View Full Version : Steering wheel... Find or recast?

01-20-2006, 09:31 AM
My 51 Commander's steering wheel (the plastic outer grip) is pretty rough. What are the chances of finding a decent used one? I think I searched the forum and looks like it costs $400 to recast?

1951 Commander Starlight Coupe (aka "Stella")

01-20-2006, 09:36 AM
I believe Eastwood sells a steering wheel restoration kit.


63 Lark 2dr Sedan

01-20-2006, 05:57 PM
I have an NOS 1951 Commander Steering wheel that I was saving for my '51 Commander, but since I sold the car I really don't need to save it any longer. While it is NOS it has some splits in the plastic along the outer ring from sitting on the shelf all these years. If you're interested email me: dpson1954@adelphia.net.

1960 Lark Convertible

01-20-2006, 08:59 PM
Twelve years ago I got one at a swap meet for my 51 for $200. A couple months ago one that was reputed to be perfect sold on ebay for $460. Repairing the ones where the plastic has shrunk isn't dificult with the proper materials but, also, do not discard those nasty cores.
A friend of mine had one restored for his Packard and it was $860.
$400 sounds like a deal if the work is gauranteed.

01-20-2006, 09:44 PM
Unless your wheel is totally bombed out, you can fill cracks 1/4" or a bit more with PC-7 or PC-11 Epoxy paste www.pcepoxy.com and then get yourself a color matched/coordinated wheel cover by Wheelskins from DC Car Care www.dccarcare.com I've done this with 4 wheels lately and the results are entirely satisfactory for a driver/local show grade rebuild. If you invest the extra time in a baseball stitch on the cover it will look really sharp... plus, you get the feel and response of leather rather than smooth, sometimes funky, plastic... you can even paint the wheel before covering to clean up the 'spokes' of the wheel which will be exposed. Krylon makes a plastic paint in 4-5 colors, one of which should work for you... I think I have $40-50 bucks in each wheel.

51 Commander State Sedan

Kittanning, PA

01-20-2006, 11:13 PM
Yes, the PC-7 epoxy works well. You can buy all the PC-7 you need for $5-$10. Pull the wheel because the process generates a lot of mess. A hacksaw or skinny file can be used to open up all of the cracks, deep and wide, or the epoxy won't really stick. You can't fill a hairline crack. All the surfaces have to be clean. Let the PC-7 set up a day, sand it down, and fill it again and again until you've got exactly the same level as the rest of the wheel. Finish up with 400-600 grit. The PC-7 sets up very slowly and may run a bit, but it gets very hard and strong. Use regular auto primer and acrylic enamel to paint the wheel afterwards. With clear acylic as the last wet coat, it will look like new and won't show scratches. If you do the filling and sanding, you can always take it to any body shop to have it painted.

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard

01-21-2006, 01:59 PM
I bought the 1 lb. epoxy sticks from POR-15. I haven't used it on the steering wheel yet, but I like the fact you work it "wet" by hand, then just rinse your hands off with water. The link Commander51 gave for the pcepoxy.com shows that their PC-11 seems to be the same stuff, water workable, and usable even underwater in marine applications.

If you don't have a local distributor for POR-15, I found that I got my stuff MUCH faster from the distributor called the www.por15store.com in Valparaiso, Indiana than when I ordered direct from POR-15 headquarters in New Jersey.

If you want the whole kit for doing the steering wheel, which may contain more tools and supplies than you need, they sell it as a steering wheel restoration kit: http://www.por15store.com/page/por15/PROD/Kits/SWRK .

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup