Custom G27 Classic Rim Build Thread

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by rj5992, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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.
     
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  2. VBR

    VBR Premium

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    That Jag rim is superb, great job!


    :tup:
     
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  3. IfAndOr

    IfAndOr Premium

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    You can't beat a nice bit of mahogany. :)

    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.
     
  4. super_gt

    super_gt

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    A direct drive wheel base will be more suitable for these steering wheels.;)
     
  5. rj5992

    rj5992

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    Thank you very much!

    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

    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!
     
  6. Sick Cylinder

    Sick Cylinder

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    4,622
    What diameter are you going for @rj5992 ?

    I will be watching your build with great interest. Your previous wheel looks excellent.
     
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  7. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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!
     
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  8. Sick Cylinder

    Sick Cylinder

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    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.
     
  9. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    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
     
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  10. rj5992

    rj5992

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    Forgot to quote your message for notification purposes
     
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  11. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    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.
     
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  12. Sick Cylinder

    Sick Cylinder

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    4,622
    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
     
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  13. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    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.

    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 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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  14. Sick Cylinder

    Sick Cylinder

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    4,622
    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
     
  15. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    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!

    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!
     
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  16. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    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.
     
  17. JacksHerer

    JacksHerer

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    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.
     
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  18. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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
     
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  19. JacksHerer

    JacksHerer

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    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.
     
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  20. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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
     
  21. IfAndOr

    IfAndOr Premium

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    Good to see you're getting back up to speed.

    Clever idea. :tup:

    (Perhaps you can build up a car around it. Just need a few more parts. ;))
     
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  22. rj5992

    rj5992

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    239
    Thanks Paul!

    Cheers, they're the only car badges I can find that are small enough to fit within the g27/9's bolt pattern. It's how the Jaguar badge came about as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  23. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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
     
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  24. MarcoM

    MarcoM

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    Just following this now. That Jaaaaaaaaaug wheel looks sublime!
     
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  25. rj5992

    rj5992

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    Hahaha, thanks very much!
     
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  26. rj5992

    rj5992

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    Cut out the central sections of the wheel today. Decided to do that before the outside gets cut out to give more material to clamp to whilst I tidy up the spokes.

    IMG_20190206_122929.jpg

    The reverse side looks really interesting

    IMG_20190206_123038.jpg

    IMG_20190206_170013.jpg
     
  27. JacksHerer

    JacksHerer

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    Damn! Get at least one more sheet sandwiched and cut at the same time!!!!! (So you can sell me a wheel if its sub £50)
     
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  28. Napalm_LT

    Napalm_LT

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    Vintage style aluminum/wood hand made rim for £50 ? :eek:
     
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  29. JacksHerer

    JacksHerer

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    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.
     
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  30. rj5992

    rj5992

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    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
     
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