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.
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!