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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been attempting to repair a steering wheel for a long time now. I had around 6 or 7 but they were all cracked. After a couple tries that didn't work I did a hand stitched padded leather cover for my car's wheel. The problems were selecting a filling compound with a good thermal expansion compared to the original plastic, it also had to be workable but not harder or softer than the original. How to redo the wood grain was another challenge and color matching as well as compatibility of products was an issue. After two botched attempts and 2 years of figuring it all out I came to the conclusion it's easy now. Total cost not including the 2 wheels I trashed is around 20 bucks.
 

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Very Nice! What is the guestimated net time to do the repair? And are you gonna include a list of materials used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used a Duro brand slow cure epoxy done in slow steps to fill all the cracks. Once it was completely filled I found that with age it was twisted and the edges didn't line up. I used 100 grit to get it all round again and refilled any imperfections again. once it was all round and completely cured it was finish sanded to 400 grit. At this point I put it in the freezer, and left it there for a few days. I took it out and put it in the oven on a warm of around 200 degrees. I did this with a different filler and it wasn't pretty. Ok the fill held the temperature extremes but all the resanding put the coloration off and took out the wood grain look in several areas.

I blended a sand and engine black Poly S paint made by Floquil to match the base coloring. I used this type of paint for it's adhesion and penetration into plastics, as well as it's compatibility with other paints and finishes.

At this point it's been sanded smooth and is just looking like a light brown steering wheel and hardly resembles stock.

I used the coursest sandpaper I could get and carefully redid the wood grain on it. Then rubbed in a Benjamin Moore hasbrouck brown. It's a water base but compatible with the Poly S after it is dry. To resimulate the wood grain it was important to use a slow dry water based piant that could be rubbed in without effecting any base coloring.

I finished it off in a full gloss krylon with a good UV rating. lightly sanding between layers.


So to fill was 7 or 8 steps, recoloring 4 more and temperate testing was 3 so far. Each step taking at least 48 hours in between.

It was cheap but not easy. BTW the pic is of it in mid cure of the first finish layer. It's not even for my car so go figure.
 

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glad to hear you had success

I've tried something similar but with very little success. I bought three more steering wheels from eBay over the last year and I plan on making a solid wood (built in three pieces) wheel. The last spare steering sheel I purchased had no visible cracks on the front and just minor cracks visible on the dash side. This is the one I will leave on the car until I finish my woodworking project. If I like the results, then I will probably move on to a matching wood dash, console etc.

There have been two steering wheels like this on eBay over the last few years and I was amazed at the starting bid price.

Have any of you gone with the "real" wood look?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok after a shorter hot and cold test in a finshed state, no chemical reactions so its a good process to redo a cracked one back to new appearance. Now it's time to remake headlight rotator gears and another matched key set.
 

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Igladdis, one of the members made up a wooden rimmed steering wheel a month or so ago, try running a search for steering wheel and see what comes up. If I remember correctly it was done in 2-3 segments and turned out really nice, even though it may have been labor intensive to produce. HTH.

Nobody, now that is getting back to real purist state on the steering wheel, very nice job. We have another Craftsman in the membership. ;)
 

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i was the one who did the real wood wheel not too long ago. i made it in 2 pieces, altho the 2 pieces were made from glued up stock. as ron said, there is a thread and pictures of the wheel. i've mad the dash knobs for the heater controls and vents already, real currently working on a shift knob i spun out on the lathe today, can't figure out if i wanna engrave the shift pattern in the top, or burn the opel blitz logo on the top or just leave it alone. car will have full wood accents before too long including console and door panels.

http://opelgt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5173&highlight=GT+Wheel
 

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Ron, I believe it was Jared (greensmurf20), done in shop class. Jared, you must have posted a couple seconds before me. LOL.Jarrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's for a car with perfect chrome and dash. I may hot rod mine a bit but I know stock and this was a 2 year trial to get it right. It's fun to return a GT to pure stock. Next is get it back to 2 keys and all original. now that a pristine snorkel air filter was found I may do the S word thing again.

It's a fun project to look at pure stock. When it's finished it will be a show stopper.

Oh my, put the pure stock blue one and the 2.0 red with the upcoming nitro wagon....makes ya wonder what's next.
 
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