In damp, cold winter weather my fordite steering wheel becomes sticky.
My hands are black & dirty after a short drive.
Any ideas on what to seal it with?
Paint, varnish, or?
I know I could just leave the ol' gal parked for the winter but that's not really one of my choices!
Thanks for any help.
The accessory industry used to supply furry steering wheel gloves in the past - there might still be something available you can adopt to your Model T steering wheel?
Don't paint it! After sanding it smooth with 2000 grit wet or dry, I put several coats of paste wax on mine. Works.
Bob, i clean them good, then sand lightly with 180 grit, clean again and then coat with clear urethane, let it dry good sand lightly and apply a second coat, ten years on one car and two on the other, no more black rub off.
Do not seal it with anything, just clean it.
The best way to clean it is with plain, clear water on a clean cloth.
Saturate the cloth with water, wipe down the steering wheel rim. Saturate another clean cloth with water and wipe down again. Usually if it is very dirty or has never been cleaned, you may have to repeat two, three times, or more before the cloth is no longer black. When the clean cloth no longer shows any black, the steering wheel is clean and will stay that way for quite some time (sometimes a couple months of driving).
Don't use any soaps or solvents to clean the steering wheel rim. Some of them will penetrate the rim and will actually cause the "stickyness".
The best way to restore a Fordite steering wheel rim is to remove it from the spider and wet-sand it in the long direction with very fine sandpaper. If your wheel is in real bad shape, start with 800 grit, then use 1000 grit, then finish with 1200 or 1500 grit (whichever finish you are happy with) Finishing with 1500 grit will leave a nice black satin finish which will turn into a nice polished semi-gloss to gloss finish after a season or two of driving...
In humid weather when the wheel sweats a little and gets sticky is generally the first indication that it needs to be cleaned...
Adam, I may try that. I have to say my first thought was "Water? Humidity seems to be the culprit. Why do I want to use water?", but it sure sounds like it has worked for you. I may give it a try.
I just washed my wheel with warm water.
Got a lot of black junk off and it really looks nice now.
I went back and checked it after letting it dry 15-20 minutes and it feels smooth and nice.
If I have to do it every month or two I can live with that.
Thanks Adam for the quick easy fix!
No PBJs while driving. ;>)
You think the PBJ's might be the problem?
My old lady said I had jelly in my ear the other day....Hmmmmmm.
Some where in my collection I read that Ford sealed all Fordite steering wheels with enamel, so that's how I do mine.
I used GoJo hand cleaner on my Fordson wheel, Worked well for me.
Bob, I'm glad you tried it... When I tell people that plain water works the best they usually just don't believe it (and some have even refused to try).
I generally only have to clean my steering wheel a couple times per season, but we don't have any kids or dogs!
I use black paint. Might not be original, but beats having black goo all over the hands. Only one I didn't paint black was a 28 A red wheel. I used clear on that one.
I have used black rubber bumper paint after filling cracks etc. and sanding with very fine sandpaper, then car wax.
So far rain or shine, no black hands!
Mine got sticky after I cleaned it, with plain water, and an old worn out scotch pad. I would recommend using a little good old fashion baby power, the talcum type, not the corn starch version.
I'd sure like to know how the previous owner of my roadster pickup did the steering wheel. That thing glistens in the sun and is slick as a whistle! No gummy, gooey feeling, no smell on the hands - it's perfect! I used to drive many old tractors and grain trucks growing up that would leave your hands black and stinking at the end of the day! I don't miss those days a bit!