Custom G27 Classic Rim Build Thread - FINISHED!!!

  • Thread starter rj5992
  • 99 comments
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439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Hey everyone,

At the request of someone and for anyone else who might be interested, I've decided to start a build thread for a new rim I'm building for my G27.

This one is going to be a classic full round rim, with aluminium as a base and either birch plywood or solid mahogany for the grip. Currently leaning towards mahogany if I can find the right scrap wood.

Inspirations are this Ferrari 500 TR wheel (the segmented grip gives me a historical reason to do the same and use mahogany on mine):
cockpit-sports-car-ferrari-tr-berlin-june-classic-days-kurfuerstendamm-57350311.jpg


And this Cooper wheel (I love drilled aluminium):

depositphotos_204425672-stock-photo-steering-wheel-vintage-racing-car.jpg


So far I've only got a sketch plan drawn out:

IMG_20190117_113916.jpg


I've also been planning the grips to get the best out of my limited supply of mahogany:

15477264965865168164890640952430.jpg


This will be the second custom rim I've made, finished a retro-modern pastiche F1 style rim in the back end of last year:

received_270306466919521.jpeg

IMG_20181008_191555.jpg


If anybody has any questions please ask. I'll be keeping this updated as I go along. Still waiting for the aluminium to arrive so might be at least a week until the next update.
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
VBR
That Jag rim is superb, great job!

Thank you very much!

What are you planning on doing with the button placement for the new rim RJ? With the spoke layout they won't be so readily to hand, well to thumb actually.

It won't have any buttons on it at all, I've got a 'button box' (USB keypad covered in carbon wrap and labels) so actually have no need for the wheel buttons, I only use those to control Crew Chief, RS Dash and DRS/KERS for the cars that use it.

received_248066622497724.jpeg


A direct drive wheel base will be more suitable for these steering wheels.;)

It definitely would! All about the money I'm afraid though. Even a CSL is far too much for me to justify. Bought the G27 from a guy last year, brand new in box (been stored and unused) for £40. Rig is made from scrap wood and was free, as is my racing chair (along with my housemates old chair and a piano stool). Still has reach adjustment on the wheel, pedal adjustment on the base and height adjustment in the seat though - the idea being that the wheel is the correct height for my TV and the rest of the rig moves around that measurement to fit people of different sizes. The DFGT was my first wheel, picked that up locally for £35.

IMG-20190117-WA0000.jpg


The Jaguar rim only cost me £23 to make, so that was a budget necessity as well - I just really wanted a GT/F1 rim!
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
What diameter are you going for @rj5992 ?

It'll be 300mm Sick, the original g27 rim is 280mm.

Diameter was a big concern for me when I did the F1 rim, as was weight, so that I didn't negatively impact the FFB. It was a toss up between making it out of metal or plastic for a while, but the aluminium was going to be lighter. That rim ended up 270mm and weighs just under half the weight of the original rim, so I actually improved the FFB response. And it is a noticeable difference, particularly on finer 'kicks' in the feedback.

I'm hoping to get away with the larger diameter on this rim by making it as light as possible. The mahogany will be drilled and aluminium dowelled just like the other rim, but I'll also be drilling out the aluminium in between the dowels as well. It won't be noticeable of course, as the mahogany grip will hide it, but every little helps.

Another saving grace is that with it being a 'vintage' rim, the cars I'll be using it on will more often than not require the FFB volume jacking up to get a decent feel, so I'm hoping this and the weight saving will help to offset the negative impacts of greater leverage.

Sorry for the extra long post, I told myself when I started this that I'll answer the questions as fully as I can just in case it helps someone down the line...

Oh, and

Your previous wheel looks excellent.

Thank you very much!
 
5,287
Sick_Cylinder
It'll be 300mm Sick, the original g27 rim is 280mm.

Diameter was a big concern for me when I did the F1 rim, as was weight, so that I didn't negatively impact the FFB. It was a toss up between making it out of metal or plastic for a while, but the aluminium was going to be lighter. That rim ended up 270mm and weighs just under half the weight of the original rim, so I actually improved the FFB response. And it is a noticeable difference, particularly on finer 'kicks' in the feedback.

I'm hoping to get away with the larger diameter on this rim by making it as light as possible. The mahogany will be drilled and aluminium dowelled just like the other rim, but I'll also be drilling out the aluminium in between the dowels as well. It won't be noticeable of course, as the mahogany grip will hide it, but every little helps.

Another saving grace is that with it being a 'vintage' rim, the cars I'll be using it on will more often than not require the FFB volume jacking up to get a decent feel, so I'm hoping this and the weight saving will help to offset the negative impacts of greater leverage.

Sorry for the extra long post, I told myself when I started this that I'll answer the questions as fully as I can just in case it helps someone down the line...

Oh, and



Thank you very much!

Will you be going for a thin rim like the original wood rims? - if so this would give it a more classic feel and save a lot of weight.

I read recently that the drivers of front engine F1 cars would sometimes burn their hands on the metal parts of the wheel - particularly any exposed rivets - due to excessively high temperatures. One driver raced in shoes which were soaked in water at each pitstop - the heat from the pedals was unbearable.

Will you be racing in string backed leather gloves - these would feel great with a narrow wood rim.
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
That's a tough one to answer to be honest, it's hard to gauge how thick the rims from that time are. After all my digging around it seems like the only thing that has changed is the diameter. Check out the hand grip on this Stirling Moss F1 wheel from 1957:

Screenshot_20190118_082109_com.google.android.youtube.jpg


Not sure what car it's from but he was running this Vanwall in the F1 season that year:

f1-pescara-gp-1957-stirling-moss-vanwall.jpg


If you look at his hand width in the car then it's fairly safe to assume it's a 15/16" wheel. If you scale the measurements from the video screenshot above you get a very rough estimate of 28mm, just 2mm shy of the 30mm of the standard G27 rim. Kind of makes sense, it's not like hands have got bigger in the last 60 years. With finger grooves in the back, it'll feel thinner than the stock g27 anyway. To me, it's more important for it to be comfortable than it be a scale replica.

Of course, if anyone has an original 50's racing wheel to hand and can actually get some measurements for me then I'll gladly take that into account!

As for the string back gloves...they arrived in the post yesterday! :D
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Just found this awesome website detailing many many different rims and their histories, all being re-manufactured under the Springall name:

http://jacobengineering.co.uk/index.php/steering-wheels-2/

Interesting to look at, but the most relevant part for me is this bit talking about the steering wheels fitted to the Lotus 23:

Screenshot_20190118_104907_com.android.chrome.png


So it turns out, in the opinion of Springall, a 1 1/8" rim (28.5mm) (close to what I was going for) completely ruins a period cockpit! I think I'll definitely bow to their expertise!

Thankfully, they give measurements for their correct rim: 7/8" face X 15/16" depth (22.225 X 23.8mm).

I still think I'll go a little wider at first though, maybe 25x28mm. I'd much rather have to take off a few mm from the outside edge and reshape the profile than be stuck with an uncomfortable rim.
 
5,287
Sick_Cylinder
In the opinion of Springall, a 1 1/8" rim (28.5mm) (close to what I was going for) completely ruins a period cockpit! I think I'll definitely bow to their expertise!

Thankfully, they give measurements for their correct rim: 7/8" face X 15/16" depth (22.225 X 23.8mm).

I still think I'll go a little wider at first though, maybe 25x28mm. I'd much rather have to take off a few mm from the outside edge and reshape the profile than be stuck with an uncomfortable rim.

I think that most classic racers fit a rim which is comfortable for them to race with and quite likely have the exact, period correct rim back at their home garage (often with an original spec engine).

The rims used in the past were larger, but modern drivers have got used to smaller ones. The E Type Jaguar for instance uses a 16" rim which is a large size.

I would need a button box for my T500, but if I was to switch to a wood rim, a 13" would enable me to still reach the paddles easily. I like this one which is 13" - note the flat front - the curvature starts after the rivet - this would be an easy feature to copy.

Wooden Rim 13 Inch.jpg


Below cockpit photo I took of an Aston Martin DBR4 2.5 litre F1 car - this looks like a large, but elegantly slim wheel!

AM DBR4 3.jpg
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
I would need a button box for my T500, but if I was to switch to a wood rim, a 13" would enable me to still reach the paddles easily.

Sounds like you need to add a TH8A to your Christmas/Birthday list! A 13" would work well still though, the 250GTO rim that Thrustmaster make is 13", an 8/10 scale of the original. Must be a reason they decide on 13" as the final diameter.

I like this one which is 13" - note the flat front - the curvature starts after the rivet - this would be an easy feature to copy.

Yeah, I noticed the flat fronted ones. I'm not sure about it though. I've seen those modern rims on eBay a lot, and noticed that the grips are a veneered ply rather than solid wood. I'm not sure whether they only left the front flat so as to retain a good area of top veneer. Certainly all of the period correct rims I've seen have been fully rounded off. If I have enough mahogany to use then I'll probably end up rounding it off.

I would need a button box for my T500

I highly recommend a button box, even if it is a cheap keypad like mine. I've just taken delivery of a one handed keyboard, with qwerty letter keys instead of a number pad. I'm hoping it'll negate the one issue with using a number pad: depending on how it is wired up and how keys are assigned, most number pads also have their 2, 4, 6 and 8 keys locked to view functions on the PS4. Mine has that issue, I've just assigned functions to those keys that I don't need to regularly use.
 
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5,287
Sick_Cylinder
Hi @rj5992

I found this picture of the ex-Moss Aston DBR1 which was sold recently for a record price - it has the flat faced type of wood wheel. Period pictures from 1959 seem to show much larger rivet heads. This was particularly noticeable in the pictures of the car driven by Shelby and Salvadori.

I recently finished reading "Managing a Legend" (the biography of Ken Gregory - the Personal Manager of Stirling Moss) - interestingly Ken says that Mercedes standard racing wheel in 1955 was 4 spoked, but they immediately agreed to His request for a 3 spoke for Stirling plus all other details relating to seating position etc. - this was in complete contrast to Maserati who had been very reluctant to allow Moss an English pedal layout (in those days Italian drivers raced with throttle and brake pedal positions reversed).

AM DBR1 300 steering wheel.jpg


Above inset picture Shelby in 1959 - note the double goggles - when you are racing me with your new classic wheel you will need two sets as well as the string backed gloves! In the days before tear offs, the driver would wipe one set clean on his overalls while on the straight and swap goggles as often as required.

PS - I have a TH8RS shifter - the model which was released before the TH8A - shown below in my home made console.

GT5 Shifter 1.jpg

GT5 Shifter 2.jpg
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
I found this picture of the ex-Moss Aston DBR1 which was sold recently for a record price - it has the flat faced type of wood wheel. Period pictures from 1959 seem to show much larger rivet heads. This was particularly noticeable in the pictures of the car driven by Shelby and Salvadori.

Thanks a lot for the picture, I'll probably do flat fronted first in that case and see how it feels. I can always carry the curve round to the front and rear faces afterwards.

The rivets are interesting as well. If I remember correctly, the Springall website has a Lotus Cortina wheel that had the option of either rivets extended out the back of the wheel or finger grooves filed into it. I'm open to both options, rounding off the rivets before I hammer them through won't be an issue. I guess I'll again see how it feels once I've got the initial profile. The protruding rivets do have the benefit of not eating into the depth of the rim and making it appear thinner than it is. So if I feel like the rim is already on the thin side then I'll go with that option. Thanks a lot for your help!

The double goggles are incredible, I had no idea they used to do that!

PS - I have a TH8RS shifter - the model which was released before the TH8A - shown below in my home made console.

Ah I see, I assumed you didn't because your size was dependent on the paddle shifters.

Looks like you're a proper armchair racer with that setup :lol:

Btw, that keyboard I bought worked a charm, even when coupled with the numberpad I already have plugged into the PS4. Plus it can glow in different colours if I require it to, which must add 10 extra HP. Not bad for £10.

IMG_20190118_185519.jpg


Once I've sorted out a mount for it, I'm thinking that will be its final position. I want to have something that will fold away into the stand however to keep it compact when not in use. Can't make things too easy for myself!
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Still not able to get started on the actual build yet, laid up after an operation at the moment. Plenty of time to peruse Google though.

I found this bit of information from the Moto-Lita website, purely in case anyone else decides to make their own wheel and stumbles on this thread.

Screenshot_20190127_142025_com.android.chrome.png

So their standard rim has an 86mm circumference, dividing by Pi makes that approximately @ 27.5mm diameter.

The thicker rim comes out at a 30.25mm diameter.
 
1,654
United Kingdom
UK
JacksHereR
Omg nice idea. I’m wanting the same thing, but I was thinking the wrong way.

I was looking at buying a used or new 15” wheel, but now I’m going to go and cut myself a wheel out of ply lol.

Thanks for the inspiration.
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Thanks for the inspiration.

Not a problem! I'm glad this thread is serving a purpose. If you need any help along the way just ask!

One thing I would quickly say is that 15" is most likely going to leave you with no FFB feel at all, you just have too much leverage to push against the 2-3nm that the G-wheels produce
 
1,654
United Kingdom
UK
JacksHereR
hmmm thanks, i have the ffb turned down at the moment, i guessed i could turn it up if i felt i lost something.
i have a kitcar with a 14" wheel, you now have me thinking i could get a nice new 15" wheel and swap it with my old 14" wheel if 15" is too weak.
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Back up and running now so was able to get started on the actual build.

Aluminium had arrived so just transferred the measurements from the wood sketch over to some brown paper as a cutting and drilling template:

IMG_20190204_165422.jpg


Decided that this wheel was going to be a 'Lotus' rim so while I was off I ordered and had delivered the keyring for me to turn into a centre badge:

IMG_20190204_162236.jpg
 

IfAndOr

Still here.
Premium
5,520
Seychelles
Shropshire, UK.
IfAndOr
XB1:Yes. XBL:No
Good to see you're getting back up to speed.

I ordered and had delivered the keyring for me to turn into a centre badge:
Clever idea. 👍

(Perhaps you can build up a car around it. Just need a few more parts. ;))
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Got a bit more done today, took care of the majority of the drilling. Figured that it would be easier to do it before cutting the wheel out as I had more material to clamp on to. Only drilling left to do is for the dowels and some extra weight saving underneath the grips.

IMG_20190205_171938.jpg


All that for only around 10g saved! It was always more about the looks though!

IMG_20190205_143830.jpg
 
1,654
United Kingdom
UK
JacksHereR
1,654
United Kingdom
UK
JacksHereR
yeh, im going to be wearing psvr so it doesnt need to look pretty.

As long as it doesnt give splinters, it could be varnished ply rim on the alloy to keep the cost down.
 
439
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Apologies for the lack of update, progress is slow with the filing due to it being a lunch break project and I was off work with the flu last week. I'll post another update once the filing has been completed. Shouldn't take too long after then as it's on to wood work and making the grip.

I did quickly make an aluminium extension for the g27 shifter in my break this morning. If my measurements are correct then the bottom portion should slip over the existing shaft. I'll post another photo tonight if I manage to get it fitted.

IMG_20190225_113128.jpg