Fixed or floating – the question is now?


Because fear of the floating flywheel failure is not only present in SerbiaAs is commonly thought, automotive component manufacturers have long invented an alternative.

The word is about conversion set containing all parts as in vehicles with fixed steering wheel (steering wheel, basket, lamella …). All of these parts are specially built and custom a certain version of the car, that is, the engine and gearbox, to assume the role of floating steering wheel.

How does this fixed steering wheel differ from the classic fixed steering wheel?

In essence – it does not differ in the way it works. Of course, it must have a specific mass, adapted to a particular car, that is. engine and transmission.

But that’s why it’s different a coverslip that has a specially improved vibration damping system, so that it really takes on the role of a floating steering wheel. There are several more or less similar ways of doing this, depending on the manufacturer. In fact, the standard lamella also has springs that serve to absorb shocks and vibrations, writes Used Cars.

This differs and basket, since it has to work with a lamella of drastically different characteristics compared to a standard lamella.

So, the entire conversion set must be purchased I stop for a specific version of the car – improvisations or combinations are not recommended, as they can cause serious damage quickly.

In the video below you can see how the conversion set looks, specifically for the Audi A4 and VW Passat 1.8T:

These are not “quotes” from unverified producers

Conversion kits have long been produced by large and trusted component manufacturers, such as Valeo and Sachs (ZF), and there are other well-known brands.

Therefore, serious companies are behind these conversion sets, which inspires confidence to a great extent. We do not know if so far in any part of the world there have been complaints or lawsuits due to massive damage to vehicles after the conversion.

Watch out for fakes!

Conversion kits can also be found on the market, which are visually literally identical to the originals from renowned factories, but were made by questionable or not very reliable manufacturers. If they put the name of a well-known brand on them and pack it in the appropriate box – that’s it counterfeits that are difficult to identify. So, be careful if you decide to “throw away” a floating steering wheel.

Counterfeiting will not disintegrate after 1,000 or 10,000 kilometers, but the question is how efficiently the floating steering wheel will “act”, that is, what the quality of the steering will be (noise, vibrations …) and how much damage it can cause to others. car parts.

So, if you’re already making an extremely serious modification to the car, at least use the original and quality parts.

Can the conversion of a floating steering wheel to a fixed one destroy the gearbox or break the crankshaft?

This is a common driver concern – will the transmission fail or will the crankshaft (crankshaft) fail after attaching a fixed instead of floating steering wheel?

We heard of cases like that abroad, but there were always secondary factors – tuned cars, several “awakenings” in off-road vehicles, running on a race track, driving sharp in normal traffic …

In addition, if none of the above factors were in the game, it turned out that it was not the original conversion kit from a trusted manufacturer, but it was a set of smaller “workshops” that usually specialize in small-scale production or remodeling various components for cars.

For example, such micro-factories provide tuners with “reinforced” components, as standards are not able to withstand the sudden steering of a car with seriously high power and torque.

They also make or modify kits for difficult working conditions. For example – for vehicles towing or carrying heavy loads, for “off-roaders”, etc.

Basically – we didn’t find it not a single example that someone was damaged by something in a normal and unmodified car shortly after replacement, in which an original conversion kit from a trusted manufacturer was installed.

Are there any negative long-term effects?

Although these conversion kits have been around for a long time, certainly for more than 10 years, we have found no case where drivers complained that their conversion kit damaged or damaged something in their car.

Of course, this does not mean that there are no negative effects in the long run. Not all replacement kits are the same and not all are able to properly replace a floating flywheel. Therefore, there is definitely room for doubt that various parts of the car may be damaged earlier due to stronger vibrations.

In doing so – conversion kits are they are usually installed on cars that have already covered more mileage, so it is almost impossible to determine how much a malfunction has been affected by the ejection of a floating steering wheel.

In any case, there are many drivers who claim to have covered tens of thousands of kilometers without problems.

Driving comfort

Many drivers complain of several negative effects when driving in terms of comfort, such as:

  • stronger idle vibrations
  • stronger vibrations when driving at lower revs
  • vibration when releasing the clutch pedal when changing gears
  • amplified noise.

And themselves manufacturers of these conversion kits often “warn” drivers that there will be an increase in vibration and sound!

How much of the above effects will be expressed depends on many factors, such as the model and version of the car and engine, the number of engine cylinders, power and torque.

In addition, not all manufacturers use the same vibration dampening system, although the principle is the same. The engines also differ in terms of the intensity of the vibrations they cause, the sensitivity of the gearbox and the like, so the conversion kits are tuned, although they generally cover a larger number of models.

Drivers complain and yes they should release the clutch pedal more carefully and gently when moving from the ground and to add more gas, but also when changing gears while driving. Usually they get used to the weather, but it was definitely easier before …

On the other hand, it is advisable to some that the power is transmitted “more directly”, so that the car seems more energetic, if not more sporty.

Pay attention to the subjective experiences of other drivers

Remember that car owners who have been converted often find it very difficult to be objective for a very simple reason.

They don’t compare a new floating steering wheel to a conversion kit, but a swimmer who does not work well for thousands or tens of thousands of kilometers, and even the gill was certainly not in the best condition, the question is what the second camp was like, and the basket is also not eternal.

As they may have been driving in poor condition for a long time with the float and other components mentioned, they probably accustomed to vibrations too, hitting or “buzzing” at idle, changes when pressing the clutch pedal, shaking or contracting when starting or stopping the engine or when moving …

In short – all symptoms of malfunction of any of these components.

Even if it is an older diesel, not in the best conditions, its sound and vibrations can cover the sounds and vibrations caused by the conversion set, which did not exist when the floating steering wheel was new.

Therefore, the owner of this car will be very satisfied and will warn everyone that after the installation of the fixed steering wheel, there were no vibrations and sounds, although the manufacturer of the conversion kit warns that this will happen …

What is the warranty on conversion kits?

Two years. However, with these parts, the warranty can always be problematic. Everything must be taken out and examined in order to see what you have specifically suffered.

For example, if the coverslip started to slip at 20,000 km, it will be easy to determine whether the driver “fried” or something else. The same is true if something more serious suffers.

Can a conversion kit be installed on different models with different engines?

Yes – a set usually covers a larger number of models and engines on those models. However, it is very important to make sure that your car is one of them.

This can be easily determined by checking the catalog numbers and the chassis number. If you buy from someone “in the word”, you are exposing yourself to a solid risk.

How much cheaper is a conversion kit than a floating steering wheel?

It depends – there are also expensive conversion kits. On the other hand, floating steering wheels are no longer as expensive as they used to be.

However, many claim that real savings are actually realized in the long run.

What do service technicians say?

In the conversation with the service technicians, we had different opinions. Some believe that the risk is too great in relation to the price of a new floating steering wheel, while others believe that a quality conversion kit is a cheaper and longer-lasting option, especially when it comes to older vehicles or drivers that destroy steering wheels. floating very quickly. .


If finances come first, mounting a fixed instead of floating steering wheel may be a good option. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time in the city driving, in columns, a new floating steering wheel is definitely a better option.

So it all depends on how much you want to save, the importance of driving comfort and how much risk you are willing to take in the long run.

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