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  #1  
Old 03-17-2004, 05:04 PM
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new or old-style steering wheel?

Okay, don't think we've discussed this one yet, at least not that I can remember or find via search-

Steering wheel design for the 108: my 73 has the earlier, thin-rim hard plastic wheel with the separate metal horn ring. Some 108's and 109's I've seen have the all-black, padded steering wheel found on the 116 and others through the 70's.

I am thinking that the old style looks better in the old-world 108 interior, but at the same time, the damn thing is awfully uncomfortable and rattly...

Might the newer style wheel be more comfortable and quieter for me? (Keep in mind this is my daily driver, very nice but not a museum piece).

I'll attach pics of both style steering wheels-

-JAS

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Old 03-17-2004, 05:08 PM
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old style

old style wheel:
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new or old-style steering wheel?-insidefrontweb.jpg  
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2004, 05:14 PM
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new style

From a 109 6.3, courtesy of ebay:
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new or old-style steering wheel?-newstylewheel.jpg  
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2004, 06:19 PM
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What do you mean "rattly?"

I have not only gotten used to the large size, I enjoy it. Driving the Jeep now feels weird, like I'm driving with a G-Kart steering wheel (it just feels so tiny!)

If your horn ring rattles against the wheel itself I would assume it needs to be tightnened - my wheel never rattles!
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2004, 06:24 PM
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The size I don't object to at all. In fact, I think the newer style is even larger in diameter than the old.

Rattly- well, I need to take it apart and look at it. Just rattles, all I can say. Drives me nuts. And it is not the coupler things down in the column, I bought the parts to replace them, and mine were fine apparently. I think it is in the wheel itself.

In any event, what is your preference aesthetically?
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:56 PM
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my vote

hands down, the ORIGINAL. I too have some rattly--jiggly stuff happening sporadically with my wheel but have not been bothered enuf to investigate yet. Maybe in warmer weather...
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Old 03-17-2004, 07:13 PM
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Collecting opinions on aesthetics or practical functionality??

Here's my .02 cents...... the newer ergonomic version is easier on the hands with lotsa variations for holding the wheel. Get yerself to a decent junkyard and you can probably pick one up for $10.

Meanwhile if that was an original white ivory steering wheel with spiderweb cracking that gives it some class that you were replacing, I'd say you were out of your mind for opting for the change.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:29 PM
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Old-style

That new school wheel doesn't look so hot. Maybe some fancy, wood-rimmed momo job might look more appropriate w/ the rest of the interior. The plastic mb wheel looks cheap and out of place.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2004, 08:31 PM
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the new ones look out of place to me. the newer wheels prolly feel better though
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2004, 08:54 PM
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I'm wondering if that Ebay W109 steering wheel had been 'updated'. I think the W114/115s had the 'hard' steering wheels until '74 but I did find a picture of a '71 350SL with the 'soft' wheel. I think the soft steering wheel, without the chrome horn ring, may be more comfortable for some and safer but I personally like the appearance of the early 'unsafe' style. My Fintail has a white one with the full round horn ring!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:06 PM
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A lot has to do with the color of the interior. Black, I would go with the New type. Now if it were Ivory with dark brown leather and gold exterior, I would stick with the origional, much class.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2004, 10:55 PM
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My 73 280C came with the new style... I think it was an option that year but I could be wrong. Personally, I like the looks of the old style a lot better, although the newer style is more comfortable. The newer style just doesn't complement the old-fashioned interior. Just for looks, though, I'm looking for an old style but they're hard to find in decent condition. They do tend to crack and the horn rings often seem to be missing.

Oh, the new style is much safer, of course, which was the point of the change in the first place.

Catrinus
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2004, 04:17 PM
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My '72 has the soft steering wheel, and I like it.
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Old 03-18-2004, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tosbt
A lot has to do with the color of the interior. Black, I would go with the New type. Now if it were Ivory with dark brown leather and gold exterior, I would stick with the origional, much class.
My interior is black and I'd never think of using a 116 wheel...

Just think, when driving, the modern 116-wheel with the classic 108/109 instrument cluster... The original wheel seems to fit the style of the big speedo and the clock and all the other gauges better, besides, wouldn't the 116 wheel block your view?
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2004, 12:13 AM
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Modern 116 wheels even block their own speedometer, clipping the 60mph zone on the speedo. Tie braker would be old style chrome ring picking up chrome strips throughout the interior. Like on that ebay 109 that's even got horizontal wood strips on the door..... where the new style wheel looks weird.

But you cant say anything bad about the new steering wheel which lets you grab it full strength and even lets you jamb your hands into it vertically with thumbs on the padded horn mechanism.

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