Steering wheel restoration

I have three cracks in my factory wheel. It was repaired before I purchased my car. Body filler was used and has now cracked. When everything is restored should the wood grain area be a high gloss finish or a satin finish? Any thoughts?

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’m going to watch this page closely. :ugeek:
I have a couple of cracks (one almost 1/4") in my rim-blow wheel that I will want to fix before buying and attempting to install a new switch. Here’s hoping Bob or somebody with experience posts up an answer.

DesertDawg, I opened all of the cracks my wheel had. I used a dremel tool so the epoxy would have a good bond to the plastic. I plan on spraying satin clear first on the wood grain area. If I don’t like the way it looks I will let the satin cure for a week and then give it a light sanding the spray it gloss. I will post some pictures when done.

My steering wheel project is going good so far. I finished repairing the cracks and put a coat of primer on the wheel. I need to do some finish sanding to the prime coat then I will be ready to spray the color coats. I have taken some pictures and up loaded them to my photobucket account. I will get the pictures linked here later today.

Here are the links to the pictures I have taken so far. I will post more as I get closer to finishing.

Looks good so far. How will you deal with the little chrome strip?

Bill, I left the chrome strips in place. I used my dremel tool with a fine bit to open up the cracks behind the chrome strips. I then worked the epoxy filler in the joints so it is not just a surface repair.

Wow. That sounds like a very good repair. Keep the pictures coming.

Here are some more pictures of my progress. This evening I color sanded the wheel. I wet sanded the wheel using 2000 grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections from the color coats. I am pleased with the results so far. :smiley: The next step is to apply the wood grain. I will do this by applying darker shades of brown and black to the face of the wheel.

Is that a silver densist’s pick onthe last picture?

Yes it is. They had them at a local hardware store for about a dollar. I was using it to pull the masking tape loose off of the chrome strips on the wheel. Handy little tool.

I completed the wood grain on the wheel and clear coated the entire wheel. I am going to give the clear coat a final wet sand and then buff it out. The wood grain looks a little brighter in the photos because of the flash on my camera. I will post more photos when I have the wheel installed back in my Cougar.

Geez, not only does one have to be a good mechanic, you have to be good in arts and crafts too?

Well, at least, you do well in all of the above.


That is amazing! Did you paint the wood grain on? It looks really good, better than good actually. Mad skills.

Jean and Bill thanks for the kind words. I did paint on the wood grain. I applied that by hand all of the base coats and clear were sprayed. I did a lot of practicing for the wood grain on pvc pipe. I wanted to make sure I was able to do the wood grain effect before I started on my wheel.

Just wanted to give a update on my progress. I have the steering wheel mounted in my Cougar. I had an extra center hub pad so I pulled the Cougar emblem from the center of the pad and also the trim ring. After everything was removed I cleaned the entire pad with mild soap and water. I was amazed on how new it looks after the cleaning process. I ordered a new trim ring from WCCC and I will install it when it arrives. I had a good emblem so I made a new plastic lens to replace the old one due to aging and cracks. I will post more photos when I am complete.

Looking good, Steven!

How did you replace the lens? I bought a really nice original, and it developed cracks within just a few weeks after I installed it.

Bill, I used a piece of plexi glass. I cut it down on a band saw with a fine blade. When I was close to the proper size I finished the edge on a belt sander. I had to sand the edge slightly so it would fit the groove in the hub. The original lens is slightly convex my replacement is flat. It works well for me and I don’t think anyone would notice unless they really know Cougars.

How thick was the Plexiglas? I think that you came up with a brilliant solution!