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How would you have your dream steering wheel?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

Steering wheels are a big interest in mine (sadly enough), and seem to be of relative interest to the community. There are a lot of places to go and a lot of choices. From what I've seen, for most to buy a custom wheel, the price must be under the price of a M3 wheel (which is roughly $550). Sometimes a custom wheel can approach that price, for some extra bells and whistles.

I want to know what you guys look for in a wheel! Take the poll, and tell me your dream fabric combo, if you want added thickness, if you want tri-stitching, and if you'd want thumb grips.

If you have a wheel, tell me how you'd specced it below and how much you paid. If you haven't bought one, tell me how you'd want it and how much you'd pay.
 

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Check eBay. There's a guy in Poland that makes custom wheels for about $350-400. Dallas Custom Steering Wheel is another place but I'm not sure about their pricing.

As for me, I'd go with top/bottom half Nappa and left/right half perforated Nappa with tri-stich, padding, and thumb grips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Check eBay. There's a guy in Poland that makes custom wheels for about $350-400. Dallas Custom Steering Wheel is another place but I'm not sure about their pricing.

As for me, I'd go with top/bottom half Nappa and left/right half perforated Nappa with tri-stich, padding, and thumb grips.
Heard of both. Shipping is high though. Not asking for where to buy since I have a solution for me, but wanted to know what the consensus is :)

Edit: That's about how I'd have mine!
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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I got mine from Dallas Custom Wheel.

He'll do anything you ask for. I got leather/perf leather with extra padding. He offers two levels of extra padding. I got the thicker option. At first wasn't thrilled with it, but like it now. When I do the M Roadie I may not go that thick again though. I don't like the thumb pads personally. I skipped the tri-stitch because my touring is not an M and there is no tri-stitching anywhere else in the car.

Quality job.
 

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^ That looks really good George! Nice.

I like the stock wheel; the only thing I really miss are thumb grips. The factory leather is very slick, especially right after it's been conditioned with some 303.
 

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I have a used ZHP wheel and a new leather cover from RedLineGoods.com. Unfortunately, redline's response to customer inqueries is **** and their "instructions" don't help at all. There are large details missing. How far do I strip my wheel? Why did you include thick padding when I didn't order it? What thickness padding was this designed for?

My wheel and cover have been sitting there for a while. I wrapped my wheel in 1/8 neoprene, but apparently that was too thick. The included 1/8 inch foam is the same thickness though so I'm confused.

Anyway, provide a product for similar cost with BMW specific notes and we'll all be happy.
 

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I vote steering wheels should only be as they come from the factory. My favorite all time is Professional Genuine BMW M3 w/ tri-color stitch followed by black stitch.

I don't like the idea of some dude in a barn putting "padding" or some other crap on the wheel. It's painfully obvious looking at it that it's been jerked off and things don't fit or look quite right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got mine from Dallas Custom Wheel.

He'll do anything you ask for. I got leather/perf leather with extra padding. He offers two levels of extra padding. I got the thicker option. At first wasn't thrilled with it, but like it now. When I do the M Roadie I may not go that thick again though. I don't like the thumb pads personally. I skipped the tri-stitch because my touring is not an M and there is no tri-stitching anywhere else in the car.

Quality job.
It looks nice! How much did it set you back?
I have a used ZHP wheel and a new leather cover from RedLineGoods.com.....

Anyway, provide a product for similar cost with BMW specific notes and we'll all be happy.
Once you said redline, I already knew your complaint. Redline is the reason I'm doing this thread. I have never (forgive me, I'm young) never regretted a purchase over $10, but theirs was a regret that came at the expense of my wheel and my wallet. Never been so unhappy. See my "1 year" link in my sig if you want to see those results...
Can I see how yours came out? Mine was $158 plus $13 for shipping back the old one for a replacement that was just as bad. I will NEED a rewrap, which is why I'm grabbing opinions, although I'm seeing if there is a popular option because I could MAYBE offer something for the community....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I vote steering wheels should only be as they come from the factory. My favorite all time is Professional Genuine BMW M3 w/ tri-color stitch followed by black stitch.

I don't like the idea of some dude in a barn putting "padding" or some other crap on the wheel. It's painfully obvious looking at it that it's been jerked off and things don't fit or look quite right.
What do you think of the Dallas wheel above? It doesn't look bad at all, in my opinion. And why wouldn't you want nappa leather?
 

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What do you think of the Dallas wheel above? It doesn't look bad at all, in my opinion. And why wouldn't you want nappa leather?
It looks off. Bulging, not original.

Steering wheels are very personal to me. It's what you touch and see every moment you're in the car.

I like the precision and detail and "just right" feel and look a factory wheel offers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It looks off. Bulging, not original.

Steering wheels are very personal to me. It's what you touch and see every moment you're in the car.
I like the precision and detail and "just right" feel and look a factory wheel offers.
Alright fair enough, we all have a preference! I can understand the personal feeling behind a steering wheel. I thought everyone would love some nappa leather but I have been wrong before :)
 

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OEM ///PLUS
2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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perforated Nappa leather/genuine Alcantara/M tri-stitched
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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It looks off. Bulging, not original.

Steering wheels are very personal to me. It's what you touch and see every moment you're in the car.

I like the precision and detail and "just right" feel and look a factory wheel offers.
Yep. Like I said, I'd probably not get the thickest padding next time. I agree about the feel. That's part of your interface with the car. This still feels tons better than the skinny factory wheel, which just feels wimpy to me. Given the choice between the two, I'd take the one I have, but in between I think would be just right. It probably would not have the bulges from what I've seen on the Dallas Steering Wheel gallery.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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I thought everyone would love some nappa leather but I have been wrong before :)
Napa leather is not a defined product. So, I'm sure by the general, generic definition, it would be called napa leather.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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perforated Nappa leather/genuine Alcantara/M tri-stitched
Is that the factory wheel or aftermarket recover?

A year or so ago, the factory wheels were a great buy, but they have gone way up in price making the aftermarket recovers very attractive again.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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It looks nice! How much did it set you back?
$500 with shipping IIRC.

The thinner padding would be a little less. Thumb pads are a little more. Alcantara, smooth, and perforated leather are all the same price.

If you mix it, you can get the stitching pointing towards the center like Alex's or horizontally like mine.

I've no association with Dallas Steering wheel other than being a customer. They are easy to work with and they will get my M Roadie wheel sooner or later.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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Is that the factory wheel or aftermarket recover?
A year or so ago, the factory wheels were a great buy, but they have gone way up in price making the aftermarket recovers very attractive again.
it's a factory M3 "wheel" custom wrapped by a specialty shop in Germany. so aftermarket.
$500 with shipping IIRC.
If you mix it, you can get the stitching pointing towards the center like Alex's or horizontally like mine.
yeah, I actually had special ordered the connecting seam horizontal like yours Geo. I like that better. the shop had a straight angle wheel finished they offered at a discount since they were 3 mos back-logged with special orders. so I took it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Napa leather is not a defined product. So, I'm sure by the general, generic definition, it would be called napa leather.
Google is putting it as nappa. I honestly don't know for sure if that is the case.

$500 with shipping IIRC.

The thinner padding would be a little less. Thumb pads are a little more. Alcantara, smooth, and perforated leather are all the same price....
That's awesome that fabrics are all the same price.

So, hypothetically, a custom wrapped steering wheel with padding, grips, and tri-stitching for $450 would be a deal to people on here? If such a service were to be offered... :hmm:
 

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I would have to agree with Mango. Something that looks like it's from the factory since I am an OEM+ kind of guy. There are nice steering wheels out there but I feel like ones with perforated leather belong on a Porsche or M car. Nappa leather would probably be a very close second for me. Then again, these don't look half bad

 
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