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Steering wheel beyond repair?

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  • Other: Steering wheel beyond repair?

    Another thread on repairing steering wheels.
    I have done the searches on the forum, watched the U-tube videos and all the rest, but have not seen anything like the steering wheel in my 1946 Champion.
    The vehicle was in a farmers field for far too many years, and though much of the body was spared, the sun and weather did the strangest thing to the steering wheel. The plastic (whatever it was back in 1946) has basically turned to crystals. The wheel not only has the normal cracks one would see in an old steering wheel, but if you grabbed hold it will fall off in very small chunks. Anyone seen this before?
    I have looked at the suggested remanufacturing sites, but have had no luck with finding anyone doing a 1946 champion steering wheel. Any suggestions?
    ThanksClick image for larger version

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  • #2
    I got an new wheel for my 49 R5 truck at the studebaker swap meet. From an older man that remakes them from the cores.

    Check his site out and see if he has any for sale, maybe you can send your wheel to him, and he'll re-mold the plastic on it, He produces excellent products!

    www.shrockbrothers.com

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    • #3
      I wonder, was that a bakelite product, or something later? That is odd though. I wonder if there's someone in a university department who could identify the reason your plastic degraded and why and what it did?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LeoH View Post
        I wonder, was that a bakelite product, or something later? That is odd though. I wonder if there's someone in a university department who could identify the reason your plastic degraded and why and what it did?
        Sheller Manufacturing Corporation made many different steering wheels for Studebaker until the mid-50s using "TENITE"

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        • #5
          i checked shrockbrothers.com and i dont see that specific wheel on the site, but he says at the bottom that most studebaker wheels from 37-56 are available. As long at its no bigger then a 20" diameter.

          So i'd message them and see what they can do for you???

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shyke11 View Post
            Anyone seen this before?
            Absolutely! Quite normal if it's been left out in the sun for decades.
            Shrocks do not list the '46 in their repertoire. To add a '46 mold to his inventory someone would need to provide him with a near perfect original.
            I would call Tom and Dave just to verify they haven't yet done one. Other years would fit.

            http://www.shrockbrothers.com/steering_wheels.html
            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Deadbodyman View Post
              i checked shrockbrothers.com and i dont see that specific wheel on the site, but he says at the bottom that most studebaker wheels from 37-56 are available. As long at its no bigger then a 20" diameter.

              So i'd message them and see what they can do for you???

              I had looked at their site. Was hoping maybe they could help.
              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                My 41 wheel is going off to Shrock Bros. as soon as I can borrow a 1 1/4" socket to get it off. Give them a call. Their web site is totally out of date and they might have what you need. Worst case they can probably make a mold from your wheel if you use bondo or epoxy to make the shape perfect. Any 39-46 Champion wheel will fit while this is in progress. I have a Commander wheel for temporary use while mine is being fixed. I am not sure if it will fit yet though.

                Nathan
                _______________
                http://stude.vonadatech.com
                https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yup.
                  It seems to be the translucent stuff used in the phantom/banjo wheels that are susceptible to
                  to crystalization. Not unlike honey gone bad?
                  You will also find this with other ivory colored parts like the horn button "center" on a 41/42 Commander/President, and also with the little shields in the upper inner window sills on those cars.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Welcome View Post
                    Sheller Manufacturing Corporation made many different steering wheels for Studebaker until the mid-50s using "TENITE"
                    "Tenite" is Eastman Chemicals name for Cellulose Acetate, one of the earlier plastic materials that was transparent/translucent.

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                    • #11
                      I went to look at "Tenite" online last night and stumbled across Eastman's site. Looks like they are still pushing it, mostly as a environmentally friendly plastic the will break down over time back to its base components.
                      Well, I guess that marketing is true!
                      I am guessing unless someone already has a mold, my options are limited. Interesting as always. Learned something about plant based plastics if nothing else. Good thing I am still tearing apart the car. Gives lots of time before any steering wheel is going back in that car. Say 5 years.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Studebakercenteroforegon View Post
                        "Tenite" is Eastman Chemicals name for Cellulose Acetate, one of the earlier plastic materials that was transparent/translucent.
                        Sorry if there may have been some mis-understanding ...Yes of course "TENITE" is an Eastman product, but Sheller Manufacturing Co. was using Eastman's "TENITE" in the manufacturing of steering wheels for Studebaker until the 1957 model year.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Welcome View Post
                          Sorry if there may have been some mis-understanding ...Yes of course "TENITE" is an Eastman product, but Sheller Manufacturing Co. was using Eastman's "TENITE" in the manufacturing of steering wheels for Studebaker until the 1957 model year.
                          There was no mis-understanding. In my long association with thermoplastic injection molding, I am very familiar with Eastman Cellulose Acetate and Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, so I was just expanding on your comment.

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