1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Maintenace - Fanatec CSR Elite Wheel

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Pax7, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Pax7

    LifeOn2 Development

    Guys, below is a post I made over at iRacing on an FFB issue and how I have tried to fix it:


    Hello All,

    those of you who read my review of the CSR Elite (http://members.iracing.com/jforum/posts/list/1835584.page) might remember I wrote it was too early to tell much about maintenance of the CSR Elite.

    Well, now I can tell a bit more! :)

    As you might have seen, I have had issues with a slack feel in the force feedback for a couple of days. In the end it was so bad there was no question something with the wheel itself was not right - it felt so loose I thought I would get the wheel rim in my hands any minute almost. Here is a post on the slackness: http://members.iracing.com/jforum/posts/list/1075/3409.page#4058454

    To try to see what the problem was, I removed the wheel housing to have a better look and to learn more on how the wheel is constructed.
    It was fairly simple to remove the housing - just remove four bolts in the front and four in the back.
    The first picture below shows one of the four bolts you have to remove in the front unscrewed a bit. The second picture shows the rear part of the housing from the inside, and you can see where the four bolts go.


    Here are some more misc pictures of the internals:


    Below, notice the cooling fins for the output stage of the dual motors (which are independently driven). Also notice the shielded add-on circuit top right in the second picture, from Infineon. Is that something for the video game compatibility?


    Here you can see the cable going out to the steering wheel through the inside of the steering shaft. Should be easy enough to pull it out to put on another wheel rim (as has been made here by Tim Cermak: http://members.iracing.com/jforum/posts/list/1835751.page#4045256)


    I had a look and feel around the inside for anything loose that could possibly cause the slack, but did not find anything. I did however not go further than what you see in the pictures disassembling the wheel, so there was a lot I did not check.

    So, I turned to have a closer look at the belts and their tension. Here you can see the difference between the wide belt going around the steering shaft, and the narrow one going around the motors:


    With the wide belt being quite tense, I decided to try to tigthen up the narrow belt to see if that cured the slack FFB feeling. To do that you have to change the position of the entire motor assembly. Here you can see the metal bracket to which the motors are attached:


    To adjust belt tension, you move the entire bracket sideways using the four bolts in the front of the wheel.
    When I started to loosen the bolts, I noticed how untight they were fastened. With that tightness it did not feel at all impossible that they could have slipped successively to the left, causing the belt to slack.

    In my first go at tightening the belt, I gave it as much force I could, and tightened the bolts. That resulted in clearly higher friction turning the wheel.
    When attaching the wheel to the simulator, the added friction was also very evident when the wheel did its calibration run after power on. The speed of the wheel was reduced to maybe 2/3 of the original speed. So, a very tight belt is not the way to go. Good news though - after firing up iRacing the slack was gone. But, the increased friction made the wheel a bit unresponsive to small nuances in the FFB.

    So, now I had to find a balance between slack and friction. I adjusted back and forth a few times and settled for just a little more tension that what I started out with. That pretty much removed the slack feeling, while not causing much added friction. With some more testing, hopefully one can arrive at pretty much the feeling the wheel had when it was brand new. But, the question is how much the belt wears over time, maybe making that impossible.

    Interesting also is why there is so much more friction turning the wheel with a tight belt. I wonder if it is due to that e.g. the motor axles are put a bit out of alignment with a tighter belt. (A topic to try to read up on :) )

    In order to keep track of how much tension I added compared to the starting point, I made marks over the center of each bolt:


    What you see in that picture is where I ended up - the bolts only a mm or so more to the right than at start.

    Lastly, a tip - if you do need to tighten the belts, you should not need to remove the wheel housing. Just adjust the bolts from the outside - easier that way :)
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Great thread - very good.

    Also, wow, the CSR-E looks SO much better without the stock wheel. If I keep mine, that's what I'll do!
  3. Any chance of posting the photo(s) of this 'non-stock' wheel modification from the guy over at iRacing? Some of us don't believe in paying for the devil :)

    EDIT: I also don't understand Fanatec's idea behind using thick and thin belts? Seems to be a case of the weakest link letting an otherwise awesome wheel, come undone.. disappointing really.
  4. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Then you shant see it!!

    Seriously though, perhaps later when I'm bored or something ;)
  5. Pax7

    LifeOn2 Development

    Guys, a little disclaimer here, so you just don't venture out adjusting stuff without fully understanding everything (like me that is ;) ):


    A follow-up post I made at iRacing:

    I have now backed off a slight bit more towards the original positions of the bolts. The sloppyness is fairly (barely) under control also with this lower belt tension.

    With clearly higher tension and less belt slip, the application of FFB effects is much tighter and that feels much better, there is almost zero of the slack "the wheel is loose on the steering shaft" feeling, which is there with lower belt tension.

    Have a look again at this picture


    As you can see, the rollers attached to the motor axles (which the belt go over) are only attached in the motor end. This makes them more sensitive to forces perpendicular to the motor axles, i.e. belt tension.

    A good thing may have been if each motor axle would have gone through the roller and had a ball bearing attached to its end. The ball bearing would then have been secured in the motor adjustment bracket. This way the motors would have been able to handle higher belt tension without the axles being bent out of alignment causing friction.

    A design improvement for the Clubsport wheel?
  6. Nice little opportunity for one of the modding guys out there to remake that plate and pulley with a bearing support me thinks :D
  7. the role model for this wheel surely was this one here based on G25 motors:


    With the difference that the wheel on the pic has the motors decoupled from the ball beared rollers, and uses toothbelts instead of flat belts working with friction.

    Beeing a bit cynical someone could argue that Fanatec just want to ensure work and jobs for their support department :D
  8. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Wow. what wheel is that? WANT.
  9. Here you go http://jlvrh.de/index_UK.html

    But i heard that it's to weak to handle 350mm heavy duty wheels without modding the current supplie. but there is is the G-25 E Mod from ARC Team wich you can use.

    All together it would then make nearly the price of an ECCI 7000 or maybe a Bodnar wheel. For me it's way too much, i'll wait on what the french guys with their Happ wheel come up with this year.