Steering wheel/Speedometer Conflict - Happy Birthday Challenger

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Ray D

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Haven?t been able to solve this, and have a hunch there is no solution. So, this may turn out to be ?just a rant.? Thanks for the opportunity, either way.

A bit of an explanation:

Just passed the one year anniversary of our Challenger purchase. Was out, camping at Three Island State Park. Got to thinking about the small, inconvenient, relatively unimportant irritations the Challenger has. Got started on a list of things to correct. Explains the flurry of posts, I have here, today and maybe tomorrow. - - - Maybe the day after that!

The manager at the Damon plant, one day, decided to let his ?ne?r do well? son have a shot at design work. He assigned said son to placement of the steering wheel and the speedometer. The design genius placed them such that I cannot see all of the speedometer, and can?t adjust anything, so far, that permits me to see it.

The seat moves forward and back, swivels and tilts. Won?t move up and down. The steering wheel tilts. Will move to several positions. Doesn?t telescope, at least that I can figure out.

I have checked every combination of adjustments I can thing of. I have to reach the pedals with my feet, and the wheel with my hands. Limits how far forward or aft or how much tilt, I can put the seat in. Tilting the wheel to its various positions, simply changes the effect of moving the seat!

At the top of available positions, (wheel up, seat back) the top of the speedometer is obscured. That is, I can?t see the speed from 35mph to 70mph. At the bottom of available positions, (wheel down, seat forward) I can?t see up to 35mph or above 70mph. (Don?t much care about above 70!).  In the middle of positions, I can?t see anything of importance on the speedometer! Can?t see the needle!

Not willing to adjust the seat, nor the steering wheel, once underway. So, I do ?duck and stretch? depending upon the seat and wheel adjustments, and how much I care about the speed, at any given moment. If the seat would move up, or the wheel would telescope, this wouldn?t be a problem.

Never seen anything like this before! The guy who test-drove this design must have been seven feet tall, with primate type arms! I?m 5'9".  Am I missing something?

Ray D
 

John From Detroit

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Question, would you be oh, say six foot 2 or six foot 3 tall (I am)

That leather wraped "Delux" steering wheel (Something like $347 opiton from Workehorse) was made by a company called VIP (Vehicle Improvement Products) and they custom made me a 20 inch wheel, just big enough I can see all the speedomoter (But not a few of the indicator lights like cruse control and parking brake, nothing important) for, if memory serves, 127 delivered.

now, if you don't have the 18 inch wheel but rather the hard plastic 16 inch one, there is a dealer who will be at QZ, alas, I don't know his name but if necessary I can tell you he in a long, long tent on the south side of the freeway just east of 95 and others may be able to tell you who it was (Biggest parts dealer there if memory serves) and he may still have an 18 inch wheel for sale cheap (If it has a small nick where the horn button snaps in (Making it invisible when installed) don't pay more than 100 for it, in fact offer oh, say 50)
 

Clay L

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I also had a problem with steering wheel  obscuring the top of the speedo.

I found that by adjusting the steering wheel much flatter than I am used to in a car - not straight up and down but flatter like a truck or bus, that I can see the speedo.
It took a little jockeying around to get the right combination of distance from the wheel and wheel tilt.

I found that it is very comfortable to drive this way.
My arms are flat on the armrests and both hands are on the wheel.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Ray D said:
The seat moves forward and back, swivels and tilts. Won?t move up and down. The steering wheel tilts. Will move to several positions. Doesn?t telescope, at least that I can figure out.
Ray D

Ray,

The lever that you use to tilt your steering wheel. Which way are you moving it? On mine you pull the lever up towards the steering wheel to tilt it and push it down towards the floor to telescope it.

I don't have a Damon but a lot of the steering towers I would think would be the same.

Of course YMMV
 

Ray D

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Egad! Others have this problem?

Back in 71 I sold my small fleet of trucks, in L.A. and moved up here. None of the trucks had tilt wheels, and I could see the speedo in every one of them. How come we suddenly have a problem? Don't the folks who make these things ever drive them?

John: I went out and measured. I have the 16 inch plastic wheel. I am 5' 9" tall. Perfect for not being able to see the speedometer! Took some pictures, attached, if I can figure out how.

Clay: I tried that, a few minutes ago. Doesn't seem comfortable, but will do that and take it for a spin, later. You are right, that all the way up, if I am back far enough, I can see the speedo.

Alaskasnowbirds: Ran right out and tried that. No such luck. That would have been perfect!
 

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Ray D

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Karl: Too bright out there! Moving as fast as I could, in Park! Don't need to see.

Ray D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Back in 71 I sold my small fleet of trucks, in L.A. and moved up here. None of the trucks had tilt wheels, and I could see the speedo in every one of them. How come we suddenly have a problem? Don't the folks who make these things ever drive them?

Not sure it's so sudden a change.  You and are are on the short side by todays standards, Ray. Back in 71 we were average or maybe even a bit below at 5'9". Current generations average more like  6 feet.  Big difference in view and seating position.

The design is a combination of Damon's floor height and seat placement and Workhorse (I'm guessing it is a WH chassis) steering column placement and pedal positions. The coach builder controls only half the equation.  But maybe they both screwed up the design, at least a little.

I have a 2002 Dolphn on a WH W22 chassis and am 5'9" (or probably a bit less nowadays). I can't see all the dash board at all times, but don't have any problems driving it.
 

rhmahoney

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Get someone to mount the guage cluster higher. Looks like there is room to shift it upward to just below the white lip.
 

John From Detroit

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Ray D said:
Egad! Others have this problem?

John: I went out and measured. I have the 16 inch plastic wheel. I am 5' 9" tall. Perfect for not being able to see the speedometer! Took some pictures, attached, if I can figure out how.

Ok, you have the 16 inch wheel... Using your tape measure see if an 18" wheel would help.  I think I found the name of the parts delaer I sold my 18" wheel to.. Gambler's RV  Others may be able to give you a lead

As I said, VIP (Vehicle Improvement Products) made me a lovely 20" wheel from spare parts lying about their plant (They do not normallyo make 20" wheels for Workhorse, but do for other trucks) 

I could actually use a 22" wheel, but there is an issue with the length of the turn signal lever, As it is it's a bit uncomfortable to reach when I'm driving now (it has to match the wheel size) but not overly so.  If I went any larger I'd have to get a new signal lever
 

Ray D

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I don't have to measure. I know that an 18" wheel would help. Pretty sure it would fit, as I suspect we have the same, or nearly the same steering column. Not qualified, for several reasons, to install it myself. Will think about it, briefly. Anyway, would like to have the info, so I can check the "availability." Thanks.

Ray D.
 

Clay L

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I looked at the 18 inch wheel but found that the driver's captains chair would not come close to turning around so it can be used as a living room chair. It is barely usable as it is .
My slide is right behind the seat (when it's in) and the seat can't come back very far so the seat rails have to be set so as to limit the movement.
Your configuration may be different than mine.

Regarding the comfort when the wheel is set as I decribed. It took an hour or so to get used to it. but now I prefer the flatter wheel setting. Much less tired at the end of a day. Again your mileage may vary....
 

Ray D

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Wow, Clay! I hadn't thought about that! I have about 6" of clearance to the slide, when it is in. When the chair is turned to the living area, it won't tilt back very far, before hitting the steering wheel. A two inch gain, in steering wheel diameter is only a one inch gain against the chair, however. I'll have to do some measuring, after all, and some thinking!

Ray D.
 

John From Detroit

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Ray D said:
I don't have to measure. I know that an 18" wheel would help. Pretty sure it would fit, as I suspect we have the same, or nearly the same steering column. Not qualified, for several reasons, to install it myself. Will think about it, briefly. Anyway, would like to have the info, so I can check the "availability." Thanks.

Ray D.

Instalation is rather simplle,  Point vehicle straight ahead  (This is important) Remove horn button (pry up) and disconnect, Remove horn pass through (it will be obvious) remove center nut, thread two LONG bolts down into the wheel into pre-tapped holes provided via a steering wheel puller with a long center bolt, thightn center bolt removing wheel, set aside.

Remember my comment about pointing straight ahead being inmportant.  Place new wheel on collum in the same position (Straight ahead is so easy) press down, replace center nut and tighten (Somewhere there is a level to tighten to)  re attach horn and replace as needed, snap horn button back onto wheel, job done

In short, there is but one nut, no bolts (Other than the ones in the removal tool) and only one way I know of to mess it up (Not point wheels straight ahead)
 
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