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Old 09-03-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Odd steering wheel question

I took my turbo miata to Eagles Canyon Raceway in the DFW are for its first laps in anger Saturday. Gladly, no apparent oil leaks, but cooling mods need to be my next investment for the car. It came with no redirect and the rad needs ducted, but not the point here.

anyway, the car lacks power steering and while i like the weight of the steering, I had some problems i want to ask about and seek feedback on. I write for a living (and before you ask I don't proof posts so no judging) and after typing all the time for over 10 years, i have some wrist issues.

i have a steering wheel on the car that is d-shaped and i would guess 350mm or so in diameter (i didn't buy the wheel and have no idea the brand or model). the car has a quick release and the hub puts the wheel very close to me when i drive.

i like how close it is, but at ECR i turn a lot which leads to hurting hands and wrists after a few laps because my wrists are almost fully bent on some corners. On longer sessions my hands go numb sometimes which is annoying. the question is would a smaller or larger diameter wheel help this at all? anyone else have this issue or recommendations? Any recommended wheel would have to offer 0 dish or it would be too close to me. Plenty of room so D-shape isn't required.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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You will still be bending your wrists about the same with a smaller or larger diameter wheel. I would try moving the wheel further away from you so your wrists stay straighter.

Here's a good rule of thumb: the wheel should be positioned so that if you fully extend your arms you can wrest the bottom of your wrists on the top of the wheel while sitting in your normal driving position.

You also might try holding a looser grip on the wheel. Many people inadvertently use a death grip when on the track, which can lead to numbness and pain.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Man View Post
Here's a good rule of thumb: the wheel should be positioned so that if you fully extend your arms you can wrest the bottom of your wrists on the top of the wheel while sitting in your normal driving position.
To clarify, "normal driving position" means keeping your shoulder blades flat on the back of the seat. At least, that's how I was told. This tip has given me a comfortable driving position for years now. No awkward reaching and stretching during my doriftoing.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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maybe it's just a bit too close to me, IDK. I had a slightly smaller diameter wheel before that flexed too much, it seemed more comfortable. In my old street car that I tracked ,i always used the seat position method mentioned before. I was further from the wheel and that car had power steering.

the miata has a fixed seat and manual steering. i have to adjust the shoulder straps on the harness, i left them too long where they wrap around the cage and it was too hot to mess with shortening them at the track. They were looser than I wanted but the labels on the shoulder straps wouldn't let me cinch them down more, which likely led to some of the wrist issues now that I think about it. an extra half inch of travel would have been great.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Can't you tighten the wrapping around the harness bar to put the labels further from the tightening buckles?

With the tight space between the harness bar, seat back, etc, the maita is really picky as to how long you set the harnesses.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by curly View Post
Can't you tighten the wrapping around the harness bar to put the labels further from the tightening buckles?

With the tight space between the harness bar, seat back, etc, the maita is really picky as to how long you set the harnesses.
yes I can, i was to lazy/it was too hot (101) at the track to mess with it. it's very hard to reach the belts on the harness bar thanks to a pair of wide seats in the car. I plan to do it in the coolish garage this week.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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If your belts were loose you were probably hanging onto the wheel to compensate. Tighter belts should help.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:36 PM   #8
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If your belts were loose you were probably hanging onto the wheel to compensate. Tighter belts should help.
they were snugish, not loose but not as tight as i like them to be.
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