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Sports Design Steering Wheel Upgrade & Re-trim

TonyC911

Barcelona
Joined
6 Jun 2016
Messages
1,391
Hi all, an update on my latest upgrade / saga to source a Sports Design PDK steering wheel for my 991.1.

I really didn't like the PDK buttons on my multi-function wheel. I don't find them very intuitive to use and they also lead to some unintentional downshifts, which was really marring the enjoyment of my weekend drives.

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The biggest challenge was trying to source a wheel to match my Agate / Pebble two tone interior. Costs of good condition used wheels (with sport chrono) were too high in my opinion and nearly always black, so I would need to add further re-trim costs.

So I switched to Plan B back in 2021, when I decided to bite the bullet and buy a brand new wheel from my OPC, I was quoted £950 after PCGB discount, only to find out that Porsche had discontinued making the wheel in Agate Grey! Arghhhh...

So back to plan A, I continued scouring ebay for a suitable used wheel at a more sensible price. Then in October I finally struck a deal on a wheel which had already been re-trimmed with red accents, which seemed to have limited appeal. It was £600 and I could collect it fairly locally... happy days!

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Now to get the wheel re-trimmed... I spoke to several trimmers and came up against another unexpected problem, none of them kept any stock of Agate OEM leather and were not interested in buying a whole hide just for one wheel, which was understandable, but frustrating! I even spoke to UK Hide who could supply a half hide, but that was the minimum size and much more than I needed.

I had heard of / seen some very good leather work by Linas at DesignLS. Lovely chap and he sent me some samples he had in-stock, along with an OEM swatch. Unfortunately, I needed the OEM colour leather and after some back 'n forth, Linas said he would consider buying a half hide, if I would pay the majority of the cost, which at this point seemed fair.

After some more internet searching, I sent an optimistic email to Southbound Trimmers, on the off-chance that they might stock newer colour leathers. I got an almost immediate reply from David, saying 'yes' and that they could supply a small section within 2 days! Not cheap at £120 delivered, but again not a lot of other options and great service from Southbound, including another sample.

Another quick chat with Linas and I was off to sunny Chobham to deliver the wheel and leather, to DesignLS. I wanted to have a contrast stitch to match my OEM materials, so took the car to compare the thread options. I picked up the completed wheel on Tuesday and I am really pleased with the result! Great workmanship from Linas (waiting for the bill at time of writing). Luckily fitting went very smoothly and now looking forward to putting some miles on it :thumbs:

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Fitted (artificial light makes it look a bit lighter)
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Looks very good! Worth the hassle :thumb:
 
Stitching looks great, big improvement with the paddle shift
 
Hi Tony - nice work :thumbs:

I've been pondering similar myself recently. My original list of 'must-haves' included the SD wheel but in the end the right car came up with the MF wheel. I do like it and don't tend to use the shift buttons much and I do use the MF more than I thought I would. Like you I have occasionally shifted without meaning to.

I'd be interested to know whether you fitted the multi-function stalk (and what the cost involved was :?: ).

The solution that I quite like is the gen 2 GT wheel. But I'm not sure Porsche would fit it becasue it has an after-market resistor or something - thinking warranty etc. Not cheap of course but it's the only way I have seen to maintain the buttons and not need an extra stalk. Edit - I see in the pics you have the stalk fitted but not sure why it's there with the original wheel :?:


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353356258318?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28
 

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OttoOtto said:
I'd be interested to know whether you fitted the multi-function stalk (and what the cost involved was?).

The solution that I quite like is the gen 2 GT wheel. But I'm not sure Porsche would fit it becasue it has an after-market resistor or something - thinking warranty etc. Not cheap of course but it's the only way I have seen to maintain the buttons and not need an extra stalk. Edit - I see in the pics you have the stalk fitted but not sure why it's there with the original wheel :?:

Hi mate, no problem. My car was originally built with the basic wheel, so the multi-function stalk for the computer was fitted from new. Another owner (or dealer) upgraded the wheel to the multi-function version.

Like you, I did consider a Gen2 wheel upgrade with MF. However, the costs really mounted-up, as you need an air bag and an additional module (https://gpsadapter.us/), as well as coding costs.

Probably slightly cheaper (and easier to source) if you have a black interior. As you say, I doubt your OPC would fit the wheel, but a good indie would be happy to and it should not affect your warranty, unless you try to make a claim related to the wheel or functions, which should be unlikely.

Of course you could buy a SD wheel in black, along with the stalk from OPC and they will fit them for you. 10% discount available to PCGB members.

Good luck! :thumb:
 
TonyC911 said:
Hi mate, no problem. My car was originally built with the basic wheel, so the multi-function stalk for the computer was fitted from new. Another owner (or dealer) upgraded the wheel to the multi-function version.

Like you, I did consider a Gen2 wheel upgrade with MF. However, the costs really mounted-up, as you need an air bag and an additional module (https://gpsadapter.us/), as well as coding costs.

Probably slightly cheaper (and easier to source) if you have a black interior. As you say, I doubt your OPC would fit the wheel, but a good indie would be happy to and it should not affect your warranty, unless you try to make a claim related to the wheel or functions, which should be unlikely.

Of course you could buy a SD wheel in black, along with the stalk from OPC and they will fit them for you. 10% discount available to PCGB members.

Good luck! :thumb:

Thanks, and yeah I could see the price going north of 4k for the GT fit which is frankly daft, and the more I look at that wheel the more 'modern VW' it appears. So, does the MF wheel simply transfer the airbag to the SD wheel?

The one issue I have which I didn't mention is that the MF wheel is too thin for me. The SD wheel looks thicker.

I'll have a look at the SD prices. And the stalk conversion which at least you didn't have to do :thumbs:
 
Recently had this SD change done by an independent, car had black wheel so no colour issues. Thought I could get used to the buttons but after a year couldn't. Not helped by having another car with paddles. So gone from MF to SD with the stalk which I've had in older cars and like the positive action of compared to the right hand scroll wheel with push to select which my Cayenne has. The only thing I miss on the wheel is radio vol. I think paddles have a longer throw than the newer (mk 2) wheels do although haven't measured this. It's a great upgrade and nothing makes an older vehicle feel like new again better than a new steering wheel.
 

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