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Restoring 1941 Chrysler Steering Wheel


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I'm in the process of restoring the steering wheel on my '41 Saratoga. It had a few hairline cracks around the circumference of the wheel, and a pretty major one on one side - where the cross-piece meets the wheel. I've taken my dremel tool, and widened out the hairline cracks so that I can get epoxy filler in the space and sanded down the wheel to the base. I've removed all the loose material around the large crack, and noticed that there's about a 1/4" space in the metal rods, where the cross-piece meets the wheel.

 

Not having done one of these before, I wasn't sure if the metal rods were welded together, or if the center rods were free-floating. The first image is the back of the wheel - the left side of the wheel is where the question is:

 

chrysler_steering_wheel_1.jpg

 

Here's a close-up of the break:

chrysler_steering_wheel_2.jpg

 

So my question(s) is should I have this welded before I continue filling the cracks with epoxy? Is it even possible to weld at this point? And if I do need to have it welded, is there enough metal visible to weld?

 

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

 

Dave

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Looking at the picture, you can see where the arm was welded to the rim, so yes, it is supposed to be welded

 

Your going to have to clean that area up a lot more (widening it) because the heat from welding is going to travel up the steel and do more damage

 

Mick

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I was able to find a local welding business, and the person at the desk took me right in and MIG welded the break (as 28 Chrysler suggested). It's as solid as a rock now. I was able to clean up the area and apply the first layer of epoxy over all the damage. 

 

To me it's worth restoring this steering wheel, as a hardly ever see them for sale online, and the few times I have, the prices were pretty substantial.

 

Thanks again,

Dave

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