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  #1  
Old 09-03-2012, 08:56 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Default Dash Pad and steering wheel splits

I'm looking for some feedback, possibly pictures of what others have done to correct these problems. Here's a picture:



My dash has an ugly split right in front of the steering wheel, from the speedometer all the way to the windshield. Sorry, but it doesn't show up in the picture. Obviously I can replace the entire pad with a reproduction, but I'm wondering if it's possible to do something a little different for the same or a little more money. I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with a black leather dash cover and I love that look. The cover is tightly adhered to the substrate and the contrasting stitching is straight and perfect. I've done a search of places that make custom leather covers but the examples that I've seen just don't cut it.

I've got a quote of $700 to restore the wheel. The splits can be filled with epoxy and then the wheel painted but I think that the difficult part is the plastic chrome on the bottom half. What I was thinking of doing was building up the thickness a bit and then buying a custom leather cover. A two-tone cover will cost about $60 and I can stitch it myself. I've heard guys using a self-stick roll bandage product and simply wrapping the wheel to build thickness then doing this.

As an alternate I could cut the chrome out and replace it somehow, but I haven't found an appropriate product. Back in the 70's they use to make a two-part thick liquid that you would literally pour on a small table top and it would harden to form an 1/8" thick clear coating. If I could put some aluminum or wood veneer into the grove then apply a similar product I would consider doing that.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2012, 11:29 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default Dash Pad and steering wheel splits

$700 to restore the steering wheel??!! You need to talk with Jed Zimmerman ~ Ca58tbird on here. Part of Jed's business is restoring Tbird steering wheels for a whole lot less than that! He restored my '59 Tbird steering wheel (as he has for many others) and it looks like it just came out of the factory! He also does the seat foams for our Tbirds and I have them in my Tbird also! Send Jed a Private Message!
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Last edited by YellowRose : 09-04-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:28 AM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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Gentlemen; thanks Ray as always! and Yadkin (is that your name?), indeed I do the wheel restos for lots less. I've been doing them for Birds since 1996. Right now I am doing a wheel off a 1956 Crestliner classic boat. Basic price for a wheel resto is $225. Guess I'd have to look much closer at the bottom insert trim on your wheel, but I may be able to just mask it off with 3M fine line tape. It may too be able to be removed and replaced. Please email me direct to askhow@aol.com and send some close up pics of the wheel and the insert.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:33 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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OK Jed I'm be able to send you some more pics Tomorrow evening.

The lower chrome looks like its a film under some clear plastic. But I'll describe it better later.

Steve
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:21 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Here's a photo of the lower portion. All that metal and clear plastic has to be dug out and replaced somehow.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:03 AM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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Steve, do you suppose all 64-66 bird wheels are the same? What year is yours? The only thing I can think of is for me to somehow find your bird year car in a local junk yard and take a close look at the wheel probably with my swiss army knife at hand to test the adhesion of that strip into the wheel.

Just thinking now, without having seen it and not really knowing the design, I would suppose the strip could be maybe pried out or routered out. Then replaced with a fine metal flake gold gelcoat and over sprayed with metal flake clear polyester resin. But that sure sounds like a lot of work.

I'll make a note to myself and call some of my closer local junk yards to see if they have any 64-66 birds that I can go out and look at. Probably not going to happen tho until next week at earliest.

Just a thought; $20 to usps parcel post the wheel to me probably would be less money then me driving around to 4 or 5 junkyards in a 50 mile radius from my home at $4/gal for gasoline.

I'll let you know what I figure out. I've got one junk yard on my daily drive route and 2 others within 4 miles of me. The yard that I know would have what I want to see is 40 miles away and in the opposite direction from my daily drives.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:11 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Jed don't knock yourself out by looking through junkyards. I don't think that would help anyway since they are likely to be a lot more weathered than mine.

As luck would have it, I found a picture of what the wheel is supposed to look like: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1...ill-reger.html

It's a "fine art" photograph. She's got the wheel turned 180 degrees so the chrome is on top. Click on any part of it and you'll get the fine resolution. To me this appears to be not chrome like I said earlier, but rather more of a lustrous silver. That would make sense because of the aluminum trim on the dash. I'm wondering if the area can be routed out, then painted with aluminum paint, then filled with a clear epoxy.

Mine is a 64. I have no idea if all three years use the same wheel.

I can take a knife to it tomorrow and see if I can loosen an edge and start to peel it out.

Last edited by Yadkin : 09-06-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:20 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Another picture of a good restoration:

http://www.conceptcarz.com/view/phot...ird_photo.aspx
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2012, 06:11 PM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadkin View Post
I can take a knife to it tomorrow and see if I can loosen an edge and start to peel it out.
Steve, maybe 1st start with your knife at the end near the spoke and see if the silver trim can at all be pried or loosened to be pulled back and out of the groove. If it can I might think that a length of metalic silver 3M 1/4" graphics pinstripe tape can be layed back in that groove, then over-coated with a film of clear gelcoat.
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Last edited by Ca58tbird : 09-07-2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: added text
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:28 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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I think the tape and gel coat sounds like a good idea. I didn't have time to experiment on it when I was over at the shop today. Regardless, it will need to be routed out to be smooth enough for the tape. Perhaps you can PM me for a quote to restore it, repairing the splits along with this tape deal.

No hurry on it because as soon as the engine is rebuilt its going to need the wheel in there so it can be driven to the paint shop several miles away. I won't be pulling the wheel off until this winter when I put the car away.
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