UPDATED February 2008
This project began with the wheel and pedals, which I used for some time on their own. Gradually I modified those components until I was happy with them and then built the cockpit.

The construction methods vary for different components, due to availability of tools when they were made. For example, when I lived near my father I could borrow his welder and now I live six hours away, I have to improvise, or save up for one! Most of it was acheived on a fairly low budget, mainly because I was experimenting as I went and didn't want to blow money on bits that might not work.

The wheel and pedals work well with all sims, except EA's F1 2001, but works fine with GPL, F1 2002, GTR 2002, F1C, Live For Speed and more recently I've been running it with rFactor.

If you want to know more, you can email me on racingsim@southeastweb.com.au

Basic Design

The base is made from 4"X2" pine framing, sprayed matt black, mainly to make it less obvious compared to the side panels and wheel box. The side panels are 3/4" chipboard recycled from an old table. The seat was originally from an old Mitsubishi Sigma, scrounged from the wrecker's, but has now been replaced with a racing seat. Initially the old was good so I could muck about with the setup for the mountings and so on.
Hopefully you can see the wheel box and pedal boxes sitting in their places. The wheel box forms a structural component, whereas the pedal box sits on top of a crossmember and is screwed down. The seat is mounted on its' original runners allowing the same amount of adjustment as in a real car. I wanted to make it usable for my 11 year old daughter as well as adults, so it needed to be adjustable. Both items were made first and had been in use a couple of years before they found their way into the cockpit.

Wheel & Dash

The wheel is made of a sandwich of MDF and 3/16" ply. It was cut out with a jigsaw, then rasped, filed and sanded to shape, before being sprayed with grey primer then top coats of matt black engine enamel. The cover disc is removable to allow access to the fastening nut. The dash has a sheet of galvanised steel sheet on the front, highly polished.
The boss was simply two pieces of MDF sandwiching a rectangular block with the shaft, a piece of 3/4" threaded rod, passing through to be fastened with a nut in the centre of the wheel.
The paddles were made from steel sheet bent to shape, pivoting in the centre, activating microswitches.

New Shifters & Force Feedback

Recently I have rebuilt the shifter mechanism, using handmade aluminium paddles. I created a totally new wheel boss, which houses the paddles, their springs and microswitches. The whole thing was redesigned so that it could be totally dismantled, allowing for easier replacement of everything from the column bearings to the wheel itself.
Force feedback has been implemented with the modification of a Logitech Formula Force wheel. I cut the Logi wheel off its' column leaving only the boss section with the crew mounting holes. I then shaped some 3/16" aluminium sheet to match the remaining profile and bolted it to the boss. This gave me a base to attach my homebuilt shifter boss to and subsequently, the wheel. Now I can feel those shockers working over the ripple strips!
Force Feedback


The pedals pads are made from 18 gauge steel sheet, slightly curved. These are welded to pieces of flat bar which were made in 2 sections and welded together to give the angle to allow clearance to stop your heels hitting the bases. They pivot on a couple of bolts in angle iron and the ends protrude through slots in the base, then link to the pots and springing mechanisms underneath.
The underneath view shows the pedal ends protruding through and the links to the pots and bungee cord. The brake had a stiff spring added later to give more resistance, but it is surprising how light it feels underfoot. I really could beef it up some more for that elusive feel.