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'67 steering wheel onto '74 thing?
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Thingster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: '67 steering wheel onto '74 thing? Reply with quote

One thing that I CANNOT get over on my Thing is the hideous plastic 4 spoke looking steering wheel. I have 3 or 4 older 2 spoke wheels off of 66/67 beetles. I was wondering if the wheel for a 67 bug and a Thing had the same taper and spline count, allowing hem to be swapped over.

If anyone knows it'd be awesome.

Justin
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Glenn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Won't fit. The older wheels are for a larger shaft.

And what's wrong with the stock wheel?
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenn, Is that the one you restored the drilled out the spline adn bolted the correct spline into? I might have my stories confused. I have an original Dynosaur on one of my Things... Check it out on the Samba. So many cool retro parts so few cars/time...
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Glenn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes... the 72-73 wheels are for the large shaft that uses a 27mm nut. The 74 and later are for the smaller shaft that uses 24mm nut. I was able to drill out the rivets and swap hubs.

But if you want to put on a early 71 and older wheel you can't since they are not 2 piece liek the late model wheels.
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emersonbiggins
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other wheels are available if you can find them.
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early VW steering wheels have the hub molded into the wheel. It will not fit. But the 74 Thing spline is common to tons of later VW wheels. I have seen tons of later VW wheels on things. My 73s Things each have a beautiful Momo and classic Dyno wheels. But they are both attached to the steering column using an adapter. I have a box filled with cracked 73 Thing steering wheels and the associated parts. The tough part is to find a 73 wheel with no cracks... Glenn's with the hand stiched cover is a piece of art.

Here is some data on the 73/74 steering wheel differences and parts cross reference


VW 181s, unfortunately, used two different steering columns and steering wheels. The "early type" seen mostly on 73's can be identified by the metal trim around the key switch area, the "late" version, found mostly 74's, has a plastic trim assembly in the same area. Not only is the trim different, but the steering wheel spline is different so most 73 steering wheels won't fit 74 steering columns and vice versa.
The good news is that the "late" style (74's) is identical in spline and other fitments to most later VWs. Of Rabbit sports wheels all the splines, compression tubes and even the horn and turn signals align between the VW 181 and the newer wheel. Also other VWs and Audi's steering wheels should fit right in place of the stock wheel.

Momo Steering Wheel Adapter for a 73 Thing~~~
21 mm 40 tooth spline
hub #0248
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Thingster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just always thought the plastic 4 spoke was abolutely horendous, especially in a Thing. It would look 10x better with an old black 2 spoke and a plain black horn button.

So the 74 shaft is smaller than the earlier shaft . . . hmmm

Somehow I see the hub getting milled out of the 67 wheel and the hub out of a totally fubard 76 wheel I have getting turned down to fit. . .

Either that or try using the 74 hub as an adapter plate and open up the inside of the 2 spoke to take it.

Guess i'll just have to wait until the next time i go home to figure out how i want to do it.

Justin
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OG67westy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying to do this same thing...would the path of least resistance be to switch out the entire column down to the steering box? wouldn't that be interchangeable with an early bug. I too think that the big plastic cover on the steeringwheel kills the otherwise spartan, classic interior of the thing...
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tyiii
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just traded my steering shaft from a 73 to my 74 ,and was able to mount my VWOA sport wheel . Entire job took about 2 hours.
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cecil
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OG67 is correct. I replaced my column, shaft, etc. with a '65 Beetle with very little effort. Did require a little re-wiring of horn, turn signal and ignition switch. Also made the steering wheel, won't do that again.
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OG67westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"made the steering wheel"? seriously? then why switch the columns? So, your saying that this will in fact work, to put a classic bug wheel in a thing?
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cecil
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to put the ignition switch in the dash and remove the steering column lock for towing. Go to my profile and check out picture of steering wheel. I got an upholstery shop to lace it up for a case of beer.
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oasis
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like the aftermarket steering wheel that came with my '74. I don't know yet what it will need to make it safe and roadworthy (which is top priority), but I started a fair amount of searching and researching.

It seems a steering wheel from a Sports Bug won't work since that was a special edition from '73.

One choice I saw was a very stock looking steering wheel from a '79 convertible. In fact, its trim looks a tiny bit more upscale.

There are three other choices I liked. One was from an early Scirocco. Given its year, I'm fairly sure it would fit.

The other two are from Rabbits. One says specifically it was on a 1981. The other said it was from a later year Golf. Except one was blue and one was black, they appeared identical to the one I had (in grey) on my '81 Pickup. Of course, the stock '73 Thing steering wheel looks cosmetically the same as the '74 to me.

One aftermarket manufacturer made a distinction with their hubs as being different for those up to 1981 (Golf, Rabbit, Jetta, Dasher and Scirocco) and others starting in 1982. That manufacturer also said it was the same hub # as the 1303 (curved screened Super Beetles).

Another manufacturer seemed okay with the same hub for all Mk1 and Mk2 Golfs and the like through 1988.

I'm not that interested in getting an aftermarket steering wheel but I have to figure the hubs would give an indication on interchangeability of VW steering wheels.

Should I get the '79 'vert steering wheel knowing it should fit?

Would getting the early Scirocco steering present a problem with turn signals or horns?

If I opt for a Rabbit steering wheel, should I stick with the one that specifically came off of an '81 (or earlier)?
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Bashr52
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm running this aftermarket wheel. It has a built in standoff so no issue hitting the turn signal or wiper levers when turning.

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GI Joe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyiii wrote:
I just traded my steering shaft from a 73 to my 74 ,and was able to mount my VWOA sport wheel . Entire job took about 2 hours.


Same here... I have an Old empi style wheel from my '73 RHD Euro bug on Okinawa.... I Swapped my '74 column for a '73 and it fit right on!

Certainly the easiest way. Although drilling a few rivets and swapping hubs might be a slight bit easier... Smile

Good luck!
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oasis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I was using aftermarket hubs as a point of reference. My Thing has an aftermarket steering wheel now. The trouble I see is aftermarket companies are saying two different things.

Looking at some options of what I see now available in VW steering wheels, my options are from (1) a '79 Super convertible, (2) a '70s Scirocco, (3) an '81 Rabbit, and (4) a later '80s Rabbit.

From my reading, choice 1 should surely work. Choice 2 seems good, too.

My confidence wavers on choices 3 and 4 because one is supposedly within the year range (up to '81) and the other is in the grey area [up to '88]. Both are advertised as being okay with VWs like Rabbits, Golfs, Sciroccos and Dashers from 1975-88.

If "up to '81" is okay, I can limit my search accordingly. If 1975-88 water-cooled steering wheels are all interchangeable, I'd like a confirmation that it's the same as the Thing. (If not, there isn't a column to swap even if I wanted to go that route. Perhaps building off of a thread that originally wanted an older steering wheel on their Thing was a mistake on my part.)
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Ron Domeck
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you ever confirm if you have a late 74 or an early? Do you have a plastis cover over the switch's or is the housing cast? VW change the columns somewere around Feb. 74.
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oasis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron Domeck wrote:
Did you ever confirm if you have a late 74 or an early? Do you have a plastis cover over the switch's or is the housing cast? VW change the columns somewere around Feb. 74.

I'll have to check. For some reason I had it in my mind it was a mid-'73 change. Thanks.

BTW, I don't suppose a VIN check would reveal the answer, would it?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will look up the vin that was suppose to change.
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Ohio_Style
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shafts themselves are pretty interchangeable. One of my Things has a Rabbit column with a 73 shaft. All of the plugs were even the same.
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