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Thread: Which steering wheel ??

  1. #1
    Jedi Trainee BOBBYR's Avatar
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    Which steering wheel ??

    Hi Guys, I hope you are all doing well . Here on the east coast , the weather has been gorgeous . Really great for driving .Anyway , I think it's about time to get rid of my old cracked steering wheel in my 65 bj8 , so I thought I would put it out there so you can tell me the do's and don'ts . I thought of the moto lita wheels but I'm not sure which parts go along with operating turn signals and horn . Any suggestions would be appreciated . Thanks for your help , BobbyR

  2. #2
    Yoda
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Well, if you're feeling rich ...

    http://www.pbase.com/mdlempert/wheels

  3. #3

    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Moto Lita make excellent wheels and bosses. You need to buy the boss to be able to fit the wheel. The trafficator can be refitted into the Moto Lita set up without any problems or you can use the opportunity to ditch the trafficator and install one of their aluminium horn push buttons which look really good. Then just put a switch on the dash for your indicators.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    I have a Nardi on my Porsche and the standard wheel restored on my Healey. After a Nardi the Motolitas don’t seem so great, so I got the standard one restored. I’d go with Bob’s recommendation.
    Last edited by EV2239; 10-24-2017 at 05:11 AM.

  5. #5
    Yoda
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Here's the Lempert wheel I got for our 100M (spent extra for chechen wood and the flush riveting instead of screws on the hub):

    Steering Wheel.JPG

    I had to wait about 8 mos., as Mike sources his hubs from Moto Lita and they were back ordered and require machining to fit.

  6. #6

    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    One nice thing about a Lempert wheel is the sheer number of choices to personalize your wheel. Chances are you won't see the same wheel in another Healey. Here's mine. I went with no rivets.



    Rick

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    If you are thinking of the three equally spaced Derrington style, Moto-Lita in the UK sells them, https://www.moto-lita.co.uk/steering...-equal-spokes/, but I haven't seen them carried by the usual suspects in the US.
    John, BN4

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    16179180_10207859219108146_237276112729826_o.jpgwhy don't you keep the original wheel....and reduce to thirteen inches! knock the plastic off, cut the hoop, roll a new one to 13 inches and have it recovered...to me looks much better than a wooden wheel as I love the banjo look!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Hi Bobby,

    Yes, the driving the past few days was great in NJ.

    Although your choice of steering wheel is a factor of taste, I must point out that the configuration of the wheel is also a factor of choice. The original wheel has a diameter of 16.5" with one spoke that goes up between the gauges and 2 down (as in an inverted "Y" see most of the pictures above). I had acquired a wooden 15.5" steering wheel (and hub) at a swap meet at least 3 decades ago that needed refinishing. Although the 1" difference seems small, the extra space at the legs was very beneficial for comfort and did not noticeably lessen the steering ease. Additionally, the spokes on my wheel are in the form of a "T" with the center strut downward. This configuration allowed the gauges to appear unencumbered as with the original configuration.

    Although the wheel configuration will not cause major operating differences, I would suggest considering the pattern and diameter that makes you feel most comfortable when driving.


    100_0268.jpg

    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Last edited by RAC68; 10-25-2017 at 03:28 AM.

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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    MaxWedge-
    Could you comment on the difficulty of steering at low speed with a 13 inch steering wheel? I have planned to do something similar to what you describe, but worry about maneuvering in parking lots.

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    Jedi Knight dougie's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    The iconic look of a handmade wood steering wheel on a classic sports car is the perfect nuance that compliments their spartan interior. I custom ordered a 14" Moto-Lita wheel for my '57 vintage racer and love the look and feel.

    '57 1006 MM Moto-Lita race wheel.jpg
    Dougie
    '65 BJ8 3000 MKIII GN.29
    '57 100-SIX MM Vintage Racer GN.1 #414
    Team Healey PDX

  12. #12
    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    I'm 77 and have no problem with steering resistance. you lose some leverage but the spoked...banjo...wheel looks much more at home in the healey to me! and the smaller wheel gives so much more room in the cockpit! but, I do have a much lighter engine with the sbc conversion and 200 4r four speed automatic overdrive transmission!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

  13. #13

    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Dougie, that's a great looker!


    Rick

  14. #14
    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Hi Shortsguy,

    When going from 16,5" to 13" steering wheel, I would expect you would experience a much greater steering effort as a result of the lost wheel torque. The Healey has a heavy engine and a less-then-efficient steering box and configuration which I expect would require excessive driving effort resulting in fatigue on longer drives. Although I have seen 13" wheels installed in Sprites, I know of no one that has installed that size wheel on a Big Healey.

    My thoughts,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    MaxWedge-
    Thanks for answering my question. And for clarifying how your engine weight differs from standard.

    Ray-
    My plan is actually to go from 16.5 inch to 15", assuming I can ever get around to it. I was simply asking MaxWedge since he has first hand knowledge of a relatively small wheel for a Healey. In my case, a 15" steering wheel will give a little more room for my legs, but hopefully not change the steering at low speeds too much. I have a spare, old, beat up healey steering wheel, which I plan to use the hub and spokes from. I found an inexpensive (new) tractor steering wheel, which is 15" diameter with spokes in the same location as a Healey's. When time allows, I just need to figure out how to safety attach the healey spokes to the tractor steering wheel. This will obviously involve removing any steering wheel plastic where the banjo spokes will attach. I then plan to use epoxy to re-create whatever portions of the tractor steering wheel were removed. A nice coat of primer and black paint will hopefully hide all of my handiwork (or not-so-handiwork in my case). If it still looks ugly, I will just get a nice leather cover to hide my poor craftsman skills. If I do ever do this, I will document it all so that others can partake later if interested.

  16. #16

    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    15-1/2" my design 100S Lempert tribute:

    screenshot.998.jpg
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  17. #17
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Quote Originally Posted by shortsguy1 View Post
    .... When time allows, I just need to figure out how to safety attach the healey spokes to the tractor steering wheel. This will obviously involve removing any steering wheel plastic where the banjo spokes will attach. ....
    IIRC, the Healey rim has a metal (steel I presume) ring under the rim that the spokes are welded to. I would assume the tractor wheel would also. You will have to remove quite a bit of the plastic when you weld them together.
    John, BN4

  18. #18
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Hi Shortsguy,

    When going from 16,5" to 13" steering wheel, I would expect you would experience a much greater steering effort as a result of the lost wheel torque. The Healey has a heavy engine and a less-then-efficient steering box and configuration which I expect would require excessive driving effort resulting in fatigue on longer drives. Although I have seen 13" wheels installed in Sprites, I know of no one that has installed that size wheel on a Big Healey.

    My thoughts,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    I have a 15" wheel and 195/65-15 tires. Long drives are not a problem because the car movement allows the tires to turn easily, but parking at car shows takes some real effort when backing into a space.
    John, BN4

  19. #19
    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    when I reduced my steering wheel, I had a hoop rolled. I cut the original healey rim off. I then drilled through the new rolled hoop such that the individual banjo spokes passed through the hoop. then the spokes are welded in place in the hoop. very strong and very sturdy!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

  20. #20
    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: Which steering wheel ??

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    I have a 15" wheel and 195/65-15 tires. Long drives are not a problem because the car movement allows the tires to turn easily, but parking at car shows takes some real effort when backing into a space.
    BCS sells a bearing for the top of the kingpin that is called “Torrington” bearing. It helps to make steering easier with the small,er diameter wheels. I installed mine when I restored my BJ8.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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