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Old 12-10-2018, 09:19 AM   #1
Dachshund
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1947 Steering Wheel Repair

What is the best epoxy to use? also - is special paint needed, or not?
Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #2
mongocanfly
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Re: 1947 Steering Wheel Repair

There kits sold by the likes of eastwood...I know several have used jbweld...
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:40 PM   #3
mr48chev
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Re: 1947 Steering Wheel Repair

There are some good tutorials on repairing steering wheels out there that might be worth hunting down.

The Eastwood kit sounds a bit spendy until you start adding up everything in the kit and how many trips to the hardware store it will take to get everything you end up needing. https://www.eastwood.com/master-stee...-instruc.html#

I've got two tubs of mix it together epoxy that came with my sailboat when I bought it that I'd bet even money would stand up to anything you could hand out on a steering wheel or anything else you need to repair with epoxy. I sealed up a cracked toilet tank with it five years ago and it still holds up.

That said I need to figure out what I am going to do on the 53 Belair wheel I have for my 48. While it is in reasonable shape it needs some TLC to be up to the level I want it to be.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:15 AM   #4
mick53
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Re: 1947 Steering Wheel Repair

When I did mine I sanded the entire wheel first. Then I used a dremel tool on slow speed so as to not melt it to widen the cracks. I tried to make them wider at the bottom. Take it all the way down to the steel. I then
used a syringe to squirt the
epoxy in the cracks working my way around in layers letting each layer set up slightly so it wouldn't sag. I also took care of flaws on the rest of the wheel. Then I used a self etching sandable primer and treated it just like body work. Three coats of paint sanding lightly between coats. It turned out awesome. I'm sure it's better than new. I'm no expert but this one worked out great for me.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:21 PM   #5
dsraven
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Re: 1947 Steering Wheel Repair

I have used epoxy in the past on different things from motorcycle side covers to fairings and other spendy parts. what I have done in a spot like this is prep well first, like said with the dremel on slow. also, like said, keeping in mind the shape of the void you are making so it will automatically be inclined to "keep" the new material trapped rather than a V shaped void which would be inclined to spit out the new material. great suggestions there. before starting anything I suggest to really clean the wheel first so as to get rid of any oils etc from the hands over the years of driving and heat which would drive those oils into the surface. if you have access to a cabinet sandblaster you could try that route to ensure every surface is roughed up. when it comes time to apply the epoxy, what I have done also is use tape to keep the mixture in an area where it is inclined to run away from the spot due to gravity. if you supported the wheel with the good side facing down then, working from the backside of the wheel, any small imperfections would be on the back side. if you place the tape sort of loosely larger than the wheel cross section then you will have lots of extra epoxy build up to sand down to the correct contour in a single application (depending on the max build film thickness suggested by the epoxy manufacturer). ensure to mix according to the instructions so the epoxy doesn't get too hot during the catalyst working time as this can affect the tape glue. the syringe style of injection works well because you get less bubbles or air entrapment but, with that said, I have also used the jbweld style which is sorta like body filler that needs to be mixed on a pallette before application. either way the tape method would work. try to use the best possible tape for the job because sometimes the epoxy will eat away the glue on the tape before it has had a chance to set up.
sometimes marine repair shops have some interesting epoxy kits, or the industrial plastics supply shops may also be a source. either way you will likely be treating it like body filler after it hardens and you start sanding. a bit of paint solvent on a rag will sometimes clear the sticky stuff off the outer surface before sanding. less sandpaper waste that way. wax and grease remover or gun wash (laquer thinner) is what I used. sand to shape, epoxy prime, high build prime, sand, paint. you may also be able to find some epoxy style paint for better durability. I have used endura products before and it is almost indestructible, it is used on a lot of aircraft (here at least) so it must be good for a lot of temp variations.
just some thoughts
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: 1947 Steering Wheel Repair

if doing the build up in layers ensure to check with the manufacturer or retailer to find out the recommended second/third/fourth coat application times. not enough time between coats, over several coats, could result in bubbles forming because the underlying coats are still offgassing or getting rid of heat from catalyst action. this happened to me before when I applied a third coat of clear to a paint job that was like glass, just because I had lots left over. the third coat came out looking awesome after application but the next day when I came back to the job the entire thing was covered in small bubbles and I had to sand it all off to start over. the paint rep advised that the third coat was applied to early and the bubbles were from the previous coats trying to offgas the solvents.
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