Car ownership 101: Steering wheel hub extender

Don't take driving position for granted
by Paulo Rafael Subido | Aug 9, 2018

I have a 1996 Mazda Miata that I adore to bits, but for taller drivers like me (I’m 5ft 11in), the driving position is kind of off with that car. Unlike most newer models with almost infinite steering wheel and seat adjustability, the Miata doesn’t even have a tilting tiller. I had to get creative.

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Difficulty level

Very easy. Find the right parts, have the right tools, and take your time.

Things to remember

-Don’t sit too far or too close to the steering wheel. Your wrists should be able to fold beyond the top of the rim.

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-Note the position of your feet in relation to the pedals. You should be able to depress the clutch all the way, with a slight bend to your knee.

The gear

Screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, measuring tape

Important things to check 

-During tight cornering, do you feel yourself reaching out? If so, the wheel is too far away.

-Does your car have a driver-side airbag? If so, think about whether to do this mod or not.

Here's how to bring the wheel closer:

1) Analyze the problem

The problem stems from my legs being too long for my tiny little car. With my legs in the right position, my arms are stretched out too far when reaching the steering wheel. This was causing major discomfort, and it was a hassle during track days. In tight corners I would be reaching for the wheel, and I would have to lift my back from the seat. Not good. It was awkward and felt very unsafe.

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2) Research the product

After doing much research, I decided to buy an affordable hub extender online. I got two, for a total of a 60mm extension. This would put the steering wheel in the ideal position for me. I didn’t want to go with a quick-release hub, because these are way too expensive. Hub extenders will work because I already have an aftermarket Momo steering wheel attached. If you are using a stock steering wheel, do some research about what hub boss to use.

3) Install carefully

Installing just required me to undo the Allen bolts on the Momo wheel and installing the two spacers in between. Good thing that the ground cable going to the horn is long enough. Also, make sure that the Allen bolts are tightened evenly throughout. Good thing my hands are big, because I can still reach the signal light and wiper stalks. Then again, if you are of smaller stature you won’t need to do this modification. My car now drives like a whole different vehicle, and I feel very confident behind the wheel.

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PHOTO: Paulo Rafael Subido
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