3 Spoke Steering Wheel Resto - My Way

Mopar Interiors

  1. pntastar69

    pntastar69 Well-Known Member

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    Picked up this wheel from a FABO member a while ago. Let me add that it wasn't a basket case but it was a 40 year old wheel. I chatted w/a few guys that restores wheels and got some pointers from them on “how to” redo. The spokes were severely pitted, the rim had the usual ½” cracks/separations, and the rim was slightly bent. I called a few people and inquired about $$$ to restore them and I said, I’ll give it a whirl. So, this was my winter project and I just installed it last week. I removed all of the material on the rim and exposed .380” round stock that was welded to the spokes. I also had to straighten out the bent portion of the wheel. I inquired about replating the spokes and opted to blast the spokes and have them powder coated. Once that was done, it was time to start building up the rim with f-glass and epoxy resin until I achieved the correct diameters so the stainless inner and outer rings fit snugly. Many, many applications of cloth and resin were applied and lots of manual sanding w/60 grit to form the rim portion. Once the rings fit snug, more epoxy resin was applied to lock in the rings. I used epoxy products from West Systems. Picked them up at a local marine dealer. They also had colloidal filler to thicken up the mixture to prevent runny epoxy. After sanding it to the OD and ID, it was time to cut in the grooves for the grips. My friend had a NOS wheel and I used it as a template, and marked the wheel to indicate the high spots on the grips, all 48 of them. I made a jig to lock the wheel in place and used a dremel w/a ½” 60 grit sanding drum. I set it up so the depth was the same for each groove and tried my best to center the sanding drum between the high spot marks. Once I cut the 48 grooves, I used a curved bastard file to form the grips. A final sanding to my liking and some filler, I started masking things off. I wanted a black wheel w/out the grain effect, as my interior is black and has no woodgrain. I masked off the spokes, masked off the ss rings and had the wheel etch primed. A quick sand and the wheel was painted black. The mask was removed from the ss rings and the entire rim was then clear coated satin. The masking was removed from the spokes and whala. I had a paint/body shop do all of the painting, etch primer, basecoat, clearcoat. I wasn’t looking for concourse, but a nice appearing, different, to my liking, wheel. Would I do another one, maybe.
     

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  2. jetman1

    jetman1 Well-Known Member

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    Superjob .Well Done!
     
  3. 1968FormulaS340

    1968FormulaS340 Well-Known Member

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    Looks great.
     
  4. PanGasket

    PanGasket has cork sides

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    Wow!!! amazing job!
     
  5. river rat

    river rat Well-Known Member

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    Holy Crap! That looks killer.
     
  6. pettybludart

    pettybludart Well-Known Member

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    Some interesting work,looks good!
     
  7. cudamark

    cudamark Well-Known Member

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    Looks great but I wouldn't have the patience to do it myself. Looks like a lot of time consuming work.....like body work.....bores me to tears. I'd rather hire someone else to do it!
     
  8. goldfish65

    goldfish65 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Can we say ingenuity and determination? Great job!
     
  9. waggin

    waggin moving on ain't easy if you drive a Ford :p

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    beautiful :hello1:
     
  10. nuttyprof

    nuttyprof Well-Known Member

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    Great job! lookin good!:thumrigh:
     
  11. 95teetee

    95teetee Well-Known Member

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    I'll admit that reading your method, I was skeptical...but the proof is right there- awesome job:thumblef:


    ...and that's the kind of thing I'd do, too:smile:
     
  12. pntastar69

    pntastar69 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!!!
     
  13. wyliecoyote

    wyliecoyote Member

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    I love the jig for the grooves. True artist. You have much more patience with fiberglass than I! Cheers.

    Matt
     
  14. H20loo

    H20loo Well-Known Member

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    When I saw the micrometer, well- Holy shet this guy is serious!! Awesome job.
     
  15. memike

    memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Holy Molly!!! Very well thought out and superb job!!
     
  16. dwire67

    dwire67 Well-Known Member

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    Mark
    That is a outstanding JOB! That looks really nice in your car.
     
  17. 4spdragtop

    4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Very nice job!!
     
  18. dukes69

    dukes69 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Awesome. I too do not have the patience for that...look a squirrel...
     
  19. whitepunkonnitro

    whitepunkonnitro FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Pretty sure I sold you that original wheel...OUTSTANDING craftsmanship there! Have another one just like it kicking around here if someone wants to get ambitious.
     
  20. bobscuda67

    bobscuda67 Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Nice looking, you should be proud.
     
  21. Louie70Dart

    Louie70Dart Back home in K-Town WI. Woo Hoo FABO Gold Member

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    Hell yeah. Outstanding! Not to mention you saved hundreds if dollars. DIY at its finest.
     
  22. baracus

    baracus Well-Known Member

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    Great work man.
     
  23. newby

    newby Well-Known Member

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    Pride in workmanship anad ownership. That is one nicely restored wheel. Love seeing guys using the old noodle. I guy a worked for used to say this all the time, (YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO HELP YOURSELF).
     
  24. pntastar69

    pntastar69 Well-Known Member

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    Almost 3 years later, my post reappears. Thanks guys. You can't imagine how long it took and how many discussions I had w/the 2 guys who do this for a living. Doug Lepak and Dave Tays, great guys to deal with. I am doing another wheel that is currently playin hostage at the powder coater. No, not gonna get in the business restoring these wheels if you guys are considering inquiring.
     
  25. KENTON

    KENTON Well-Known Member

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    Great looking wheel
     
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