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Author Topic: N30 steering wheel restoration  (Read 2480 times)
1968guppy
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« on: April 13, 2013, 10:46:54 AM »

I have cracks on my early 68 steering wheel.  It is an N30 with the black accents.  I would like to remove it and send it to restoration.  I have the assembly and chassis manuals but have not been able to find any procedure in properly removing and fitting it back on.  I am thinking of contacting the restoration shop as an option.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Ed Bertrand
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 11:27:24 AM »

The deluxe steering wheel removal procedure is in the 1968 Chassis Service manual, section 9, page 9-5, bottom left of the page.

It's not difficult, but you DO need a steering wheel puller. You can rent one at AutoZone and most other auto parts stores.

Ed
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DAVEN1256
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 11:15:46 PM »

I have  the same wheel. I got a steering wheel puller from Autozone and got it right off. Autozone has a free tool loaner program. You essentially buy the tool and then get a full refund when you bring it back. Of course you have to bring it back in the same condition it was in when you took it out.

By the way, where are you sending yours for restoration? If I had a dollar for every crack mine has in it, I could retire.
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1968guppy
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 01:22:48 AM »

I am planning on sending it to a guy in Wisconsin.  He is listed on the Chevrolet Generator & Distributor and is very detailed in finding out what I want.  I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with him today and got a lot of information from him.  That says a lot.  Basically, he can provide a pristine quality job but only if he can smooth out the steering wheel instead of leaving it with the grooves.  Yet, I want a correct restoration since it is a fairly rare steering wheel.  So we concluded that a least he can restore the center cover and keep a leather wrap around the wheel.  I am going to do a search to see if I can possibly do the job myself.  Does anyone have a link on a do-it-yourself restoration?  I appreciate your help and sharing your information  Ed & Dave. 
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lakeholme
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 04:20:47 PM »

Eastwood has a kit.
Check it out
You can get an idea of the process.
Youtube has several videos on steering wheel restoration.
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Phillip
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Sauron327
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 08:17:12 PM »

PC7 in Eastwood's kit can be purchased at a local hardware store. The proper way to finish a wheel is with urethane primer and topcoat. I've never bought one product from Eastwood.
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 11:00:51 PM »

If the '60's steering wheels are the same material as the mid 50's *(55-57), then I can recommend using 'Marine Tex' as the filler agent.  I've done several steering wheels for fifties car in the long ago past using that material, which I purchased from local marine/boat businesses.   It works great and appears as the original wheel material, but it is a time consuming repair to 'V' cut the bad material around the cracks and provide additional adhesion surface, then file, sand down to the original wheel contour prior to paint.   Using lacquer on steering wheels wears off quickly, and Sauron's suggestion to use a urethane surfacer and paint is a better idea.

marine tex seems to still be available:    http://www.lifeandhome.com/marine-tex-patch-gray-2oz.html?gclid=CIrQzeHr1bYCFUNlMgodVTcAFg
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
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72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
1968guppy
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 11:44:54 PM »

After examining my steering wheel, it was determined that it has too many hair line cracks.  Not the wider and larger cracks, but thinner cracks as wide as a hair.  The wheel can be restored but it would need to be done completely smoothed out.  Not correct and not what I want.  The after market wheels that claim deluxe N30 are smooth throughout and do not have the grooves on the bottom half. So I managed to find a used, original N30 with minimal hair line cracks.  Aside from three large cracks, there are three hair line cracks on the back of the wheel.  So, now it's up to the restorer to determine if the grooves can remain without making the whole thing looking entirely smooth.  Does anyone have similar problems with the thinner hair line cracks and does anybody know what I mean about leaving in place the grooves on the lower half of the wheel after the restoration?

Also, I will be using my original horn housing and found that when I removed the three screws behind it, the two wires that come from the wheel and go to the horn housing are sort of riveted on and cannot be unscrewed.  In this case, is my only option to cut the two wires and later splice them back together during reconstruction?
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1968guppy
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 07:43:49 PM »

Anyone with an N30 also have the black accents on the T-shaped horn shroud?  Mine is an Dec 67 build which should have the black accents but my pictures of the wheel before restoration appears to look solid blue with no black accents like a late 68 build shoud have.  Could it be that the black paint faded with the many years out in the sun?   Sorry about the size.  I'm having a lot of trouble with the new version of photobucket.




Below is the link that shows the picture of the one from CRG.

http://www.camaros.org/images/swheel/sw_68N30early.jpg
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1968guppy
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 08:01:33 PM »

Here is another angle of the wheel.  The center looks blue.  But, then again, might of faded throughout the years. 
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Ed Bertrand
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 08:24:17 PM »

That doesn't appear to have ever been black. December, 1967 is a bit early for the shroud without the black accent, but you never know. It may have been blue from the factory or the shroud (or the entire wheel) may have been replaced at some point in time. Or a prior owner may have removed the black (it's the color of the steering wheel under the black). Unfortunately, there's no way to tell unless you have a history of the car.

The February, 1968 date was based on cars we had in the database. Up to that time, the shrouds had the black accent. There was a small gap where both shrouds were seen, but it was early in February. After about the second week, there aren't any black shrouds, so that's when it appears the changover occured.

Ed


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JoeC
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 09:15:06 AM »

some restore the wheels by doing repair and repaint

there is another shop that strips the wheel to bare metal and re-molds it using an impoved modern material

I read an article on the shop and they mostly did early cars but said they were building more molds to do some muclecar steering wheels.

The pre 1973 hard plastic wheels crack bad but I have seen some Chevy truck wheels (after 1973) that held up very well  so a material change
can be a large improvement over the 1960s hard plastic
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