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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2004, 09:47 PM
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JonM JonM is offline
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Arrow Alcantara Steering Wheel Recover - Update

Finally got some free time for pics of the prototype alcantara-covered steering wheel. This wheel has an additional 1/8" padding and has the factory stitch pattern. We did black stitching, but we could match factory 3-color M stitching. The stock wheel has a rim circumference of 3 5/8". With the added padding, this one is 4 3/8". I don't know what the circumference of the E46 M3 alcantara wheel is, but I'm happy with this thickness. The pad is soft but not too soft.

We deleted the M badge at the center spoke. There is no trace of it under the pad. Another one could be glued onto the alcantara if customer wanted it. We could do stitching like a baseball if someone wanted to be different or show more colored stitching.

The quality is good. It is not as perfect as a factory wheel, but it's good enough for my car. Alcantara does not stretch, so there are some small wrinkles near the thumb spots. But I think they are accpetable.













I don't know what the durability is like in real life yet, but I suspect it will be as good if not better than the stock leather, which seems to get shiny really quickly. Thanks to MikeS for loaning us this wheel.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2004, 10:21 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM

The quality is good. It is not as perfect as a factory wheel, but it's good enough for my car. Alcantara does not stretch, so there are some small wrinkles near the thumb spots. But I think they are accpetable.
Looks pretty good. The things you mention give it a custom look, similar to a hand made cue stick.
Black thread with logo delete is the way to go. Might look good with a single contrasting thread like blue etc.
Are you doing the stitching?
How does it feel in use?
How does it look with the contrast of the air bag?

I recently added a new M wheel to my ti. The coupe one looks fine, but the
shine / no shine contrast with the new wheel is noticable.
Confirmation for the back up things you may want to purchase. if the coupe is a keeper, that we talked about.

Last edited by Ron Stygar; 05-17-2004 at 10:34 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2004, 11:18 PM
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I'm very interested, blue stitching to match the shift boot and and handbrake boot you sent me last month (which are very nice pieces, as usual).

If I were ready right now, for how long would you need my wheel? You need the slip ring, hubcap/airbag and tabs or just the wheel?
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2004, 05:49 AM
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Question



w/ airbag and/or on-car pics??

pricing still in the $350 neighborhood?

also, is this material from http://www.alcantara.it/ (IIRC, LZ only uses their stuff)? is this the same material that BMW uses?

EDIT: was surfing alcantara's site. they make mention of BMW, so i assume i answered my own question there. anyway, they have different colors (http://www.alcantara.it/automotive/auto_col.htm) will these be avail?
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Last edited by mng; 05-18-2004 at 06:42 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2004, 07:33 AM
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It will be 2-3 weeks before I have time to put it into my car. I am really busy with work lately and I am trying to get a new job in the Boston area so I can be closer to Ron and Al.

I haven't had it in the car yet, so I can't comment on how it feels during driving. I put an R32 wheel into my VW and it's much thicker and softer than stock. Really, really nice. Hopefully this wheel will be like that one.

If you recovered using leather instead of alcantara, there might be less wrinkles. But it will be less durable too. And less custom.

Yes, we use original Alcantara brand material. It has a gold "Genuine Alcantara" stamp on the backing. Identical to OEM BMW in every way, even thickness. You can get it in 48 colors. We only stock black, LSB, and Bright Red. You can buy your own piece for about $350 and we can work from that. $350 is minimum order from US distributor.

It takes 2 weeks to finish a wheel from the day I get it.

I am not doing the touch labor on this project. A local guy is. As-is (mono color stitch, OEM stitch design, no M logo), I'd want to get $400 plus shipping to recover a customer wheel. Baseball stitch would be $10 less. 3 color M would be $30 more. Shipping not included. At these prices, our margins are still pretty slim. But I don't think we'll move many of these. Kind of like leather roll hoops.

We will have a wheel at HC ready for inspection.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2004, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM
Baseball stitch would be $10 less. 3 color M would be $30 more.
maybe a dumb question - but what's the diff between the stitching in the pic and a "baseball" stitch?
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2004, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mng
maybe a dumb question - but what's the diff between the stitching in the pic and a "baseball" stitch?
Baseball stitch looks like the stitching on a baseball. The one in the pic is very different. Personal preference.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2004, 08:49 PM
mcoupejeff mcoupejeff is offline
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any chance of getting a contrasting colored centering ring at hte top of hte wheel? i was thinking main part of wheel in black alcantara, and a red centering ring. any ideas?

thanks alot.

jeff
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2004, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoupejeff
any chance of getting a contrasting colored centering ring at hte top of hte wheel? i was thinking main part of wheel in black alcantara, and a red centering ring. any ideas?

thanks alot.

jeff

ohh damn that would be in the words of Dex " tasty"
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:49 AM
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I've always been very happy with the work that LeatherZ offers. I own a lot of their stuff installed in my M coupe.

With that said, participating in the Porsche world has exposed me to product providers that also cross marque boundaries. On the Porsche forums, I discovered a company that does steering wheel rebuilds and modifications. Apparently a lot of the Porsche owners are using them for specialty steering wheels. It might be worth a look.

The link is: http://www.aglausa.com
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2004, 04:22 PM
kcsails kcsails is offline
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Do you need another steering wheel?

I have an extra M one with the blue and red stitching.
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