Help Needed: Steering Wheel Recover- 97 LX450 (1 Viewer)

bonestock

Transportation Specialist
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Lookout Mountain, GA
I’ve read and read and read. I’ve researched and researched. Then, I thought I got lucky and bought a good used wheel and what appears to be a niece piece of leather from another Mud member. That’s when I hit a roadblock. I have neither the time nor inclination to tackle this myself.

I live in the Chattanooga, TN area and have not been able to find ANYONE in the area willing to wrap my wheel with my leather. One guy had it for 5 weeks and never touched it. Every time I called he said, “man, these things take forever. Just be patient.”

At this point I’m resolved to send my good core to either Craft Customs for a $300 wrap ($525 to add wood) or to Santoni for $220.

I’m already $175 into this endeavor and am now befuddled. Covid-spending has been put on moratorium. What is a proper-broke Cruiser-addict to do other than put the mediocre Wheel Skins wrap on? This is my question to the Mud-family.


Thanks for reading!
 

bonestock

Transportation Specialist
SILVER Star
Joined
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Lookout Mountain, GA
I started on the wheel skins install. I’d forgotten just much fun these are.

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Joined
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Had mine rebuilt in Texas: they reglued the foam rubber, added a thin pad under the leather, then stitched the leather on in the same pattern as the original.

 

bonestock

Transportation Specialist
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Joined
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Lookout Mountain, GA
Had mine rebuilt in Texas: they reglued the foam rubber, added a thin pad under the leather, then stitched the leather on in the same pattern as the original.

Thanks @Kernal ! I read your thread and received pricing from them as well. Funds are limited so I’ll have to cheap out for now with the Wheel Skins.
 
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Nov 9, 2012
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Thanks @Kernal ! I read your thread and received pricing from them as well. Funds are limited so I’ll have to cheap out for now with the Wheel Skins.
I paid $15 for a slip on cover at Walmart and it took me 20 minutes to install with a heat gun. Each time I hook the wheel with the pocket knife in my pocket or my key fob and rip it, I'm not too upset.

I know it's not a big deal to replace again, but mine is a DD work truck.
 
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Feb 7, 2015
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Eastern Washington
I tried and tried to find a shop to do mine and no one would touch it. All wanted to sell me a slip on cover or one of those cheesy "sew on" ones. If you have the needle and thread sewing the leather on yourself isn't too hard. If you bought the leather from who I think you did there's a good link to a youtube video on how to do the stitch in his post. Sounds like you have a spare wheel so you could tackle it a little at a time spread out the time so maybe you can fit it in. I think all told it took me 4-6 hours to complete the work. As for inclination well all I can say is it feels pretty good to accomplish something a bunch of pro upholstery shops told me couldn't be done. Heck you're gonna spend almost half the time already to put on that wheel skins thing and end up with something that looks tacky.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
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Chattanooga, TN
Greetings from just down the hill.

I don't know of anyone local that can help, sorry, but wanted to encourage you to try to do it yourself just in case you were considering it. I could see mounting the extra wheel on a stand of some sort, setting up the leather stitching operation and then just chipping away at it 10 or 15 minutes at a time, or whatever, until it's done. Not unlike slowly building a puzzle or over the course of a month or so. Mix in a podcast subscription and it could be a fun distraction at night/etc... I hear you on being busy but wanted to throw in a bit of diy encouragement since you have a second wheel and don't have to finish it to be able to drive the 80.

Personally I went with a cheap, knock-off, leather wrap from Amazon which is functionally identical to wheelskins as far as I can tell (I've run wheelskins in the past). Color match isn't great but didn't take long to install and should last a few years and be better than the og wheel which was starting to decay on my 80.

Good luck!
 
Joined
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Socal
The reason your cover and the wheelskins are difficult is because they are not pre-stitched. They are more like a baseball stitch.
If you ask a good tailor or cobbler to run a line of stitching around the edges, you can easily cross-stitch the cover on in less than an hour.
No pain or fuss.

Or just buy a pre-stitched cover. They are cheap.
Everyone even Toyota does cross-stitch on their steering wheels now.
 

bonestock

Transportation Specialist
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Lookout Mountain, GA
I appreciate all the motivating words. For the money and the time being, this will have to do. For sure an improvement over the rotten cover and/or the foam.

The string broke and I had to tie it together so multiple loops between the same holes but I think it came together alright.

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