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Old 12-15-11, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

When I purchased my 2011 STI Limited Sedan back in March about a month after I was looking into the DAMD steering wheel which if most of you donít know is what the Prova and GTSpec wheel are based off of; it is the JDM which also has a hefty price tag of around $800 shipped to the United States. The price range made it well out of reach for me and I wanít interested in the Prova wheel because of the Micro Suede and Alcantara materials used. When I attended Wicked Big Meet (WBM) 2011 GTSpec actually had a booth set up and when I walked in to check out the parts that they had on display I immediately was draw to GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel instantly.

Pricing wasnít available at the time but soon was released with a price tag of around $555 and I instantly got to work setting up a group buy for everyone with TurboKits.com for everyone. Distributors couldn't keep enough of these in stock and in fact even GTSpec themselves doesnít even have them in stock. Unfortunately due to loss of my job I couldn't join in on this myself until recently. By doing a google search for the wheel I was brought to the attention of KSpecRacing.com where I found the wheel at the cheapest price on the internet at $444 + about $12-15 shipping within the United States.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Removing the wheel from the box I felt like a 5 year old kid at Christmas time. When my wheel arrived from KSpecRacing it came in a UPS box. Within the UPS box there was the box that the wheel comes packaged in which is a glossy black box which is basic but nicely done. When you open that box you see the wheel (big smile came on my fact at this point). The wheel is in a plastic bag and there are 3 pieces of styrofoam protecting the leather of the wheel from any damage and there is also a piece of bubble wrap covering the bottom of the box also to protect the wheel from any damage. Everything except the leather looked exactly like OEM with OEM quality as well so there were no complains there. You can tell that the leather was defiantly of a different type compared to the OEM wheels leather. I am not sure at this time if using a leather conditioner will soften it somewhat but wonít be able to answer that question until the weather gets better.

I was so excited to get this wheel installed that I installed it about an hour after I got it which was at 7pm so it was armed but armed with my iPhone 4s flashlight I was able to get the job done.

OEM VS. STOCK SIZE: A lot of people are going to say that the OEM and GTSpec wheel are the same size but the GTSpec wheel is in fact smaller than the OEM version (Photos/Video Coming Soon!!!).

INSTALL: The install was pretty straight forward; in my opinion if I can do it anyone can. I have no mechanical knowledge with cars but using this link provided by RallySportDirect.com located by CLICKING HERE (Open in new window as you will need to still view the steps provided below for changed in instructions). I was able to install the wheel in 30 minutes. Due to me not putting it back on properly I did have to remove the wheel again because it was off center but that was easy the second time around.

WARNING!!: If you are not familiar with SRS AirBag system, please have a professional install this. Neglect to do so can cause serious injury and or death.

FOR VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH BLUETOOTH STEERING WHEEL MODUAL

Listed below are the difference in install instructions which were provided by RallySportDirect.com that I found while installing the GTSpec wheel on my 2011 Subaru STI.

Step 8 - If vehicle equipped with bluetooth steering control unit you will find an additional which clip located directly below the one you are directed to remove in Step 8 (See Below Photo; location also shown in Step 19). You must unclip this as well otherwise you may cause damage to the wiring.



Step 9 - No matter if you lock the wheel or not when attempting to loosen the wheel is still going to move slightly. If you have an extra hand available have someone hold onto the wheel so that it does not move. If you donít have someone available use your knees and push the wheel towards you (this helped me somewhat).

Step 11 - If vehicle equipped with bluetooth steering control unit there will be additional screws that you must removed. Remove all screws with red X's (See Photo Below); Locations with blue O's do not have screws.



Step 20 - Also reconnect the second white clip that was removed at the bottom of the wheel after you reconnect the upper clip.

Step 29 - ENJOY YOUR NEW GTSPEC STEERING WHEEL!!!!!

FINAL IMPRESSIONS:

THE GOOD: I am a big fan of the design of the wheel. The build quality is like OEM (Except the leather quality; See below) and I think that the car should have came with this wheel to begin with. The wheel feels good in your hands and doesn't take any adjusting at all. There are notches on the wheel that just basically fit better to your hand and vice versa. I would highly recommend this wheel to anyone who rallies there WRX or STI or whom goes to Auto X event's. If your just driving your car daily this is also a great addition. I daily drive mine and the wheel has made the driving experience much better. If your call this will give you alittle extra leg room as well because of the flat bottom which is a plus.

Take a look at some things JPM Coachworks found out about the wheel and what they had to say below:

Photo (C) 2012 JPM Coachworks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

THE BAD: There is a difference in the leather used in the GTSpec wheel compared to the OEM wheel. I will be posting a video shortly which you will be able to hear the noise created with the GTSpec wheel by rubbing your hand from side to side compared to the OEM wheel. So far that is the only downside to the wheel that I have found but overall I am very happy with it.


THIS IS MY FIRST LENGTHY REVIEW OF THIS KIND SO PLEASE; IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT CTSSM2011STI@GMAIL.COM OR SEND ME A PM. I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO ANSER QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY!


Last edited by CTSSM2011STI; 03-21-12 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 12-16-11, 02:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

Good for you.
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Old 12-16-11, 07:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

nice review!!! any pictures with finished wheel???
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Old 12-16-11, 10:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Installed - Red Stitched Version Shown







Last edited by CTSSM2011STI; 12-17-11 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 12-16-11, 10:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by bzbuzz View Post
nice review!!! any pictures with finished wheel???
Yes I will be getting some of them up shortly.
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Old 12-20-11, 05:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSSM2011STI View Post
except the leather looked exactly like OEM with OEM quality as well so there were no complains there. You can tell that the leather was defiantly of a different type compared to the OEM wheels leather. I am not sure at this time if using a leather conditioner will soften it somewhat but wonít be able to answer that question until the weather gets better.


I am a big fan of the design of the wheel. The build quality is like OEM (Except the leather quality; See below)

THE BAD: There is a difference in the leather used in the GTSpec wheel compared to the OEM wheel. I will be posting a video shortly which you will be able to hear the noise created with the GTSpec wheel by rubbing your hand from side to side compared to the OEM wheel. So far that is the only downside to the wheel that I have found but overall I am very happy with it.


I cannot imagine the leather quality being WORSE than stock in my '08. The leather on the wheel of every car I've ever owned (including my 2001 Lightning) absolutely blows away the subbie OEM leather.

What exactly is the deal with the GT spec leather? It seems insane to me that a company would spend all that time/effort making a wheel like this, stitching it together so intricately, but using crap leather.

This was on my list of "must haves" down the line, but now I may just re-wrap/thicken/restitch the stock wheel.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

The leather on the OEM 08 wheel seems, to me, to be made of a really low quality pleather material. Or a high quality rubber.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:28 AM   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyMcGee View Post
I cannot imagine the leather quality being WORSE than stock in my '08. The leather on the wheel of every car I've ever owned (including my 2001 Lightning) absolutely blows away the subbie OEM leather.

What exactly is the deal with the GT spec leather? It seems insane to me that a company would spend all that time/effort making a wheel like this, stitching it together so intricately, but using crap leather.

This was on my list of "must haves" down the line, but now I may just re-wrap/thicken/restitch the stock wheel.
"worse than stock" is just my opinion. IMO the stock wheel is basically slippery where as like a friend of mine also said "the GTSpec has more grip" which is true. It's grips a lot more for sure. I'll be posting a video so you can hear the sound difference between the two.


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Old 12-20-11, 08:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

Does the leather feel more dry?
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Old 12-20-11, 09:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: GTSpec Flat Bottom Wheel Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSSM2011STI View Post
"worse than stock" is just my opinion. IMO the stock wheel is basically slippery where as like a friend of mine also said "the GTSpec has more grip" which is true. It's grips a lot more for sure. I'll be posting a video so you can hear the sound difference between the two.


Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk
Why would there be a sound difference?
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