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Space under the steering wheel

Messages
24
Location
South Australia
#1
Hi All,
I don't know if I am imagining things but I am finding that I have very little room under the bottom rim of the steering wheel as I get into the drivers seat. I know I am not as slim as I was when I had my first R4 in the mid 70's, but I don't recall getting in was a big deal. The main culprit appears to be the height of the seat's side rail - once I am past that all is OK. Does anyone know if the steering column can be moved up slightly? I don't think the column has a universal joint to allow it to function at a different angle to the steering rack; just the solid rubber/fibre joint.
Any ideas very welcome as the project is now getting closer to road testing.
Thanks.
Ron
 

benchseat

Enthusiast
Messages
279
#2
The steering column cannot be moved.

Presumably you have a fairly early model like most of those in Australia.

You say "side rail" so presumably you are referring to a canvas seat.

I had an R4 (padded seats) where someone had artificially raised the height of the seat by putting strips of wood between the seat base and the mounting attached to the chassis. Possibly someone has done this with your vehicle. Canvas seats are pretty "saggy" and if the previous owner was a short**** . . . . .

The GTL steering wheel is smaller diameter and I think the splines are the same. But you might then possibly have to modify the flasher and headlight switches (they would have to be bent back) as I don’t think the "stalks" will clear a GTL wheel.
 

JonathanT

Not normal for Norfolk
Messages
1,256
Location
Wymondham Norfolk
#3
Yes GTL steering wheel is smaller to my certain knowledge but I think different splines to an early model. It would be very difficult/ impossible to raise the steering wheel.
 
Messages
24
Location
South Australia
#4
Thanks guys,
Yes the Aussie R4's are mostly early 60's models. The more common front seat are two separate seats with foam cushions and 'canvas' backs, and the more rare canvas seat and back, singles or a bench. The rear seats are almost all fold up foam padded benches. I guess I'll have to live with what I've got, and maybe start doing some squats to trim down the thighs!
The steering wheel issue also seems to be something I have to accept as I was hoping to restore the car as an R3/4 with the simpler wheel.
I'll post some pics when I have finished re-covering the seats.
Ron
 

mr-reno-139

AKA Paul Cunningham
Messages
2,048
Location
lancing west sussex england
#5
Double check runners haven't got wood spacer strips between them and seat frame
Actually common but may have been dealer mod at the time of sale
I fitted bulkier clio seats and even with smaller diameter wheel ended up using a boss that was 30mm deeper to gain space as due to angle of Column this helps with gap under wheel
provided drivers legs long enogh and can fit belly in slightly smaller gap there instead
 

mr-reno-139

AKA Paul Cunningham
Messages
2,048
Location
lancing west sussex england
#6
60s r4 had 3 bolt fixing on wheel so a spacer could be made and it would be original looking
70s Renaults onwards same spline across the range up til about 2000 when airbags came in btw
 
Messages
24
Location
South Australia
#7
60s r4 had 3 bolt fixing on wheel so a spacer could be made and it would be original looking
70s Renaults onwards same spline across the range up til about 2000 when airbags came in btw
Thanks Paul,
The slides do have a small metal spacer - I wouldn't have thought it would make such a difference - I'll remove it this afternoon. I will also put a spacer under the steering wheel (possibly where it attaches at the top of the column and maybe also at the connection to the rack . Between the two corrections I might just be able to get the space I need to get in comfortably. I'm also going to put an extra spacer on the springs to get a bit more slack in the sprung section.
This is now looking more positive and I might just save myself the trouble of re-fabricating the frame completely.
Ron
 
Messages
24
Location
South Australia
#8
Thanks Paul,
The slides do have a small metal spacer - I wouldn't have thought it would make such a difference - I'll remove it this afternoon. I will also put a spacer under the steering wheel (possibly where it attaches at the top of the column and maybe also at the connection to the rack . Between the two corrections I might just be able to get the space I need to get in comfortably. I'm also going to put an extra spacer on the springs to get a bit more slack in the sprung section.
This is now looking more positive and I might just save myself the trouble of re-fabricating the frame completely.
Ron
Unfortunately none of the above options delivered much more leg room so I have gone for a simpler "temporary" solution to buy time while I get on with other work and let the sub conscience work on it. I have removed the seat slide completely and fixed the frame to the chassis cross beam and the rear frame support at a position that works best. This is partly correct as the R3 seats had pre-set positions that didn't allow live adjustment.

On to the incorrect exhaust set up.
Ron
 
Messages
134
Location
English but live in France 87250
#9
If you are the only person to drive the car i suspect this will become the permanent solution.
 
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