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Old 03-30-2014
doyouquaxu's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 73
DIY Steering Wheel Renovation

I'm going to log progress on a new project I just started.

I bought my 01 ranger a little over a year ago and quickly noticed that the steering wheel was in poor shape. I had planned to just put on an aftermarket wheel with a quick disconnect, but the cruise control buttons would need to disappear. I like my creature comforts, and cruise control was definitely nice when driving 2-3 hours to the desert.

I had seen a guy on another forum who re-stitched his leather wheel with red thread, and that got me thinking. I had some faux suede left over from a previous project, a sewing machine, and plenty of time on my hands.

I pulled the stock wheel off tonight, and set to work getting the stock leather off. A seam splitter and small scissors made quick work of the threads. I'm saving the leather for now so that I can make patterns for the suede.

The foam looks like it melted, and had stocked through the leather. Every time I drove the truck my hands ended up sticky. Not a pleasant experience.

I scraped off as much of the old foam as I could for now by using a putty knife and shop rags, but it still needs some more work. Tomorrow I plan to source new foam and the needles and thread I'll need to sew the new wrap together.
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Old 03-31-2014
doyouquaxu's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
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Got materials this morning, and began recovering this thing tonight. The padding that used to be under the leather was like 1/16" thick, plus the thick leather. Since my new faux suede is much thinner, I opted for thicker foam. I went to a local upholstery shop who recommended I use headliner material. I doubt it will melt like the stock foam did, and the actual cloth that comes on the foam should give the suede a bit of bite with minimal use of glue.

I used this same glue when redoing a headliner before, and other interior pieces. Bad *** stuff. It's store brand (A1 Foam and Fabric), but 3m makes similar stuff.

The strip of foam is cut like 3 1/2 or 3 5/8" thick, wraps around the wheel enough to leave room for the seam on the inside. It's all one piece of foam, I sprayed a few inches at a time and stuck it on, doing my best not to let it wrinkle. The scotch tape is to hold the edges down while the glue dries, it'll be removed. I made one or two relief cuts where the spokes are.

I also cut the seams for the old leather wrap and flattened the pieces out. I just finished dinner, I'm about to start making templates for the new material.
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Old 04-01-2014
00GreenRanger's Avatar
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Location: North Bend, WA
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Looks like a good start! Should look pretty cool when it's all done
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Old 04-01-2014
doyouquaxu's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 73
Thanks, that's what I'm hoping for. Anything will be better than what was on there.

Tonight's progress:

Made like 3 templates, traced it out 4 times, and finally got a piece that's good enough to work with.

Genius thing about having a mom who can sew and quilt is that she taught me how. Nothing too complex on this project, but it's a good skill when living that bachelor life. The hidden seams for the bottom piece don't show up too well in the pic, but there's a nice bump in the material, just the look I'm going for.

The new cover is a tight fit, but that's a good thing. I got it wrapped around the wheel tonight to hopefully stretch out a bit before getting back to it tomorrow.

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Old 04-02-2014
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Quebec City, QC, Canada
Posts: 302
That nice work man! I can't even sew a t-shirt back together :P
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Old 04-02-2014
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Looks like a lot of work but should look great when finished.

I too can't sew for $hit, if something needs sewing there is always Target, they have all the right stuff.

A while back I bought a steering wheel cover, looks good but as most of my project they got put on hold. I am hoping to get to the small ones while waiting on the remodel.

Good luck with the project, you have more patients than Job
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Old 08-03-2014
Jake9488's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: California
Posts: 116
Hey I know this is an old thread, but it there any progress on the wheel doyouquaxu?
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