Sport Wheel Refinishing

I bought this leather Sport Wheel at a swap meet last year for $25. The finish was cracking and showing some wear. A forum member recommended this website, that sells leather steering wheel repair kits and after reading their sale pitch I decided to give it a try.

The first step was to rub Rejuvenator into the leather and then place the steering wheel inside a parked car in the hot sun to let the solution soak in the leather and push the impurities out. Since it was in the middle of August, I had no problem finding a hot car. I did this step twice over a 3 day span. I was very impressed how soft the leather became. The steering wheel now has a little cushion to the feel, before it was hard as a rock.

The next step was to clean the sticky residue that floated to the surface with the cleaning agent that came with the kit. By now the old dye is starting to crack and curling up. The next day, using the prepping solution, I wet-sand the wheel with 600 grit paper. This is when things started to look better. The old dye was starting to break down and dissolve and most of the cracks started to disappear.

I used leather crack filler on the fine cracks and sanded the wheel again with 1000 grit paper and followed up with 1200 grit paper while still using the prepping solution to keep the sandpaper wet.

The instruction said to apply the dye when the humidity was low so the steering wheel got put on the back burner. Months later I found time to finish what I started. I taped off the wheel spokes and hung the wheel with coat hangers from the garage door opener. I used warmed bottle water to dilute the dye, 1 part water to 4 parts dye. I used a Preval sprayer to spray 4 coats of dye allowing 45 minutes between each coat.

After allowing the dye 24 hours to dry a coat of sealer that came with the kit was applied using a Preval sprayer. I let the Klear Kote dry for 24 hours before install the steering wheel. A NOS horn button made things look new again.


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