Steering wheel spacer on an airbag steering wheel - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel spacer on an airbag steering wheel

Does anyone know if it is possible to fit a spacer on an airbag steering wheel like in a 2008 Exige S240 ?
take a pick : my arms are too short or my legs are too long to sit comfortably.
Is there room to fit a spacer on the steering wheel ?
Will the airbag explode in my face ?
thanks !
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:19 PM
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No, wheel will not explode in your face, unless you are part T-rex; but you did not say anything about a big head and short arms . There is enough space in the wiring that you could have a machine shop mill a 1.0 inch to 1.5 inch spacer from some 6061 aluminum. And you would not need to mess with wire splicing.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:23 PM
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I've considered the same thing, but I'm afraid to do it with an airbag. I have this problem in all modern cars. It's the trend to move you farther and farther away from the wheel. Sacrificing control in the name of safety, I suppose. Either that, or I'm built like a t-rex.

What's your height and seating position? I'm 6' and I drive 2 clicks from full rear. 3 clicks up would be ideal for my arms, 1 click is perfect for my legs.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:24 PM
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Welcome, Vortex!

I'd love to know if and how you get this worked out, since I'm in the same boat...
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:27 PM
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I'm somewhere around 5-9 and have moved my seat as far forward as my legs can stand. I'll count the clicks on the way home, if I remember...

Having the wheel 1-1.5" closer would make a huge difference...
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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On my previous Elise, without airbag, I replaced the steering wheel with a slightly smaller one (28cm vs factory 32cm), and could place a spacer of 3cm (wich, due to the design of the smaller steering wheel brought the wheel about 1,5cm closer to me) and that was perfect. I will have a talk to my mechanic tomorrow ! great stuff guys, and will let you know how things work out. But if someone has already done it, that would be essential info !

Btw, I'm 1,87cm...2 clicks from max for street driving, and 3-4 clicks on track, but hitting my knee on downshifts from 3rd to 2nd !
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:30 PM
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Sorry for the third post...

I'm also considering the LETSLA short shift kit to give me some room in the pattern to move the shifter closer. That 5th gear was way far away until I trained my legs to suffer through another click forward on the seat...
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 07:28 PM
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4-5 clicks from the rear for me, btw.
Keep is updated!
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VortexLot View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible to fit a spacer on an airbag steering wheel like in a 2008 Exige S240 ?
take a pick : my arms are too short or my legs are too long to sit comfortably.
Is there room to fit a spacer on the steering wheel ?
Will the airbag explode in my face ?
thanks !
Yes, it can be done without much difficulty. Here's a picture of my car with a 40mm spacer. I bought the spacer from Eliseparts, had my local machine shop drill the appropriate holes and then bought longer cap head allen bolts to pass through the spacer.


- Shine
2005 Elise, Ardent Red, Manual Winders
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:28 PM
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nice! I wouldn't mind having the wheel extend out another couple inches as it does with removable steering wheel fitted cars.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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excellent stuff, shine. Do you happen to know how long the connections to the airbag are ? Did you have to lengthen them ?
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 05:34 AM
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excellent stuff, shine. Do you happen to know how long the connections to the airbag are ? Did you have to lengthen them ?
I did not have to extend the airbag wire and it still has some slack in it.

Here's a link to the spacer I used:
Elise Parts - Interior - Steering Wheel Adaptor

Keep in mind that none of the pre-drilled holes match the pattern needed for this project, so you'll have to line up the bolt pattern from the steering wheel and have new holes drilled through it for the extended bolts. I can get the details on the bolts I used later today when I go to my shop.

It takes awhile to get used to driving with the extended wheel as the blinker stalk is now 40mm further away than it used to be.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Allright. So the spacer is fitted, and it's brilliant !!
My mechanic said that he could use the predrilled holes with thread !
I ordered the spacer from elise-shop.com.
Really happy driver here ! Thanks for the info guys.
A spacer of 4cm could be fitted, but then the airbag wires would be under tension.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:23 AM
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Great! Could you please post a part number for the spacer you used? Thanks a bunch!
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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there you go.
Steering wheel spacer 30mm, hub to snap-off (Elise, Exige all models incl Federal) [SWS30] - €25.50 : Elise Shop, Performance parts for your Lotus Elise
The backside of the OEM steering wheel had to be slightly shaved down, but not much of a hassle
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:42 AM
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Man, I want just the opposite, the wheel is too close!

2006 Exige
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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if you don't mind loosing the airbag, you could simply fit an aftermarket steering wheel like a momo or sparco. They are about 1,5cm less deep, so 1,5 cm further away from you !
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:46 AM
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Really? I thought the spacer that made it fit would bring it closer? I'd LOVE a MOMO model 78!

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VortexLot View Post
there you go.
Steering wheel spacer 30mm, hub to snap-off (Elise, Exige all models incl Federal) [SWS30] - €25.50 : Elise Shop, Performance parts for your Lotus Elise
The backside of the OEM steering wheel had to be slightly shaved down, but not much of a hassle
Thank you, sir! Just bookmarked and went on my "list"
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 01:00 PM
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I'm about to pull the trigger on this...

Something came to my mind last night, though:

The indicator stalk is already quite far back. With another 30mm, it doesn't seem to be directly reachable anymore (with my left hand on the wheel).

What was your experience with this? Easy to get used to?
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