Caterham Seven 420R Steering Wheel Retrim

I've never been a fan of the standard-fit Momo steering wheel provided within the Seven R pack. I find the material finish on the wheel to be rather unappealing, a sort of fake leather, it might be leather, either way, it’s just not great. Further, it can be challenging to maintain a good grip of the wheel on a bumpy road at speed, the wheel tends to want to break free in your hands, it doesn’t inspire confidence. When driving I usually wear OMP racing gloves, doing so improves grip through the special contact areas on the gloves, plus you don’t have to feel the awful leather. Wearing gloves all the time isn’t ideal, especially during road driving in the summer months, you tend to feel a bit of a burk, and a wannabe racing driver.


I’d been considering my options, should I replace the steering wheel, or have the steering wheel retrimmed. In the end, I’ve opted for a retrim, and I’m over the moon with the results.


I used a company called KrossStitchUK to retrim my wheel, a business I found via Instagram. A fellow Sevener and Instagram user posted pictures of their retrim, also undertaken by KrossStitchUK, the images posted to Instagram looked great.


I was sold! I was going to get my steering wheel retrimmed.


I reached out to KrossStitchUK via Instagram messenger and got an immediate response from a very engaging and helpful gentleman, named Joe Wilcox. Joe chatted with me over Instagram and we tossed design ideas around. He sent through colours of threads and various material ideas. It was clear he wanted to deliver a quality product and ensure I was getting what I truly desired. His dedication to detail and patience provided a significant degree of confidence in my decision to proceed. In the end, we settled on a design using the Seven 420R logo on the centre pad as it appears on the car body, green stitching and a centre band also in green.

At this point, and before any real work could start, I needed to source and supply a high-resolution image for the centre pad. The image had to be suitable for embroidery work.

After lots of searching on the internet and a few forum posts, I eventually turned to my trusty iPhone 11 and photo editing software, GIMP. Yes, the software is called that, go google it. I took a photo of the Caterham logo from the driver’s side rear arch and edited out all the bodywork leaving only the image. The process took a couple of hours to edit and clean up the image but was well worth the effort. I fired the image over to Joe and he confirmed it was suitable. I could now package my steering wheel up and send it to Cheshire, UK where KrossStitchUK is based.

Seven 420R logo, starting point from my iPhone
GIMP edited version, ready for embroidery.

Joe turned around the wheel pretty quickly, I wasn’t keeping track, but it wasn’t long. I’d requested photographs of the transformation so that I could share the process here on my blog. Joe was very accommodating and supplied as requested.


The following images show the process.

The original Momo steering wheel
Wheel sanded down and keyed ready for trimming
Getting the alignment sorted.
Centre band set, ready for material
Trimmed ready for the center pad
Production complete1
Finished Article

I have to say the wheel feels amazing. It’s well-padded with a fantastic finish, hands or gloves the wheel grips in your hand. The material is first class, you can tell it’s of high quality, every bit OEM standard. The real showpiece is the detail and accuracy within the finish. The stitching is incredibly precise, there is a real skill on show. True craftsmanship, I take my hat off to him! If you’re still wondering, yes, I’m incredibly happy with the outcome.

Fitted wheel looking amazing.

So, what about the cost? I’m not going to publish that as I believe Joe prices based on individual requirements, but I will say this. It’s amazing value, a significantly lower cost than I was expecting!


Lockdown has of course been curtailing the use of both Sevens, but the other night I did manage to drive the 420R with the retrimmed wheel. It was fantastic! Would I recommend retrimming your wheel? Absolutely! It looks better, feels better, but to be honest, I suggest there is a safety improvement here. The grip on the wheel is significantly enhanced, and that has to be an improvement. What are you waiting for!

Out for a test drive with the newly trimmed wheel on the Caterham 420R

I’m currently considering a new and crazy design for the 620R, something that will make the car stand out for the crazy beast it is. Ideas anyone?


Reference


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Meet Mark
Loves cars, light weight specials, jDM, Lotus, Caterham, Rallying and Trackdays