DIY rewrapping a P80 Steering wheel (how it went)


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A year or two ago I bought an old OEM wood trimmed steering wheel, to match the rest of the walnut trim interior in my car. The car did not originally come with wood trim, I've been adding it slowly over time. 

Fast forward a year later, and the wood on the wheel has delaminated and begun cracking off. Running my hand over the steering wheel started to feel like bamboo shoots under the fingernails. I peeled the rest of the wood off knowing it was not going to be salvaged, and started to look into options. There are plenty of professional services for rewrapping, but I just couldn't justify spending so much on it. Estimates were $400 or more, and my car would be out of service for several weeks. 

So I looked more closely to see if in fact this is something I could tackle myself, having never done this type of work before. Turns out it really wasn't that hard to swap from wood to "alcantara".

 

Photo from when the walnut trim was starting to delaminate:

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Close up to show substrate underneath wood trim:

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Once the wheel was removed, the wood was removed piece by piece, and I laid out the micro suede. The trick here is that the top piece of micro suede needs to be crescent or U-shaped, not a rectangle as shown in the photo. I didn't take a photo of this, however.

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The existing leather on the wheel was carefully warmed up and removed, without cutting any of the stitching. The micro suede was then glued using leather glue, while being careful not to get the glue on the existing leather. 

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While the glue was drying, I wrapped the micro suede with tape to get some pressure on it. The tape was backwards (sticky side out) so that I didn't start pulling up the micro suede when removing the tape. 

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The next step was to do any final trimming of the micro suede, tuck in the edges, etc, and then glue the leather back in its original place. 

The same process was then used for the leather - the tape was wrapped sticky side out, then another layer was wrapped sticky side in (normal orientation) to really get some pressure on the leather while it dried. I'm sure other methods could be used (saran wrap?) but this worked for me, and the leather and micro suede all dried flat. 

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The last step was to remove all the tape once the glue dried, and then clean up any areas in need of attention. Overall it came out great, especially considering the low material cost. The micro suede also is a very good match to the R seats in the car. I can take more pics if needed of any details. 

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