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Aftermarket Adjustable Steering Wheel/Column

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by missmelyssa, Mar 18, 2009.

    missmelyssa guest

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    Does something like this even exist?
    I'm short (5'2" - 5'3").
    The top of the steering wheel is at the same level as my nose, which gets annoying.

    If something like this doesn't exist, is it possible to use one off of a different model?
    Or should I just get an aftermarket steering wheel that is smaller in diameter?
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    granthr

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    The e30 never had an adjustable steering column. I think it would be difficult to retro fit one from a different model. You know your seat is height adjustable? I am guessing you have sport seats. There is either one or two levers between you and the door. Pull up on the front one (if I am remembering correctly, if not the rear one) and then pull up on the seat. At this age the struts are probably worn out. So do this when you are not sitting in the seat.

    The other lever, if you have two, tilts the seat back and forth.

    If you already have the seat all the way up, probably your solutions of a smaller wheel would work. There are quite a few out there. I have factory wheels so cannot speak to the quality of different wheels. Maybe someone else can suggest a particular model or brand.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    Wifey is 5' 3.25" tall and never had a problem with the E30. Adjust the heck out of the seat as suggested and you shuold be OK.
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    John in VA

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    As stated, the front lever for the sport seats will 1) pivot/raise the front edge of the seat, providing thigh support and 2) allow the seat to move in an arc - from a low/butt in a bucket position to a higher & forward position to easily allow you to see over the hood. Give it a try, or check for details in your owner's manual.

    EDIT: It's been a while since I've been able to get any seat time in our E30. Pushing down on the rearmost seat adjust lever will allow the seat to move in its arc, as mentioned below.
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    Brian A

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    I wonder if some of the aftermarket manufacturers (Recaro etc) make spacers to bolt between the floor pan and seat rails to permanently raise the seat an inch or two. I've never seen them; it just seems like there should be a demand.

    I wonder, like everyone else, if your seat doesn't go up as far as it should. My wife is 5'0" and, although my 1987 325ic is not her favorite car to drive (clutch "too heavy" etc), she says she doesn't feel too low in it with the seat full up.

    Regarding the levers, it is the rearward lever that you have to push down to raise/lower the seat; lifting the same lever adjusts of seat back tilt. This applies to both factory "basic' and "sport" seats. The air springs in the seats get tired after about 6 or 7 years (i.e. circa 1994) and stop providing any springiness so you now have to stand outside the car, reach behind the bottom of the seat and lift firmly while pushing down on the rear lever to get the seat to go up. It stops with a clunk. It also moves forward quite a bit as it moves upward.
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    granthr

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    Thanks Brian, I couldn't remember which lever since I never adjust them and I was too lazy to go out to the car see for myself.

    missmelyssa guest

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    more brute force

    I have played with the arc, and am not in the low butt position.
    I have stood outside and pressed/pumped the 2nd/rear lever down and tried to raise the seat.
    Maybe I need to use more brute force.
    I'll listen and feel for the click or clunk sound.

    missmelyssa guest

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    And I did check the owners manual, but it only mentioned seat height adjustment for the non-sport seats. But I figured I'd try anyway.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Since it's a vert, I would think it has the sport seats.
    I also have to play with mine to raise it. I never do, but I tried to when checking functionality when I first got the seats.

    You push the rear lever down and at the same time, stand outside the car and push the seat up with your free hand. You may be able to push the seat up with your butt if you're that talented, but that never worked for me.

    The seats ARE adjustable height-wise, and I believe the non sport seats are also adjustable in the same fashion. For hahas, push the lever down and see if you can push the seat down; it may already be in the upmost position.
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    Brian A

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    My 325ic has sport and my 318i has non-sport; they both adjust the same way. Sport seats have substantial bolsters both on the cushion and the seat back; non-sport seats are virtually flat side-to-side.

    The seat is really easy to take out of the car (4 bolts) and the whole mechanism is visible/fixable from the bottom. Having the top down makes lifting the seat out much easier. I would bet your mechanism is jammed or broken.
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    granthr

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    +1 The driver side sport seat in my 318i has the tilt function jammed. When I first got the seats I tried to fix it, but to no avail. For the tilt function I could not really see how it works. The raise and lower function is much more obvious when looking under the seat. Fortunately for me the tilt function is jammed in the position I would want it in.

    Pull both seats out and really vacuum the carpet underneath and clean up the seats. This is easiest way to clean and now you have an excuse to do it. :D
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    granthr

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    I forgot, when removing the driver seat just be sure to unplug the seat belt warning wiring harness before you yank it out. You don't want to have to repair that if you don't have to!!! :D Just look under the seat you should see the wire going into the seat. The plug is probably up in the seat, you should be able to pull it out and unplug fairly easily.

    missmelyssa guest

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    I got it!

    My problem was that I was trying to pull straight up.
    I had to lift and push forward from the back.
    Ah, my drive to work was much more enjoyable today.

    But yeah, the car is 20yrs old so I should clean under the seats too.
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    Elkoholic

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    A deep cleaning is a REALLY good idea...

    I think the previous owner of mine left the top down most of the time...I had the seats out for cleaning over the summer, and pretty much hypothesized that a small animal of some sort had rotted away under the passenger side...ROFL bring on the Resolve...

    missmelyssa guest

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    Ewwwww.....
    Before I got this car, I checked out one car that was mechanically awesome, but the interior smelled too much like dog.....and the top was down! I love dogs, but wow. I just knew I'd never get that smell out.

    BTW, do you leave the top down all summer? Someone told me I should put the top back up once I'm done driving it for the day to reduce wear and unwanted creases on the top.
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    Brian A

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    Glad to hear you finally got the seat to go up (...you can take the sofa cushion booster seat back into the house;)).

    I keep my roof down for extended periods of time without any problems (although car is kept in a garage). It seems to me that folding it up and down is where it gets the greatest wear and tear.

    See you at autocross on April 04! (Good way to shake the bugs out of the car.)
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    Elkoholic

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    I keep it down most of the time, as long as it's nice outside--it's garage-kept, so I don't worry about it too much. In the fall and wintertime while I'm at school, it's stored with the top up.

    Of course, in public, I'm reluctant to leave it parked with the top down if I'll be doing something for more than a half-hour or so...

    missmelyssa guest

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    car is garaged too

    My car is garaged as well, unless my hubby is working on a project and needs the space.
    I'd like to keep the top down the whole summer, but fear that the parking garage at my job site is not safe (crazy stuff happens every now and then) .But yesterday as I was leaving work for the day I did see one car with their top down. I'll just have to play it by ear.
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    az3579

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    I don't see why you want to leave the top down if you're not going to be in the car. Just put it down when you get in and leave it at that... :rolleyes:


    I wouldn't trust ANYONE if I had an E30 vert and left the top down unattended. No way.
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    Brian A

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    Convertibles are vulnerable in different ways than tintops. With a simple slice of a knife, the door is open.

    I almost never lock my car figuring that its best to let someone in through the door rather than have them slash my $1000 top. Often I just park it with the top down. I never ever keep anything valuable in the car. I only have the factory cassette player (with stealth iPod connector) in the dash, so there is not much worth stealing.

    I just worry most about vandalism (defaced seats, slurpie in a/c, chewing gum), so sometimes put the top up and close the windows in some parking lots. My trunk is always locked.

    Mostly, I just put the top up when parked at length to keep the sun off of the interior.

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