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  #1  
Old 03-04-2004, 08:38 AM
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ZHP owners: How's the alcantara steering wheel wearing?

I've seen a couple of mentions on this board about the alcantara wheels not wearing well (I've also read the opposite). Pretty soon, LeatherZ will be offering this mod (which I'd really like to do)....so i'm wondering what you ZHP owners say about the alcantara - holding up or not? pics would be great. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2004, 09:39 AM
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Mine's a little dirty where my hands grab the wheel (oils from the skin), otherwise it's wearing just fine. No signs that anything is wearing.
  #3  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:11 PM
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Mine's doing well. Granted, it's only been like 2 months, but it's still doing well...

I'd recommend driving gloves. I got a pair, and I'm banking on never having to replace my wheel.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:18 PM
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2004, 02:40 PM
allaboutme allaboutme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue
Over 6000 miles and looks the same as the day I brought it home.
Hey MB, do you grip the wheel hard or clean it at all? I'm wondering if I should do some preventive measures to keep it looking new...
  #6  
Old 03-04-2004, 02:42 PM
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Rich_Jenkins Rich_Jenkins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
Mine's doing well. Granted, it's only been like 2 months, but it's still doing well...

I'd recommend driving gloves. I got a pair, and I'm banking on never having to replace my wheel.
Ditto, gloves, owned since Sep 03, no wear. Wife does not wear gloves, but only drives occasionally. Now have about 4400 miles. Looks fine to me.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2004, 05:23 PM
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Minor fuzz balls in the main grip areas, nothing too bad. ff notes the dirt/oil similar to what I have experienced.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2004, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Phil
Minor fuzz balls in the main grip areas, nothing too bad
3300 miles

I got fuzz ball too. Nothing is discolored or worn but at the 9 o'clock position (where my left hand holds) the alcantra definitely has a different feel than the rest of the wheel. I may try brushing out the area and see if that helps.

It's starting to bother me.

BTW I'm extremely anal so my definition of "worn" might be completely psychosomatic
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2004, 06:25 PM
MysticBlue MysticBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allaboutme
Hey MB, do you grip the wheel hard or clean it at all? I'm wondering if I should do some preventive measures to keep it looking new...
I don't know about "gripping it hard"... My right hand grip is stronger than my left hand grip for reasons I won't go into here, but without white knuckling it, I guess I just grip it hard enough to get the job done. I'm aware of sweaty hands...if I'm driving hard or on a long trip...and will wipe them on my pants or a clean towel I keep in the car. I'm also aware of my hand cleanliness anytime I get into the car. Just try to keep my hands clean. No speacial preventive measures and have not attempted to clean it yet. I remember seeing cleaning instructions for alcantera somewhere, I think on this forum, but can't remember for sure.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2004, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue
I don't know about "gripping it hard"... My right hand grip is stronger than my left hand grip for reasons I won't go into here, but without white knuckling it, I guess I just grip it hard enough to get the job done. I'm aware of sweaty hands...if I'm driving hard or on a long trip...and will wipe them on my pants or a clean towel I keep in the car. I'm also aware of my hand cleanliness anytime I get into the car. Just try to keep my hands clean. No speacial preventive measures and have not attempted to clean it yet. I remember seeing cleaning instructions for alcantera somewhere, I think on this forum, but can't remember for sure.

Yes.. the sweaty hand syndrome.. First stick. .First nice car.. I get nervous while driving it .. I occasionally wipe my hands down on my pants or have the air blowing at my hands to keep them cool.

I think the instructions you're talking about are at www.alcantara.it ... atleast I think so. All they say is to give it a gentle wipe with a terry towel and water. For tough stains, a mixture of vinegar and water is needed...
  #11  
Old 03-04-2004, 08:36 PM
Sierra_Nevada Sierra_Nevada is offline
 
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I have just under 11,000 miles on my car. I am on of those fellows with sweaty, clammy hands so I think my steering wheel would wear a lot more than other peoples. It has a little bit of wear where I constantly hold my left thumb above the volume controls. Other than that I can tell it has been used, but there is nothing extremely wrong with it. I could see my old leather steering wheel wearing in my old coupe. Here is a picture of my wheel for ya.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra_Nevada
I have just under 11,000 miles on my car. I am on of those fellows with sweaty, clammy hands so I think my steering wheel would wear a lot more than other peoples. It has a little bit of wear where I constantly hold my left thumb above the volume controls. Other than that I can tell it has been used, but there is nothing extremely wrong with it. I could see my old leather steering wheel wearing in my old coupe. Here is a picture of my wheel for ya.
I can barely see anything wrong with it.... Did you mean you cann't see anything wrong with it? I have the same sweaty, clammy hands.. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
But.. you leave your car in 6th gear??
  #13  
Old 03-04-2004, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allaboutme
you leave your car in 6th gear??
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:09 AM
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16,600 miles, and the grip areas do show a little wear and feel a little rougher than the lower part of the steering wheel which looks exactly like brand new with absolutely no wear. Again, you can tell that it has been used, but with almost a year old and 16k miles, I consider it pretty normal.

Talking about wear, my rear RE040's are down to the wear bar now and due for replacement. How's everyone's tires doing, especially those who got their car about a year ago? Are the Pilot Sports supposed to wear better? (Sorry for hijacking your thread mng!)
  #15  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:20 AM
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I like!

This is a really nice looking wheel! I have a new 330cic and one of the things I noticed from the beginning was that the steering wheel, while nice, is not as thick and as padded around the rim as I like. I know this probably has been addressed countless times, but how hard is it to install this wheel on my '04 330cic? The button layout looks identical. Is it expensive? Thankfully, I don't have clammy, sweaty palms... so I think it will be perfect for me!

I want, I want!

--Jonathan
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:32 AM
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I'm glad I have the leather M3 wheel.
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2004, 03:12 AM
Sierra_Nevada Sierra_Nevada is offline
 
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No I don't leave the car in 6th, I probably just finished vacuuming the boot or something. The sweaty hands mean that we are cool. Just kidding. I'm sure the sweat and oils from our hands absorb into the soft material more so than someone with dry hands. I would think that would lead to a wear problem.

I have the Pilot Sports and my tires haven't seemed to wear too badly. Then again, I have actually only take the DSC off to roast them one time since I've had the car. I do have sweaty hands though, will that lead to a wear problem?? I've actually heard that the PS-s wear more quickly. I don't have any facts on that though. Could it be that you drive your car more aggresively than I?
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2004, 03:18 AM
Sierra_Nevada Sierra_Nevada is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanIT
This is a really nice looking wheel! I have a new 330cic and one of the things I noticed from the beginning was that the steering wheel, while nice, is not as thick and as padded around the rim as I like. I know this probably has been addressed countless times, but how hard is it to install this wheel on my '04 330cic? The button layout looks identical. Is it expensive? Thankfully, I don't have clammy, sweaty palms... so I think it will be perfect for me!

I want, I want!

--Jonathan
The steering wheels are supposedly not very difficult to change. The prices are not too bad since your airbag will fit the alcantra steering wheel. The airbags are what cost an arm and leg. I think the M3 wheels go for right around 300 or so. I haven't looked at the buy/sell forums lately, but there are often adds for steering wheels. It might be worth your time to go look at the buy/sell of this and other BMW forums, especially e46fanatics since there are more of our model cars over there. I really like those style 71 wheels you have.

Last edited by Sierra_Nevada; 03-05-2004 at 03:38 AM.
  #19  
Old 03-05-2004, 05:10 AM
djovanovi djovanovi is offline
 
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"Alcantara" is actually a polyester microfiber material. Being plastic, it's impervious to just about anything that touches it (except acids, etc.). You can find furniture made out of it and it cleans up easier and has less propensity to stain than leather. We have a couch made out of the stuff and ketchup, etc. clean up with absolutely no visible mark. I would expect that over the course of 10 years you might see some wear but in the interim, cleaning it with soap+water should restore it to virtually new condition.

~7000 miles on my ZHP and looks like new.
  #20  
Old 03-05-2004, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaz
I'm glad I have the leather M3 wheel.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

You have ZHP envy


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  #21  
Old 03-05-2004, 06:07 AM
r2saint r2saint is offline
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Pilling

I've got about 9000 miles and I've got some pilling where my left hand goes. Its annoying, but I plan on picking up a Remington shaver from Target (do a search on this board) - heard it will zap 'em... Otherwise, love the material
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2004, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful replies! all of us w/ Alcantara-envy are grateful
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  #23  
Old 03-05-2004, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Phil
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

You have ZHP envy




Naah. The only thing I envy is the black headliner.

I've already taken care of the suspension, exhaust, and the engine software.
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  #24  
Old 03-05-2004, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaz


Naah. The only thing I envy is the black headliner.

I've already taken care of the suspension, exhaust, and the engine software.
You forgot the cams, M front bumper, lip-spoiler, interior trim and bigger wheels.
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  #25  
Old 03-05-2004, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doeboy
You forgot the cams, M front bumper, lip-spoiler, interior trim and bigger wheels.
I'd like the bumper, but I don't like the spoiler or Trans-Am trim, don't want heavier wheels, and don't want the cam-caused rough idle problems.

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