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Old 10-24-2017, 10:39 AM   #42
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lakewood Colorado
Posts: 601
Re: Best Product for Cracked Steering Wheel Repair

Originally Posted by HAULIN' IT View Post
Curt, Again, not with intent to be-little your efforts...I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts. First, just because the panel bond product is strong enough to hold your rockers on...doesn't make it the ideal product for a steering wheel repair. NOT saying it can't or won't work, just that you have to think it through. Maybe do a small part, paint it & let it sit in the sun a little while?
Chemicals can behave very differently when placed around, under & over others. The metal bond sticks well to metal...maybe not so much to plastic? Like fiberglass resin, it sticks rather well to metal, VERY well to wood, cardboard, ect., but will shuck right off of most plastics even though it appers to be "plastic like" make-up.
Same with a product that is used to glue the fiberglass Corvettes to the metal's a very good GLUE! If you try to use it as a filler of a crack in fiberglass, it will ring & raise a slight bump once painted. It is NOT a good adhesive/filler to repair a broken area in fiberglass.

The other thing I see that as I mentioned in a few posts above...the cracks need to be tapered much more if one expects the repair "to live". I realize the thought process is: "I have this little crack here & I don't want to make a bigger mess & then have to fix that" which is very typical of anything you do especially if it's not something you are rather familiar with, BUT that is what you need to do! Just like smoothing the seams in drywall...if you swiped just the gap between the Two panels, it will look poor & crack almost as soon as you are done painting.

Each crack in a wheel that is about a 1/4" thick to the core needs about 3/8-1/2" wide taper on each side of the crack upward to the edge of the original wheel. Viewed from the side, a cut-through image would look like an hour glass shape of repair material. The repair product should look near feathered into/onto the parent plastic.

I have a simple rule with nearly any repair...bodyfiller to metal, plastic repair to plastic, ect. "If I hand you a pencil could you draw along the edge of the transition?" If so, it's a poor repair. A proper edge should be ghost-like with very fine scratches...not a straight, defined line.

Since the photobucket non-sense, I've not found another means of posting photos. I have a bunch of repair examples that may help if I take the time to figure the best alternative. I'm doing a steering wheel for a friend's Studebaker at this time & have several photos. What is everyone using now? Lorne
Hey Lorne, the hourglass grooves make a lot of sense because it would hold in whatever material is used. I just tapered this one with a V notch and scuffed up the walls of the V with 150 grit sand paper to give the panel bond something to bite to. I should've mentioned I used 3M's panel bond about 10 years ago to repair a 65' truck steering wheel and it has held up granted the truck it parked in a garage and is not driven much. I guess time will tell with the 72' wheel as we all know how prone to cracking they are. I finished this one off with stage stage PPG concept. Darn things are time consuming to make one nice but nothing like taking something old & tired and giving it life once again
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1971 LSX "Bonnie" build thread
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