Leather Steering Wheel Fix

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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So after months and months of trying to figure out how to get the leather on my steering wheel fixed after it's been worn over the years, I ended up buying a new leather wrap from wheelskins.com and got it on last night. I figured for $65 bucks shipped it was worth it.

The only other options I had were to get a FR500 steering wheel (over $250) IF you can find them now or get a OEM on ($400 Ouch :notnice:). I even asked a couple of upholstery shops if they could repair it and they told me to kick rocks.

I'm happy with the results...although it doesn't look perfect, it makes the steering wheel look better than what it did before and also gives me a thicker steering wheel. I'm going to try to glue it where it meets the spokes on the steering wheel and pull it tighter there. I got all black with the sides perforated to mimic the FR500 wheel style. It matches my Cobra seats nicely.

Before:
SW-01.jpg


After:
Picture144.jpg
 
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mijo_latino

Active Member
Apr 16, 2004
179
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Canton, Michigan
hey, looks good. takes a good while to wrap all that doesn't it? lol. Check this pic out, i think you can get tighter around the spokes without gluing. did you skip the all the holes? i tried getting as close as i could then switched to the other side out the spoke. ive had this for a couple of years now holding up just ok

junk014.jpg


junk013.jpg
 

Sonic04GT

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Nov 1, 2009
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I think if you tightened it up a little more it would look better. It's probably the contrasting colors that is discouraging the others. But hey, if it's comfortable then roll with it! Nobody will see it but you. The only ones that ride in my car are my GF, brother, and maybe one friend.
 

wishihadastang125

Founding Member
Apr 11, 2002
437
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Houston
I just put the baseball bat tape on mine at the top piece where it was whittled away. I guess I grip the sht out of the wheel. It doesn't look like something Foose did but the one person that saw it couldn't tell. I think it looks pretty cool personally but hey, I used to think Ninja Turtle undies looked cool. I'll get a pic if you want. They only have black tape and I have the darker tan interior. That's my only complaint. The tape is very grippy though. Very functional
 

VOORHEES

Stangnet's "35th Limited Edition" VIN Guy
Mod Dude
Nov 9, 1999
3,036
26
119
48
LaGrange, GA
I did that on a car of mine once, what a PIA it was. This was back in early ninties. It held up long enough, looked ok. Gotta ask though, how did your wheels get so bad? I have a 99 GT w/ 71,000 and my charcoal wheel leather is still in great shape.

-Jason
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
179
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I have an OEM charcoal one in good condition (just the wheel; no airbag, no cover for the airbag). If interested, PM with an offer for it.
Good thing I'm not as BI POLAR in real life as I am with my Mustang. Thanks everyone for your opinions....once I took the knife away from my wrists, I realized that I HATE IT THE WAY IT LOOKS...LMAO!!! I don't like it at all. I tried to convince myself all weekend that it looks good but it really doesn't......DAMMIT!! LOL oh well at least it was only $65 bucks....

I have looked for a FR500 or a 10th Anniversary Cobra steering wheel but I can't find them.....I'll probably keep this damn leather wrap until I come across either wheel (or the original OEM one I had) for a decent price.



Thanks everyone for your opinions....
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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Ok so how weird does everyone think it will look with a dark charcoal leather wrapped OEM wheel and a grey airbag? (Basically the same look as the FR500 wheel)?

I'm torn on replacing the wheel with another OEM wheel and that two tone look....
 

patman0911

Founding Member
Jun 5, 2002
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For $65, it's not bad considering the FR500, OEM replacement or upholstery shop options are going to cost several times that - certainly better than a $5 vinyl cover from Autozone.

Did you put the new cover right over the old one or did you strip off the old cover?

It looks like it's a little loose. If you could shrink it a little to tighten it up, that'd probably help a good bit. Also, if you could neaten up the edges where it crosses the spokes - trimming and gluing might be the way to go there.

I was this close to buying one of those but the unfinished look around the spokes was the thing that finally changed my mind about it, I just wasn't sure I'd be able to make it look right.

I got a Mercury Cougar wheel out of the junkyard that was still in good shape, dyed it black and stuck it in my car temporarily (crap, closing in on a year now) while I decide what to do with mine. I've got a piece of leather and plan on adding a little padding to the original wheel and recovering it with that but I've had more pressing things to work on since the Cougar wheel is working fine for now.


edit:

Ok so how weird does everyone think it will look with a dark charcoal leather wrapped OEM wheel and a grey airbag? (Basically the same look as the FR500 wheel)?

I'm torn on replacing the wheel with another OEM wheel and that two tone look....
I think that combo looks great.

charcoal2.jpg
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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I pulled on that thread as tight as I could pull.......I actually think I pulled it too tight in some spots after i've looked at it closer.

I did think about trimming and gluing it where it comes in contact with the spokes but at the end of the day it looks like a wheel cover from Walmart....and after the thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent on this car, I DO NOT want anything to look "cheap" on it. It was worth a shot but I wouldn't recommend this on our cars.

As far as my question on looks go....I liked the last pic except that the spokes would end up being dark charcoal on any steering wheel that I get so what does everyone think of that with the grey airbag and grey steering column?
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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I think if I were to try this again...I would do each section between the spokes independantly...meaning starting and stopping each thread run...then cut the leather where it meets the spokes and glue it down to make it look as much as possible like the OEM wrap.
 

patman0911

Founding Member
Jun 5, 2002
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I pulled on that thread as tight as I could pull.......I actually think I pulled it too tight in some spots after i've looked at it closer.

I did think about trimming and gluing it where it comes in contact with the spokes but at the end of the day it looks like a wheel cover from Walmart....and after the thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent on this car, I DO NOT want anything to look "cheap" on it. It was worth a shot but I wouldn't recommend this on our cars.

As far as my question on looks go....I liked the last pic except that the spokes would end up being dark charcoal on any steering wheel that I get so what does everyone think of that with the grey airbag and grey steering column?
Yeah, I figured you probably tried to get it as tight as you could. You should be able to shrink the leather a little with some heat to tighten it up, or you could put a thin layer of batting underneath if you wanted a more padded wheel. I think you're supposed to keep the leather moist while you're heating it so it doesn't crack and then apply some leather conditioner to it afterwards but a hair dryer may do the trick and salvage what you've done so far.

If the column cover and airbag are both grey then it should look good - it'd look like the FR500 wheel basically. On mine, the column cover is black since I had to use the Cougar cover with the wheel (why does Ford make the exact same wheel, but, um, different?) but I used the grey Mustang airbag and it doesn't look right to me. I guess I could get some grey dye to fix it but it doesn't bother me enough and I keep telling myself it's a temporary fix.

DSC_5114.JPG
 

mijo_latino

Active Member
Apr 16, 2004
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"some people are broke yo!"

Thread sums up how I feel about things also. The wrap is miles better on feel then anything you can buy at the wally marts, hehe, but on the cream of the crop mustangs everyone has here there are better options. Being that the truck is just the beater, my 'liking' bar is set a bit lower...
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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Well I talked to a couple of people that are really good at sewing at had them look at it....I am going to un lace it this weekend and try it again. This time I am going to lace each section between the spokes in sections and not lace it in front or back of the spoke. Then I'm going to glue the sections in front of the spokes to mimic the look of the original. I messed with it a bit last night and it started to look good actually.

I'll post a pic after I get it done.
 

Silvergto2

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Jun 8, 2005
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Right now this wrap is like a really ugly girl with a smoking body......it feels nice if you close your eyes but when you open your eyes it still looks like sheeeiiittt.

Honestly the feel of the entire wrap is great. It really does give you that FR500 feel as far as thicker and nicer....I just hope I can make it look more like the FR500....
 

40oz

Member
Jan 9, 2006
499
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Minneapolis
used steering wheels:
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Found a ton of steering wheels using the nationwide search. Have used that site for a number of parts in the last couple years. You can go look at the wheel before paying if you find one close to you. You're dealing with the individual salvage shops, not the website.