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General TR Wood rimmed steering wheels

Gliderman8

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The metal portion of my original steering wheel is in bad condition. The plating was coming off when I did the restoration of my TR6 so I masked off the leather portion of the wheel and painted the metal. At this point I am looking to replace it with a Moto-Lita or similar.
Any observations on how these wood steering wheels hold up to scratches/marring etc. are appreciated.
Also, if I go to a smaller diameter will there be a noticeable difference in steering?
All comments welcome, thanks!
 

Mickey Richaud

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Hey, Elliot -

I have a Moto-Lita on the BGT, and one from Moss (Tourist Trophy?) on the '73B, both walnut. They are 14", and I didn't notice much, if any, difference in steering effort from the stock 15". So far no issues with marring; if they ever would get scratched, it should be an easy fix with sanding and refinishing.

I will say that the edges on the spokes and holes on the Moto-Lita are a bit more rounded than the TT's, if that makes any difference to you. A bit nicer finish on them.
 
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Gliderman8

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Thanks for the info Mickey.
 

ckeithjordan

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Elliott,

I can offer my observations from a TR3 perspective: I was able to purchase a Moto-Lita in excellent condition off eBay for roughly half-price. (Hooray!) It's a 15 inch diameter and I wanted to see how it was compared to the 17 inch diameter stock TR3 wheel. It feels more solid (less flex) and I love the feel of the rim. Steering requires a bit more effort maybe, but that's hard to tell as the TR3 has worm-and-peg steering, not rack-and-pinion, so it's harder to begin with (at low speed, of course). I had my steering box rebuilt as part of the change, so I have the best set of conditions. I recently drove a friend's TR3 with the stock wheel and I had forgotten how big it was and it felt like I was the helmsman on the Titanic!

So, yes, I like the Moto-Litas, both in looks and feel.
 
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Gliderman8

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Thanks Keith... sounds like the ML wheel is in my future.
 

martx-5

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I opted for the Tourist Trophy wheel for my TR3A. The difference in price over the Moto-Lita was the contributing factor. I'm pretty sure when I bought it though (maybe 10 years ago) the difference was more than today. More like half the price IIRC. I also opted for smaller. In this case 15" vs. the original 17", but I also installed R&P steering at the same time, so I can't compare how the difference in diameter affected steering effort. The wood wheels look great...very period and have a wonderful feel to them.
 
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Gliderman8

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You are right Art; there’s not much difference in price between the TT and the ML. I’ll probably wait for a sale from one of the vendors before making the purchase.
 

BillyB62

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My wife bought my wooden steering wheel for my 3A from Macy's Garage as a gift when I got my Master's Degree. Mark has a neighbor that makes a limited number of them by using the original steering wheel. By doing so it retains the use of the control head functionality. Not cheap, but looks awesome in my humble opinion.

Bill
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martx-5

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... By doing so it retains the use of the control head functionality...

Those wheels from Macy's Garage are nicely made.

There are actually four hub adapters available for the M-L and TT wheels. Using the original control head with or without adjustable wheel and NOT using the original control head with or without adjustable wheel.

I opted for not using the original control head, as I installed R&P in my TR3 and didn't like how control head would work with it. I have a central horn button and an MGA directional control.
 

Andy Blackley

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With the exchange rate the way it is ($1.27 per Br. Lb today) you may find buying directly from Moto-lita the best option. For example a 15 inch wheel with Cobra slots and a B-20 boss will run about Br.Lbs 200 or so. It is not subject to VAT. Shipping will add cost of course. I reckon you could get it to your door for under $350.00

Link: https://www.moto-lita.co.uk/steering-wheels/mark-three-cobra-style/
 

tr6nitjulius

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Owned 1 & only TR6 for 40+ yrs from original owner who had leather 14" on it size like OEM felt like a wagon wheel fast forward put 14" ML flat right leg pretty much remained positioned far right against dash support bracket later 13" ML flat somewhat better but still against dash support bracket fellow TR6 owner has 13" ML Dished switched to same now right leg can be parallel with foot on petrol pedal or leaned to right giving more comfort less strain on leg should there be such a thing driving a TR6.

Didn't notice much steering/handling variations between the wheel sizes over the years, it is a TR6 no power steering/suspension & such but being 5'9" the difference with 13" ML Dished that 1/4" computes to big enough difference in the cockpit of TR6 and something you may want to consider best scenario you find TR6 owner with dish wheel to feel the difference
 
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Gliderman8

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I am considering the 13" ML wheel. I'm not a large person, but the added room would still be appreciated. Thanks for your input.
 

3798j

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Here are a couple of things you might want to consider. When I first climbed into my TR4A, I couldn't help but notice that the installed 13" wheel by the previous owner narrowed my view of the tach and speedometer gauges...I just didn't care for how the small diameter rim "framed" those gauges. So I replaced the 13" wheel with a 15" Mountney (picture below). While the one I chose is leather, Mountney is a cheaper but well made steering wheel and they also make wood rimmed ones. Plus here's a good company that sells both Mountney and Moto Lito wheels... good pricing and they ship quick too: https://www.europaspares.com/interior-parts/steering-wheels.html

IMG_2528.JPG


For the GT6, I did go with a Moto Lita flat 14". You then have to choose between slotted spokes or holes, and flat or dished. I chose flat with slots. When I installed it the rim came too close to the turn signal and light stalks...my fingers would actually hit the levers. Thankfully I was able to bend the levers to give the clearance needed.

IMG_2531.JPG
 
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Gliderman8

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Thanks, I’ll have to sit in my car and look at the gauges to see if a smaller wheel will block my view of the gauges. Thanks for the heads up.
 
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Gliderman8

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The diameter of my original wheel measures 14.5 inches. Is that considered a 15 inch wheel?
 
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Gliderman8

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My new wheel came yesterday and I just got it installed. It's a 13 inch Moto-Lita. Took it around the block and the steering seems fine. Thanks for all the advice from everyone.

IMG_3951.jpg
 
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Gliderman8

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Thanks Art
 

tomshobby

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IMG_1940.jpg5Made my own from scratch because I wanted a better match to the other wood trim. A lot more work but am glad I did it.

Biggest mistake was keeping the 205 70 15 tires biggest improvement was going with 185 60 15 tires on the front,
 
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Gliderman8

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That’s a beauty!
 
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