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Re: CGT steering wheel

Jesse Almero, Jr. asked:

>I guess I now have to admit that my Coupe GT is old.  Yesterday a hoe
>sprouted in the leather on the steering wheel right under my right hand.  I
>could forget the crack in the dash and he tear in the driver's seat 'cause
>I can't see them while i'm driving, but with this little tear, I always know
>its there.  Does anyone know of a decent solution or should I just get an
>aftermarket steering wheel? 

This is how I repaired several small sport steering wheels that I had on my cars 
over the years (the following assumes that you can operate a sewing machine):

1. Find a piece of good hide (I got it from a friend who ownes a custom furniture 
upholstery shop).
1a.Find a HEAVY DUTY, all nylon upholstery thread. 
1b.Find a package of HEAVY DUTY needles for your sewing machine. European size 110
and higher (I am do not know american needle standards, but if you go with the 
german Singer you'll be OK).
2. Measure the INSIDE circumference of the wheel. Let's assume that it is L cm.
3. Measure the circumference of the wheel rim. Let's assume that it is h cm.
4. The hide, just like any fabric(!) is stretchable only in one direction. Find 
that direction and cut out a L+2cm x h cm rectangle "belt" along it.
5. Adjust the sewing machine acordingly. Set the stitch length on Max (approx 5mm)
6. Put 2 lines of stitching along the long edges of the "belt" at 1cm from both 
edges. SECURE the ends well!!

Attempted ASCII drawing No. 1:

 _________________________________________  _
|-----------------------------------------| |
|               stitching                 | |
|                                         | h cm
|               stitching                 | |
|-----------------------------------------| |
 _________________________________________  _

7. Fold the belt in two, with the face side of the leather inwards. Stitch 
together two short ends @ 1cm off the edge (that's why two 1cm margins were added 
to L).
8. Turn the belt inside out, hiding the seam. Now it should look like a circular 
leather band with a diameter equal to your steering wheel's inside diameter.
9. Pull the band over the wheel. You will do a lot of stretching, be careful.
10. Once on the wheel, the band will hug it. That is why you made it equal to the 
inside diameter of the wheel. The edges should come together on the inside of the 
wheel with very little wrinkling.
11. Run about 1m of thread through the eyelet of a big HAND needle. Manualy weave 
the thread through the two previously made stitchings in a zig-zag fashion, 
securing the leather band ends together.

Attempted ASCII drawing No. 2:
|                                         |
|                                         |
|                                         |   hand stitching.

This is really a lot simpler, than it seems. You don't need a new $250 wheel if 
you have only worn out the outside cover.


P.S. No matter what I do, ASCII comes out totally screwed up. Sorry. E-mail me if 
anything is unclear.