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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Goldcoast
    Posts
    78

    Default Steering Wheel Restoration

    Hi all

    Ive been stumped on how to restore or just tidy up my steering wheel.,

    Refer to my pic. Wheelmis 50 s vintage, European. Structural ok I guess. There are a few cracks and of course worn off paint. The material is some sort of tough stuff .. dont know what it is ...

    Im thinking of filling the cracks with Epoxy then Sanding and the painting. If so have no idea what to use.

    Randal
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    near Warragul, Victoria
    Posts
    3,504

    Default

    Yes that's what I do. Fill in the cracks and then sand it all down, use a auto acrylic paint of the appropriate colour ( rattle can is ok ) and do a few coats , rub it back with a fine wet and dry paper , then cutting compound . Repeat the painting and fine polishing if you need to , it will come out looking like a new one !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Goldcoast
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Morrisman
    Thanks for the tips. I have a structural epoxy I used for work. Or should I get some car bog, I'm thinking this might be a little more flexible.

    Also a mate of mine suggested I open up the cracks more with a Stanley blade to get the bog in.

    Randal

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Stick (ha!) with the epoxy.

    Polyester car bog is best left for... hang on, I'll get back to you on that when I think of something it's actually good for... (the only good point it has is that it is cheaper than epoxy if you are buying at Bunnings).

    From the pics, it looks like some sort of cheap diecast/pot metal or possibly one of those weird 50's era plastics - in either case, opening up the cracks a little can't hurt adhesion - but some low surface energy plastics can be pretty much impossible to get anything to stick to, so if it is plastic, it could be difficult to get a good bond no matter what you do. But since it's painted, I'd be expecting diecast!

    Other than that, standard car acrylics are good; if you want something that will really stand up to handling/sunlight/sweat, then you really can't go past 2 pack paints. Northane is something I discovered recently, and although the sticker shock is of Festool magnitude (approx $80/litre), it's as good as the very best automotive paints.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    near Warragul, Victoria
    Posts
    3,504

    Default

    Hi Randal

    Yes you can open up the cracks , I did that myself and it turned out to be a effective strategy . I used 2 part araldite to fill the cracks . I applied the paint in quite a lot of coats, a slow thick build up is better than a thin layer, this gives you plenty of meat for the sanding back. stage. Don't worry if the paint runs a but, you can sand it all out . It takes time and patience to get the result , but its worth it . Mike

    Your wheel looks not to bad, I've seen some shockers far worse than yours that have been restored.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Wodonga Vic
    Age
    36
    Posts
    497

    Default

    it looks like it might be Bakelite, if so, I think epoxy would be the way to go with Bakelite plastics, I did a quick search and got plenty of results for "repairing/painting Bakelite. Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Goldcoast
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Guys
    Thanks for the info. Yep there are some good Utubes. Ill keep you posted.
    Randal

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    429

    Default

    On the matter of filling and stabilising ...... gentlemen, you need to become aquainted with marine epoxy ..... this stuff comes thin, runny and unfilled ..... it is specifcally designed to get into fine cracks and the like.

    Mostly you then thicken it with an appropriate filler ..... filler can vary with your needs.
    You can make anything from a penetrating, surface bonding, sealer undercoat right thru to a heavy paste bog out of this stuff ..... AND it is inert and impervious where bog is not.

    These marine epoxies make the general commercial and retail epoxies look sad and you have much more control. They also bond better to a wider range of materials.

    Auto bog is bassed on the same resin commonly used to make fibreglass .... that resin has a fairly narrow material compatability range and realy is not a particularly good adhesive.

    There are some surface conformal coatings, bassed on this family of epoxies ..... clear coats, bar toppings, fake marble and pearlescents. These would make excelent steering wheel coatings.

    of course the base resins can be coloured and have metalics and peraescents added.

    For a steerinbg wheel top coat you need a UV stabilised resin.

    cheers
    Any thing with sharp teeth eats meat.
    Most powertools have sharp teeth.
    People are made of meat.
    Abrasives can be just as dangerous as a blade.....and 10 times more painfull.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Taree NSW
    Posts
    112

    Default steerig wheel restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman View Post
    On the matter of filling and stabilising ...... gentlemen, you need to become aquainted with marine epoxy ..... this stuff comes thin, runny and unfilled ..... it is specifcally designed to get into fine cracks and the like.

    Mostly you then thicken it with an appropriate filler ..... filler can vary with your needs.
    You can make anything from a penetrating, surface bonding, sealer undercoat right thru to a heavy paste bog out of this stuff ..... AND it is inert and impervious where bog is not.

    These marine epoxies make the general commercial and retail epoxies look sad and you have much more control. They also bond better to a wider range of materials.

    Auto bog is bassed on the same resin commonly used to make fibreglass .... that resin has a fairly narrow material compatability range and realy is not a particularly good adhesive.

    There are some surface conformal coatings, bassed on this family of epoxies ..... clear coats, bar toppings, fake marble and pearlescents. These would make excelent steering wheel coatings.

    of course the base resins can be coloured and have metalics and peraescents added.

    For a steerinbg wheel top coat you need a UV stabilised resin.

    cheers
    I just put a call out to Aldax moulds asking for the appropriate materials to make or repair a new wheel for my MK.1 Sunbeam Alpine - will keep you posted after reply- my wheel is the wire spoked type and ATM don't know how the spokes are attached to the rim or hub

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