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General 385mm steering wheel question

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  • General 385mm steering wheel question

    asking input from OGs and gurus…

    I am referring to the triangular “euro sport” 3 spoke steering wheel that debut on the e36 m3 gt…

    but i was just wondering why I don’t see it being used as the 375mm round airbag wheel. Was it price? Styling? Availability? Or driving dynamics of an extra 10mm (was it to compensate for the slower center deadspot on the 95’ racks)?

    i am contemplating on changing out my round airbag wheel for that one; hoping the latter version also doesn’t suffer from the chalky airbag issue
    Last edited by bmwstephen; 11-27-2022, 11:58 AM.

  • #2
    It didn't debut on the GT, don't know where that comes from, but just a side note.

    My 328i left the factory with the EU sport airbag wheel and while I always loved its design, I replaced it with the M airbag wheel. And yes, while 10mm sounds negligible, in the real world it makes quite a difference.
    I also like it better because of the M logo and the tri-color stiching. And the thumb supports.

    The tin airbag/spoke design of the Euro wheel also makes it visually bigger than it already is. The only pro is that it doesn't obscure the lower row of warning lights, as the round top of the M airbag does. Although this is solved by tilting the wheel all the way down, which is how I have the wheel set. Later US cars won't have the tilt, but I was never able to get an answer what the non-tilting position is in relation to the tilting wheel. Is it the same as 'our' lowest position, our highest, or somwehere in between? I would hate it if it's the highest as that is not a good seating position (for me).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MParallel View Post
      It didn't debut on the GT, don't know where that comes from, but just a side note.

      My 328i left the factory with the EU sport airbag wheel and while I always loved its design, I replaced it with the M airbag wheel. And yes, while 10mm sounds negligible, in the real world it makes quite a difference.
      I also like it better because of the M logo and the tri-color stiching. And the thumb supports.

      The tin airbag/spoke design of the Euro wheel also makes it visually bigger than it already is. The only pro is that it doesn't obscure the lower row of warning lights, as the round top of the M airbag does. Although this is solved by tilting the wheel all the way down, which is how I have the wheel set. Later US cars won't have the tilt, but I was never able to get an answer what the non-tilting position is in relation to the tilting wheel. Is it the same as 'our' lowest position, our highest, or somwehere in between? I would hate it if it's the highest as that is not a good seating position (for me).
      I’d say that there is a good chance it’s at the highest. I honestly don’t see how it could be any higher on the US spec car. It’s already terrible as it is hahah. I’ve put together a cart of all the pieces to do the tilt conversion and it’s about $300. Not bad, but all those parts a few years ago added up to 150 bucks hahah.

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      • #4
        I've never touched the tilt on my car other than to clean stuff, but man, if the original setting is at the top and thats where its fixed on US cars, I honestly don't know if I'd feel the same way about the car. Thats a horrible driving position for anyone under 6'4

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        • #5
          The US steering column is definitely in its highest steering position because the wheel does block some of the warning lights depending on seating position. And +1 on the thumb support, that alone is a reason to talk me out of switching

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          • #6
            Yeah it sucks. I am 5’11” and I have the seat set to the lowest position with a slight rake back, and the back support more to the upright. Even with the 4 spoke steering wheel all of the warning lights are completely blocked.

            The sitting position in the e30, even with its fixed steering wheel is so much better in comparison. It’s my biggest gripe with the e36.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bimma360 View Post
              Yeah it sucks. I am 5’11” and I have the seat set to the lowest position with a slight rake back, and the back support more to the upright. Even with the 4 spoke steering wheel all of the warning lights are completely blocked.

              The sitting position in the e30, even with its fixed steering wheel is so much better in comparison. It’s my biggest gripe with the e36.
              Bimma360 were you on r3vlimited with the black dinan turbo e30?

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              • #8
                Yeah that’s me!

                Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Respect. This was me during my r3vlimited and e30tech days before I started appreciating e36s (regrettably moved on from e30s in 2013 after getting engaged)

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                  • #10
                    That E30 looks great. I even prefer that look over the M3.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bmwstephen View Post
                      Respect. This was me during my r3vlimited and e30tech days before I started appreciating e36s (regrettably moved on from e30s in 2013 after getting engaged)​
                      Nice. The e36 is 80% of the e30 experience but much stiffer and more refined. Overall I prefer it. Its been a long while since I’ve driven a proper e30. My brother has both a vert and a touring, but are bone stock. Driving his cars really makes me question if I ever want another one. But I do remember stock e30’s being terrible for my taste. So that’s most likely it. I have a vert project just sitting here waiting for me. It’s probably going to be waiting a long while hahah.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MParallel View Post
                        That E30 looks great. I even prefer that look over the M3.
                        The Mtech 2’s really can hold a candle to the M3’s.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bimma360 View Post

                          Nice. The e36 is 80% of the e30 experience but much stiffer and more refined. Overall I prefer it. Its been a long while since I’ve driven a proper e30. My brother has both a vert and a touring, but are bone stock. Driving his cars really makes me question if I ever want another one. But I do remember stock e30’s being terrible for my taste. So that’s most likely it. I have a vert project just sitting here waiting for me. It’s probably going to be waiting a long while hahah.
                          hah. I still remember the common saying for the e36s back in those forums were that they were only good for being spare parts to swap into an e30. Ignore the looks, the e36 is a substantially different driving experience. it is way more confidence inspiring and comfortable.

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                          • #14
                            E36 is so different electronics wise. Only very early 90-93 models share some stuff.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bmwstephen View Post

                              hah. I still remember the common saying for the e36s back in those forums were that they were only good for being spare parts to swap into an e30. Ignore the looks, the e36 is a substantially different driving experience. it is way more confidence inspiring and comfortable.
                              Haha I do remember that.

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