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I'm thinking about replacing the steering wheel on my 88 560SL. How did the R129 wheel workout! You pleased with the fit? Does it block the view of dash guages? Any horn grounding issue?

I would appreciate your opinion and any advice.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I'm thinking about replacing the steering wheel on my 88 560SL. How did the R129 wheel workout! You pleased with the fit? Does it block the view of dash guages? Any horn grounding issue?

I would appreciate your opinion and any advice.

Larry
Best modification I did to the car. Perfect fit. It does block the gauges a bit. See post 10 in this thread.
 

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Best modification I did to the car. Perfect fit. It does block the gauges a bit. See post 10 in this thread.
Thank you. I'm looking to make a buy on a black steering wheel that I am told is in excellent condition. It does appear to be in very good condition in photos. Sounds from your comment that the color shade might need to be dyed as you have done to make it a good match. Any advice based on your experience will be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thank you. I'm looking to make a buy on a black steering wheel that I am told is in excellent condition. It does appear to be in very good condition in photos. Sounds from your comment that the color shade might need to be dyed as you have done to make it a good match. Any advice based on your experience will be appreciated.
The airbag that came with the R129 wheel was a little lighter shade than the steering wheel. It does not appear these two parts came off the same car, but that’s eBay for you. I ended up refinished the sterring wheel to fix scratches and nicks using leather refinishing product left over from a previous project. The color of the refinished wheel was a perfect match with the color of the R107 airbag, so I used it.
 

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The airbag that came with the R129 wheel was a little lighter shade than the steering wheel. It does not appear these two parts came off the same car, but that’s eBay for you. I ended up refinished the sterring wheel to fix scratches and nicks using leather refinishing product left over from a previous project. The color of the refinished wheel was a perfect match with the color of the R107 airbag, so I used it.
Good to know. I appreciate the info you shared. I have a two color wheel (Polomino/black) that shows typical wear for it age. Could restore that wheel of course. But I am considering dyeing all black (a better look I'm sure), or going with a smaller 129 wheel that I understand improves the driving experience. Also looking at Nardi wood wheel.

Having a tough time making a decision. Thanks again for sharing.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #26
My goal is to keep my car as original looking as possible but make “improvements” not noticeable to the casual observer. The R129 steering wheel was the perfect solution to an issue that bothered me since the first time I sat behind the wheel of a R107.
 

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My goal is to keep my car as original looking as possible but make “improvements” not noticeable to the casual observer. The R129 steering wheel was the perfect solution to an issue that bothered me since the first time I sat behind the wheel of a R107.
I too am trying to keep my car looking original as possible. I'll probably end up with the R129 wheel.
 

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RLT61,
Greetings from the west coast!
This is what I wanted to do to my '87 560sl years ago. Your project has given me the inspirational kick in the arse I needed. So I just purchased a 90-92 R129 steering wheel. It seems to be in good enough condition that I'll forgo restoration job you did on yours (as nice as it is). What size socket did you use to get the wheel off? I like the idea it's pretty much plug n play and I can use the 107 air bag to boot!
I'll let you know how it all works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
RLT61,
Greetings from the west coast!
This is what I wanted to do to my '87 560sl years ago. Your project has given me the inspirational kick in the arse I needed. So I just purchased a 90-92 R129 steering wheel. It seems to be in good enough condition that I'll forgo restoration job you did on yours (as nice as it is). What size socket did you use to get the wheel off? I like the idea it's pretty much plug n play and I can use the 107 air bag to boot!
I'll let you know how it all works out.
It requires a 10mm Allen socket with an extension so the socket wrench clears the steering wheel. The Allen bolt might be pretty tight, make sure your steering lock is not engaged. The pic. below shows the couple pieces of 2x4 I used to keep the wheel from turning when loosening and tightening the bolt.
 

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I replaced mine with a 400mm wooden wheel from Bulgaria ($220 with adapter). This smaller wheel changes the who,e experience of driving this car. The smaller wheel does inhibit seeing parts of the dash, but who cares. The driving experience more than makes up for this. Highly recommend this mod.
 

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I replaced mine with a 400mm wooden wheel from Bulgaria ($220 with adapter). This smaller wheel changes the who,e experience of driving this car. The smaller wheel does inhibit seeing parts of the dash, but who cares. The driving experience more than makes up for this. Highly recommend this mod.


Would you be willing to share a link to the supplier?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I replaced mine with a 400mm wooden wheel from Bulgaria ($220 with adapter). This smaller wheel changes the who,e experience of driving this car. The smaller wheel does inhibit seeing parts of the dash, but who cares. The driving experience more than makes up for this. Highly recommend this mod.
I like bolt on mods unless that means bolting on a Ford 302 drivetrain. So I bolted on 5 new wheels. The change was like never felt before in my car on the road. The soft mushy ride gone and feel for the road improved a lot. The steering is just a lot more fun with the small wheel and I think I am driving faster but can't see the speed. The car feels smaller.

I went Nardi off ebay and didn't spend much if you watch. You have to hunt down the adapter and paid 125 for the wheel. You can also used spacers to move the wheel in or out from the dash for the best reach.

I have second thoughts about changing the car but not when it is more fun to drive and can be put back. We have photos here of the worst mods by the dozen.
 

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I was wrong. The size of the wheel I bought was 380mm. It was purchased off eBay for $228 + shipping. Shipping was about $35 from Bulgaria. Packaging was some of the best I've seen. It took better part of a month to get here. The add states it's a rebuild refurbished wheel and it looked new out of the box. Fit and finish is very good. Horn hookup a no brainer. I'm not savvy enough to create the link to share this item from eBay.
Very happy with the wheel and how it enhances look of the cockpit and handling of car. Obviously does not have provision for airbag. Horn button has the classic Mercedes star. Spokes are brushed metal with 3 lighting holes per spoke. This works in conjunction with round air vents, temp gauge configuration on dash. The wood is a bit lighter shade than dash wood, but does not detract from overall look. I try to loade a picture, but may. Be beyond my current pay grade.
 

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I like bolt on mods unless that means bolting on a Ford 302 drivetrain. So I bolted on 5 new wheels. The change was like never felt before in my car on the road. The soft mushy ride gone and feel for the road improved a lot. The steering is just a lot more fun with the small wheel and I think I am driving faster but can't see the speed. The car feels smaller.

I went Nardi off ebay and didn't spend much if you watch. You have to hunt down the adapter and paid 125 for the wheel. You can also used spacers to move the wheel in or out from the dash for the best reach.

I have second thoughts about changing the car but not when it is more fun to drive and can be put back. We have photos here of the worst mods by the dozen.
Love the steering wheel!

The floor mats help you remember what you're driving?:)
 

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Good job RLT! I did a similar mod for my non-Airbag SL with a 390mm Sportline wheel out of a w124. Same experience as you-huge improvement of felt agility of the car. In terms of driving enjoyment it even beats the refreshed suspension for me. I also had mine recovered with fresh leather which gave it a grippier feel while looking stock. At 6 foot I can see the “km” scale of the speedo fine, tank and revs are quite obscured though.
 

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Motorweek's reviews of the 380sl mentioned something similar. A smaller wheel makes the car more nimble.

I always thought it would be fun to set up some sort of EGPWS a la "Bitchin Betty" where the car voice
, "60, 65, 70, 75".

Would probably annoy the living crap out of me but would be useful for those smaller steering wheels!

Woop Woop! Terrain Terrain! Pull up!
 

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Best modification I did to the car. Perfect fit. It does block the gauges a bit. See post 10 in this thread.
Ditto! Thanks again for the motivation to pull this off! Fastest mod I ever did. Took longer to get the tools out. The smaller 129 wheel does change the steering characteristics too. I'm jazzed.
 
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