Raid Steering wheel upgrade - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 09:00 AM
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Dang.. I'm still looking for a wheel and adapter..

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post #22 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Zippy_Slug View Post
Dang.. I'm still looking for a wheel and adapter..
LOL well you have not been looking very good as I have probably sold like 6 wheels on LT in the last year or so since Nov of 2013 and the Elise wheel adapter guy has probably sold that many adapters if not more as well. I have also sold a few wheels locally and several to the Porsche guys wanting to make their cars look like RUF's. Except for the RUF emblem the Raid wheel is the same type as found on many RUF's and they are used to paying 1K or more unless they get the bottom of the line or entry level Sliberfeil model.

Although in all fairness I have not done any weekly posting that I have Raid wheels for sale. Last year I had 8 wheels in stock but did not have any cash outlay for them. I only had to pay for them as I sold them. I always had to option to turn them back in and walk away with no hard feelings.

As with many Lotus parts sellers this was not a business to make money. I never really made a lot of money off the wheel sales and at times was more bothersome than it was worth. The ability to supply wheels to close friends and key people was the driving factor and if others along way got what they wanted thats the way it worked out.

If I know there are people looking for a Raid wheel I will keep it in mind if I run across a wheel but at this point I am not going to beat the bushes looking as my associates have been taken care of or at least had their chance at it.

Cal H
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post #23 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 10:26 AM
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If I know there are people looking for a Raid wheel I will keep it in mind if I run across a wheel but at this point I am not going to beat the bushes looking as my associates have been taken care of or at least had their chance at it.
Ya.. well.. when I finally notice a thread announcing the sale of an Elige wheel I'm usually last to the party and miss out on it. So.. you got any now?

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post #24 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 12:47 PM
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I know it does not help you guys but. The last wheel I have for sale is equipped with the easy to find and press surface mounted horn button with raised tactile bumps to aid in positive left/right horn location. Raid/Atiwe addressed concerns from customer feedback and later offered this option.
OK good, I was a little confused as to why the horn button was so hard to find for the two fellas here as mine are just like in the photo. Must be an older version of some sort...

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post #25 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 01:25 PM
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Sorry if missed it, how much is the steering wheel and does it include adapter?

Kenny; Dallas Tx
==============================
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post #26 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by EspritNOOB View Post
OK good, I was a little confused as to why the horn button was so hard to find for the two fellas here as mine are just like in the photo. Must be an older version of some sort...
Yes Noob you have the easier to find horn buttons. There can be little chance of a mistake with your style of horn button.

They have very small horn buttons concealed under the skin of the leather wrap. All it shows is a tiny small horn icon imprinted on the surface. so thats where you press and you have sort of feel for the button under it's surface. Gives a cleaner look but makes the buttons harder to find during certain panic situations.

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post #27 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 05:25 AM
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Just installed the Logo on my wheel that I purchased from Cal last week. Sorry for the delayed photo. Looks great and very oem.


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post #28 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by lotusespritman View Post
Or you can go with the most economical way like the one on this link below:

Grant model 4509 hub adapter

Total cost approx. $40-50 shipping incl
GRANT 4509 steering hub adapter kit used for ISUZU RODEO

PROS: You are open to unlimited Sport Steering Wheels options
Economical and involves very minor modification (see link above)

CONS: You lose your safety AIRBAG option.

In my case I have four different Sports Steering Wheel that I can use and change any time I want to.
Good Luck and Enjoy your new TOY!

JR
Just as someone who has been there and done that, this option works, care just needs to be had to get the turn signal mechanism set right...take pics as you remove and keep wheel in same place. Also, be selective which wheel you choose. I used a MOMO Race wheel with the metal spokes. When I totaled my 93 Esprit and it hit a curb it jolted the steering wheel in my hands violently and fractured my thumb due to the metal spoke rotating around and slamming into it. Kind of like someone taking a metal ruler and striking your thumb with it.

So unless you have race car driver reflexes and can react quick enough to pull your hands off the wheel the split second before an accident impact like Indy Car/Formula 1 drivers before they hit the wall (who have hit things multiple times during their race careers...maybe Nascar is a better example as they hit stuff every race ), remember that you use your hands constantly through your everyday life. I thought it looked cool, but wearing a cast on my hand for several months was not. Exposed metal spokes on steering wheels are dangerous. And for those that say "I only drive my car once in a while"...I was driving to a car show...so S*@t happens even once in a while.

This has been a public service announcement.
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post #29 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul95Lotus View Post


So unless you have race car driver reflexes and can react quick enough to pull your hands off the wheel the split second before an accident impact like Indy Car/Formula 1 drivers before they hit the wall (who have hit things multiple times during their race careers...maybe Nascar is a better example as they hit stuff every race ), remember that you use your hands constantly through your everyday life. I thought it looked cool, but wearing a cast on my hand for several months was not. Exposed metal spokes on steering wheels are dangerous. And for those that say "I only drive my car once in a while"...I was driving to a car show...so S*@t happens even once in a while.

This has been a public service announcement.
Hope your hand is back to 100% as many times such things nevers regains complete pre accident condition.

Back 15+ years ago I thought of doing a similar swap. Back then it was fairly common to do the wheel swap as Opie (poster of the link mentioned in this thread) was not the 1st one to think of that procedure on his own.

It was in conversation with Tim Engel that prompted me to retain the airbag via the replacement airbag wheel route. He simply stated that if the insurance company involved in a claim were to ever find out that a person had removed a mandated safety device, then there was a potential the insurance company could deny or reduce claims based on a contributing factor to the injury or claim increased severity of the injury as a result of the missing/removed safety device.

The insurance companies job is to limit their liability and exposure so it all depends on how well a job they do. Possibly it could be the insurance company of the 2nd or 3rd party who is at fault for the accident seeking to reduce the amount of the claim if it contributed to a life long disability. It is unknown if such an issue would occur but I was unwilling to risk such a thing just to save a few bucks upfront.

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post #30 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 05:01 PM
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I'm not sure installing an airbag wheel that was not designed for the Esprit is any better. Nobody even knows if it would actually work in a collision.
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post #31 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 09:35 AM
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airbag wheels

Can anyone please test if the after market airbag really works? (just kidding)

There is really no guarantee in life... even if you have the airbag or not if your car got hit in a worst place let's say by the driver side you are done. So know your car's limit and your limit. I am sure 95 % of Esprit owners are all mature (40 yrs old and up). We no longer take any risk for fun, we got everything to lose. We all want to enjoy our Esprit the best we can!

Safe driving everyone!

JR
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post #32 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 11:51 AM
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I can see Sanj's point, any airbag requires a proper, sufficient structure behind it to assure that it will explode outward as designed!

But what do I know, my '88 only has that comfy padded center, no airbag...

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post #33 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 12:22 PM
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One could also argue that the Pontiac airbag steering wheel used in Esprit's was not "designed" for them. I am comfortable with my Elise and if I had a Raid would be as well. Back when my 1994 was designed, I very much doubt they put in the engineering time, etc. to the existing interior when they added the airbag versus how they design them for cars today.

Kenny; Dallas Tx
==============================
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1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo - SOLD
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post #34 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 03:38 PM
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I'm not sure installing an airbag wheel that was not designed for the Esprit is any better. Nobody even knows if it would actually work in a collision.
In reference to various airbag companies that supply airbag modules to the steering wheel makers. They are controlled by maybe 4-6 manufacturers??? Not sure the exact number as many are subsidiaries to the main holding companies. That being said, The Raid steering wheel airbag module made by Petri AG was not specifically designed for the Esprit, but is used in several limited production models of cars as OEM. It is also used in many aftermarket applications mostly of European origin. Many cars world wide share the use of the same airbag model and it is common practice to insert the same airbag module into many different cases and airbag pads.

The Elise and Exige steering wheel and airbags were also not specifically designed for them and used off the shelf airbag modules. We all know the OEM Esprit GM airbag were also not specifically designed for the car but was lifted from GM inventory. But all Lotus airbag equipped cars were physically crash tested with the factory OEM wheels to prove compliance with NHTSA.

The Raid airbag module is a standard full size bag that it is about 2.5 cu ft inflated and round that is designed to cover an area beyond the wheel being mindful of the driver hold on the steering wheel. The driver side rectangular or shaped bags are rare and only found on stationary hub type steering wheels.

Many of the airbags used on the drivers side share the similar dimension and Raid is no exception they only have one airbag for all models and wheel sizes they produce. It's because the bag must cover such a wide range of parameters such as accommodating different seating distance, tilt steering if equipped, size of drivers, steering wheel size, etc. So its the one size fits as many as possible mentality rather than purpose made design for each vehicle. I believe the minimum target distance consideration from hub to driver's chest is 10".

German airbag rules are a lot stricter than in the USA and I believe like many EU countries illegal to disable or remove airbags. I am speculating, but since Raid does make an Esprit hub I would strongly assume they had inflation simulation testing done at a place like EASi Engineering GmbH that specializes in detailed computer airbag simulations to limit the number of actual physical crash testing. Germany is so strict it forbids used airbag sales and I think it restricts reloading airbags into steering wheels that have experienced bag deployment. In any case I'm not 100% sure of German laws, only 2nd hand info.

Testing results indicate air bags were "modestly protective" for front-seat passengers of medium height, which is defined as being between 5 foot 3 inches tall to 5 foot 11 inches tall. Studies indicate "air bags appear to increase the risk of injury for large- and small-stature adults."

For drivers taller than 6 foot 3 inches, air bags were associated with a 5% greater risk of serious injury. Also estimates that for drivers shorter than 4 foot 11 inches, air bags were associated with a 4% increase in the risk of serious injury.

It is curious that the poster that listed the non airbag Grant wheel mod is from Canada. I have been informed that while not illegal to remove an airbag in Canada. The uniform insurance rules there will routinely deny a claim or revoke coverage based on removal of a safety device as an airbag. It is a subject covered in many site forums from Miata to Corvette as it relates to Canada. Just google it. So Canadians, its best to check with your own insurance if it is allowed.

Wisconsin has a law in regards to airbag removal which is a misdemeanor crime. Tennessee also has a similar law. it applies to private individuals as well as service professionals. I have not researched other states if they have similar state statues so one must research local jurisdictions for such laws.

Wisconsin 347.475 sub section (3)  Airbags, prohibited practices.
No person may, either personally or through an agent, remove, disconnect, tamper with, or otherwise circumvent the operation of any airbag, except for the purpose of testing, repairing, or maintaining an airbag, salvaging an undeployed airbag, disposing of a deployed airbag, or replacing a deployed airbag with a functional airbag. This subsection does not apply to the installation or use of an on-off switch by any person who is authorized by federal law or regulation to install or use an on-off switch for an airbag.

It's all information and its a personal choice one way or another if one removes the bag. For me I'll keep an airbag. The wife feels better about me having it when I go on robust drives so I am not going to make waves. I also don't want to give insurance any excuse to limit or deny coverage.

Cal H

Last edited by maxvelocity; 02-23-2015 at 03:43 PM.
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post #35 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 04:13 PM
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I'll bet if you told your insurance company you replaced your airbag with one not designed for your car they would deny coverage just as surely as they would for removing it altogether. The air bag is a system, and without testing the new airbag with the other components there is no knowing if it will work. Or worse. Lotus didn't just grab an airbag off the shelf and stick it in the car.
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post #36 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 04:24 PM
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Lotus didn't just grab an airbag off the shelf and stick it in the car.
Actually, I'm sure they did.

But I'm also reasonably sure they had to do some kind of testing, to make sure the 'bag they used met the regs in effect at the time.


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post #37 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 04:52 AM
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I haven't been in a crash in 31yrs, and back then there were no airbags. I'd say avoidance of a collision is the best way to assure an aftermarket airbag is safe to install.

I also highly doubt that an insurance company would decline coverage if you have an aftermarket steering wheel/airbag installed.

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post #38 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 06:02 AM
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I hope to never find out if mine work or not...

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post #39 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 08:22 AM
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I'll bet if you told your insurance company you replaced your airbag with one not designed for your car they would deny coverage just as surely as they would for removing it altogether. The air bag is a system, and without testing the new airbag with the other components there is no knowing if it will work. Or worse. Lotus didn't just grab an airbag off the shelf and stick it in the car.
Do you really think Lotus designed an airbag for the Esprit? As I stated earlier they probably just measured dimensions and the deployment angle then selected one that fit the specification from the GM bin. Then proceeded with the required physical and crash testing to comply with NHSTA regs.

Do also think they designed the ABS system for the Esprit or just pull them out of the GM bin and fit them in our cars?

I'm not going tell my insurance crap. If there were a severe enough crash to deploy the bag, the adjuster will see a deployed and deflated bag in the Esprit with a blown off detached cover that says SRS airbag with Lotus logo. I'm betting that will be the end of that. In an accident involving an non airbag wheel in a car just about everyone from the 1st responder, tow truck driver and salvage yard can tell that the steering wheel airbag has been removed and replaced. Because at accident scenes there is a required check list for responders that includes disabling or noting the absence of airbags before proceeding with anything. So if they do their job it will be included in the accident documentation.

I know the type of airbag discharge system used in the Esprit. It will deliver a current jolt far in excess of any later model controller for added assurance that it would ignite the squib or what some call the detonator (airbag people do not like to use names like detonator or explosive charge). I measured the squib bridge wire and it was 2 ohm as per the spec. As an example of trigger strength, late model passenger cars airbag service notes call for battery disconnection for as little as 3 min, with trigger voltages as low as 3V. While pre 93 cars specify battery disconnection of 20-30 min. I suspect it has to do with the voltage and storage capacity of the capacitor. The reductions in the trigger current storage and strength most likely had to do the dangers posed to 1st responders to an accident scene.

Esprit airbag controllers are single stage and fairly crude fire /no fire device. It is not a complex multi zone, multi bag 2 stage system with the ability to sense occupant weight/variable inflation. The raid airbag was intended for sports coupes and sedans so the size is the correct 2.5 cu ft/round for such drivers side use. But it is not specifically tested or rated for Esprit use.

I am not 100% certain my airbag will deploy, in the same token I am not 100% certain my premium quality Cor Bon loads in my CCW will fire when called upon. But I feel the probability is very high in both cases they will work as required.

Bottom line, Regardless of what you think I have a much better chance that my airbag will deploy and provide some sort of protection than yours as you no chance of bag deployment as you have removed your airbag. But that is your choice.

Cal H
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post #40 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 09:26 AM
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Do you really think Lotus designed an airbag for the Esprit? As I stated earlier they probably just measured dimensions and the deployment angle then selected one that fit the specification from the GM bin. Then proceeded with the required physical and crash testing to comply with NHSTA regs.
Every SIR part in the Esprit has a Lotus part number on it, including the airbag. You have no idea whether or not they were direct pulls from the 'GM parts bin' or if they were modified and/or specifically selected to suit the car. You can assume all day long, but that doesn't make it true. In any event, they were tested, as a system, in the Esprit. The Raid wheel was not part of that test. If it makes you feel better to have it there, that is fine. My view is that airbags are for people that don't buckle their seat belts, anyway.

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Do also think they designed the ABS system for the Esprit or just pull them out of the GM bin and fit them in our cars?
They are obviously GM parts, but I would bet they recalibrated the ABS computer specifically for the Esprit. Ditto the SIR.

People love to assume that Lotus is just a bunch of yobbos sticking parts together in a shed, but that is simply not true. It is especially not true when it comes to safety systems, where government regulations play a huge part.

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I'm not going tell my insurance crap.
That's fine, too, but you're deflecting.
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