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ZL1 Wheels/Tires Wheels and tires discussion for ZL1

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Old 03-23-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
armysig
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suede wrapped wheel and shifter question

I was wondering what the life of the suede is on the steering wheel and shifter? I have no plans of selling my ZL-1, and I was kind of wondering if this is something I should be concerned about in 4 or 5 years.

Does anyone have experiance with this on other vehicles?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:30 AM   #2
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Excellent thread! I'm curious as well. I remember 'father posting that this synthetic wears better than the natural-style, if I remember correctly. If I'm not correct, then 'father didn't say it, lol.

I'd be a little worried about the steering wheel and shifter, obviously. These are getting the most action. I would think GM would know this and make sure it would be durable enough that it won't break down, but it would be nice to get some independent observations
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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The only thing that comes to mind that would perserve the material would be if the driver wore racing style gloves all the time. This is not practical at all, but that's the only way I could think of keeping our oils from our hands off the suade. I'm sure that was the first intent from GM when they offered this option as it would be more for a racing application.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armysig View Post
The only thing that comes to mind that would perserve the material would be if the driver wore racing style gloves all the time. This is not practical at all, but that's the only way I could think of keeping our oils from our hands off the suade. I'm sure that was the first intent from GM when they offered this option as it would be more for a racing application.
I think that I'm thinking along similar lines to you. However - being synthetic, perhaps this material is less affected by the oils. I'm almost more worried about the friction and abrasion by our hands.

Now - isn't this suede supposed to be like alacantra? Isn't that a synthetic that is durable, like leather, but lighter? They use that a lot in supercars, dont' they? Or is ZL1's suede actual alacantra?... I'm not thinking that's the case, because I suspect alacantra to be very expensive, but I'm a little confused on the matter...
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
Would if "flatten-out" the texture, and maybe discolor it? I find it a little hard to believe the suede would be strictly for appearance and have little function, because everything else ZL1-specific is form AND function. I seriously don't know, and am not pretending to make an excuse, but I am truly curious: Is this suede a benefit for better grip and is it going to be at least as rugged as leather? I can see adding it to the seats would grap clothes and suits better, but it's a little different when we're talking about what we're grabbing at with our hands, in this case...

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Old 03-23-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
Same here, I haven't heard any positive things about the suede and I don't want to look at stained/dirty parts that I cannot clean
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Should be same as CTS-V?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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the new microfiber is nice. the leather wheel in my ram started wear at 5 years. the leather wheel in my last mustang was ok at 8 years but showed wear. the one in my vett is fine but the cars really don't get driven alot. there is a mark down on the bottom of the wheel where wile getting out something rubbed on it. I dont think that would be there with a microfiber wheel.

we have an 8 year old microfiber chair. this is good shape.

I just put a centenial edition microfiber wheel in a buddies 2006 Z06 he likes it and I liked it but it is only 3 months old so hard to comment on wear.

I think the package is about $200 to much the wheel was only $250 but I ordere it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
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I bet Indpowr would be able to answer this question. Though (and not bashing Chevy or 'Father here either) I feel that DSV Customs material is probably higher quality than the synthetic stuff on ours. But I feel like synthetic and natural suede get cared for the same way.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
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That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
me too, i didnt think it would hold well enough to be worth the money. in tx it gets hot as hell, and i dont think the sweat would help prolong the life of it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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The suede option for the ZL1 cost more than the one in the CTS-V doesn't it? maybe it's better stuff. I saw a post on the CTS-V forum about cleaning the suede with light dish soap and how it cleans the oils and stands the fibers back up after it dries. Needless to say I ordered it for the function and am not worried about it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radz28 View Post
Would if "flatten-out" the texture, and maybe discolor it? I find it a little hard to believe the suede would be strictly for appearance and have little function, because everything else ZL1-specific is form AND function. I seriously don't know, and am not pretending to make an excuse, but I am truly curious: Is this suede a benefit for better grip and is it going to be at least as rugged as leather? I can see adding it to the seats would grap clothes and suits better, but it's a little different when we're talking about what we're grabbing at with our hands, in this case...


It's on the wheel and shifter for increased friction for better grip for sure. What I'm saying is for me personally, I have no plans for tracking my car, so I prefer looks rather than function as far as the wheel and shifter. Based on past items I have had with suede, be it real or simulated, it gets rather grungy looking after a couple years.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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lets hope the suede holds up because im never getting out of my Z!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #16
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lets hope the suede holds up because im never getting out of my Z!!
POTD!!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #17
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lets hope the suede holds up because im never getting out of my Z!!

I said the same thing about my 2LT then my 2SS, but you know what, I've gone a couple days without driving my SS. And the only time I drive my LT is to put gas in it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #18
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I went with standard Leather and my driving gloves.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #19
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I bet Indpowr would be able to answer this question. Though (and not bashing Chevy or 'Father here either) I feel that DSV Customs material is probably higher quality than the synthetic stuff on ours. But I feel like synthetic and natural suede get cared for the same way.
I have never researched on whether real alcantara like what down south uses is any better or not. It is a brand name. the 2006 Z06 has some DSV parts in it and the color was different on the shift boot I replaces he had DSV and I put the centenial boot in to match the wheel but I could nto feel a Qualtiy difference in my mind but not and expert by any means.

our sectional is ultrasuede which is a brand just like alcantra of microfiber. I actually compared the wheel to all of them and am not sure where GM sources there microfiber but it seemed nice to me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:05 PM   #20
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My STS-V seats are 6 years old the the seat looks as good as new . . my fiances 09 Malibu with 50,000 miles has the faux suede seat inserts and alos looks great . . I have no worries.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
I thought the same thing and went with the standard leather
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:49 PM   #22
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I know this sounds crazy, but every vehicle I buy, that I plan on keeping for a long time, I buy a brand new steering wheel and put it in my cabinet. I can't stand a worn steering wheel and all of them wear out eventually. The problem is when it wears out, you can't get a new one anymore. I learned that the hard way. So now I get one right away and have NO worries.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #23
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I have a 9 year old car with Alcantara seats and it still looks great
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hognutz View Post
I have never researched on whether real alcantara like what down south uses is any better or not. It is a brand name. the 2006 Z06 has some DSV parts in it and the color was different on the shift boot I replaces he had DSV and I put the centenial boot in to match the wheel but I could nto feel a Qualtiy difference in my mind but not and expert by any means.

our sectional is ultrasuede which is a brand just like alcantra of microfiber. I actually compared the wheel to all of them and am not sure where GM sources there microfiber but it seemed nice to me.
Thanks for your comments. They certainly give me a better feel for what to think about

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I know this sounds crazy, but every vehicle I buy, that I plan on keeping for a long time, I buy a brand new steering wheel and put it in my cabinet. I can't stand a worn steering wheel and all of them wear out eventually. The problem is when it wears out, you can't get a new one anymore. I learned that the hard way. So now I get one right away and have NO worries.
It sounds more expensive than crazy, IMO

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I have a 9 year old car with Alcantara seats and it still looks great
What kind of car?

Just to be clear - I only bring up alacantra because I thought that's kinda' along the lines of what the suede reminds me of. I have seen no reports or statements by GM that this material is anything less than suede - alacantra or not, synthetic or natual... I'm sorry for any confusion. I still encourage anyone with experience regardless, to share, because I know I'm interested
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:23 PM   #25
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I have micro-suede seat inserts and some sort of carbon fiber inserts on the steering wheel of my 06 SRT8 and both have held up well (the steering wheel is a little worse than the seats).

When the steering wheel starts to feel smoother (from hand oils, etc) I use wet wipe degreaser hand towels (like Simple Green or Citris type)....which cleans and brings back the "hair" or rougher feel and it is safe for the material.

I was back and forth on the suede wheel/stick option or leather on the ZL1 and am now going to go with the suede for a more uniform complete look with teh dash and seat inserts. Can't wait!!
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