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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I managed to install an airbag Elise wheel and new dash plate without blowing myself up today.

A couple of notes that may help the next guy:

I don't understand why you need to carve out part of the wheel mounting plate so an airbag connector can fit through it when you are never going to need to pass an airbag connector through it? There's more than enough room for the wires. I carved it out because I had one of those special dremel sideways tools that made it easy and I wanted to follow all instructions, but without that tool, it would have been a long painful process. I can't see why you need to do it.

And the instructions mention that you need space between the back of the adapter and the plastic cover on the steering column, but I don't see why since they are locked together in their movement, and it doesn't say what to do about it if you don't.

Those are just a couple of notes for the next guy -- the result is great, and I couldn't be happier.

My first impressions: The steering wheel is not a little, but a lot smaller than the Pontiac wheel. This is great for people like me that are over 6 feet tall, not just to have extra room while driving, but getting in and out is a lot easier without crashing into the side bolster. The steering wheel diameter is not only smaller, but it's off center toward the top giving even more room between the seat and the bottom of the wheel.

It's so much smaller, it's a little weird at first, but I am sure I will get used to it. It's just different. Things feel a little empty in front of you because the wheel is also more open in its design, which I am sure I will appreciate over time to feel even less cramped than my ex-SE.

On the down side, if you are tall, it does block the view of the top of the gauges and the indicator lights, but not to the point that it would make you read something wrong or miss something.

I wouldn't recommend this change for Esprits without power steering because of the lower amount of leverage, but it's ok on the V8.

The steering wheel rim is closer to you since the special adapter adds an inch. This makes the turn and wiper stalks a little far away, but that again is just different and not a problem.

The steering wheel does not feel quite as luxurious as the Pontiac wheel. It is after all coming off a minimalist car, so that's to be expected. The feeling is harder plastic. But it's not bad, and it looks higher quality than the Pontiac wheel and looks much more youthful and sporty, and we all know it's better to look good than to feel good!

The proper Lotus emblem in the middle is worth the upgrade alone.

I also ran a strip of black electric tape around the aluminum adapter hub, because the silver bit between the wheel and column does stick out like a sore thumb. It would be better to paint it a flat black before installation, but since I figured that out too late, the tape will have to do. The tape fits perfectly in width, and when it get's ratty, it's super easy to put a new one.

Here's an extra tip: Cleaning brushed aluminum can be difficult. But I found that using chrome polish with a microfiber cloth does a great job of cleaning without damaging the brushed finished.

Still not feeling like I need to do the aluminum shifter and the rings on the base of the shifter, but that could change with time.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Looks great but the pictures are a bit small so they're hard to view. Oh wait I don't mean small do I, what I really mean is HUGE!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Time to upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor -- they are like $100 now... ;)

Helpful tip: If you are monitor size challenged, you can hold control and use your scroll mouse to quickly resize pics to fit in your monitor. Then just put it back when it's time to read the text. Lots of pics on here are large, and for me, too big is always better than too small.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Uh, my monitor is much higher than that at 2560x1600 - but I'm not n my machine I'm on my iPad. Which actually resizes the photos pretty well, just annoys the crap out of me when someone posts cool pictures but takes no time to resize them. There are a million simple ways to do that - relying on all your viewers to fix your mistake isn't the right approach.

Sorry, didn't meant to turn this into a rant, one of the best looking Esprit interiors I've seen, hate that most won't enjoy it ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did resize them. They wouldn't fit on your monitor if I didn't. They are resize for 1920x1080 monitors.

And I just pulled it up on my iPad, and it fits perfectly both in Safari and AutoGuide...So really not sure why the rant...
 

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Try resizing again. Very few people set their monitors to such a resolution. Might explain why you think that little wheel looks proper there too.

Nice Esprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No kidding! My "computer" has a 3" screen.
Oh, so I should just post thumbnails then? Get a grip people. If your mobile devices can't resize a picture, then throw it in a lake and get a real one.

Not resizing. So tough noogies. :nanner2:
 

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Absolute power does what?
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I did resize them. They wouldn't fit on your monitor if I didn't. They are resize for 1920x1080 monitors.

And I just pulled it up on my iPad, and it fits perfectly both in Safari and AutoGuide...So really not sure why the rant...
No, not perfect. Viewable, yes. Perfect, no - the photos are huge you have to zoomin and out and scroll to read the text. For a forum standard practice would be to post thumbnails at lower resolution for the post then have links to the full res pictures which honestly few will care about. Was simply posting for them (as others have done).

Just trying to educate not thread jack. Seriously, back to that - looks great. The Esprit wheel is pretty awful so going with an Elise wheel keeps a very OEM look. Don't think it's too small at all, looks perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Did the alum dash plate come with your car or did you add it?
Finally back to the topic! No it wasn't there -- I added the dash plate at the same time I did the steering wheel. It definitely makes it easier without the steering wheel.

These are the instructions I followed:
Alloy Dash Mask
 

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Finally back to the topic! No it wasn't there -- I added the dash plate at the same time I did the steering wheel. It definitely makes it easier without the steering wheel.

These are the instructions I followed:
Alloy Dash Mask
from where did you buy it? I know espritperformance.com has it; how about JAE?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bought an OEM one off of a member on here that had one for sale.

Lotus Esprit World sells non-OEM ones for cheap. I am not sure about shipping and delivery time though.

I am sure you can buy them from the usual suspects though.
 

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Welcome to the Elise steering wheel club my friend. Let me know if you want to change your gear lever to the newer one (silver ball type). I have the whole unit available.
 

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Well that looks fantastic! I'm glad the wheel went to a good home. I only wish you had it at the meeting this Saturday so I could see it in person. Great work and good job not blowing anything up with that airbag, I was really worried.

Ps those pictures look great on my iPad not sure what all the fuss was about.
 

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I am, and probably always will be, a purist at heart.

That being said...

There is not an ounce of me that thinks the stock/OEM Esprit steering wheel shouldn't be replaced with an Elige version. It looks so much better.
 

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Ps those pictures look great on my iPad not sure what all the fuss was about.
one thing; the scaling ratio; when the iPad scales the images, the font is rendered in FlySpec-2

If the font is rendered native, the images are "somewhat" huge. Just a matter of scale/ratio.

Certainly not enough to get one's panties in a bunch.
 
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