slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/19/19 4:00 p.m.

One problem I have yet to solve in my Ford Probe is the driving position. I'm too tall to sit up perfectly straight, so I'm leaned back just a bit. (A helmet may make this problem even worse.) With my legs a comfortable distance from the pedals, the seat is too far away from the wheel. I've thought about doing a foamectomy on the seat to get lower so I can sit more vertical, but I still don't know that I'll have the wheel as close as I'd like it.

I don't know of any spacers to move the OEM wheel closer to me. I was thinking about a cheap 3-spoke wheel and a hub and possibly even a spacer if those exist, to get it closer. And then swap it back when it's time to pass a state inspection with all airbags intact and whatnot.

Is this a great plan, a terrible plan, or just neutral?

newrider3
newrider3 New Reader
9/19/19 4:52 p.m.

You can indeed get inexpensive spacers in various length for aftermarket steering wheels. Plenty of options around Amazon or eBay​​​. We have a 6-hole 50mm spacer combined with a dished wheel to get a comfortable position in our new Lemons car.

 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/19 5:16 p.m.

Grant sells spacers for their 5-spoke wheels and there are versions available elsewhere for the Momo and LeCarra style 6-spoke wheels.

Figure out how much spacer you need after choosing the wheel and its potential dish.

You can use a piece of exhaust tubing and longer bolts to try a few different lengths before buying.

Make sure to use blue Loctite on all of the fasteners and check they are tight after the first drive.

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
9/19/19 5:20 p.m.

Many Ford/Mazda seats are interchangeable.  You might find some from an MX6 or Capri that are lower.

slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/19/19 8:28 p.m.

Okay, found a wheel I like, it's a Grant. Can't find a Grant hub adapter for my car, but I found a Sparco hub adapter for my car. Crap, Sparco wheels are expensive. Okay, found an adapter to put the Grant wheel on a Momo adapter. I think Momo and Sparco use the same pattern. Crap, this still costs too much. Haven't even looked for a spacer yet. laugh

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/19/19 9:35 p.m.

How are you sitting?

 

I have a 35" inseam and I never had a problem with Probes.  On the other hand, I also have friends who are not as tall who expect to be able to drive with their legs straight.  One of my friends who used to drive my car for tuning was half a foot shorter than me and he always had to move the seat four or five notches back so he could drive it.   I always have my legs tucked up behind the steering wheel:  I have a 2" extension on my '84 RX-7's steering wheel for more legroom.  Basically think fetal driving position.

 

This does make heel and toe work difficult if you don't have articulate ankles.  I don't, so I don't bother trying to shift while braking hard.

slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
9/19/19 10:06 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

I wouldn't say that I have to have my legs straight, but definitely not bent up like that. I used to have to drive a Chevy HHR for work and that was the last time I had my knees hitting the steering column, very uncomfortable. I might have a bit of room to scoot forward in the Probe, but I was starting to have to angle my legs to the side more than I'd like.

I also realized the other day that a previous owner installed an MX-6 wheel in place of the original, but I can't imagine a regular Probe wheel would be much different in how far it sticks out.

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
9/20/19 7:52 a.m.

In my old FC (with sunroof), in order to get my helmeted head inside the car I had to slide way forward and recline a LOT (6'-3"). Wasn't super comfortable, but it worked. An aftermarket wheel and spacer helped it be a lot more comfortable. I still don't really care for sunroofs.

newrider3
newrider3 New Reader
9/20/19 8:04 a.m.

For what it's worth, we've had fine luck with the $35-$40 universal 6 hole steering wheels on our race cars. I certainly wouldn't buy a blatant counterfeit pretending to be a name brand, but a no-name generic tuner wheel should be serviceable.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/20/19 2:19 p.m.
slowbird said:

Okay, found a wheel I like, it's a Grant. Can't find a Grant hub adapter for my car, but I found a Sparco hub adapter for my car. Crap, Sparco wheels are expensive. Okay, found an adapter to put the Grant wheel on a Momo adapter. I think Momo and Sparco use the same pattern. Crap, this still costs too much. Haven't even looked for a spacer yet. laugh

Check if NRG has what you want, could be a happy medium.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
9/20/19 4:01 p.m.

Is the Ford seat height adjustable?  If not, perhaps an MX-6 seat would offer that?  My old 626 was a generation before your car but it had seats that had a height adjustment lever on the side and they were very nice to spend time in.  

Foamectomy seems like another option as you mentioned.

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