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Steering wheel - wood treatment

That Ozzy Guy

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Couple of things i can think of for that.

If its a case of just wanting the shine, you can lightly sand your plastic wood wheel, then get an epoxy based clear coat sprayed on (as long as its got the UV modifier it should work well) Speak to a boatbuilder or spray painter.

The dash firm near us does steering wheel restos, and can put all sorts of finishes on it pearl etc, so a wood finish should be a doodle for them.

I went to the local sushi bar after reading cats original post, and it had a laminex top :(

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The "wooden" 240z steering wheel is infact an epoxy based plastic (ie a thermosetting one) not real wood? Not sure about all of them, but mine sure is given the small cracks that it has in it.

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I just sanded mine down, stained it(looked like a red mohogany on my original wheel, but I wanted a little darker, less reddish look, so I used a darker stain, but it still came out reddish. Didn't appear that the plastic/wood base material takes stain all that well, or I just didn't sand it well enough), and used a spray can of clear gloss polyurethane spar(UV stabilized) varnish to give it three coats. Looks great, but I haven't used it enough to say whether it will wear well yet. I'm sure the epoxy based clear coat mentioned above would be more resistant to wear.

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Too Intense Restoration advertises a 240Z steering reconditioning service that ranges between $85.00-$110.00.

CLICK HERE - Too Intense


I recently sold on ebay an extra steering wheel that I restored myself. The winner emailed me back very satisfied and complemented me on my work. I wish I could quit my job and do this sort of thing for a living from the comfort of my home.:love:

Here is a reprint of the restoration steps I had posted on ebay:

I stripped down the black spokes by machine sander, and not chemical stripper as not to harm the rim’s finish. Then, the center was masked and hub/spokes were painted flat black with a semi-gloss clear coat added.

The faux wood was stripped, prepped, and finished using the following process:

1. Wood was thoroughly cleaned with a citrus degreaser and a mild Teflon-safe scouring pad to remove all accumulation of old varnish, grease and dirt.

2. I applied a single, light coat of red mahogany stain to revive the color.

3. Multiple coats of clear urethane were then sprayed to seal and protect.

4. The wheel was wet sanded with 600 grit sandpaper to smoothen the surface.

5. Polishing compound was then applied and surfaced was buffed by hand for many hours to achieve a glossy finish.

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The wood they used on the steering wheel is an extremely rare item. It came from the Arboraetus Mimicus tree which only grows in a small section of Japan. Although several attempts have been made to plant the tree elsewhere, it seems that it will only grow in Japan. However there have been reports of a very similar tree found in the outback of Australia, which the natives refer to as Maderus Plasticum or in the original aborigine "Bluh Deeh Fuäacke Wôd".

Just a bit of Z trivia.

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Having been a viril nd licensed driver when the Z came out and reading both Car and Driver and Road and Track at the time...the wheels were PLASTIC, a very good copy of a wooden wheel but, plastic none the less...there were however numerous real wood wheels available in the aftermarket that were almost identical in appearance...but, the factory ones were plastic.



71 240 still a project :classic:

PS ZGuy - great refinish on the wheel...how much did you get for it, if I may ask?

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The wood they used on the steering wheel is an extremely rare item. It came from the Arboraetus Mimicus

I thought it was Arboreus Polyureathanus, but it's been 25 years since my last plant taxonomy class.

I cleaned mine up well. I sanded the rim lightly, no stain, the many coats of clear clear laquer, hitting it with 400 grit between coats. The center got a chemical strip, a 220 then 400 sanding, Spray can primer, 400 grit sanding then spray can semi gloss black.

It looked flash! but it might not hold up as well as the plastic clear coats. I allready have a chip in the laquer finish.

I did the shift knob in laquer too. Now That looks awesome! Nissan went the extra mile when they chose flame maple for the knob!

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My latin may be rusty so I can't say for sure.

I seem to recall that the name given to the species originally was ...Mimicus and it wasn't until later, when additional specimens were discovered that the ...Polyureathanus were identified.

It may be a moot point nonetheless. Apparently the demand for these woods so quickly overcame supply that they began using more common woods such as the Flame Maple you mentioned.

To this day, you can more readily find an Oak or Walnut or even Mahogany steering wheel than a true Arboraetus Mimicus or Arboreus Polyureathanus. The difference in the name may be my poor recollection of Latin.

Maybe we can get Alan to chime in on this. I'm sure he could shed some light on the subject.

Alan you out there?

Enrique Scanlon

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