The first item from my carbon fiber Miata parts wishlist has arrived: the steering column cover.
The OEM part has a steel plate on the backside (something to do with crash protection? I don’t buy it.), which places too much stress on the plastic mounting tabs at the top of the part, causing them to break after time. The top-right tab on mine is broken, resulting in quite a bit of sag on the right side, as poorly illustrated in this photo:
Overall the quality of the carbon fiber piece is quite nice. The curve of the piece matches the curve of the surrounding dashboard very well. The screw holes at the bottom are way smaller than the OE piece (as you can see in the first photo), so the screws have to actually thread through the CF. But they do fit!
The top-right mounting tab has a bit of a shallow shape to it. I feel like it could be shaped a tiny bit differently to allow an easier fit. The overall length of the CF panel is a tiny bit short, so the gap between the panel and the black steering column shroud above it is a little larger than I would like. But unless you have your head on the seat cushion, you won’t notice.
I expected to pop this panel in by myself with no issue, as the OE panel is super simple to work with - just get the tabs in, then thread in the screws. But those fitment issues - small screw holes, weird tab shape, slightly short in length - make a one-person job pretty difficult. But with an extra set of hands it took just a couple of minutes to line everything up.
I think you can see the somewhat large gap between the CF panel and the black steering column shroud in this photo. You can just glimpse a wire in there. Again, not too bad. I had the camera resting on the center console for this photo, so ordinarily you wouldn’t notice at all. AND NO MORE DROOP!!
OEM part with steel plate: 1.325 lbs (601 grams)
CF part: 0.31 lbs (141 grams)
I placed my order on December 26, it shipped from China on January 3, and it arrived in Colorado on January 8 in very good packaging. This was my first experience with CarbonMiata, but I imagine it won’t be the last.