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View Full Version : TR5/TR250 Thinking about a wood steering wheel for my 250



MadRiver
04-13-2006, 10:24 AM
Howdy all! The leather-wrapped steering wheel on my 250 is looking tired, and I'm thinking of going for a wood replacement. I plan on going for a 15" wheel as original, but I don't know whether to go for a flat wheel or a dished wheel. The original padded wheel is slightly dished, unlike later TR6 wheels I believe. Anyone have a preference? Thanks!

Alan_Myers
04-13-2006, 11:16 AM
Hi Bill,

Wood steering wheels can look really great with the car's wood dash!

A small amount of dish, or none, is really a matter of personal preference. Probably has as much to do with a person's arm length and seating position as anything. If you like the dished wheel you have now, you might want to stick with the same. An un-dished wheel will move it farther away from you, and give a little less knee room. Other than that, just go with what you like best.

BTW, most vintage race organizations prohibit the use of a wooden steering wheel. They can be a little more dangerous in accidents. However, I think the risk is slight (and the original banjo-style wheel on my TR4 shattered nicely in an accident, too). This might only be a real consideration if you ever want to autocross or whatever.

I imagine you'll hang onto your original steering wheel in case you ever want to sell the car. FYI, they can be restored to very nice condition. A bit pricey, though (but so are some of the wood steering wheels).

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

MadRiver
04-13-2006, 11:17 AM
Thanks Alan -- I appreciate it!

trfourtune
04-13-2006, 01:40 PM
hey,
if you are into restoring a wood steering wheel i have a couple in sad shape you can have for $10 plus shipping.
rob

vettedog72
04-13-2006, 08:52 PM
I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, but if the wood does not need to be replaced, I would like to have one for $10. I know the offer is not directed to me, but if you don't have other takers, consider it obligated.
Thanks

04-13-2006, 08:57 PM
would like to buy one of those wheels too.
tabernathy@sellarswipers.com
hope i'm not to late.

trsteve
04-14-2006, 08:59 AM
I have the flat/wood/3 hole Moto-Lita really compliments the dash. Looks like it belongs with the car.

bobh
04-14-2006, 09:01 AM
Bill,
Sounds like you are getting ready to put her in a few shows. I like the look of a wooden wheel if the wood matches the wood on the dash. If they don't match I think it detracts from the overall look of the interior.
Rob,
If you have more than one of the old wheels available I am also interested.

BOBH

R6MGS
04-14-2006, 09:18 AM
I am not a big fan of wood wheels....the TR6 I just bought has a moto lita wood wheel, it looks alright but on most cars I don't like it. My 61 MGA has a wood wheel and I hate it I've been meaning to replace it for years but the cost of a new original wheel isn't worth it for a driver. If anyone has a original MGA wheel they want to sell let me know, I've got 2 spares but their in rough shape so I'd rather buy one that doesn't need to be repaired.

MadRiver
04-14-2006, 10:14 AM
First of all, thanks to everyone for the comments! I went ahead and bought myself a new tonneau for my birthday, so the wheel decision has been put off. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

[ QUOTE ]
Bill,
Sounds like you are getting ready to put her in a few shows.

[/ QUOTE ]

Alas, Greenie isn't a show car -- he's pretty enough on the outside from a distance, but to show him he'd need a complete repaint, rechromed bumpers and trim, and a new interior. Everything looks presentable enough for a driver. He'd be a *great* car to restore -- not a spec of rust, everything is original and he's in strong mechanical shape. He'd just need to be taken to bare metal and everything replained and made all nice and shiney. All I plan on doing is to resurface the dash, perhaps replace the steering wheel, and I'll replace the crash pads and door top, and some day replace the carpets and tranny tunnel. But I'm going to stay strong and keep him a driver. I've always wanted a car that I wasn't afraid to drive regularly, and to keep in reasonable cosmetic shape but excellent mechanical shape. I rarely drive my Healey because he's a show car -- every stone and every bump encountered by the Healey tears against my very soul. But with Greenie, I just want him presentable, rust-free and strong. And so he is. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

trfourtune
04-14-2006, 01:47 PM
oh, i guess i opened a can of worms.here's what i'll do. take pictures of these steering wheels (because they are not pretty) and put in the buy & sell section next week in the forum and post in the triumph section as well. there is only one hub so i will not separate.if more than one is interested then i guess it will be highest bidder (the only fair thing to do although i hate that system).i don't have a digital camera so it won't happen till tues or wed (i have monday off (easter).these will not go on e-bay.i support the members here.many have helped me and i like the door to swing bothe ways. i hope i have been helpfull also.
rob

04-14-2006, 02:15 PM
I bought a wood Moto-Lita wheel off Ebay a few years ago in slightly rough shape for a pretty cheap price. The guy I bought it from was in the UK, he had this wheel on his '71 TR6 for most of it's life so it has a bit of legacy with Triumphs. Anyway, when I got it the wood was not in bad shape at all. There were a few small chips here and there but nothing big, so I left them thinking it gave the wheel character, and plus I think it would have looked worse if I tried to fill them and the filling color didn't match up right. I stripped the slightly peeling, heavily yellowed clearcoat (man that stuff they used is hard to get off), cleaned up the wood itself with some very fine steel wool, and put on 4 coats of high gloss marine polyurethane. Took some mothers aluminum polish to the spokes and now it looks very nice. Not like new, but like a well cared for wheel with miles and history behind it and I didn't pay an arm and a leg. Suits my tastes fine, and the wood is close to the color of the dash. I'll throw up a pic later when I get home.

Funny part was that when I bought the wheel it did not include a hub. I bought a Moto-Lita hub and horn button kit from a guy online who deals in Brit car parts. When I received the kit I found that it did not include the screws that attached the wheel itself to the hub, or the top trim ring that surrounds the horn button, and which the screws go through. I contacted the guy I bought the kit from and he said that stuff comes with the wheel itself, and he couldn't break up a new wheel kit to give me those pieces. I then emailed Moto-Lita directly but I was a little worried that since my wheel was so old they might not have the parts I needed. What nice people they were over there, they provided super customer support. They told me those wheels have been made the same way for decades now, and the trim rings and screws from the new wheels will fit mine fine. A screw kit and the trim ring mailed to my house, $9 and change US, I couldn't believe it. If you need anything for a used Moto-Lita wheel don't hesitate to contact them directly, great people over there.

Andy Blackley
04-15-2006, 12:15 PM
Bill S.: Attached is a photo of my steering wheel. My car came with a nasty 14" Momo boy-racer wheel, so I found an original wheel in OK shape. I removed the vinyl cover, cleaned and polished the spokes, repainted the hub, and installed a new leather cover right over the old, which not only preserves the original leather cover, but also adds a nice bit of extra width to the wheel. The vinyl boss is the late model TR6 standard item, the horn button is original. I would still like to find a better hub cover, but the TR6 item is cheap and fits well.
The TR250 purist will balk, but I like the classic look of the wheel. It can be easily restored to "factory" when I so choose.

TR4nut
04-15-2006, 12:28 PM
Andy-

I like your wheel better without the cover - almost has a transitional TR4 look to it. The purist may balk as you say, but the 250 steering wheel won't win any style awards any time soon I think.

WhatsThatNoise
04-15-2006, 12:38 PM
Whatever wheel you choose, make sure that the shaft-hub-wheel are compatible.

I just spent a lot of time & $ at the machine shop correcting a problem.

Finding a hub that will work w/ your new wheel can be like catching an inside straight.

BTW.....I have never been warned about my wooden wheel at any Auto-X.
I have Auto-Xed with several clubs.

Although some road racing organizations don't permit them. (SCCA & NASA)

Andy Blackley
04-15-2006, 01:25 PM
Randy (TR4nut): Thanks!
I had the same thought. Why would Triumph tool up such a lovely wheel only to paint the spokes black and hide them with a cover? I don't know if the the BL NA marketers (the same ones who thought up the bonnet stripe and fake Rostyles) wanted to "modernize" the look, or if was in response to Federal legislation. I doubt the latter, since my old 69 MGB still had a nice spoked steering wheel.
Anyhow, I love the look. Although a classic Nardi is also tempting...

R6MGS
04-15-2006, 09:54 PM
My TR6 has a MOMO(i think?) wooden wheel....it looks pretty nice with a proper triumph emblem in the middle and the wood on the wheel matches the dash wood pretty good.....but as I stated above, I am not perticularily fond of wood wheels...The original wheel came with the car, so if I can clean it up good enough I'll probably put it back on. So I might have the wood one for sale...If I do you guys will be first to know!

trfourtune
04-18-2006, 02:40 PM
hi all,
wood steering wheels are in the forum classifieds if you are interested.i'm having problems with attaching digital jpeg files so if you send me a private message with your personal e-mail adress i can send some great pictures to you.
rob

MadRiver
04-18-2006, 03:34 PM
That looks pretty good! I can't imagine why Triumph would have hidden such a great wheel. Thanks for the info!