Wooden wheels warning

Wooden steering wheels.
Hi all I thought that I would share recent experience of changing the Leyland bus style steering wheel from my 94 facelift. No airbag.
After deciding on the Nardi wheel , I waited for the goods to turn up.
Having past experience in changing wheels and bosses , I was cautiously optimistic and true to form I was disappointed .
The wheel itself was very nice , not worth the money but OK, the boss was poorly made &
The machining was grim, holes didn’t line up , threads were cut on angles and the list goes on and on.
It would seem that the boss suppliers (not Nardi) have very little in the way of quality control and a great deal of reworking was required even before the issue of spline lineup
Is addressed .
And so a word to the wise , be prepared to wait for supplied items to be exchanged , depending on suppliers and as per usual , remember customer service in the UK does not exist .

For a fleeting moment, I thought wooded toad wheels as the topic!!! I have experience with those!!!



Hmm, i bought a Momo wooden wheel and Momo adapter to replace my 88 steering wheel (to me, it was like a Plymouth!)

Wheel is amazing quality, and the adapter was top notch. I did need to get longer screws to attach wheel to adapter, as it was a bit of work getting horn operational.

But I’m quite happy, and have an extra inch or two legroom!

We also had the horn issue to overcome , wheel v nice attached picture.

Also the poor alignment between boss and wheel now overcome.

I have an old Nardi in my MG. They look so good on certain cars…

Here’s my steering wheel story. At some point the steering wheel on my XJR-S was changed to a standard, ugly, airbag item. I waited around on eBay and it finally came up with the goods - the correct Momo wheel, NoS, and not exorbitantly priced because the seller had got the description wrong. But I then needed a boss to attach it to the column. This proved more difficult, no such thing available new. The next eBay punt was for an XJ40 XJR steering wheel, which come with a “free” Momo boss. It was dirt cheap and I just wanted the boss as I knew the fitting was similar. The horn and indicator switch mechanism needed adapting, but it worked fine. Only problem was, once fitted, I didn’t much care for the super original, NoS, XJR-S steering wheel. The second hand, cheap as chips, XJR item is much better suited to how I hold the steering wheel. Anyone care for a new Momo XJR-S steering wheel (boss not included).

I see the Nardi design has not altered much over the years , although my old mg which was a 1990s model only sold last week , would not have looked good with the Nardi

Serious warning for XJS owners based in UK. Folks from US have no MOT and probably are unaware of insurance issues. Removing an airbag in UK or even switching to wooden steering will probably void your car and life insurance policies. Just saying…
Happy Birthday!

Good point , always best to check with insurance first as they will use any reason possible not to pay out.
Fortunately mine does not have airbags and now things are hotter on MOT tests , no doubt they will point it out if need be.

Hey Cosmoxl
When you get a minute free , why not upload a picture of that wheel ! .

Thanks for that , I will look into having a spare boss for this wheel sometime.

I’ve used Nardi and MotoLita on past and present Jags. I like 'em both but the Nardi is nicer, IMO.

Buying a nice used Nardi wheel isn’t difficult nor overly expensive. Gathering up the hub and horn bits can run into some money, though !

One common issue/complaint with Nardi is that the hub puts the steering wheel too close to the driver…and too far away from the column stalks. Nardi has 2 or 3 choices for XJ hubs but I’ve never found any specifications or even written description of what the differences are. I’m guessing that one of the choices would solve this dilemma. I was wondering if anyone has sorted this out.


Hi Doug.
I guess their will always be some issues involved when trying to match different makes
Of steering wheels to bosses from alternative sources .
I think in general the Nardi wheels are good , I have also had Moto Lita , although this time around they are on a 12 week waiting list .

What diameter wheel did you get? 350mm, 360mm. I have the same issue being 6’5". I got the more ergonomic '89 wheel, but it is also the same diameter as my old '87 wheel.

my original steering wheel was 16" diameter.

The wooden wheel I got is 13.5" diameter (comes out to 343mm). So that’s a good 1 1/4" more room for my leg! I’m 6’3", and it helps immensely.

I also have big feet, and managed to cut off the bottom corners of my brake pedal and fit a brake pad from my 97 Volvo 850. That extra 1/2" helps a lot too, so my foot on the gas pedal doesn’t interfere as much with brake pedal.

I also redid my seat rails, so I can slide it back 1" more. (0 legroom behind me, but who cares)

So I fit well. Only issue, I wish my seat could go down 1", but if I slouch just a tiny bit, my head doesn’t touch.

Here’s the XJR-S original fitment:

And this is the XJ40 based XJR wheel I now have fitted:

I prefer a driving position of hands on the wheel at 09:15, the “correct” XJR-S wheel forces you more to a 10:10 position.

Interesting how small changes make a difference.

I have a 14" Nardi…about an inch smaller the the XJS wheel I had installed years ago. This change, and the thinner rim diameter, made a large improvement in driving comfort for me. My arms and hands don’t get tired as they did before. I can’t really explain it.

Of course this sort of stuff is entirely down to the individual.


I’m only aware of one style hub, which, as you say, moves the wheel about an inch rearward, making it a fairly uncomfortable reach to the stalk(s). I’ve had mine since the mid 80’s and always intended to see if it could be modified. Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. I do remember a thread years ago in which a bloke claimed to have machined his hub so as to eliminate a fair amount of the depth. Seemed straightforward although he provided no details IIRC.

There are also deluxe and not-so-deluxe versions of the Nardi/Personal horn button. I have the latter, as the better one was ~$10 more when I bought mine. Big mistake; now they’re unobtanium.

Before I ordered my new wooden wheel , I measured the thickness of the original .
Although I could not get the sizes of the new boss I had a good idea it would be less than the original , which meant it was not going to come forward any more .
Also kept to the 360 size with a 25mm spoke dish .
The horn option with the jag logo was also a nice addition , they also supplied the Nardi
Standard horn button .

made my own wheel to match the interior wheel #3 and recolored the airbag