Stupid People

Yes, stupid people. They are abound!

Last weekend, Jaime and I drove to Lasco Ford in Fenton, MI to pick up her new-to-me 2006 Lotus Elise. The car was modified with a Momo Trek-R racing steering wheel. It’s regular retail price is $320. The adapter need to mount this steering wheel retails for about $95. The Lotus horn button for this steering wheel is another $80.

So it is safe to say that someone really wanted a slick steering wheel and they weren’t afraid to pay good money. However, they were apparently afraid to install it correctly.

Fig 1: Factory Steering Wheel Mount

A Lotus Elise steering wheel mount has four bolts. An aftermarket Momo takes six bolts. A Lotus Elise steering wheel is deep and has an airbag. An aftermarket Momo is shallow and does not contain an airbag. To install an aftermarket Momo you have to accomplish two things: provide a six bolt mounting surface and bring the wheel toward the driver about 3-4 inches. This is where a steering wheel hub adapter comes into play.

From a manufacturing standpoint, it would be nice to be able to manufacture one adapter and it be able to accommodate two different types of steering wheels like a Momo or, God help you, a Grant. Such would require two different set of bolt holes.

Fig 2: Bolt Holes on Adapter

Well, the genius that installed this steering wheel installed the adapter in such a way that it would accommodate another type of steering wheel that uses 6mm bolts instead of 5mm bolts like the Momo. Looking at Figure 2, the 6mm hole is at the top and the 5mm hole should have been.

I wouldn’t have noticed all of this, but Wednesday, I drove the Lotus home. When I got into the drive way, I tugged on the wheel to help me get out of the car. When I did, the steering wheel fell off in my lap. Yes. The moron that installed this steering wheel couldn’t figure out to rotate the adapter 90 degrees so that the screws would fit. So what did this genius do? He used blue RTV silicone sealant to basically “glue” the screws into the large holes (see Figure 3 and for heaven’s sake, please ignore the awful condition of my fingernails.).

So, would the term, “stupid people” apply?

Fig 3: If it don't fit, glue it!

Note: for all of you that are looking, the Momo steering wheel uses M5-0.8 x 10mm button head socket cap screws.