Seafoam65

65 wood steering wheel horn cap restoration

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 As I stated in a previous post, I have a pristine wood steering wheel and hub and horn parts and will soon

have a beautiful repro horn bar from "Riviera Bob" Stemm, and I am down to the center cap on the steering wheel.

I was able to buy a used one from Larry Daisy a few weeks ago, and I knew it would be pitted but was shocked to find out

that the lucite Riviera emblem had a very very deep one inch long gouge across it's face that I didn't think there was any way to fix.

It looked hopeless to me, but I went ahead and drilled out the pot metal rivets holding the cap in and the three retaining ears on

and gave restoring the  lucite emblem a try. Fortunately the back side of the emblem was pristine....the chrome Riviera insignia and black

background looked new, but the top looked like somebody took a chisel to it. What I did was get some 320 grit wet and dry sandpaper and slowly wet sanded

across the entire face of the emblem to keep the overall domed shape intact and after an hour of this the gouge was gone. I then changed to

wet sanding with 600 grit, then 1000 grit, then 1500 grit, then finished it off with metal polish and a microtowel. The lucite emblem now 

looks brand new....very pristine. After some internet research, I determined that I wanted Advanced Plating in Nashville, Tennessee to

rechrome the cap so I sent it off to them today. When  I get it back I will still have the challenge of reassembling the cap. I'll be checking

in on this thread when I get to that point.

 

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Seafoam65 said:

I knew it would be pitted but was shocked to find out

that the lucite Riviera emblem had a very very deep one inch long gouge across it's face that I didn't think there was any way to fix.

It looked hopeless to me, but I went ahead and drilled out the pot metal rivets holding the cap in and the three retaining ears on

and gave restoring the  lucite emblem a try.

 

Winston, I had the same problems as you with the emblems (steering wheel and the back emblem of the grill between the back seats...). These cracks are mostly superficial and with some elbow grease and the right polish, that's easy to do ... too for the lens of the gauges I have used the same procedure, they all looks like new again!
Also the emblems of the hubcaps can be polished with the same polish, all these parts looks like new again - very satisfying! ? 

 

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horncap.JPG

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Edited by Schmiddy (see edit history)
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Looking good Schmiddy! I forgot to mention that I am going to see about having the wood grain on the steering wheel

redone to match the rest of the wood in my interior. I will have more on that project in this post later.

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1 hour ago, Schmiddy said:


Also the emblems of the hubcaps can be polished with the same polish, all these parts looks like new again - very satisfying! ? 

 I recently did the caps on my  '64 spinners, and once you get going they can come out pretty good...

 

What I had on a couple of the caps are probably some form of stress fractures in the 'plastic'.. When you look straight on the emblem looks fine, but when viewed at an angle, the cracks appear. In a way, they kinda look cool, almost a ghost diamond effect, but not all the caps have it, and I doubt there's anything that could be done besides live with it or replace em.

 

Hope the pictures show the effect...

 

Later,

 

Mike Swick

Edmonton, AB

----

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:27 AM, Seafoam65 said:

Looking good Schmiddy! I forgot to mention that I am going to see about having the wood grain on the steering wheel

redone to match the rest of the wood in my interior. I will have more on that project in this post later.


I'm really looking forward to see some pics of how it came out, Winston! ??

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On 8/8/2018 at 2:37 AM, MikeJS said:

What I had on a couple of the caps are probably some form of stress fractures in the 'plastic'.. When you look straight on the emblem looks fine, but when viewed at an angle, the cracks appear. In a way, they kinda look cool, almost a ghost diamond effect, but not all the caps have it, and I doubt there's anything that could be done besides live with it or replace em.


Yep, that' right Mike... there is nothing else to do against these fractures... they are very, very thin but quite deep in the coat why it gives this "ghost diamond" effect when you look from the side... I've the same problem with the emblem between the rear seats. But with polishing you get a very shiny surface - at least that! ?

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7 hours ago, Schmiddy said:


I'm really looking forward to see some pics of how it came out, Winston! ??

Schmiddy........for a sneak preview, go to the website of the steering wheel place I'm going to use.

Their website is craftcustoms.com. When you get on their home page, click on color charts

and then click on color charts for straight grain woods. The color I'm going to use is in the third column

from the left, the ninth picture from the top, color code WTP480. Take a look and tell me what you think.

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20 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

The color I'm going to use is in the third column from the left, the ninth picture from the top, color code WTP480. Take a look and tell me what you think.


Hi Wiston
Wow, the wood looks great (I attached the file below so that others can see it immediately ?)!
Will the wood be coated the same way as the steering wheel of the Mercedes or will you leave the wood more natural? (...the way it is presented, it looks very shiny, right?) 

image.png.ef89314187af2f50f0bc064e959d7f32.png

And will they keep the metal ring on the outer border of your old steering wheel? 
If at Craft Customs they are able to rebuild the GS steering wheel exactly the way it looks originally, dear, this is going to be awesome! Whoohooo!!!! ??

image.png

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My steering wheel is perfect, it's just that the original color on these wheels does not match my original

wood. The original color on these wheels is very dark and they have a gold tint to the finish. The original wood

had a red tint to the finish.  like the color I  picked out. My original wood below should match this color nicely........

DSCN0168.JPG

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                  Schmiddy, I want the wheel to be very shiny, like the Mercedes wheel in the picture. That's the kind of finish

I'm looking for. They will be coating over the original plastic on my wheel and the metal ring on the rim will remain. I haven't actually talked to them about my project yet, but I'm pretty sure they can  give me the finish

I'm looking for. I'm going to go see them today.......they are about twenty minutes away from my shop.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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Ah, if you're looking for that kind of finish, then its alright! I thought first, you wanted to have the same look as the original GS wheel, but with the color fitting you your wood applications. ?
Please, show us some pics when its done, I'm very curious about the new look this wheel will have!
Good luck with it!!!  ??

 

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Here's an update on my wood wheel project........I delivered my pitted horn cap after disassembly to Advanced  Plating in Nashville,Tennessee.

They said they could fix all the pits and do a show chrome finish on the cap for 165.00 plus shipping. Unless I find out  that it won't work, what I

intend to do to reassemble the cap is enlarge the holes in the mounting pins slightly with a drill, and use very tiny phillips head metal screws to

hold the lucite emblem and mounting ears on. The repro  horn bar is on order and will probably be finished in a couple of months hopefully. It

will be made of hard metal with a show chrome finish. I dropped off the steering wheel at Craft Customs in Rockwall, Tx. to have the wood grain

redone to match the picture in the above post, which will match the original wood in my car. I found out that Craft Customs is a one man operation

that is run out of the owner's house. His wife and kids also help out. When I dropped the wheel off, everyone was super nice and they showed me some wheels

they had done that were about to be shipped out.......they were gorgeous !They are going to turn my steering wheel around in two weeks at a cost of 350.00 and when I get it back I'll post some pics. Unfortunately, Advanced plating is going to take 16 weeks to turn around my horn cap, so I ordered a case of Snickers bars as I won't be going anywhere with that horn cap for a while!

             One thing I forgot to mention, when I bought my steering wheel and it was delivered I discovered that there were nicks and scratches in the stainless steel spokes of the steering wheel. I was able to make the wheel look brand new in about two hours of work using nothing but 320 grit sandpaper to sand the same direction as the grain in the stainless until the nicks and scratches were sanded out. The 320 grit produces a factory new appearing finish, all you have to do is keep sanding parallel to the grain in the stainless until the scratches and nicks are sanded out. Now for the painful part........I added up all the money that having a perfect wood steering wheel is going to cost and it all adds up to 2330.00, or about the price of an 8 year old KIA Sorento. OUCH! That price does not include the price of the Snickers Bars.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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In french we say: "Quand on aime, on ne compte pas!", what means: "When we love, we do not count!" ...I'ts all about passion!!! If you are able and willing to give some huge efforts and spend a lot of money for perfect quality & finish on everything you're doing on your car - just do that, man! The feeling you will have to drive you car when work is done, will never be comparable to any other car you gonna drive! (...somehow like becoming a father and raising your children and be proud of them, so you are not afraid to pay! ??)
Please, send us pictures as soon as your steering wheel is done! I'm looking forward to see it, Winston! ??

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Here's the latest update on my steering wheel project.........Craft Custom's says they will have the new woodgrain on my steering wheel done

sometime next week....I'll post some pics when I get it back. The main reason I'm posting this update today is that I just received a phone call

from Advanced Plating in Tennessee, where I sent my horn cap to be replated. They called to tell me that their shop burned down to the ground

this week. The stuff they were actually plating at the time was destroyed in the fire, but my horn cap was sitting on a shelf in their showroom, which

did not burn down. They told me that it will be 90 days before they get their shop rebuilt to where they can start plating parts again. I told them to

keep my horn cap and get it plated once they get going again. It's always something when you are messing with old cars! 

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Sorry to hear that story both there sake and yours - plating I guess is dangerous business.  Boy, you are right about the fact that we are NEVER done with these cars . My OCD has cost me lots of money over the years doing things to my cars that no one will EVER see except I know it's there ! I envy guys who roll with little imperfections that at the end of the don't mean doodly squat . Put up some pics when you can  . 

KReed

ROA 14549 

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Sad to hear that Winston... on the other hand, cool that you still have your rare horn cap!!!
In my eyes it is also very fair from you to wait until they have rebuilt their shop and that you still want to let it plate form them! ?...Shit happens some times...

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Well, I got my steering wheel back from Craft Customs and I'm totally blown away by how beautiful it is, and it matches the wood grain and color of the original  wood in my car exactly. Those of you with wood wheels in your Rivieras need to get this done.......it looks amazing. total cost for this was 378.00.

DSCN0312.JPG

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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Winston,

 

That really looks good! Congratulations.

 

Ed

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14 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

Well, I got my steering wheel back from Craft Customs and I'm totally blown away by how beautiful it is, and it matches the wood grain and color of the original  wood in my car exactly. Those of you with wood wheels in your Rivieras need to get this done.......it looks amazing. total cost for this was 378.00.

 

Wow Winson, this steering wheel looks awesome!!! Never thought it would turn out that nice... Price is very fair. Congrats on that little gem!  ??
Now replating the horn cap as soon as Advanced Plating could rebuild their shop... 

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 Wheel is done and installed........it looks amazing, makes the whole interior pop!  Still don't have my horn cap back but sourced

another restored one that I  will use until mine is done  in a few months. This horn cap isn't  totally flawless but looks very very nice.

I will post about my horn cap that is being rechromed and how I put it  back together when I get it back. I got this installed just in time for the Dallas Autorama next week.

DSCN0354.thumb.JPG.36e5439886178d9a0359ce2dc46c8fa5.JPG

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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See the updated picture above.........taken outside without a flash on the camera........for some reason the flash makes

the steering wheel look yellow, which it is not.

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Wow Winston, amazing how it turned out! Congrats!!! 🤩👌🥇

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Well, after two years the wood steering wheel project came to a close today. This morning my rechromed center cap came back

from Advanced Plating in Tennessee. I sent my center cap to them on August 15 2018 and their facility burned to the ground 10 days later

except for their office, where my cap was thankfully located sitting on a shelf instead of out in the shop where it would have melted from

the fire. The cap I have been using for the past year is a restored 6 footer with several bad pits in the face of it even though it had been rechromed. 

I'm sure that Advanced could fix it  to perfection like they did on my other one, but I'm not sure I can disassemble it as it was epoxied together

on the back side to hold in the clips and the emblem, so probably it is as good as it will ever be unless I can figure out a way to separate the components

without destroying them. Advanced Plating does amazing work on pot metal....they are absolutely the best in the world on your pot metal car parts. The center

cap they chromed for me was covered with bad pits and now it is an amazing showpiece....like a piece of fine jewelry! It's absolutely flawless now. 

After unboxing it this morning I had to figure out how to reassemble the plastic emblem and three spring clips to the cap so it could be installed on my

steering wheel. I originally took it apart by carefully grinding the stakes off the posts on the back side that held the clips and emblem on. This meant that 

the posts on the back were now too short to be staked over to reassemble the cap. What I wound up doing today is carefully using a dremel bit in a drill to

grind away the plastic on the back side of the emblem where the mounting holes were for the pot metal studs. This allowed the studs that had been shortened before to reach through the emblem and the spring clips to the point where I could restake the studs with a center punch. This method restores the cap to it's original construction with stakes on the studs holding everything together.

                

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Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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