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Steering wheel progress

Keith L.

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Update on Steering wheel project:

As many of you know, I am in the middle of making new recast steering wheels for the ’41 Zephyr. This week or middle of next, I will pour the silicone mold and cast the first trial wheel. My goal is to cast such a perfect wheel that it will take very little after-casting clean-up and polishing. To that end I’m right on track.

I have been gone for two weeks and one of my stops was So. Calif. where I had a machine shop make new ’41 steering wheel metal cores, outside rings and center cross braces. I will be tack welding them together in the future. They are exact duplicates in size and material of the original cores. And an added benefit, the center hub can be cut down and drilled to match the shorter ’40 wheel core.

For the time being, I will be using original cores members have sent me and in the near future the new manufactured cores will be available for those that need them.

There are several reasons I ‘m making new manufactured cores.

The price was right. The cost in quantity is less than a good usable original core.

With new cores, I can cast when I want, have several in stock so the customers won’t have to wait six weeks or longer for a new recast wheel.

Many of the ’40 and ’41 wheels have been replaced with post-war wheels and to recast the steering wheel for a ’41 they must locate a good ’40 or’41 core. Finding one on Ebay or a vendor can be a hassle and the desire to replace your wheels can soon fade.

The ’40 and ’41 cores look alike but are not interchangeable (see earlier post) If the customer sends me the wrong core, I won’t have to hassle getting the correct core, sending back cores, etc.

The customer won’t have to be without a steering wheel on their car while waiting for a new recast wheel.

Often the original wheel is slightly cracked but not enough to recast it, or the heart to destroy it for the core. Well, keep it, mount it somewhere nice and use the new core.

Time is money and starting with a clean, exact duplicate center core is far easier than cleaning up an old wheel. I don’t know how many of you have taken the old soybean plastic off a ’40 or ’41 wheel. It’s a ***** and I HATE it. You can’t chip it off or burn it off. The best way I have found is with a heavy-duty wire wheel, and you better have a mask and good ventilation, ‘cause it really smells bad and is time consuming. Also, the outside rim is often bent from years of pressure so the rim will need straightening.

The first photo is an original '41 core, back side. the other two photos are the new machined center cores. fresh out of the automated C and C machine and a box of 20 finished cores.

Thank you for letting me share. As before, if you are interested and want to be on the “interested list” Send me an email: knobsoup@gmail.com




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