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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK - so I drive about 1K miles/month since 2011. My 88MY dashboard view was always obscured and I put up with it until now.

I found an open top steering wheel ($38 eBay JDM style wheel - yeah, I know... :facepalm ) that was of the proper diameter and clearance. The styling is, uh, not exactly traditional Lotus.

But I admit it is SO much nicer to see my turbo/vacuum mechanical gauge and my tach/speedo without subconsciously tucking my chin under to look. :D

The open top steering take a bit of practice - after driving 32K miles, I developed some habits that apparently require grabbing the top of the (now non-existent) steering wheel. This was most evident when parallel parking in Monterey.

For those so inclined - here's the before and after. Thanks to Mark/amanda 11270 for the tip on the eBay-sourced steering hub adapter:

A favor - I'll take constructive criticism and jokes, but all I ask is let's keep it polite, clean and non-personal - Thanks!
 

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Hmm... It's uh... interesting.
Looks like something that would be on the Batmobile or an X-wing Starfighter. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hmm... It's uh... interesting.
Looks like something that would be on the Batmobile or an X-wing Starfighter. :)
It's OK to say it's UGLY, but just DON'T say "..your dog is ugly too..." :evil:

I wanted a nice Momo or Nardi open top, but they are too small (250mm) and require drilling of your own holes. This one is 350mm - same size as the original.

Someone suggested cutting an 8" arc out of the original wheel, but I wanted the ability to restore to factory.
 

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It will force you to hold the steering wheel correctly, that's for sure. My only concern is if say you lose the back end of the car and need to do sudden correction, you may try grab a section of the wheel that is not there which could compound the problem...

Something a bit more period looking may have been a little easier on the eye from my perspective...
Or something like this
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It will force you to hold the steering wheel correctly, that's for sure. My only concern is if say you lose the back end of the car and need to do sudden correction, you may try grab a section of the wheel that is not there which could compound the problem...

Something a bit more period looking may have been a little easier on the eye from my perspective...
Or something like this [250mm Momo D-type wheel]
Yes - instinctively grabbing that missing section is a real possibility until I get used to it.

And I agree on the wheel you posted but as I mentioned, the Momo of that type only comes in 250mm - too small as my 88MY has manual steering. It would be a bear to try and parallel park with such a small manual wheel.
 

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First thought: Damned sure hope never drive a car with that in it and a front end collision... impalement...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First thought: Damned sure hope never drive a car with that in it and a front end collision... impalement...
If the steering wheel is turned sideways enough to impale me in the impact, I got *MUCH* bigger problems than that :panic:
 

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Is it comfortable? i.e. ergonomic? Some of the craziest looking chairs turned out to be very comfortable and the opposite for a lot of traditional... that is why I ask.
 

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That was an airbag steering wheel, now it is not...right? Do you now have a light on the dash? I'd also remove the passenger airbag too. I was in an accident where the airbags went off, the only injuries I sustained were due to the airbag going off...2nd degree burns on my forearm with lacerations from the broken plastic shards. In my opinion, airbags are a hazard...not a safety item!
 

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Wingless Wonder
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That was an airbag steering wheel, now it is not...right?
No, the '88 (and '89 non-SE) did not come with airbags.




I think your new wheel needs one final touch, myself... :





rotfl rotfl rotfl
 

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Cal H
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I like the looks of the stock 88-89.5 wheel.
The question I have is if you have the seating position all the way back?
If your driving position is the seat all the way back take your OEM wheel and hold it in front of the pod. Move it closer towards you to increase the field of view of the gauges noting elbow bend and driving position comfort. See if it is in hub spacer range. Just moving the wheel closer an 1" or 2 will improve gauge slight lines. Also while checking sight lines move the wheel up a bit to check if an eccentric wheel adapter would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Atwell - not planning on the steering wheel knob ;-)

@Cal - I agree the looks are out of place but lowering the seat puts my RSI-damaged hand in a bad angle. The seat is all the way back and I still can't see the tops of the gauges.
@ <> - Ergonomically, it is questionable. After 3 days of driving, I'm getting use to it.
But someone pointed out in an emergency (e.g. losing rear grip), the ability to correct the line may be compromised.

For $38, it's a cheap experiment (OK - not so cheap because I damaged the hub :-( )

But you get the idea.
 

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Well...your dog is ugly too!!! :D

That is pretty wild, Eddie! Not my cup of tea at all, but I guess it does have a functional improvement in visibility and if it makes you happy, then ultimately that's all that really matters.

On that note, I can't help but think of this every time I see it. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSaDPc1Cs5U

I agree about moving the seat further back to improve visibiilty of the gauges, but assuming you've probably tried that already.

On a fun note, I can imagine that young kids must have their minds blown when they see that wheel in your car...I'm sure their reactions would be priceless. That alone would be worth trying it for a while.

Glad you are not modifying the original wheel and will be keeping it in storage for the future. I have a feeling you may tire of this one fairly quickly.

Roy

It's OK to say it's UGLY, but just DON'T say "..your dog is ugly too..." :evil:

Someone suggested cutting an 8" arc out of the original wheel, but I wanted the ability to restore to factory.
 

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Wow, Atwell...I haven't seen a Brodie knob in decades!

On a humorous note, I believe this wheel below may offer an added benefit in visibility as well...not sure about lightness though. :)

Oh WTF? :D:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well...your dog is ugly too!!! :D

That is pretty wild, Eddie! Not my cup of tea at all,[snip] I have a feeling you may tire of this one fairly quickly.

Roy
Hey Roy - I don't have a dog rotfl

Agreed - I know it's a contentious thing to do to an Esprit.

What I really want is a Momo or Nardi 350mm equivalent - a little more tasteful than this JDM style. But I can't seem to find one. Maybe I need a Momo/Nardi aftermarket that I can cut the arc and refinish the ends.

I do like the ability to see the gauges - it literally is like a different car.
 

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open top wheels are fine if you have a tight steering rack and can go lock to lock without shuffling hands.

i don't think i would like one on a street car/rack though...

but - if you like it!? go for it...
 

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I understand where you are coming from Eddie but in my own personal opinion it is unsafe.

Personally I feel it does not suit the cars time period as it looks to 'futuristic' .

Just my opinoin.

Robert
 

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Cal H
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The car interior seating position favors someone around 68 or 67" tall. Well hey that's me or as I refer to it as the correct Chapman size. My seat setting (the correct Chapman seat setting) is 2-3 clicks from all the way back and the field of view of the gauges are as they should be.

When you move the seat back you are decreasing the field of view or creating a tunnel vision. To increase your field of view of the gauges through the steering wheel the distance between the driver and wheel must be decreased. many just add a spacer to the hub to move the wheel closer to the driver to get the correct distance relationship back in tune.

You have your old wheel detached. Just hold it in your hand while in the seated position and move the wheel toward you till your field of view increases to the point where you can see the gauges. Then determine if that distance is with in spacer distance or if it too close to you to make it work

You can also hold it higher than normal to see if an eccentric hub will work. Both options if they can work is better than that open top wheel it looks goofy.
 
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