Steering wheel resto

Discussion in 'Cosmetic & Restoration' started by tbirdsps, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    I started the steering wheel fix since I can't find one.

    Many many cracks. So, I took it off, removed the criuse control switches and wiring and cleaned.

    My wife is a sucker and she had bought "Mighty Putty" from the tv. That stuff works! I have about 60% of the cracks filled. Then I'll have to sand and paint. The key is to paint and paint and paint apparently. Hopefully I can find paint that will stick well to the plastic.

    Being a Mercuy the wheel face was a clear plastic that was bad too so I took that all out. I'm wondering if I can replace that by pouring expoxy in the grove.

    Anyway that's what I'm doing this week.
     
  2. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    Looking forward to see the outcome of the resto.
     
  3. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Ain't nuthin' better than immitating the masters:

    http://pages.cthome.net/ptf/photofin/photoFinish.html

    Or go modern:

    http://www.plastidip.com/industrial/plastidip.html

    http://www.protechnology.com/Results.cfm?category=6

    Powdercoating might work on the final clear coats, since the temp is under 212F. The car gets up to 400F sitting in the Sun, and the plastic doesn't drip, so I can't see why that wouldn't give you a final finish coat that lasts.

    That's if your wife doesn't mind leaving the house while it cures in the oven. :evilsmile:
     
  4. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    Here's the patches:

    This picture is the reverse side. The white is the epoxy and is all sanded ready for paint.
    [​IMG]

    The front:
    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the cruise control swithes. The white is the epoxy and great amounts of plastic was actually missing. The epoxy actually replaced the plastic. This was fun.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tilt steering column:
    [​IMG]


    This was a learning experience. If there's ever a next time it may be easier.:slap:
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  5. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Wow! What kind of epoxy? How're you gonna finish it? This should become a Sticky! It's the first steering wheel restoration I've seen, and with the cruise controls! Impressive! Keep it going, and what sanding media, finishing materials, etc.! Necessity is the Mudda of Invention! :bowdown::thumbs2::victory:
     
  6. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    I'd rather call it fixing. A restoration would require much more attention to detail.:bouncy: The fix makes it adequate and better to look at and I don't have to use wire to keep the cruise switches from falling out.:rofl2:The Home Depot and Wal-Mart and many other stores sell paste epoxy. In this case I used the "Mighty Putty" that my wife bought from a TV add. It did turn out cheaper than the epoxy sold locally but it's the same thing. I sanded it with one of those foam medium course sanding blocks. This also roughened up the plastic for paint. I bought some modeling paint (enamel) and painted the switch faces. Black with silver trim. I did paint it this weekend but didn't take pictures. I still have to take the instrument panel back out to replace a bulb and to repair the PRNDL indicator. I wouldn't have done this at all if I had found a replacement.

    When I did the switch bezel the plastic is very fragile. I just laid in a bunch of the epoxy putty and used the dremel to shape it when it was dry. I reproduced the shape but didn't pay too much attention to detail such as the surface texture. I will continue to search for a replacement.

    With soooo many cracks and large ones at that I'm not sure of the durability in the heat here. Time will tell.
     
  7. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    What about the Truckster guys that made their own moldings. You could make a mold of the repaired parts and pour liquid plastic (fibreglass gel?). I'd make the mold from plaster of paris and seal it with veggie oil or some water-soluble oil. I guess parrafin wax would work too.
     
  8. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just saw a Mighty Putty add on TV... To bad they wont sell it to Canada :(
     
  9. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    Great post, I made it a sticky . Do you have bigger pictures?
     
  10. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    We'll find something. TBird, does the label have any chemical compounds listed or the corporate company. Maybe we can find an MSDS and compare with what's available here.
     
  11. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    No MSDS. It is epoxy though. I saw some at several stores. It comes in a tube similar to a clear cigar tube. Cut of a piece and roll it around in your fingers mixing the two parts. The "Mighty Putty" is probably the same. I used 2/3 rds of a tube all together.

    I'll try to do bigger pictures. I didn't want to hog all the space!:rofl2:
     
  12. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    I could resize them if they are to big.
     
  13. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    LePage makes some epoxy like that - two putty sticks that you mix together until they turn green. Canadian Tire probably has it.

    Hog all the space... yeah right. :rofl2:
     
  14. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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  15. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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