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Steering Wheel Restoration

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Steering Wheel Restoration
#1
  This topic is about my 1953 MG TD
chuckmosher Avatar
chuckmosher Gold Member Chuck Mosher
Minneapolis, MN, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1961 Ford Ranchero
1962 MG MGA MkII "Othello"
1968 MG MGC GT "Tordos"
Here’s a picture of the steering wheel on my new purchase (1953 MG TD).

It’s a beautiful design, but what the heck happend to the grip ? It’s like it was wrapped in wet rawhide and left to dry. What is this material ? Is it common, or maybe some kind of aftermarket cover that aged poorly ?

In any case, if this is a correct stering wheel for the car, I’d like to understand what I can do to restore it.

Thanks,
Chuck

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cunhab Avatar
cunhab Bruce Cunha
Placerville, CA, USA   USA
1950 MG TD
1967 MG MGB GT
Looks like an original wheel. The black marks are not original. The wheel was made from plastic and there are materials you can use to do a restoration. https://www.alumilite.com/

You may want to just put a leather steering wheel cover over it to keep it original.

Buckdendave David Hill
St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK   GBR
1954 MG TF
The original sheathing on the wheel rim was celluloid.
Dave H

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Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, OK, USA   USA
If you didn't want to do a total restoration, a nice sew on leather cover would look nice, even give the wheel a more comfortable feel. thumbs up PJ

buscar Avatar
buscar Silver Member Carlo Busato
Canberra, ACT, Australia   AUS
1953 MG TD
First thing is to keep as much of the original finger grip on the back of the steering wheel so you can keep this feature and not have to re-manufacture this.
Remove the celluloid cover material in 2 halves, trying to keep the rear finger grip as whole as possible, from the steel frame of the wheel.
Clean and de-rust the steel frame with your choice of rust preventative product.
Using your choice of 2 part epoxy putty to 'glue' the rear finger grip half and as much of the salvaged front half back onto the steel frame and build up all the gaps with the 2 part epoxy. Try and do this all in one process. Any small gaps and small areas that need to built up can be filled with another coat of 2 part epoxy after the first big build has dried.
Sand, prime, paint(with a matching colour) and then apply a good protective clear coat.

I did mine this way back in 2012, but the steering wheel has only been back on the car for a couple of months, hopefully it will stand up to the weather !


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chuckmosher Avatar
chuckmosher Gold Member Chuck Mosher
Minneapolis, MN, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1961 Ford Ranchero
1962 MG MGA MkII "Othello"
1968 MG MGC GT "Tordos"
Well, how about that.

Thanks, everyone, for the answers !
Sounds like a sew-on cover is a good near term solution.

Carlo - That is a beautiful bit of work you did there. I will have to give this a try myself.

Best regards,
Chuck

Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, OK, USA   USA
They can be restored if one wants to take the time. I restored this one off my TF, but since replaced it with a 15 inch Brooklands. PJ


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