Steering Wheel Cover Fix How To

Geo

Member
Messages
204
#65
PART 1

Yesterday it was my turn to remove the dreaded air bubble from my steering wheel air bag cover. Removal from the car was easy and is described thoroughly earlier on ion another post.

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The offending bubble that someone had tried to remedy by pricking with a pin!

With the airbag unit removed from the wheel, I carefully peeled back the covering with the aid of a wooden spatula that I had shaved down slightly at one end. The spatula was carefully eased under the fabric (it's not leather) using a pushing and twisting action. Having a large round end, there was little chance of pushing it through the material; a screwdriver or the likes could easily pierce through. Slow and steady was the way to go, but it worked a treat. I deliberately left the emblem in the centre to ensure correct register when sticking down the material.

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I was easy to see why the bubble had occurred as only the top third of the cover had been glued down.

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I found the best method to remove the adhesive residue was to moisten it with Xylene and let it sit moist for a couple of minutes. I applied the Xylene with a microfibre cloth and using a dabbing action. After it had soaked for a couple of minutes, I scraped off the majority of the residue with my nails (a wooden spatula would also do) then used the cloth dampened with Xylene to finish off.

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The next stage is to key any shiny plastic by rubbish with 400 grit wet or dry paper. Use small pieces at a time and only drag each piece once across the surface. If you rub it back and fourth, it will have more if a polishing effect, and you don't want that.

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Once keyed, ensure the surface is spotlessly clean before applying adhesive. If you don't, you will see blemishes shining through the fabric when finished.

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My preferred glue for this job is Evo Stik contact adhesive applied by a brush. Because this clue is unforgiving during assembly I cut a circular sheet of greaseproof paper to prevent the fabric sticking to the plastic during application.

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I then scrunched up the cover and applied glue to the plastic only and let it dry thoroughly. This is best done in a nice warm room, or get someone else to waft a hair dryer over it for you.

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When completely dry, fit the greaseproof paper over the plastic and you are ready to apply adhesive to the fabric.

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Geo

Member
Messages
204
#66
PART 2

When applying glue to the fabric, only apply it as far as the line where it folds over the edge. Do not apply right out to the edge as it will curl and stick to itself. You will apply glue to the edge later.

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Walk away and have a cup of tea while the adhesive dries completely.

Now for the satisfying bit. Holding the top half of the fabric back, fold back the greaseproof paper to allow you to press down this part of the fabric. Work from the middle to the forward edge making sure it is nice and smooth. At this stage the edge will be left straight downwards still without glue.

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Now remove the remaining greaseproof paper and gently ease the remaining fabric down as before, again leaving the edges free.

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Using the back of a spoon, press down firmly and iron the fabric all over.

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It's now time to deal with the edges. Apply adhesive to both the plastic and fabric and leave to dry.

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When completely dry, press the fabric around the edge with your fingers then use the end of a spoon to ease it down and firmly against the inside of the plastic. Job done!

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mjheathcote

Centenary Club
Messages
6,250
#68
If you have a little lifting, a quick blow over with an hair dryer/hot air gun (on low!) shrinks it tight for a while.
Discovered this when I found the wheel like new after the car left outside in hot sun.
 

Geo

Member
Messages
204
#69
If you have a little lifting, a quick blow over with an hair dryer/hot air gun (on low!) shrinks it tight for a while.
Discovered this when I found the wheel like new after the car left outside in hot sun.
I experienced the same when the car was toasted in the sun. You would think that the synthetic material would expand and make the issue worse. Unfortunately as soon as it was cold, back came the blister. ☹️