Main Project Plans: Street Racing Steering Wheel

For my main project I plan on building an xbox controller steering wheel adapter. I got the idea last semester when I was playing a modded version of GTA that allowed you to adjust settings and drift cars. The game was fun, but I thought I could make it feel more like a drifting simulator if I made a steering wheel and pedals. You can buy other input devices that plug right into the computer, but they can be expensive and are not as compatible with games as an xbox controller. I want this device to be purely mechanical so it is easily compatible and free of bugs.


The aesthetic I have chosen for this project is the street racing aesthetic. This aesthetic has a sleek almost futuristic look. Since underground street racing usually takes place at night, this aesthetic often has a dark background. At the same time it also contains bold eye-catching lights and colors that contrast against this dark background.

Image by Pavarita J [1]

Image by CHER CHER SAN📼 [2]

 A big part of street racing is making modifications to your car, so unique modifications to existing parts is also another feature of this aesthetic. Some characteristics of the street racing aesthetic can be found below along with some more pictures.

  • Urban surroundings
  • Neon underglow lighting
  • Bright colors and graphics
  • Sleek
  • Dark backgrounds
  • Metallic and glossy finishes

Image titled “Happiness” by the Kilowatt [3]

Image by h3ro [4]

Underglow kit by rgb halo kits [5]


As of now my design is in the preliminary stages. I will be limiting my project to just a steering wheel setup and will add the pedals later down the road. So far I have created the sketches shown below.

I would like to create some type of enclosure that the controller sits inside of. I found some CAD models online for components that translate the rotation of a wheel to the linear motion needed to steer on the xbox controller. I also need to create the steering wheel. I plan on buying the outer portion and manufacturing the center part, ideally out of metal, but to save money this will probably change. One inspiration for the look of the steering wheel is the image below.

Steering wheel by MOMO Motorsport [6]

I think having the outer part of the wheel be black leather and having the inner portion be shiny and metallic will give it the street racing look I am going for. I would definitely like to incorporate some type of backlighting either on the steering wheel or the base it is mounted to. Over the next week I will continue to brainstorm ideas and try to refine my design. I would be happy to hear any suggestions in the comments!



[1] Pavarita J, pinterest post titled “Boom”


[2] Pin by CHER CHER SAN📼 on СΔɌƩ: Street racing cars, Purple car, Jdm


[3] Happiness by the Kilowatt: Street racing cars, Best jdm cars, Street racing


[4] Pin by h3ro on Ваши пины: Drifting cars, Street racing cars, Classy cars


[5] LED Underglow Lighting Kit 2.0: Flexible


[6] MOMO Motorsport MOD Drift Steering Wheel Black Suede          


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Ethan Polacsek
    February 28, 2024 2:36 pm

    Ethan, I think this is a really cool idea. I think the metallic finish and backlighting could be really cool and capture the street racing/street car esthetic you are going for. I know you said its the enclosure for now but would you try to implement features for pedals and other accessories in the future?

    • Ethan Sanchez
      March 6, 2024 11:50 am

      Yeah, I definitely plan on adding pedals in the future. I will likely make the enclosure slightly larger than needed so there is room for future additions. For now, I plan on controlling the gas and brakes with my keyboard while steering with my right hand so that I can test the project. I don’t think I will get to the pedals this semester, but once I finish the wheel that will be my next step.

  • Hi Ethan! I love this idea! I really enjoy how you are taking something you enjoy, amplifying that experience, and adding an aesthetic to it! I was curious how complicated the adaptation from controller to steering wheel will be. Will you implement any cool or extra features? I am excited to see it!

    • Ethan Sanchez
      March 6, 2024 11:57 am

      Hey Adlai, I will talk about this in more detail in future posts, but yeah adaptation from the controller to the steering wheel is slightly complicated. I found some CAD models online that have made the process a lot easier, but I still have to make some modifications to make it fit my design. The order of features I would like to implement are steering, lighting, pedals, and then e-brake. Since I will be focusing on the aesthetic I don’t think I will get past lighting this semester.


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