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Steering wheel repair

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. There are many different ways to repair a steering wheel,,this is how I did mine.

    I decided to repair my cracked and damaged steering wheel for the '54 "Ranch Wagon" and thought my photo's might inspire someone that is thinking about repairing their own steering wheel.

    This is what I started with,

    [​IMG]

    Basically the wheel had a lot of chips and hair line cracks,,and a few really deep cracks that need filling.

    The tools are simple and I would think most of you have them in your tool box,,or in a kitchen drawer.

    files,assorted utility knives,hacksaw blade,sandpaper,bondo spreader,assorted toothpicks and pieces of wood and a screw driver,,and PC-7 epoxy,,your tool list may be different but I think you guys get the idea.

    [​IMG]

    After all the gouging and spreading the cracks to get a slight V groove I started trying to wipe the PC-& on smoothly with the plastic spreader and small pieces of wood,,it became quite apparent within a few minutes that I had the best spreader for the job attached to my hand,,,my fingers worked extremely well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point I let it dry until the next day and started to sand,,I'll point out my mistake now so you guys can avoid it,,this stuff doesn't sand as easy as you would think so smear it on just enough to cover the chips and cracks,,don't cake it on in spots like I did.


    This is what the wheel looked like after a few hours of sanding,,I did have to go back and address a few small hairline cracks I missed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the final sanding I wiped the wheel down the final prep and shot it with etching primer.

    [​IMG]

    At this phase of the project the wheel sat idle for a while,,the time between priming your steering wheel and painting it may differ from my time frame,,you could paint it the next day,,mine got put on hold for about a year and four months and it finally got painted this past Friday.:rolleyes:


    [​IMG]

    And this is how it looks in the wagon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I used the same color on the wheel as the outside window trim,,Dupont urethane base coat/clear coat.

    I think it turned out pretty good. HRP
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  2. Jedidiah
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 177

    Jedidiah
    Member
    from Ft Worth

    Nice job! I have a 40 Ford wheel I need to get to work on. I just can't seem to stop driving my truck long enough.
     
  3. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    Willy301
    Member

    Very nice HRP!
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  4. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,590

    gatz
    Member

    yeah, I just saw this new post....(wandered over here from your 54 build post)

    Although you noted using etching primer, you didn't mention what kind or type of paint used.

    Would "common" enamel such as Restoleum in a rattle can work OK?

    I was thinking appliance enamel might stand up well, & probably go with Almond color because it's a close match to existing wheel color.

    thanks,
    Gatz
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.

  5. Gatz,I used the Dupli-color green etching primer in a rattle can and Dupont urethane base coat/clear coat for the finish.

    I can't think of any reason why the appliance epoxy's wouldn't work just as well although I am unsure about the etching primer,,but I do know that XIM primers work extreamily well with the appliance epoxy's. HRP
     
  6. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

    Look's good!!! I've got most of the old paint sanded off mine, but haven't gotten up the courage to start sawin' out those hairline cracks...:eek:
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  7. Jedidiah
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 177

    Jedidiah
    Member
    from Ft Worth

    I used rattle can (I think it was Krylon) to paint my wheel and within about a year it was wearing through to the primer. It would be good if you are into the weathered look. When I get around to redoing it I'll use something better.
     
  8. Great post very good info and great looking job
     
  9. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,590

    gatz
    Member

    A Dremel abrasive disc works well for opening up the cracks too.

    And, that PC-7 is just the ticket for filling. ACE hdwe has it.

    But, like HRP said, it's a little challenging to get an even, smooth coating on; that stuff is very tacky. Tried a popsicle stick and then a screwdriver to push it in, but I ended up just using my finger to smooth it out too.

    Once it has hardened, it's not all that difficult to file down. I found this old slightly wore-out file that has a half circle shape on one side....really works good. Then 180 & 220 grit cloth makes it very smooth.
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  10. spooky30a
    Joined: Jan 4, 2012
    Posts: 84

    spooky30a
    Member

    good work man.
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  11. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,072

    Torchie
    Member

    The wheel looks great.
    I have used JB Weld in the past to do this job. Don't know if it is any easier to sand then what you used.
    As stated earlier. rattle can paint will not hold up as well. No hardner. Plus not all rattle can paint has UV protection so wheel might fade and become spotty.
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  12. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Nice job there, looks really nice in situ, I have a 57 Ford wheel to do sometime in the near future, Its a bit worse than yours though :(
     
  13. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    sweet!!! There is nothing like a nice steering wheel to hold onto while cruising. Yours came out great!!
     
  14. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,196

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    nice work and good job on detailing the steps for others to use in restoring theirs.
     
  15. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    Nicely done Danny.
     
  16. johnwcrowleys
    Joined: Jan 23, 2010
    Posts: 170

    johnwcrowleys
    Member

    I have used POR-15 putty for this repair. Works great, and you can get the repaired area real smooth using your finger and water before it hardens, as it's water soluble.
     
  17. 41fordor
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 77

    41fordor
    Member

    Looks great! I use PC-7 with good results, but I've had cracks reappear in newer OT plastic wheels like a 69 Mustang rimblow wheel. My 41 Ford wheel seemed to be made of a hard rubber. I used a dremel burr to open up and actually undermine cracks so the PC-7 not only had more material to bond to, but went "under" the surface a little bit if that makes sense. I used urethane 2K primer and didn't worry about flex additive. I topcoated with SEM flexible color and clear.
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  18. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    damagedduck
    Member
    from Greeley Co

    Thanks for posting this! i asked on another steering wheel repair/build post about putty he used, but he never stated what he used for the repair putty.{must have been a secret?}i see alot of old wheels in my adventures,now i now how to repair em.:D
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  19. vwnate1
    Joined: Aug 16, 2001
    Posts: 13

    vwnate1
    Member

    Looks very good .

    What did you use to clean the deep grime off the wheel before beginning to file , sand & fill ? .

    TIA ,
     
  20. Dizzie
    Joined: Feb 7, 2012
    Posts: 245

    Dizzie
    Member

    I've used JB Weld also. Seemed to sand easily. I used a 1/16" cut off wheel to open up the cracks. I used epoxy primer, then used urethane enamel with hardener. Been on the wheel for 4 years now, still looks new.
     
  21. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,083

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Nice work! Makes me want to fix up my original and put it back in my panel truck. Not to jack the thread, but does anyone know if I can put an old steering wheel on a late model column? (55 first series wheel, 85ish chevy column)
     
  22. Canada Jeff
    Joined: Jan 9, 2003
    Posts: 292

    Canada Jeff
    Member

  23. Bikertrash
    Joined: Aug 29, 2007
    Posts: 150

    Bikertrash
    Member
    from Boise

    Great work. Thanks for posting.
     
  24. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,083

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

  25. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817

    62rebel
    Member

    i've used Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy in white on two Falcon steering wheels, it seems to hold up very well but beware; it takes a looong time to cure completely. and that particular brand of paint creates a HELL of a lot of overspray that sticks like shit on a blanket, so be careful of where you're painting. it looks like a million bucks and once cured it's hard as a rock.
     
    MIKE STEWART likes this.
  26. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    carcrazyjohn
    Member
    from trevose pa

    I do mine differently grind cracks down to metal,Glass bead and then coat jb weld and then filler...Steering wheels take along time,I figure roughly 10 hours a wheel....
     
  27. NE Speed&Custom
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 37

    NE Speed&Custom
    Member

    I'm working on a 59-60 Custom Cab F100 wheel right now. I'm using aircraft grade epoxy. Similar to PC7 but easier to use and it drys white
     
  28. pete324rocket
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 99

    pete324rocket
    Member

    J.B. weld sands very easily and feathers nicely.Like anything though,it wont stick to unsanded plastic.
     
  29. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,707

    n847
    Member

    I can't wait to do my wheel! Great tech!
     

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