Beemon

Steering Wheel Repair

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To make a long story short, my mother bent the steering wheel back in the 60s playing with her brother in the car. My horn ring is OK and the horn on my car works, but it's on all the time because the steering wheel metal arm is bent forward as is contacting the horn ring all the time. My steering wheel is also in pretty bad shape. The horn ring itself sits perfectly centered on the shaft and there is an even gap around the back of it between the base and the steering column. It lines up perfectly with the spokes at 60* and 300*, but at 180* (pointing straight down) the plastic on the steering wheel is farther forward than the horn ring (where its making contact). I'd like to bring it back to specs, does anyone know anyone who rebuilds and reconditions these? I took a look on Ebay and the going price is $200... at that price range, I would rather have mine reconditioned. 

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I haven't had it done yet, but have done some looking.  It will cost far more than $200 to have it recast.  If you can straighten it yourself, and the cracks are not TOO numerous, you can make it look pretty good with about $50 in materials and some hours of your own time, using an epoxy putty to fill the cracks, (like por-15), sanding, and painting.  I've heard epoxy paints work well for this but haven't tried it yet.

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Lancemb, there is a crack probably every quarter inch, it is very extensive. I was doing research last night and it looks like I'm better off buying a miss matched core for $200 and cleaning/painting it. 

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1 hour ago, Beemon said:

I'm better off buying a miss matched core for $200 and cleaning/painting it.

If you wait and watch a matching one will probably come up. I am sure there are other things you can work on in the meantime.

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9 hours ago, old-tank said:

I have seen THIS used.

I have a 'straight" wheel with no plastic (core to send off?).

 

Are there outfits that recast the plastic part of the steering wheel?

 

9 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

If you wait and watch a matching one will probably come up. I am sure there are other things you can work on in the meantime.

 

22450068_10156660012825830_8060599852274

 

This is the best photo of the wheel I have. It's in pretty bad shape. Not much else to really work on at this point, just unnecessary personal projects and ideas. At the bottom you can kind of see how the horn ring is not lined up with the bottom spoke. I guess for the time being I can pull the horn ring off and wrap the bottom spoke with electrical tape to keep it from grounding the horn out.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)

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I wonder if it could be very carefully straightened somehow? Maybe in a press?

 

I saw a beautifully recast steering wheel for a 1937 Roadmaster, but it was from a source that no longer exists. It is possible. I don't know who does it currently.

 

It is more common I think to fill the cracks with epoxy or bondo or polyester resin or something, and repaint. It depends on what you are doing with the car. If you are going to show it I suppose the cracks have to go.

 

I never do that. I love the way the plastic of those old steering wheels feels in my hand, and paint just isn't cut it for me unless the plastic is literally falling off the rim. I am not bothered by cracks, because back in the day steering wheels were all cracked. It is expected and normal. That said, I have never seen as many cracks as you have on one steering wheel. Usually its 3 or 4 cracks.

 

I would just try to find a better one that isn't bent, and hopefully with a few less cracks.

 

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8 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

Are there outfits that recast the plastic part of the steering wheel?

Yes...but very pricey

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20180901_130047.thumb.jpg.36781c4fa80c20f98e16de3fc2cb58ad.jpgHey Ben 

I have 2 Sup/Roadee columns with wheels still attached. Are all 56 wheels same? Lemme know if you need a cheap core to practice on.

Edited by 2carb40 (see edit history)
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I am pretty sure the steering columns are the same for all 56 models. I know the steering wheel and horn ring are also the same in 55. There's a yard locally to me that I am going to go to soon to see if they have a nice core, but that place is pretty questionable when it comes to finding quality parts like a steering wheel. I have seen videos online about cutting out every crack in the steering wheel to patch but there are a LOT of cracks... lol!

 

I think I'll be happy with any steering wheel to be honest as long as I can honk the horn, I am tired of trying to honk at people on the road and nothing happens because I've disconnected the circuit lol.

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I had www.steeringwheelbob.com do one for $900 ...but it was perfect.

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7 hours ago, Smartin said:

I had www.steeringwheelbob.com do one for $900 ...but it was perfect.

 

Yikes! Looks like it will be a few years. His work is phenomenal! Unfortunately I'm getting married this summer.

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1 hour ago, Beemon said:

Unfortunately I'm getting married this summer.

 

Congratulations -- sounds like a perfect wedding gift!  ;)

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5 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

Yikes! Looks like it will be a few years. His work is phenomenal! Unfortunately I'm getting married this summer.

 

 Unfortunately?   Better hope she does not see that post.:D

 

  Ben

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3 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Unfortunately?   Better hope she does not see that post.:D

 

Lol! Unfortunate that I won't have spending money to use for the steering wheel! I can see how that could have gone both ways!

 

(This post is for her if she ever finds it)

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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Sounds like you're gonna ad another car to the family fleet?  I know you probably want a stock steering wheel, but there's a company that builds period-reasonably correct steering wheels IN COLORS, that you might consider in the mean time.  Might work better to keep her hands/fingers nice and soft.

 

Congrats and enjoy!

NTX5467

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On 1/13/2019 at 3:22 PM, NTX5467 said:

Sounds like you're gonna ad another car to the family fleet?  I know you probably want a stock steering wheel, but there's a company that builds period-reasonably correct steering wheels IN COLORS, that you might consider in the mean time.  Might work better to keep her hands/fingers nice and soft.

 

Congrats and enjoy!

NTX5467

 

Willis, do you know what company that is? All I could find were impala steering wheels and no specs on whether or not they would actually work.

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A firm called Koch's in California does a great job for less.  It'd be case by case of course, but fyi a group of us '65 a-body Buick people, led by Loren Alexander, were able to negotiate a great group deal with Koch's.  They stripped/recast/painted our wheels for less than $400/wheel, after the group discount.  Obviously a singleton would be more, but they do great work, are excellent to deal with, and I'm confident would be less than $900.

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Poorboy it, split some radiator hose and slip around it, then cover the hose with a Steering Wheel Cover..

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Talked to Koch's coincidentally today....they have a mold on hand for 55-56 Buick...... $550 includes recast and paint to specified color.

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10 hours ago, pont35cpe said:

Poorboy it, split some radiator hose and slip around it, then cover the hose with a Steering Wheel Cover..

 

I think I'd rather keep the cracks lol!

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13 hours ago, SBRMD said:

Talked to Koch's coincidentally today....they have a mold on hand for 55-56 Buick...... $550 includes recast and paint to specified color.

When you say "paint" are you meaning color infused plastic like the original? Or a topcoat of colored paint?

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The one I had done was painted with epoxy or something similar, for durability.

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7 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

When you say "paint" are you meaning color infused plastic like the original? Or a topcoat of colored paint?

 

Topcoat.

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If they can color match the ivory color of my original steering wheel, that would be awesome. However, anything goes really at this point. I'm going to be stopping by a junkyard that has one 56 and plenty of 55s and 57s. If I recall, the steering wheel is interchangeable with 55 and very early 57? Correct me if I'm wrong. 

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