I found this thread with some good info on cleaning up steering wheel..
But still had a few questions...
1) Are you guys wet sanding the entire wheel?
2) Is it possible to do while still on the car? Trying to avoid getting a puller...
3) What type of paint / finish are you using... ideally i'd like my wheel to look like Jim Thode's but that might be a stretch for a first timer.
Here is what my wheel looks like:
For a good rim I wipe with lacquer thinner and scotch bright pad. That's gets off the top layer of old dirt and palm sweat!
If rough then sand some in the spots. For finish I use couple of wet coats of Matt clear spray enamel indoor/outdoor stuff.
Finish stays for at least a year, then easy to strip and coat again.
No need for a puller either. If you remove the nut then the steering wheel should come off without too much of a fight.
agree with dan, but have a couple of adds. I'd rub it down with rubbing compound to really get out the crud, then wash and wipe with either denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner. If you want it to really shine, apply a coat of shellac on it to give it a gloss. if you decide you don't like it, it's all reversible. you can use the denatured alcohol to take it off.
On my wheel with the original rim I started out with 220 grit and up to 1000-1100 grit wet sand paper.
I then used rubbing compound and finished with polishing compound.
You can finish with black enamel or clear coat if you like.
I didn't paint mine. To each his own.
Just did this wheel for Nellie, the '23 cutoff pickup.
Since this T is all natural patina (i.e. rust), just masked off the patina covered spider, and cleaned and then sprayed the wheel rim with clear matt enamel.
Good Stuff. Thanks for the help. Its my next project...once the weather decides to "really" change to Spring.
Keep in mind you don't have to pull the wheel, one tiny little set screw, then unscrew the gear case cover and leave it attached to the wheel, restore the wheel to your liking mask off the gear-case cover before painting and you've got it. I've seen a lot of folks ruin a good steering wheel trying to pull them off before.
Hope this simplifies the process for you.
Johnson's paste wax will make it look brand new without any sanding. It works great.