Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: My steering wheel restore detailed.

  1. #1
    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-7211
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    48
    Posts
    869

    Default My steering wheel restore detailed.

    I know this topic has been covered before, but I thought I'd post the pics and describe the steps I took while doing it.

    In between working on the body I have a '71 and a '72 wheel I thought I'd restore becasue they were pretty ratty looking. I did them both in case one didnt turn out well, and if they both turned out well, I'd sell one after the restore was done. I think they both turned out well.

    I masked off the wheel and sandblasted the spokes just enough to take most of the paint off. Then I hand sanded the spokes(with 800 then 1500), paying special attention to the holes in the '72 wheel, and the indents in the '71 wheel.

    I then used a rattle can of semi-gloss black engine enamel to paint the spokes. I ended up sanding in between coats with 00 Steel-Wool. I tried 1500 paper, but it was just too cumbersome and it always ended up sanding to metal on all the edges. I sprayed maybe 5 coats, and sanding in between coats.

    (continued below)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	closeupbefore.jpg 
Views:	568 
Size:	311.5 KB 
ID:	12238   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	71wheelbefore.jpg 
Views:	585 
Size:	366.8 KB 
ID:	12239   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	72wheelmasked.jpg 
Views:	562 
Size:	383.0 KB 
ID:	12240   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	72sandblasted.jpg 
Views:	526 
Size:	400.0 KB 
ID:	12241  

  2. #2
    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-7211
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    48
    Posts
    869

    Default (continued)

    Then I masked the spokes to get started on the wheel (I made the mistake and started sanding the wheel before I masked the spokes..had to do a re-do).

    Then I hand sanded each wheel. There may have been a better way, but I didnt see one to get all the fine detailing that needed to get done. I sanded it with 320 first lightly, then 800 to get the last of the original coating off. I didnt take any pictures of what it looked like with the sanded wheel, but it was ugly.

    I also didnt sand down the '71 enough I think, because theres small spots where the original coating (urethane?) can be seen thru the new coating and it looks like a foggy white, so be sure to sand it down enough. BUT...not too much because you might remove the 'patina', it is a wood with plastic infused wheel I think.

    I had to take a break for a day, because my fingers were killing me. It took a couple of hours to to do both.

    Then I used MINWAX wood finish stain to give the wheel one coat just to bring some color into the (really dull looking after sanding)wheel. I forget the color I used for the '71, I couldnt find the can after I did it. I thought it was the lighter of the 'red' colors, but I used 'sedona red' for the '72, and it looked to dark. I re-sanded the '72 wheel to get the sedona-red out, but it was still a bit darker, so I got 'cherry' and gave it a coat of that. Cherry looks good.

    Then I used MINWAX fast-drying polyurethane in a rattle can and gave it several coats of that. I sanded it with 00 steel wool after, lightly, just to smooth out the spots where I was a bit heavy.

    Then finally, I used turtle-wax polishing compound on the wheel, just to get it real smooth.

    I think it looks pretty good, what do you guys think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	painting-spokes.jpg 
Views:	638 
Size:	458.7 KB 
ID:	12242   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	firsturethane.jpg 
Views:	775 
Size:	550.9 KB 
ID:	12243   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	71wheeldone.jpg 
Views:	1005 
Size:	436.8 KB 
ID:	12244   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	supplies.jpg 
Views:	616 
Size:	340.4 KB 
ID:	12245  
    Last edited by Zak's Z; 05-07-2006 at 05:00 PM.

  3. #3
    1971 240Z SavannahZ's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-6958
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Savannah, Georgia
    Age
    42
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Thanks for the write-up. Looks great!!
    Jonathan
    1971 240Z--L26/4spd - HLS30-16831 (12/70)

  4. #4
    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-8596
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Age
    63
    Posts
    8,465

    Default

    Wow, ZaK! Looks great! Would you like to do mine, too?
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

  5. #5
    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-7211
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    48
    Posts
    869

    Default

    lol..when I get the feeling back in my fingers maybe.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-1490
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,874

    Default

    Good write up.

    Revisiting a "previous" topic when you spell it out as you have is actually visiting it "properly".

    Good work.
    Enrique

  7. #7
    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-8596
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Age
    63
    Posts
    8,465

    Default

    I did mine today. My rim wasn't too bad so I decided I'd leave it as is - retain some of the patina, so to speak. But the spokes were bad. Chips, scrapes and corrosion, plus at least two coats of paint. So I decided I had to strip all the way to bare metal. I'm pleased with the result, the steering wheel and the new OE walnut shift knob are the best looking parts of my car!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00724.jpg 
Views:	562 
Size:	206.1 KB 
ID:	12859   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00725.jpg 
Views:	519 
Size:	205.1 KB 
ID:	12860   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00726.jpg 
Views:	812 
Size:	201.7 KB 
ID:	12861  
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

  8. #8
    Do it in a Z Mat M's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-6791
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Sierra Foothills outside of SACRAMENTO, CA
    Posts
    545

    Default

    Zak! thanks for giving me the impetus to redo my wheel.

    Arne, Looks GREAT! You had the same results I had when I did mine.
    Mat
    AKA MatMan
    MatM@M2Differentials.com

    m2differentials.com


    01/71 HLS30-19724 original 918, 4 speed, ready for the 5 spd swap, and R200 diff from the '81ZX
    08/71 HLS30-41979 multicolored auto, but under the knife - SOLD!!
    81 ZX Grey/blue 5-speed donor car, runs! - SOLD!!
    82 ZX Black auto T-top - motor/3.90 R200 donor car - MOST excellent PAPER WASP condo. - SOLD!!

  9. #9
    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-7211
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    48
    Posts
    869

    Default

    Arne - That looks great.

    MatM - glad to hear you did yours.

    As soon as I get the shell stripped and off to the body shop, I'll restore a bunch more stuff and post some pics.

  10. #10
    Registered User TriDawgn's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-18530
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Age
    32
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Just did mine while waiting for some parts from MSA. I think it turned out quite well. Used same method, thanks for the tips. I added some closeups too, the paint was rough and now is smooth, and the wheel has a lot nicer colour with a glossy finish.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering wheel.jpg 
Views:	553 
Size:	648.3 KB 
ID:	30675  
    Resto in progress:
    1972 HLS30-73872

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-3609
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Clearwater,Florida USA
    Age
    75
    Posts
    4,424

    Default

    Hi Tristan:
    Thanks for the update. The split image pictures are a GREAT way of showing the improvements.

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Zedyone_kenobi's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-16285
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    I am starting this process now. I have read all the restoring the steering wheel threads and it really is easier than it looks. Not that it looks hard, but the bottom line is remove old topcoat until the rim is smooth to the touch. Apply stain of your choice. Let dry, use rattle can to get nice glossy finish.

    I am done with my rim and I am going to do my spokes when I get home today.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  13. #13
    Supporting Member Diseazd's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-14126
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Richmond
    Posts
    1,852

    Default

    I found that thin layers of spar varnish (brushed on from a can), steel wooled with 000 between coats gave you a harder less tacky feeling than the spray-on MinWax polyurethane. Don't forget to mark your steering wheel before removing it so the pick-ups for the turn signals are returned correctly. All IMO.......Guy
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7600346077563/
    ______________________________________________
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7603350695459/

    70, 71, 2 72's, and a 73 240z....
    90 300zx and a 1996 Acura NSX.....but who's counting?

  14. #14
    Marooned Fish cygnusx1's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-4964
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Putnam Valley, New York, United States
    Age
    51
    Posts
    845

    Default

    Here is a tip that I assume most people know about. Set your steering column in it's center lock position with the key out. The steering wheel should be dead straight when in that position. Center lock is also your center reference when you reinstall the wheel. This will also reveal if someone installed the wheel crooked and then aligned the front end to the crooked wheel. Yes, it happens. The wheel resto's look GREAT!
    Dave C, Putnam, NY
    NYZCC - Membership Director

    __________________________
    1976 280Z Turbo
    1972 240Z RESTOmod
    2006 330xi 6-sp/winter/sport

    __________________________

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Zedyone_kenobi's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-16285
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    Oh oh...

    did not know about marking the wheel's location...

    Guess I am in for some trial and error. I can see how the things goes together, so I figure I can get it within a couple of splines of where it was at...guess if I turn the wheel and it does not turn off, I installed it wrong.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  16. #16
    Supporting Member Diseazd's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-14126
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Richmond
    Posts
    1,852

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cygnusx1 View Post
    Here is a tip that I assume most people know about. GREAT!
    Don't assume anything on this forum....that's why it's such a great source of info.....thanks for that tip.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7600346077563/
    ______________________________________________
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7603350695459/

    70, 71, 2 72's, and a 73 240z....
    90 300zx and a 1996 Acura NSX.....but who's counting?

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Zedyone_kenobi's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-16285
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    look at me, I had no idea about that, wish I would have known.
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  18. #18
    Registered User Bonzi Lon's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-11300
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kingman, Kansas
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,155

    Default

    Don't worry Zedyone kenobi, I did the same thing for my horn repair. There are lots of splines to choose from to get it wrong. After several attempts its right again.

    Bonzi Lon
    1973 HLS30-168500
    1968 SPL311-18100
    1969 HLS30-000110 SOLD Shipped to Dubai UAE
    CZCC#11300

    Ones and Zeros

    "We drive only blue cars." Dishwalla

  19. #19
    Registered User conedodger's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-16545
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,053

    Default

    I did this a month or two back (and wrote it up here too). I used Scotch Brite pads to rub the steering wheel along with some dish soap to take off the years of hand goo. I followed this with steel wool. I thought that stain would be needed as the finish of the 'wood' after this was whitish and ugly. In a search of the site I found what others had done plus I referenced the Humble book as well. I went straight to Spar Varnish once the wheel was dry without any stain. The write-ups were correct. The proper color comes right back. No stain is needed...
    Rob
    2000 BMW R1100 RT-SE (for sale)
    1999 Toyota 4Runner Supercharged
    1975 Porsche 914 stroker motor autoX car
    1973 Datsun 240Z Restoration project. New paint in original white. E31 head on 2.4 block. Nissan Motorsports header. R200 with Nissan motorsports LSD.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-25147
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    SEATTLE
    Posts
    18

    Default

    OK, I need a reality check. . . My Series One wheel has wear areas where the simulated woodgrain is gone. All that's left is the ruby colored resin (kind of the coloration of a marble). Not sure if my wheel is worse than most or if Series One's used a different process.

    The wheel obviously needs restoration and would like confirmation that variations of the above listed techniques will work or if my wheel is too far gone.

    If it wasn't a early wheel I'd just buy a better starting piece.

    Thanks for any help.
    Chuck

  21. #21
    Registered User Z dreams's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-23169
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lawton Mich.
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Pictures would help us Chuck.

  22. #22
    Registered User er34gtt2000jp's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-8081
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    466

    Default

    I've noticed the wood grain is not very prevalent in some areas of most wheels. mainly the ridges on the back side of the wheel for your fingers. Mostly its the back side that is not as grainy as the outer rim or front side.

  23. #23
    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-18366
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,041

    Default

    I used varnish on my wheel and it looks good, I thought it was too far gone but the color came back.

  24. #24
    Registered User tlorber's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-20299
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Age
    54
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    The wheel from one of my Z's was not to bad so I hit it last night with a plastic rubbing compound and a buffing wheel on the drill press. The luster came right back. The best part is that the horn button kept on popping off since the ridges that hold it to the steering wheel were worn away. Rotating the button allowed it to "grip" the wheel in different spots. I found that the center Nissan logo is pretty easy to remove, rotate, and then refasten to make up for the button's rotation.


    The wheel on my other car is a bit more worn, So I plan on wet sanding it and then buffing.
    Tlorber
    '73 240 +/- done
    '73 240 survivor
    '69 SRL 311
    '54 GMC Going onto S10 frame w/LS motor
    '99 Lexus GS Driver

  25. #25
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-25147
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    SEATTLE
    Posts
    18

    Default

    OK, with luck, the requested pics.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5116_1.JPG 
Views:	50 
Size:	291.5 KB 
ID:	72731Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5117_1.JPG 
Views:	49 
Size:	299.5 KB 
ID:	72732

  26. #26
    Jim Arnett jfa.series1's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-22303
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Richardson TX
    Posts
    764

    Default

    Looks like pretty normal wear for a wheel - either Series 1 or 2.

    FWIW - I have a completely refinished Series 1 wheel and also a Series 2 wheel for sale. Horn electrical components included but not the horn button. Either one is $225 including ground shipping within the U.S. Detailed pictures available, PM me with your email address if interested.

    Jim Arnett
    HLS30-15320 12/1970, original owner
    L24-020208 (original)
    IZCC Original Owner Registry #53

  27. #27
    Registered User grannyknot's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-26437
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    698

    Default

    Chuck, I used this thread to help me restore my early steering wheel and it worked well. The cloudy white stuff is mostly from the sun I think and just underneath is new material.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

  28. #28
    Registered User Dr. 240Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-28265
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Brunswick Canada
    Age
    69
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Hi,

    Please check this out....subjectively, simple technique with a great looking/very durable result:

    Search: Steering Wheel Refurbishment

    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/t...rbishment.html

    Cheers,

    George
    Original Registration and Warranty Card

    Original owner of: HLS3018859 (Jan./71) ZCOOR Member # 178

    'Storms Never Last'

  29. #29
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-25147
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    SEATTLE
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Thanks for all the help and info.

    It appears the the wheels were originally manufactured with a typical plastic resin forming the core of the wheel. This plastic (or epoxy or polymer) was very common with all manufactures back then. What makes Z wheels somewhat unique is that they added a wood infused resin on top of the core. This top layer is thin. This is what gave it the wood wheel look.

    Will some of you guys give me your thoughts- yay or nay?

    My concern is that my wheel had a number of areas where the top layer is worn away. All that is left is the base core with no woodgrain- so, it's just single color plastic. My experience with stains is that they just accentuate existing woodgrain. Applying stain to these high wear areas is just going to change the color- not create a woodgrain. Thoughts?

    I'm not trying to be negative and some of the restored wheels shown earlier look beautiful.

  30. #30
    Registered User sscanf's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-26703
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Groton, MA
    Age
    56
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I think if you sand it smooth (maybe 320 grit sand paper) and get some stain on it, its going to look great. The 240Z wheel I picked up a couple of months ago looked pretty rough before I started but it came out nice.

    I just did mine last weekend, pretty much following the above process (stain, then I think I had 5 or 6 VERY thin coats of spar urethane applied with a small foam brush, treated between coats with 000 steel wool):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering0.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	194.3 KB 
ID:	73474
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering01.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	196.9 KB 
ID:	73473
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering02.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	209.6 KB 
ID:	73472
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering03.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	200.1 KB 
ID:	73471
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering04.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	189.0 KB 
ID:	73470
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	steering1.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	169.3 KB 
ID:	73475

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •