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Thread: $20 M Roadster Steering Wheel Wrap installed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    48
    My Cars
    02 M Roadster, 15 i3

    $20 M Roadster Steering Wheel Wrap installed

    I was originally looking at e46 m3 and custom modded steering wheels that were thicker and flat bottomed on eBay ($300+) but decided to give this a shot first because I couldn't find what I was looking for specifically to deal with the 2002's 2-stage airbag. I've only owned my m roadster for a few months and the leather on my wheel is really slick. It isn't torn and the leather isn't peeling. Overall it's in good shape for being 18 years old. It's just too smooth to my liking nor do I like how thin the stock wheel feels.

    I decided to purchase a PU artificial leather wrap for $20 shipped from MeWant directly from China (aliexpress). I'm not affiliated in anyway with the company and won't be posting a link. (EDIT: posted a link in post #8, if it's not there the mods deleted it.) I saw some photos on their reviews of it installed and it actually looked good. There are other ones for sale slightly cheaper and many more reviews but opted for this one because they offer a full leather version also for $46 shipped. The full leather was only offered in red thread so I chose the m tri-color stitched faux leather version. I was considering buying a leather one if the cut of the faux leather was right and they could customize a tri-color one for me. Since I've installed it, I think the faux is just fine. If I have to redo this at any point, I'll try the full leather.

    When it arrived, I wasn't sure how to feel about it because of the price and the fact that I would be putting faux leather in my car. The wrap did not have any smell and came with a roll of double sided tape, plastic pry bar, thread, needle, & thimble. It's not as true of a black as the original wheel nor the black leather in my car but that didn't bother me too much. I figured if I really didn't like it, I could just cut the thread and take it off. There is no harm to the original wheel or leather installing this so if I disliked it in anyway, I could always take it off back to stock in a few minutes. The double sided tape residue may do something to the leather underneath overtime, but I'm doubtful it will.

    Fit and feel installed is great actually. Much better than I had anticipated. I had to punch 2 holes in the bottom middle to get the M emblem back into the wheel and it was actually really tough to do. I think the material is going to hold up pretty well from use. I used my pick tools to slowly open a hole and used a razor blade after I had some "pilot holes". On the first drive, it honestly feels night and day to me. It's approximately 1/8" thicker with the wrap. It doesn't sound like much, but it really does feel more significant. I can still wrap my hand around it but it just feels more significant and I have a better grip of the wheel overall. It has a tiny bit of give/squish to it that I actually like.

    Here are some photos. I watched a few youtube videos on how to do this and did it slightly differently. I opted to install it in the car rather than take the airbag and wheel off. The provided pry tool works well at pushing the wrap under the trim I also looped through every stitch to make be sure it was on tightly and to better blend the overlap of the wrap. It's suggested to only do that where it curves. It took me about 3-4 hours to do this taking my time. It would have been faster had I skipped every other like suggested. It would also have a much different pattern. I don't sew but know how to thread and knot thanks to home-ec classes we had to take in middle school so skill level is maybe a 2 at most if you do sew it in the car without any removal. I still unplugged my battery though just in case. The thought of an airbag hitting me when I'm using a needle was enough to err on the side of caution, even if there was basically no chance of it happening.

    I'm not building this as a concourse show car by any means so it works for me. I'm really happy with the results and figured I'd share it here in case it could help someone. This may be the best $20 I've spent in a long time.

    Side note, I used a retractable inspection 2" circular mirror when I was threading the backside of the wheel. If I had taken the wheel off, I would not have needed it but it was not hard to do either way. This and my pick and razor blade were the only other items I used besides what came in the kit.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by spazzyone; 01-18-2020 at 11:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    48
    My Cars
    02 M Roadster, 15 i3
    Two more photos. Stitching looks different on the top vs the bottom.

    I've also included a photo of what the stitching would look like if you did single thread and skipped every other. Same product but a photo from someone else's review.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    144
    My Cars
    1999 M Roadster
    That looks really good! Thanks for sharing. Is there no one that sells the same thing in leather?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    ord-sna-san-msp-san
    Posts
    621
    My Cars
    ...it depands
    Do you think you could either post or pm me the link? It would be greatly appreciated.
    2011 328i E92 Space Gray Metallic / Leder Dakota+Oyster
    2003 330i Titanium Silver / Black
    2000 Z3 M Titanium Silver / Imola Red+Black Nappa
    2001 330cic Metallic Steel Gray / Gray
    2000 Z3 2.8 Topaz Blue Metallic / Beige
    1997 Z3 1.8 Atlanta Blue Metallic / Beige
    Since 1987 12 euros / 2 kdms / 2 jdms
    - Zach

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    69
    My Cars
    99' s52 mcoupe
    Please post a link! I was thinking about my steering wheel today. Maybe an upholstery shop could do this quick in an hour or so for $50 or so to get that perfect fitment.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    69
    My Cars
    99' s52 mcoupe
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33029026240.html


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ozark bumps
    Posts
    256
    My Cars
    00 M Roadster 17 Cayman
    I have to say when I saw the post title I was envisioning one of those Walmart or pep boys slips ons. After reading and seeing the results-that looks great. Much easier than sending your wheel out or buying one from Eastern Europe and waiting months. Hopefully it will wear well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    48
    My Cars
    02 M Roadster, 15 i3
    This is the one I purchased:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32834676110.html


    I chose option - Color Name: Light blue Blue Red

    It came in about 3 weeks. I live in Hawaii so maybe it took longer to get here because of that. It was my first purchase ever from this site and it was just fine. Alibaba/Aliexpress is one of the biggest companies in the world so no real fear there. All in all, it was a good experience and I'm satisified with the mod. I had considered getting an upholsterer to do it for me, but lining it up and sewing it was easy, just time consuming. At any point during this install did I feel like I wanted to give up or regret it. Time went by pretty quickly.

    After checking their store again, they have a black suede one with a blue stripe and m color stitching here for $45 shipped. If I was to purchase today, this would have been the one I got. It wasn't available at the time I ordered. They also sell a full grain leather one. You can also customize the full leather version to be multi-color, suede, which pieces are perforated, etc. You'll have to check their store for full details.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32993243463.html





    mod - please delete if outside links are not allowed

    I have no affiliation and will not receive any commission for this link.

    - - - Updated - - -

    this isn't the one I bought but right site. I posted a link.

    - - - Updated - - -

    There is a full leather one and also suede ones. You can customize them on the store with different colors, materials, etc. I posted a link now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    ord-sna-san-msp-san
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    ...it depands
    Thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
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    My Cars
    02 M Roadster, 15 i3
    Thanks. I hope it wears well too. I think it will be pretty tough and hang in there over the long haul though. It was very difficult to pierce through and to expand the holes I made to put the M badge back on the bottom of the steering wheel. It has give and a little bit of stretch. We'll see though. I'll update this thread in a year if nothing happens. If it starts to break down, I'll post back sooner. I honestly wasn't expecting much and this is by far one of the best fitting aftermarket pieces I've ever bought, price aside. It's very hard to believe it. I'm usually a quality over cost type of guy. I buy OE parts or better unless I can find the original manufacturer and buy the part minus the BMW stamp. For this, since it was cosmetic, I figured it would be a tiny gamble to try to DIY this. It does feel better driving though. I have much better grip on the wheel and it has a better tactile feel than the smooth leather I covered up. I beat on it pretty hard yesterday and there was no sense that the wrap is moving. It's fully sewn on and custom cut to fit our steering wheel.

    My only gripe would be the left and right sides. I used their tape but am going to hit it with a little bit of 3m spray adhesive so it form fits and stays. It stays only for a minute when I press it down, then loosens up just a tad. Normally when they wrap a steering wheel they hit both with either 3m spray adhesive or rubber cement. They let both dry a bit till they're tacky and then stick them together. When you do that, it's really difficult to separate. I wanted something more easily undoable if I didn't like it. Next time around, if there is one, I'll be going that route to make it more permanent.

    I wasn't going to tell anyone but it was too good of a thing to keep to myself especially since I've been using DIY's and info from the forum.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,971
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    1997 BMW Z3 1.9L 5MT
    Six years ago I put on a leather cover ordered from Wheelskins -- https://wheelskins.com
    Another source that I saw was https://www.redlinegoods.com/SteeringWheelCover.php.
    After about halfway around, I realized I had skipped a hole behind the wheel and had to unlace it and start over. I wanted fresh waxed lacing and Wheelskins sent me another little spool free.
    The second time I propped a large mirror behind the wheel. It is best not to do the lacing on a very hot day, or in the direct summer sun, as the lubricating waxy coating melts and makes the thread sticky and less stiff. Cool stiff waxy thread works best.
    I don't know where any tape or adhesive would have been desirable as the lacing pulls the leather very tight. It looks factory.
    Last edited by Vintage42; 01-19-2020 at 10:44 PM.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    144
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    1999 M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage42 View Post
    Six years ago I put on a leather cover ordered from Wheelskins -- https://wheelskins.com
    Another source that I saw was https://www.redlinegoods.com/SteeringWheelCover.php.
    After about halfway around, I realized I had skipped a hole behind the wheel and had to unlace it and start over. I wanted fresh waxed lacing and Wheelskins sent me another little spool free.
    The second time I propped a large mirror behind the wheel. It is best not to do the lacing on a very hot day, or in the direct sun, as the lubricating waxy coating melts and makes the thread sticky and less stiff. Cool stiff waxy thread works best.
    I don't know where any tape or adhesive would have been desirable as the lacing pulls the leather very tight. It looks factory.
    Thanks. I would love to see a photo of the redlinegoods cover. They claim it factory equivalent. Everything else I am seeing does not look factory and in my opinion doesn't have the original class the oem cover has. I don't want it to look custom...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1997 BMW Z3 1.9L 5MT
    I see something to think about in this thread. My cover laced continuously past the spokes, around the entire wheel. What happens going around the spokes can look awkward if not nicely done.
    The covers here cover the spokes, which looks better.
    Last edited by Vintage42; 01-22-2020 at 07:41 AM.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Schererville, Indiana
    Posts
    50
    My Cars
    2000 Z3 M Roadster
    Very nice,looks good!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Florida
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    10,215
    My Cars
    Coupes...
    I got a spare steering wheel so I am going to give this a try and see how it turns out on the workbench.
    I like Coupes.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
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    My Cars
    1997 BMW Z3 1.9
    I just stitched my non-m steering wheel this saturday. It was fun. Time consuming. Better to do it under sunlight. I did it with flash light.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    10,118
    My Cars
    MCoupe, 328is, Z3, TDI
    Looks great!

    I've been holding onto a very similar but genuine leather one from aliexpress for my old Jetta with GTI steering wheel for a few years now. This thread makes me want to revisit that item.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe
    - 2014 328d Wagon, self-tuned, 260hp/420ft-lbs

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1997 BMW Z3 1.9L 5MT
    Quote Originally Posted by RayBallen View Post
    ... Better to do it under sunlight. I did it with flash light.
    It is winter now. Direct sunlight will not melt the wax. In warmer months, indirect sunlight will make the waxed thread easier to handle.
    You are working with 3-4 feet of waxed thread, which is pulled through holes hundreds of times. Hot sun melts the wax on the thread over the 1-2 hours of pulling. The thread first becomes sticky and sticks to you and the wheel, then as the softened wax is pulled through a hundred holes, the clean thread becomes floppy, has friction, and is harder to work with.
    Flashlight, no. Hot sunlight, also no.
    Last edited by Vintage42; 01-24-2020 at 09:31 PM.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2000 Z3 M Roadster
    Thank you for this

    vetfever

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