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Topfit Steering Wheel Display

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
I've been umming and ahhing for some time about the need (or not) for a speedo display above the steering wheel. My test drive of an i4 recently told me that I really do miss it, so I've been looking at options. I initially thought I'd go with an Android device so that I could get CarPlay as well. But after some trawling, I came to the conclusion that the Topfit ("mickey mouse ears") display would suit my needs better:

- Much better OEM look
- Excellent screen quality
- Simple functionality - display only, no trying to use a touch screen through the steering wheel!

I managed to find a "new other" unit on eBay being sold locally at a good price so went for it. Headlines:

- A [email protected] to install - access to the computer unit on RHD cars is extremely cramped so you need to be a contortionist and have the patience of Jobe to splice the Y cable that comes with the unit into the system. I had to lie down for an hour after I was done because this aging body of mine can't do an hour with my feet in the air and head under the dash! The cable is also too short for RHD cars, but I managed to work around that.

- Once installed though, it's a fantastic piece of kit. Really, really nice display quality and it does just what I need!

I know opinions will be divided, but it's nice to see my speed now without peering at a tiny font off-axis from my field of view.


AA2FB0CB-6ECD-4FD6-9338-FC950D0B59B5.jpeg
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
It does restrict airflow a bit, but it’s much better than the larger square displays. It mounts on the steering column, not the vent - which helps a lot since it’s further away and doesn’t restrict any of the outlets directly. It’s a bit smaller than the square displays too. With the flow directed right and down there still a decent cooling effect on the upper body and face.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
I quite like that. Could you elaborate on the workaround you had to do with regards to the cable please?
The cable length is long enough only for LHD cars. There, it goes from the connector on the right of the computer (so on the right side of the dash on LHD cars), up behind the right-hand end-cap on the dash, over the top of the dash (under the wood/white trim), and then to the display on the steering column. On RHD cars though, the cable exits the computer in the centre, near the HVAC gubbins - so the cable would need to double back to the left end-cap on the dash and then over the top of the dash to the steering column. But it's not long enough for that.

The fix for me was to use a void that runs from the bottom right of the glovebox up through to a small gap in the air vent area. That way it avoids the trip to/from the end cap of the dash:

3DBFC3F6-EB6D-41A3-A766-7D3792A1FFBD.jpeg


There are a few other tips worth mentioning too:

- Access to the computer connector is eased if you remove the carpet trim panel on the right of the footwell (it just pulls off). I also removed the air vent in the footwell, but I don't think it made any real difference and it was not easy to re-fit it.

- The steering column top part is easier to remove/refit if you remove the Torq screw underneath the column that holds the bottom piece on.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
T
Another option is to install the S3XY Buttons Commander module and use the dashboard display on a mobile phone in a mount in front the the wheel. The installation is quite simple (if I can do it nearly anyone can).

S3XY Dashboard
That looks very nice. It looks like it uses the OBD port, which is a lot easier to connect to than putting the Y-cable into the computer (and of course has no warranty implications). I guess the downside is that you need a decent display and a mounting system to put it behind the steering wheel. Care to post a photo of what you've done?
 

KennethS

Member
Supporting Member
May 3, 2019
947
771
Herts, UK
T

That looks very nice. It looks like it uses the OBD port, which is a lot easier to connect to than putting the Y-cable into the computer (and of course has no warranty implications). I guess the downside is that you need a decent display and a mounting system to put it behind the steering wheel. Care to post a photo of what you've done?
I use a Brodit ProClip for our iPhones. Not my pic, but currently on holiday and I have none of my own photos handy.
855497-d.jpg
855497-d.jpg

I find our phone battery life is fine so haven't bothered with a hard wired phone power connection. The S3XY Commander is a quick and easy connection into the OBD port behind the arm rest console. Communicates with our iPhones via bluetooth so no additional wiring.

Your Topfit setup is far more OEM looking and superior. However, the installation is well beyond my comfort level and ability.
 
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pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
I’m not sure I agree it looks OEM…. Looks like something pulled out of the new Mini.

I do like the functionality though.
It looks OEM in the sense that the mouldings are a perfect match in terms of colour and texture and the way it mounts looks well integrated rather than bolt on. The screen quality is excellent and the graphics are nicely done. But it’s round, not square, and of course it detracts somewhat from the minimalist approach - but I really do feel the main display is too sparse in basic driving data - esp speed which is now such a tiny font. But I do understand that adding things like this is a Marmite kind of thing. I’m sure many will hate it! Same is true of the yoke steering wheel (and I’m on the “yeuk” side of the fence with that one!).
 
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I use a Brodit ProClip for our iPhones. Not my pic, but currently on holiday and I have none of my own photos handy. View attachment 834634 View attachment 834634

I find our phone battery life is fine so haven't bothered with a hard wired phone power connection. The S3XY Commander is a quick and easy connection into the OBD port behind the arm rest console. Communicates with our iPhones via bluetooth so no additional wiring.

Your Topfit setup is far more OEM looking and superior. However, the installation is well beyond my comfort level and ability.
S3XY Dashboard works nicely also on an IPAD as this gives a larger display than a mobile phone. The question is then how to mount the IPAD, which is heavier than a phone, behind the steering wheel. Any suggestions?
 
I've been umming and ahhing for some time about the need (or not) for a speedo display above the steering wheel. My test drive of an i4 recently told me that I really do miss it, so I've been looking at options. I initially thought I'd go with an Android device so that I could get CarPlay as well. But after some trawling, I came to the conclusion that the Topfit ("mickey mouse ears") display would suit my needs better:

- Much better OEM look
- Excellent screen quality
- Simple functionality - display only, no trying to use a touch screen through the steering wheel!

I managed to find a "new other" unit on eBay being sold locally at a good price so went for it. Headlines:

- A [email protected] to install - access to the computer unit on RHD cars is extremely cramped so you need to be a contortionist and have the patience of Jobe to splice the Y cable that comes with the unit into the system. I had to lie down for an hour after I was done because this aging body of mine can't do an hour with my feet in the air and head under the dash! The cable is also too short for RHD cars, but I managed to work around that.

- Once installed though, it's a fantastic piece of kit. Really, really nice display quality and it does just what I need!

I know opinions will be divided, but it's nice to see my speed now without peering at a tiny font off-axis from my field of view.


View attachment 834231
Looks good , and well done on fitting I know how bad a job that is
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
I’d love one of these as I thoroughly dislike not having a central binnacle display. I wouldn’t want to fit it myself, though, but if I could find a competent installer I’d certainly get one.

I’d also like a HUD, but that’s another issue.
Aside from the fitting of the splitter cable into the computer (MCU), it's a very easy job. The connector fitting is only a problem because of access. If it wasn't right above the passenger footwell or with another inch of space, it would be a doddle. So, find yourself someone young who is agile enough to do the contortionism and you should be fine!
 
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pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
1,499
Leamington
Thanks for sharing. Personally I like the functionality of this unit and did consider it but in the end I preferred the design language of the T Sportline cluster vs the "mickey mouse" style and went with that instead. Does this unit display tire pressure? If so, is it accurate?
I wasn’t aware of the T Sportline cluster, but having now found it on their website, it does look nice - it seems it sits a little lower than the TopFit and because it’s complete dash trim replacement, it shouldn’t disturb the airflow from the vents as much. Very nice.

The TopFit doesn’t display tyre pressures.
 

Tesery

Member
Global Vendor
Sep 6, 2021
145
10
USA
The dashboard display for Tesla currently has a very right choice, and its price compared to the previous have been reduced a lot, in which they are OEM design style, from the design, each installed on the effect is very good, different people different aesthetics, there is no right or wrong, choose your favorite can
display.jpg
 
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