time. He can be reached at (434)977-7951. They are on the East Coast.

    -Byron

    Here is a sample of their work:
     
  5. Stickanddice

    Stickanddice Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2002
    2,473
    Just a cautionary note. Please be VERY careful when getting carbon bits in something like a steering wheel. Make sure that some parts of it aren't made of carbon. It is a very very big safety issue.

    If the non carbon part can break off then the carbon won't shatter. If you make the entire thing out of carbon fiber and God forbid you should be in an unfortunate accident; the damage would be tremendous. When carbon fiber's structural integrity is compromised it literally explodes into little shards.

    I own a carbon fiber company. We don't do automotive stuff at all, I never blatantly plug my businesses. We deal with aerospace, defense, marine, and carbon/graphite composite research. I really can't stress enough how dangerous this stuff can be. It is very difficult to work effectively with carbon fiber when you want it to be collapsible and have fail points etc (like an F1 car). When I asked my own company to build me carbon stuff they have flat out refused some of my requests. These guys have made panels and jet thrust flaps for the B2 bomber among other hard core stuff. One of my ideas was indeed a full carbon steering wheel. Keep in mind there is an airbag housing to worry about, etc.

    That said, I have indeed heard that Valence makes some very high quality and absolutely gorgeous carbon fiber stuff. I could definitely see a steering wheel where parts are made out of carbon fiber. Kind of like the wood trim steering wheels in some of these modern cars, where the wood doesn't go all the way around. It would still look very nice.

    Be safe!

    Cheers
     
  6. TTG

    TTG Formula 3

    Jun 11, 2002
    1,517
    East Hanover, NJ
    Full Name:
    Todd Gieger
    Thanks guys...I left a voicemail for Chris. I sincerely appreciate the details regarding the possibilities of shortcomings with carbon fiber yet I was only considering the outside section of the steering wheel. Here's the deal...I put a deposit on a 1999 355 F1 Serie Fiorano and the one thing on the car I do not like is the "upgraded" suede steering wheel...I would much rather have the standard 355 steering wheel...suede is simply not friendly to sweaty human hands... so I am strongly considering sending the wheel out to have carbon fiber in only the area where the suede is to match the console, paddleshifter, door sills, etc...I think it would look sharp.

    Any other thoughts/words of wisdom?

    THANKS AGAIN!

    Todd

    todd@tgallc.com
     
  7. dwhite

    dwhite F1 Rookie

    I would be concerned the steering wheel would become slippery if it is done in carbon. Anyway, good luck on the car, hope it works out.
     
  8. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614
    Todd,

    A few points from my experience with suede steering wheels.

    I have had both on a 360 in the past and as far as grip is concerned
    the suede wheel was way out on top. With or without gloves.

    To combat the down side of the sweat element I just a good quality suede cleaner.

    When new the suede would flake off in a fine dust which stuck to the hands and was generally a bit messy. After a while this stopped and the suede felt more like a rough leather but the grip was even better than before.

    Personlly I'd prefered the suede as the extra grip gave a certain secure feeling that I couldn't get from leather.

    Just my 2 pounds worth(3 USD or 3.1 Euros)

    Good luck

    Wazza
     
  9. TTG

    TTG Formula 3

    Jun 11, 2002
    1,517
    East Hanover, NJ
    Full Name:
    Todd Gieger
    I hear you...but it looks like crap in suede.

    Thanks,
     
  10. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    6,588
    Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Ben Cannon
    Race car wheels use suede for a reason. I'd suggest pulling the suede wheel and substituting the more common standard F355 part if you really care.

    Who cares how it looks? Function man! ;)

    Best!
    Ben.
     
  11. TTG

    TTG Formula 3

    Jun 11, 2002
    1,517
    East Hanover, NJ
    Full Name:
    Todd Gieger
    I have driven a carbon fiber steering wheel before and thought it felt cool...suede might give a better grip but I am not racing Schumacher any time soon...so looks do count.

    Cheers!
     
  12. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 21, 2000
    6,387
    B.C., Canada
    No need to have yours done, pick one off the shelf from these guys:

    Reverie Ltd

    Expect to pay around 500 UK Pounds for one. They make both an all-carbon fibre wheel, plus one with a carbon fibre rim and aluminum spokes.
     
  13. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 21, 2000
    6,387
    B.C., Canada
    I should correct myself, they solely make carbon fibre steering wheels. The one with an aluminum centre is strictly cosmetics, the silver "aluminum" being some-sort of tinted fibreglass inlay...
     

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