Steering Wheel Repair

amphigator

New Member
Group,
Need some advise on materials to use for a steering wheel repair and fixing cracks
Thanks in advance
Ron Gaydis
"Gator"

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dougklink

Member
We use PC 7 epoxy for repairs, filling any cracks as best we can. Sand, then finish fill with bondo and glaze. Paint with a urethane auto paint.
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
I recently refinished a steering wheel on my project car. It did have some small pieces that were loose as with yours. My method was to use JB Weld to glue the pieces back on and to fill any other cracks and chips. It sanded out very nice and smooth. JB Weld has very fine steel particles in the mix for reinforcing and I've always found the stuff to work very well.

A very close paint match is Rustoleum Satin Ivory Silk 249073. Front of the can says Bonds to Plastic. Covered with their Gloss Clear 249117. Perhaps not as good as a quality automotive paint but easy and the price was right.

A general word of caution on removing Amphicar steering wheels as they can be difficult to brake free from the tapered shaft. It's necessary to place a bearing separator (like this Harbor Freight one) under the center metal hub and pull on it using a bearing puller against the steering wheel shaft. It's tempting to place puller arms directly on the center (plastic) area of the wheel with damaging results. Those two ovaled looking holes appear to have been added in an attempt to remove the wheel.

http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/pullers/large-bearing-separator-3979.html
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
JB weld is a temporary fix the crack will reappear after a few years ,even ones I did that were not put on cars.
luckily I have a professional steering wheel repair man that lives a block away from me, Rick looks after my house when I`m in Fl.
He repairs them now only for me as he works a full time job at a body shop, He is not cheap. after there done I prime them and paint with DuPont Premiere single stage 2 part epoxy in a off white I mix to match original Just finished this car.
Gord

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Last edited:

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
I recently refinished a steering wheel on my project car. It did have some small pieces that were loose as with yours. My method was to use JB Weld to glue the pieces back on and to fill any other cracks and chips. It sanded out very nice and smooth. JB Weld has very fine steel particles in the mix for reinforcing and I've always found the stuff to work very well.

A very close paint match is Rustoleum Satin Ivory Silk 249073. Front of the can says Bonds to Plastic. Covered with their Gloss Clear 249117. Perhaps not as good as a quality automotive paint but easy and the price was right.

A general word of caution on removing Amphicar steering wheels as they can be difficult to brake free from the tapered shaft. It's necessary to place a bearing separator (like this Harbor Freight one) under the center metal hub and pull on it using a bearing puller against the steering wheel shaft. It's tempting to place puller arms directly on the center (plastic) area of the wheel with damaging results. Those two ovaled looking holes appear to have been added in an attempt to remove the wheel.

http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/pullers/large-bearing-separator-3979.html
Thanks for the idea using separator. Some wheels are all but impossible. This old dog gets to try a new trick! Happy New Year. Dave the Wave
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
I question grinding out the cracks so large only to fill them back in with a thick putty. That's a lot of extra work to file and sand smooth. I prefer to apply a medium viscosity epoxy, like JB Weld, into the smaller cracks. As long as the epoxy fills the cracks it works very well. Open up the cracks only wide enough, like with a hacksaw blade, to allow the epoxy to squeeze in.

Steering wheels can certainly crack again in the future, just like they cracked in the past. After all, they're designed to be flexible for crash protection - plastic over a steel hoop. They're subject to driver use and abuse, hot and cold, sunlight and general aging. I think it's more a result of use and care, not a certain epoxy.

Gord, what is your steering wheel repair guy's technique? I agree an automotive epoxy paint would be superior. Can you give us an Ivory color code?

Happy New Year everyone!!
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
I keep the outside colour of the White Amphicar in stock, The steering wheel, Knobs, visor brackets, turn signal housing are a Darker shade so I add a yellow tinter to a small mix of the exterior paint till I get the right shade. sorry no Colour Code.
JB weld... I have used in the past,, cracks reappeared on painted wheels while hanging in stock in my basement.

I have never sat and watched Rick do his magic but he has brought back to life vintage wheels from antique boats and banjo wheels from exotic cars. He will be over here in the next few days, will try to remember to ask.
 

dougklink

Member
Pc7 epoxy is much better than jb weld. It has fibers in it that keep it from cracking and you can mold it to shape. We've done over a dozen wheels of all sizes with it, some over 10 years ago with no cracks. I learned about using it in an article in skinned knuckles magazine a long time ago.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
I use a trick I learned so long ago I forget who showed me for removing steering wheels.
I would not do this on a good non cracked wheel but, After nut is removed I pry the wheel back and forth with hands, in a stretching motion for a while. then with 2 baby fingers on each side of wheel, it pops off with no effort.
When people watch me do this they can't believe it, but yes Amphicars are much harder!
Pic. put dash together, new decal kit in clusters.

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