Vector Tilt Steering Wheel
WHY? Ergonomics. As much as I love driving my Rhino it doesn't fit me perfectly. I have seen an aftermarket tilt steering wheel installed on a Kawasaki Mule and thought that it would be a nice addition to my Rhino. I discovered that the unit was made by Vector Manufacturing and sold by only a few retailers. I found my best price at Side by Side Sports, an online retailer associated with Escondido Powersports. The retail price is $419 but I paid $399 plus shipping.
SERVICE. Just so-so. I received a confirmation email immediately after ordering, but the item apparently wasn't in stock and would be drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer. The kit didn't ship for almost a week, and it took another week for it to arrive at my door. The customer service at Side by Side was excellent, but the shipping took a bit longer than I'd like. When the kit arrived it was packed very well, with all hardware and instructions included.
INSTALLATION. Medium difficulty, but could be tackled by the average home mechanic. The supplied instructions were pretty good, and following them patiently yielded good results. To get to the steering gear it was easier to loosen the driver's side of the instrument cowl. Once that was done I was able to lift it up to expose the steering column. Here's a look at the stock steering:
Since the mounting bracket is welded to the stock steering column a new support bracket was included with the kit; it looks like this:
When the new column is bolted into place it looks like this:
Though this task wasn't particularly difficult it did take me over an hour to complete because of the many small hardware pieces that needed to be removed/replaced. The pic at the top of this page shows the new steering wheel in the "down'' position; here is a shot of the wheel in the "up" position:
RESULTS. Good. I like the looks and feel of the new steering wheel, and it's nice to have a wide range of adjustment. The tilt lever on the bottom of the column worked flawlessly and the entire setup is engineered of first-quality materials.
WORTH THE MONEY? Probably not for most owners. This is an expensive mod, and I'd expect that the average Rhino owner would live with the stock steering or simply replace the wheel before spending $400 on this unit. I like it very much, but I'm still not sure that it's worth its elevated price tag.