Unboxing my new Rogue Engineering steering wheel quick release adapter
Here it is in all it’s glory. Should make it easier to sit in the driver’s seat with the laptop computer open when tuning the car in my driveway or on the dyno. Will also make it easier to get in/out when I temporarily fit race seats for track days.
You can rotate the release paddle to any position you want. The little dimple serves as an index mark, which I located at the 12 o’clock position. This puts the release button, which serves as a safety mechanism to prevent accidental release, at the 11 o’clock position where it is easy to see and depress.
It comes with instructions that aren’t in English, an allen wrench for the supplied bolts that affix the adapter to your existing steering wheel hub, some crappy electrical wires to make your horn button work and two grounding rings. Why two? I’m not certain because I cannot read the instructions.
I tried using a translation app on my phone but it gave terrible English translations from both Simplified Chinese and Japanese. I think two grounding rings may be needed if your steering column itself is not grounded and you need a dedicated ground wire from your existing steering wheel hub to a chassis ground.
In my case, the factory steering column is grounded and my Daikei hub adapter is all metal construction so it, too, is grounded. I ended up using just one grounding ring between the quick release and my Daikei hub. I bent the end of the little tab 90° so that it was pointing backwards towards the inside of the Daikei hub where there is more room for wires to reside. Then I connected the grounding ring to the correct male spade terminal on the hub side of the RE quick release adapter (more on this later). Unfortunately, the supplied female spade quick connects were too wide to securely fit the ground tab on the grounding ring so I had to redo that myself. Most of the supplied wires had improperly crimped terminals resulting in immediately failure just pulling on them gently. Basically, plan to use your own not sucky horn wiring.
Hub side installed. Those two little contacts in the center are what allow the power and ground circuits to reach the horn button when the steering wheel is connected. The +/- was mislabeled between the two halves of the RE quick release adapter, so be sure to check your wiring before you attach the steering wheel to avoid a constant blaring horn. Good thing I noticed this myself or my wife would have killed me for waking up our sleeping baby.
I had to solder the horn wires as the supplied insulated female spade quick connects do not fit inside the cavity where the horn button resides when using a small Momo horn button. Maybe they work with the large Momo horn button that rests on top of the steering wheel? After I snapped this pic I redid the solder joints to rotate each wire 90° outward for better clearance and so the extra length would wrap nicely inside. I also had to bend the contacts down a bit. The horn button is almost flush but needs a slight tweak to be absolutely 100% perfect.
Here is the same wires but soldered to the horn button. The black wire is connected to the ground terminal, which is denoted by the little earth ground symbol. I always insert the wire through the hole and then loop it 180° backwards into a hook shape to give the joint greater mechanical strength as the solder alone isn’t very strong.
This quick release hub is automatically indexing, which means no matter what orientation you install the steering wheel it will only lock into place when the correct alignment has been achieved. Once attached, there is absolutely no free play. It feels solid.
Other than the crappy instructions and the cheap wiring, my first impressions are that this is a pretty decent unit. It’s basically a NRG 2.5, which is itself a ripoff of the Works Bell Rapfix II. I was hoping that being a private label affair, RE would have done a little more due diligence to make sure theirs avoided the mistakes of the NRG units (see Adam’s excellent Quick Release Shootout at http://revlimiter.net/blog/2016/04/quick-release-review-1/#nrg1 for more detail). Even so, the price is generally inline with the NRG version and I think it looks a little better as I’m not into flashy colors and I think the RE release paddle shape is a bit more subdued. Overall, not bad for $132.34 shipped, especially considering most parts marketed to BMW owners come at a premium price.