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Steering Wheel Cleanup


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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 11:08 AM

I'm working on reassembling a 1973 140H3, and since the tractor has been setting out exposed to the sun and weather for many years, the steering wheel has become very dull and ugly. You know those types, the kind that makes your hands black whenever you grab them. Well since the steering wheel is really nice without cracks, I wanted to see if I could clean it up so that I could reuse it.

 

First I used some rubbing alcohol to see just how much I could get clean, but to no avail, it just wouldn't lift the corrosion. So I started using some polishing compound. As you'll see in the pictures, the polishing compound lifted the corrosion but also smoothed out the surface again. I did a second application of the compound, and then buffed the area a little with a buffing wheel in my cordless drill. The original shine was starting to return slightly. Still not satisfied, I thought I'd try some car wax/cleaner. I applied two coats and found the shine getting much better. I think if I buff the area real good, the steering wheel shine will eventually look to almost new again. It won't be perfect, but should be pretty close. Don't get me wrong, this won't bring them to showroom quality, but it will be good enough for everyday use. The pictures didn't turn out as good as I thought they would, but you should be able to see what area of the steering wheel was cleaned and which part wasn't.

 

Miscellaneous 20 005.JPG Miscellaneous 20 006.JPG Miscellaneous 20 007.JPG

 

 

Hopefully this will be able to work for some of you, as I know there are a lot of steering wheels like this out there, in which most cases just get thrown away. I believe this to be a simple way of cleaning them up and saving us some money. Good luck to you and have fun!


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#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 11:12 AM

I wonder if soda blasting would work?


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#3 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 11:15 AM

Honestly couldn't tell you Daniel, as I have never tried using the stuff. If you try it, be sure to let us know the results.



#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 11:18 AM

If I ever get the time, I'd like to set up a soda blaster to use outside.   I get feed grade sodium bicarb for the cows in 50lb bags.  I could use a siphon type gun & just stick the hose onto a tube & stick into the bag.  Real simple, but still gotta have the time.  I have a couple steering wheels I could try it on.


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#5 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 11:40 AM

Looks good Troy, I know you can sand the scratches out of those wheels, just don't sand in one are too long and create a depression.


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#6 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 12:02 PM

i have had good luck with meguires dark plastic and rubber restorer, i washed the steering wheel down with brake fulid , rubbed dry then applied the meguires and polished with a soft cloth


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#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 03:11 PM

Boy, that one was in really bad shape. You've brought it back to being quite presentable for a working tractor. It's a matter of finding the right abrasive to do the job quickly but without damaging anything or generating enough heat to cause problems. 


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#8 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2014 - 03:30 PM

I get feed grade sodium bicarb for the cows in 50lb bags.

OCH feeds his cows sodium bicarb. Wow, that had to be some fine party!


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#9 Coventry Plumber OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2014 - 07:01 AM

Thanks for the tips, I have a Cadet steering wheel I will be cleaning up soon and now I can be off to a quicker start.
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#10 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2014 - 07:48 AM

Looks nice Troy, beats my plan of wearing rubber gloves all the time... :poke:

Seriously, nice job. Really brought back an old nasty wheel to good looking & usable.
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