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Old 08-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
sgoldste01
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Default Wheelskins on a 2012 Impreza Sport Premium

I found the plastic steering wheel on my 2012 Impreza Sport Premium to be too thin and too slippery. In addition, the grooves that Subaru molded into the steering wheel dig into my palms and fingers, which gets uncomfortable (especially on a road trip).

I decided to install a Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover. Here's the result:





Now the wheel is thick, grippy, and I don't feel the groove anymore!

If you decide to do this yourself, I suggest ordering the cover from:

http://www.dccarcare.com/whlskns.html

The price at this web site is cheaper than the official Wheelskins site, and the proprietor of this site (Don) is very helpful and customer focused.

I installed my cover using the Baseball Stitch technique, which Don documents very well on his web site. If you tell Don that you plan to use this stitch on your cover, he will send an extra roll of thread and a 2nd needle (the baseball stitch requires twice as much thread as the standard stitch shown in the Wheelskins documentation).

I bought an Original Wheelskin, in black, which matches my Impreza's interior very nicely. If you have the same wheel as me, then you want to order the 14-1/2" x 4" size. Installation took me approximately 4 hours, using the baseball stitch. I'm sure the basic stitch would take considerably less time, but wouldn't look as nice (IMHO).

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by sgoldste01; 04-19-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:45 PM   #2
pRiMe DiReCtIvE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
I found the plastic steering wheel on my 2012 Impreza Sport Premium to be too thin and too slippery. In addition, the grooves that Subaru molded into the steering wheel digs into my palms and fingers, which gets uncomfortable (especially on a road trip).

I decided to install a Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover. Here's the result:





Now the wheel is thick, grippy, and I don't feel the groove anymore!

If you decide to do this yourself, I suggest ordering the cover from:

http://www.dccarcare.com/whlskns.html

The price at this web site is cheaper than the official Wheelskins site, and the proprietor of this site (Don) is very helpful and customer focused.

I installed my cover using the Baseball Stitch technique, which Don documents very well on his web site. If you tell Don that you plan to use this stitch on your cover, he will send an extra roll of thread and a 2nd needle (the baseball stitch requires twice as much thread than the standard stitch shown in the Wheelskins documentation).

I bought an Original Wheelskin, in black, which matches my Impreza's interior very nicely. If you have the same wheel as me, then you want to order the 14-1/2" x 4" size. Installation took me approximately 4 hours, using the baseball stitch. I'm sure the basic stitch would take considerably less time, but wouldn't look as nice (IMHO).

Hope this helps.
That's beautiful. Also, where did you get that shift knob? Is it a short shift kit also? Looks great.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:02 AM   #3
finklejag
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Sorry, not feeling it. I'm saving up to buy the leather Limited steering wheel. I can get it for $325.00 + labor. I know it's over priced, but you touch the steering wheel all the time.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:23 AM   #4
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pRiMe DiReCtIvE View Post
That's beautiful. Also, where did you get that shift knob? Is it a short shift kit also? Looks great.
The shift knob is an OE Subaru leather knob that I bought on eBay for $12.50.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finklejag View Post
Sorry, not feeling it. I'm saving up to buy the leather Limited steering wheel. I can get it for $325.00 + labor. I know it's over priced, but you touch the steering wheel all the time.
I considered that too, but didn't want to spend $500 on the steering wheel. I'm saving that money to replace the Head Unit. The dealership quoted me 1.5 hours for the labor, which would be $150.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #6
auskip07
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sGoldste01 you can get a direct wiring kit for your Bel tronic. ill send you pictures of mine. I also made a bracket out of some typical fittings from the hardware store to hang the radar detector from the rear view mirror

Total cost would be around 15 dollars and it would clean up that area nicely.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
sgoldste01
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I almost purchased a Blendmount for the radar detector (and direct wiring kit), as that's what I had in my Golf TDI, and I liked it a lot. But the rear view mirror is mounted so low on the windshield of this Impreza that I didn't think I'd like it below the mirror.

I'd be happy to see pics of your installation, though. Might change my mind.

In the mean time, I thought I was being quite clever by wrapping the spiral power cord for the radar detector around the straight power cord for the TomTom. Makes it look like one cord powering two devices....
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
Zeeper
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Beautiful write up, thanks for it. I'm not bothered with the plastic so I don't think I will wrap mine.

For the radar detector I hard wired mine into the fuse box and velcroed it above the steering wheel. Easy to silence false signals there, and the detector has a good view of the road.

My TomTom died, so now I use my iPhone and GPSDrive, which gives voice commands over the radio (interrupts the music).
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #9
sgoldste01
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Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
For the radar detector I hard wired mine into the fuse box and velcroed it above the steering wheel. Easy to silence false signals there, and the detector has a good view of the road.
I considered that mounting location for the radar detector, but thought it might be angled down too much, and wasn't sure if my own body would block the detector's rear view too much. What path did you use to dress the power cable into the fuse box?
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
Zeeper
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I followed someone here who ran it down the side trim and used an add-a-fuse kit.

I don't really worry about radar from behind, though I still pick it up somewhat. I have a Bel-955 which is great, cheap protection, has saved me from many close calls given I live in a rural area and the Sheriff and State Police tend to drive around with their radar on all the time.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:29 AM   #11
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
I followed someone here who ran it down the side trim and used an add-a-fuse kit.
Zeeper, if you could post a picture of how you dressed the cable (or point me to the other thread that discusses it), that would be great.

Did you consider Velcro-ing the radar detector to the top of the hood above the Average MPG/outside temp displays? That's another location I thought would be good.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
Zeeper
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http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...0#post35795660

Courtesy STEye

I like the detector just above the steering wheel, because it is easy to silence it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #13
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finklejag View Post
Sorry, not feeling it. I'm saving up to buy the leather Limited steering wheel. I can get it for $325.00 + labor. I know it's over priced, but you touch the steering wheel all the time.
Now that I've been driving with the Wheelskin installed for several days, I'm happy to report that I really like it! I like the thicker feel and the improved grip. The quality of the leather appears to be very good, and feels good in the hand. And I know that the feel of the grooves Subaru molded into the wheel don't bother most people, but they really bothered me. And now those grooves are covered with leather!

I can understand how some people might not like the aftermarket look of the Wheelskins cover. I think it looks nice (if it's installed well), but it's definitely not an OEM look. But if you prefer the feel of a thick leather wheel, it's a great improvement for approximately $40 (and 4 hours of time, if you do the more tedious baseball stitch)!

Of course, if you're a vegan, then this mod isn't for you.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:17 AM   #14
sgoldste01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auskip07 View Post
sGoldste01 you can get a direct wiring kit for your Bel tronic. ill send you pictures of mine. I also made a bracket out of some typical fittings from the hardware store to hang the radar detector from the rear view mirror

Total cost would be around 15 dollars and it would clean up that area nicely.
Auskip, if you could share pics of your bracket and wiring, I'm sure many of us would like to see it!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #15
auskip07
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Ive since added a small piece of double sided tape and a plastic trim piece (the same ones that come from sirius radio recievers) to hide the wire going to the head liner.

At first it was a little low but now i dont notice it. I had this same set up on my previous vehicle and it sat a little higher.

I can provide more instructions as well as pictures if anyone is interested in buying the pieces to make one.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:57 PM   #16
sgoldste01
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^^ Auskip, your photo isn't working for me. Can you repost in a different way?
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #17
auskip07
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:00 PM   #18
sgoldste01
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Thanks for the photo. I'd like to know what common hardware you used to create that mount, assembly instructions, how you tapped into power, and anything else you think would be helpful.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:30 PM   #19
auskip07
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I can answer some of those now.

Wiring kit
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bel-BELTRONI...ht_3464wt_1002

The bracket was formed from 2 pipe holders. (the thin galvanized metal shaped in a "-U-") Form one to the shape you want then form another and glue them together to make it more rigid and less likely to vibrate. When everything is how you want Paint it black or any color you want.

Ill get better pics and i might have some spares ill put together.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:55 AM   #20
sgoldste01
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Thanks for the link. I look forward to seeing your additional pics.

Did you run the power cord into where the map lights are, or did you dress the wire around the windshield and down into the fuse box?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:47 AM   #21
auskip07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
Thanks for the link. I look forward to seeing your additional pics.

Did you run the power cord into where the map lights are, or did you dress the wire around the windshield and down into the fuse box?
Down to the fuse box.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:16 AM   #22
sgoldste01
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OK, perfect. That's how I wired the radar detector in my TDI, that was installed on a Blendmount. Just used a credit card to press the power cord into the trim around the windshield, then down along the A pillar to the dashboard, and then along the seam between the A pillar and dashboard.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #23
sgoldste01
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You can see pics and a description of how I hard-wired my radar detector and TomTom GPS here:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...2#post37907522

Much cleaner installation than what I show pictured above in my Wheelskins pictures!
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:57 AM   #24
flyboy1100
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With the wheelskins, do you get enough material to remove the switch covers and put leather under them so it looks like a factory install??
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #25
sgoldste01
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^^ I don't think so, but be the judge for yourself by looking at the pics at the top of this thread.
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