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Restoring a leather wheel? Not as hard as you’d imagine...

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Restoring a leather wheel? Not as hard as you’d imagine...

  #1  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:56 PM
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Default Restoring a leather wheel? Not as hard as you’d imagine...

So I recently rescued a salvage quality leather wheel for my Ion, and it has some pretty severe wear around the 12 o’clock position and some cutting around 5-6 o’clock (mostly superficial but rough nonetheless) and the Saturn badge in the center was really beat up...

i wanna let you guys follow along as I restore the wheel to use on my car...


 
  #2  
Old 05-10-2019, 10:06 AM
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Show us more! Inquiring minds what to know.
 
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:30 PM
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Basically I watched a couple YouTube videos of professionals doing this, and a common theme emerged among them; they use cyanoacrylate and sandpaper... obviously this won’t replace large pieces of missing leather but it’ll hold small cuts closed and it seals the surface. For small divots you can fill the hole with the cyanoacrylate and use baking soda as a catalyzer, but basically for sealing large swaths you apply a bead of the liquid and spread it with your finger (or a spreading tool of some kind) and sand it before it dries completely, allowing it to fill small voids/holes/cuts in the leather...

some people recommend gel and some recommend liquid but they both have their place, as the gel has a longer set up time than liquid..

anyway heres where here it is now, I need to buy some finer grit paper and go over it again and then re-dye the wheel. I also need to fix the badge in the airbag, as it’s beat to crap... you can still see the damage a little but you can’t feel it


 

Last edited by 19bonestock88; 05-13-2019 at 07:39 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:49 PM
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So I got some 320 grit and attacked the wheel again, smoothing the surface even more, and then I got a can of vinyl/fabric paint and... ended up changing the color lol...

the cap looked fairly close to the “ebony” finish but when sprayed it was much lighter, it came out the perfect shade of meh... as in, just plain old gray... but you can’t see the previous damage and it feels good in the hand... tune in later when I swap the wheel into my car and get rid of the “hockey puck” wheel that’s in there now
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:38 PM
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Looks very nice, can’t wait for the install reveal!
 
  #6  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:13 PM
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Thanks man! The light color reveals how thick and chunky the wheel rim is, and I think it’ll match my factory interior okay... for a $40 junkyard wheel and about $20 in additional materials I don’t think I did half bad so far
 
  #7  
Old 05-14-2019, 07:17 PM
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Put it in your car on the floor and park the car so the wheel is in direct sunlight and all the windows are up, with you OUTSIDE, on a hot day.
Let it bake for about 5 hours, then open a door while stepping back.
If the material you used is going to outgas (give off fumes) you want to drive them off NOW, before you install it in the car.
If I remember correctly, cyano based stuff has a sharp odor to it and is an eye irritant, so be careful.
 
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:00 AM
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It’s long since stopped smelling of anything other than the vinyl/fabric paint I used to recolor it... the professionals were doing this inside a customer car, so I never figured outgassing to be an issue... still trying to figure out how to remove the original wheel. I think the procedure for unclipping the airbag is far more complex for the 03-04 wheel than for the 05-07
 
  #9  
Old 05-20-2019, 12:24 AM
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We can call this mod done, guys! I finally got rid of the hockey puck...
it was kinda a PITA to get the airbag out (undoing the clips is harder on the 03-04 wheel), but after that it went fine...
I also think that the airbag needs a second cost of vinyl psint

 
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