My '20 T has a black steering wheel, which appears to be like an early baklite type plastic or composite. It seems very soft inside. The screws from my spider center just come out. Is it unusable? Also, do I need to pay $350 for a new wheel? I have the spider. With 15M T's, can I buy a decent used one? Thanks !
Alexander -- You might try using some JB Weld or Devcon in those holes to hold the screws. I'd sure give that a try before spending big bucks for a new one. Those black ones are a material Ford called Fordite, and it's difficult to find nice ones at swap meets. You might try running an ad on the MTFCA Classifieds, maybe someone has one. BTW, they came in two sizes, 16" and 17" outside diameter. On a '20 it should be 16".
There is a forum member who now reproduces the black replacement steering wheel. I can't recall who. Do a keyword search for steering wheel.
Bob at Bob' Antique Auto Parts. Love Park, Ill. up near Rockford, is reproducing the steering wheel. That is just a hop, skip and a jump from you.
You could make new holes by turning the wheel round a little and then fill in the old holes, which are hardly visible in any case.
Thanks so much guys. Here is my question though. Under the load of driving and turning the front end under weight and motion, could my "soft' wheel break if it is not real "hard" inside? That is my biggest concern.
The Fordite is very strong, unless there are cracks that would let it go.
Would trust the old rim to hold up fine, thousands of T's running today with 'em.
If you have to rustle the wheel hard, then something is amiss with tire pressure or linkage. Certainly drive the Model T as the antique it is, but that steering wheel is really tough in tension, maybe less so in torsion, where there is a crack.
Grab part of the spider in your grip if you have to do a lock to lock turn with the car standing still.