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My G25 / G27 Formula 1 Wheel Mod

I , like most SIM Racers, knew that the G25 / G27 would be part of my rig at some point in time. I felt that this was finally a “commercial” wheel that had all the great features of the smaller cottage industry wheel makers like ECCI, or FREXGP. The wheel provides the perfect basis for open wheel as well as NASCAR racers alike by providing a wide range of variable “ lock to lock” turning range.  

Also not to go unnoticed is the separate shifter that can be a traditional “H” pattern or sequential mode. Also the pedals provide great tactile feel and being comprised almost completely of metal they are very rugged and very accurate to that racing car feel. 

Not being one that is ever happy with things “ out of the box” I decided to customize my G25 to my own personal tastes. Since I am a die hard Formula 1 guy I had to have a formula wheel on the car. I looked at all the offerings that there are for formula wheels and I settled on the MOMO MOD12 C. There are real F1 wheels on the market but they are lots of money and in the end the MOMO is the wheel used in lower formula cars, so the authenticity is there.

 Logitech G27 Racing Wheel On Amazon
The first thing for me to do was remove the pedals from their plastic housing. The housing is very well built, but to fit in my cockpit it needed to be smaller. While making it smaller I felt I could make it even more stable by adding the aluminum plate as a base.
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The first thing I did was layout the placement of the pedals on the aluminum plate. Drill the holes and mount them with bolts that thread into the tapped holes in the pedals. It was almost as if they were made to be attached this way. I then routed the stock wiring harness around the edge of the plate and secured them with loom and zip ties. All in all it was simple as pie to get the setup running and the carbon fiber tape is there simply to cover the bare aluminum and add a bit of a finished look.
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Now it is off to getting the wheel mounted and prepared. The idea of an F1 cars is there isn't a shifter so the G25 shifter is worthless to me in this application. What it is great for is having lots of extra buttons. So for now I am going to be stealing the circuit board out of the shifter and moving it inside the wheel. More on that to come.
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The standard way to attach the wheel is to use clamps and clamp it down. That works great for a lot of applications but for me I wanted something a lot more solid. I removed the top of the wheel and proceeded to drill a hole and attach bolts to the housing. Since a lot of the housing is metal this makes for a very rugged install. Also there are two threaded inserts in the wheel that make for two extra locations to bolt it in place. In the end the wheel housing is held in place with 4 bolts. Here are some photos
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Since the wheel will be hard mounted I needed to access the electronics so I cut an opening in the top that would allow it to pass over the steering shaft. Also the locking pins are no longer needed so I cut them off and then glued them in place simply to give it a finished look and stock appearance.
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The MOMO wheel is a very shallow wheel and so when you try and mount it to the G25 hub there are some issues. The thing to do is build a spacer. The question for me was how big of a spacer. What I did was take some 1mm material and machine out several spacers so I could adjust the distance between the wheel and the paddle shifters. For me the ideal space was 11mm.
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Every F1 fan knows that the wheel of an F1 car is covered with dials and buttons. I had previously owned a Logitech MOMO Racing and it had just enough buttons for the commands I used. For this wheel I decided to take an old approach and build a button panel that would fit behind the wheel. I bought the buttons from www.allelectronics.com and again machined the panel out of my 1mm material that the spacer was made from. I was also able to slightly machine the name of the buttons in the material in hopes of being able to paint the letters a contrasting color for a very professional look.

Here is the button panel all primed up and you can see the letters of the button labels showing up. after a few coats of black paint I was then able to highlight paint the yellow letters for a nice smooth look to the labels. I used yellow acrylic paint that had the thickness of toothpaste. I used a finger to rub it in the letters then wiped it away with a cloth...leaving only the letters colored in yellow.

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Now with the button panel all painted and dry, time to fit it and the spacer to the wheel. With everything mechanically in place and check for function it is time to get to the electronics.

I stripped the shifter clean of it's PCB and started the wiring process. Since I am going to exclusively use the paddle shifters I used the shifter to provide a tone of extra button inputs. I only used 4 of them for now and honestly that is all I needed with the games that I play. I also have some extra button boxes that do other functions and so that also lowered the demand for on wheel buttons. For the wiring I just used cables that I bought for cheap from www.allelectronics.com. They provided easy installation with plug in connectors to help with servicing the wheel. Also there was only a small amount of soldering needed and the heat shrink tubing helps give the wheel that factory built look.

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Now it was time to button the wheel up and get all the wires routed the wheel installed for the final time. The shifter circuit board fit very well inside the wheel housing. with a bit of creative routing I was able to get all the wires in place with no binding or crimped wires. I am hoping that I won't have to go back inside the wheel for a long time.

Everything is all buttoned up and the finished screws are installed. The total time to do this was a few week nights here and there for about 6 weeks. It was a very worth while project and the added feel of the "real wheel" make all the differences in the world. the G25 is one heck of a wheel for the consumer and with these few modification it has made a huge difference in my gaming...now let's just see how much faster I am!

Here are a few more photos of the completed cockpit with it's new wheel.

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Here is where you can download the AutoCAD files of the spacer and button panel.
DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind that all of things you do are at YOUR OWN RISK. Any ideas you get from my site are purely yours and this site is only a record of my personal projects. You cut your finger off, or burn down your house...don't come suing me!
 
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