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Av8ferg

Steering wheel restoration.

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57 minutes ago, hls30.com said:

I am sewing up a move from Savannah to Saint  Mary's, figuring out my garage and storage space, and have my white 'Vert in the air with her Auto on the floor and a 5 speed waiting to go in...probably 60-90 days...Prepping and painting the spokes and hub is about the same, the area with the real changes is the rim-and I go further than anyone I have seen on the horn connections-It will all be in there!

 

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I owned a '73 in about 1978/79.  I don't ever remember seeing any unrestored steering wheel that was as blond as those in the brochures.  They all had that cherry tint to them. I sanded my '70 wheel and refinished it with poly.  The cherry verses the blond streaks had much more contrast than I remembered so I applied a coat of dye over my poly to "cherry" it up a little.  It is now pretty close to how my factory '71 wheel looks.

Also, the shift knob never matched the wheel.

Does anyone else remember differently?

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Well, I’ll add my 2cents since I recently went down this road. It’s hard to believe the original resin portion of the wheels was that light. I stripped mine all the way down until the natural color of the resin was consistent. It looks almost like straw when sanded down. I put polyurethane on after and it did picked up the Cherry color with just that. Do not attempt to stain as you’ll likely get a very dark steering wheel.
In the pic here, I had completed the spokes refurbish and only sanded (lots of sanding BTW) the resin. You can see it’s pretty light. Again this is before the poly went on. I put 5 coats of poly on after and the color stayed fairly consistent between coats. I wet sanded between coat to make sure it was smooth as glass. Polyethylene is very thin and can easily get uneven due to orientation of the wheel during the application. I tried spray and brush poly and the brush technique is way more consistent and less difficult to make right.

fc7f47480e5b90796e2cdd80ffb5b486.jpg


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That looks very good.  But in my opinion, it doesn't look correct.  As odd as this will sound, I don't think the wheel on shipped cars was ever as light as depicted in the brochures.

I remember mine being about the same color as what is on my '71.  At the time, that car was about 5 years old. All the cars I have seen in person throughout the years had a cherry cast to the wheel.

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1 hour ago, Av8ferg said:

Well, I’ll add my 2cents since I recently went down this road. It’s hard to believe the original resin portion of the wheels was that light. I stripped mine all the way down until the natural color of the resin was consistent. It looks almost like straw when sanded down. I put polyurethane on after and it did picked up the Cherry color with just that. Do not attempt to stain as you’ll likely get a very dark steering wheel.
In the pic here, I had completed the spokes refurbish and only sanded (lots of sanding BTW) the resin. You can see it’s pretty light. Again this is before the poly went on. I put 5 coats of poly on after and the color stayed fairly consistent between coats. I wet sanded between coat to make sure it was smooth as glass. Polyethylene is very thin and can easily get uneven due to orientation of the wheel during the application. I tried spray and brush poly and the brush technique is way more consistent and less difficult to make right.

fc7f47480e5b90796e2cdd80ffb5b486.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

When I did my horn pad I put Vaseline on DATSUN lightly with a Q-tip then sprayed it satin black.  Wiped off the jelly then went over the DATSUN with a metallic silver oil based Sharpie paint pen.  Looks onederfull.

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Don't worry,  While pictures can change with age too I have a NOS one to judge by, and one that was wrapped within a week of being sold-between those two that have hardly seen the light of day in nearly 50 years, and identifying the resin used- I believe I the original color is pretty much locked down   Look really closely at the "blond" in your wheel-it is the wood, not the resin...  The wood might be a little lighter than original from sanding, but  resin does three things with uv exposure and heat cycles ... give up its original chemistry, shrink, and darken. 

Edited by hls30.com
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My '73 when new in '73 (from a Kodachrome slide that was digitized a couple of years ago)

early steering wheel.jpgplus s

 

From  a 1971 or '72 brochure.  Looks like a photo of the '70 steering wheel. (just scanned in today)

3interior 1972 brochure.jpg

 

From a 11-72 brochure for the '73 240Z (scanned today)

240Z brochure dated 11-72.jpg

Edited by jayhawk
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