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Technical Steering Wheel Coating

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by PhredH, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. PhredH
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 41

    PhredH

    The original steering wheel on my 28 phaeton needs better coating/protection to prevent moisture activated red hand syndrome.

    In the past I have cleaned, dried, and coated the wheel with spar urethane, but every 2 - 3 years the coating is worn or flaked away and my hands turn red again.

    Do you think a automotive clear coat may be a more durable coating for me?

    The wheel is exposed to sunlight and moisture and gets lots of use.

    Thanks in advance
    Phred
     
  2. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 248

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Have you tried boat builder's Epoxy? You can probably order a small sample from WEST or System 3 or some such.
     
  3. Leather wrap
     
  4. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,450

    oldolds
    Member

    String wrap, or rope wrap. Do a search on here. Some interesting ideas
     
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  5. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,899

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Hey Phred being that you drive the Pheaton a lot ,how about a clear coat over the red wheel.
     
  6. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 494

    Bugguts
    Member

    I have applied automotive clear to wood with good results. Of course all the varnish etc... would nod to be removed.
    It would probably be a good longer term solution.
     
  7. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,355

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    i restored a steering wheel for my shoebox years ago and use epoxy paint on it. worked pretty well!
     
  8. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 3,966

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have used hardened clear on a few wheels and it works great. If you don't have a paint gun/clear/hardener/reducer lying around, buy this. It is expensive and has no shelf life once punctured so make sure you have a couple projects prepped that you can clear. I also use it to restore a nice gloss to old license plates.
    upload_2018-6-12_11-12-30.png
     
    Dino 64 and tb33anda3rd like this.
  9. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 248

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    I wrapped mine with plain cotton twine, then brushed it with boiled linseed oil. It took a long time to stop being sticky, and it's gotten darker with age, but that's probably because it's real humid down here. IMG_20180414_085137703.jpg
     
  10. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 961

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have used PlastiDip on a few simple things but nothing as large as a steering wheel yet. They sell it in the big mouth cans for dipping and brushing but they also sell it in the familiar looking, spray on cans. The dip/brush stuff would be very hard to control or prevent runs on something like a steering wheel. However, the spray would be much more manageable and allow you to build up multiple thin coats. The spray stuff sets up with a soft, satin finish, not shiny like the dip. Personally, I wouldn't attempt it with the wheel in the car. I suggest spraying it laying flat on some type of lazy susan platform where you can evenly spray one face and quickly flip it over for the other side. You want to get gravity working for you to lay it down but not run, then overlap/blend it in on the two sides. You mask it just like for paint. When I knew I was going to spray more than one coat, I masked extra layers of tape and peeled off one layer for each coat to get a smoother edge. If the wheel has any dings, this could be your chance to fill 'em and smooth them out (JB Weld maybe?)

    The black color can pass for a well preserved, vintage look but if you're really wanting to stay with red, it's a cardinal red they have, very bright, and is going to look pretty new. You can find the spray online easy enough.

    Here's a shot of a B&M shift knob I did. It looked a little better a few years ago before I threw it in a box of parts and misc. junk....... 001.JPG
     
  11. PhredH
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 41

    PhredH

    Thanks for the ideas. I'll probably sand, clean, and automotive clear coat.

    Might also do a cord wrap afterwards, looks cool.

    Phred
     

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