I’m pretty selective when it comes to parts for my roadster. I only select the best I can afford. When I saw this new wheel manufacturer: Renown, my mind went to the now classic 787b. The 4 rotor LeMans monster. Now the Renown that sponsored the 787b was a Japanese clothing manufacturer, but none the less, I felt I should look in to this California based Renown. So I ordered a 330mm wheel with minimal offset. All black. Classic sleek look. Scott at Renown was the exact kind of person I want to order from. I could tell he not only wanted my business, but he was genuinely grateful for my interest in his wheels. In a sea of shoddy customer service, this was very refreshing.
Arisu was also due for some maintenance of the combination switch. Specifically the toggle for the high beams. I found a write up that said cleaning/sanding the contacts would solve this problem. I decided to get a wheel now in part because of this, since I would have to take off the stock wheel anyways.
Disconnected the battery. Took the wheel/airbag off. And then combination switch. Just needed a ratchet (with a makeshift breaker bar) and a screwdriver.
There it is: the combination switch.
The gray thing there is what I need to access. Attached by screws and built in clips. I didn’t take any pics of the inside, because my phone literally overheated and shut off after being used too much out in the heat with me. You can see pics from the article linked above. Anyways the basic idea was to sand off the corrosion from the many copper contact points inside. This was supposed to be a simple fix.
I used the sandpaper and connected the battery to try the brights and... nothing. Ok... let’s try this again. Nope nothing. Bring out my brass and nylon wire brushes to get in there as well as I can. At this point, I’m over it and don’t even test it again. I put some dielectric grease on the contacts and reassemble everything. I’m sweating my a** off in the hot sun, which has began to go down at this point. I figure either it works or it won’t and there isn’t any more I know to do, so whatever.
Now to installing the new wheel! I went with a Works Bell hub adapter which is just gorgeous. So well made. Exactly what you’d expect from a reputable (maybe legendary?) Japanese company. Really simple install. Line up the arrow on the hub adapter with the clock spring arrow and torque the bolt that comes with the stock wheel to 22ft lbs according to Works Bell. Connect the airbag defeat. Connect the horn button. Ground it (built in to my horn button). Reconnect the battery and that’s it!
It’s a huge upgrade for the drivability of my roadster. The 330mm size is a perfect fit for the car and in accommodating my height. Wheel is lighter than the stock wheel w/airbag by around 5lbs. I plan to de power the steering in the near future to improve steering performance and feel even further.
Oh and the brights switch worked! For a little while... until a few days later when I got back to her after a trip to D.C. Maybe she is jealous or mad I didn’t take her on the road trip? Or I missed something. Or it’s irreparable. In any case, there you have it. How to install a wheel and fail at fixing your combination switch.
*Update on combination switch repair!:
I have no standard to compare this wheel by Renown to, but I will say that it seems to be of solid quality. Let me also say that I am legit ocd and one of the byproducts of being ocd is noticing imperfections in things and obsessing over them. Leather feels nice and supple in my hands. Stitching seems to be well done and looks gorgeous. Though there is a slightly rough end to the stitching at the end points. I can also tell where the leather wrap ends and overlaps. It does seem to be smoothing out slightly as I use it. As with quality leather, I beleive age will enhance its charm.
Scott at Renown has an awesome business going making quality handmade steering wheels. He was responsive in answering my emails and even sent me an extra horn button (though it is a little roughed up with a noticeable gash in it) so I could apply my own horn insert to mach better with my car.
As you can see; I found a M Edition badge insert. Something I actually had in mind before I saw that Adam at Revlimiter had one in his custom horn button selection. Couldn’t be more impressed with Adam’s customer service. I got home from D.C. expecting to have a horn button in my mail, but what I received was a care package including the insert and a second insert along with a few other little fun gifts including a hot wheel. Adam has set a standard for customer service and everyone could take notes. So impressed and the custom insert was exactly what I had in mind to tie in the wheel with my interior to make it look as though it really belongs there.
Btw... I was in no way compensated for these short reviews and only did so to share with others in the community a couple of awesome small businesses. All photo rights belong to me.
How’s Oppo? I’m looking in from time to time, but haven’t had as much time to participate as I would like to!