Steering wheel - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel

While I enjoy driving my SL I just donít care for the big steering wheel. I would like to keep the original look of the car and was wondering if an early R129 or W124 steering wheel would fit and retain all functionality such as airbag and horn? Does anybody know the diameter of those steering wheels? I am not worried that it would partially obscure some of the gauges.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 07:59 AM
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dunno about airbags, I don't have them

but my 390mm wheel does obscure the top of the gauges. I am 5'8" and sit fairly regularly-positioned. I can't see the top of the speedo, or the fuel gauge, or the upper reaches of the rev counter. All countered with a look under or to one side. worth the minor inconvenience for ease of getting in an out, and the better feel to the steering.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elmer Fudd View Post
but my 390mm wheel does obscure the top of the gauges. I am 5'8" and sit fairly regularly-positioned. I can't see the top of the speedo, or the fuel gauge, or the upper reaches of the rev counter. All countered with a look under or to one side. worth the minor inconvenience for ease of getting in an out, and the better feel to the steering.
I have no problem getting in and out of the car but the big steering wheel just doesnít belong in a sporty car like this. Most of the time I am able to just ignore it.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 09:50 AM
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Google w123 sportline steering wheel on eBay. NOS smaller steering wheels appropriate for our cars.

I hate the later style steering wheels as the star has been removed for the silly deathbag.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 12:36 PM
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Hey there RLT61,a couple of months ago I replaced my nardi with a w124 sport line steering wheel and although it partially obscures the top of the instrument cluster I'm now happy with the size and oem look.



John
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 01:09 PM
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I bought a 1996 E-class (210) steering wheel last year 15 1/4Ē diameter, thicker. Also slightly asymmetrical so more space, seat to steering wheel rim. It installed fine. same airbag plug.
Until I used the horn. Blew the fuse. I since learned that MB switched the polarity for the horn activation in the mid 90ís. Fixable with a relay apparently. I may just look for another steering wheel. But I also learned that a r129 wheel up to 93 or 94 Will work. The early r129 had a wheel with the same design as late 80ís 107ís. Just a slightly smaller diameter. There are also some other styles of steering wheel available, from early r129. I paid $50 at Mercedes used parts place in Montreal. There must have been 30 or 40 steering wheels hanging on a wall. He wanted a $100, but when I pointed out that all the wheels had 1/2 an inch of dust on them he accepted $50
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 10:23 PM
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My favorite steering wheel is the first one used in 1973 with the two separate horn buttons. 2nd favorite is the 1980 SL wheel, before airbag. Not sure if that one is smaller than the early one or not. Was just commenting to the wife on Saturday that the large wheel encourages me to keep both hands on the wheel 9 and 3 or so. It is a laaarge steering wheel though.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Based on the comments it looks like most MB steering wheel from the early 90ís should fit.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Bought an early r129 steering wheel over the weekend and received it today. After a good cleaning, there were a few more scuff marks than expected, but nothing I canít fix. No rips or looses stitching. The diameter is a little shy of 400mm or about 20mm smaller than the original wheel.
If all goes well I should be able to install it tomorrow.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Installed the smaller wheel

Wow, this has to be the best modification I did to the car. It doesnít feel like a truck anymore.
The way I have my seat adjusted I can see all of the speedometer, the tachometer to about 3k rpm and the fuel gauge to about 1/2 empty.
Everything seems to be working. The SRS light is off and the horn works.
Now I have to take the wheel back off and make it look pretty.
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