[200q20v] shift handle needs refinishing

Phil Rose pjrose at frontiernet.net
Mon Nov 6 00:25:42 EST 2000

At 6:29 PM -0500 11/5/00, Thomas J. Donohue, Jr. wrote:
>   Just removed the wooden knob on my 200q20v wagon to do so...it is
>pretty tight, but just a screw-off operation.  I have a leather knob it
>its place while I start to experiment with the wood one...no BTDTs, but I
>would appreciate any anyone else has, too, and will pass along anything I
>learn in the process.  Regards, Tom
>Greg Grena wrote:
> Has anyone removed the wooden shift handle and refinished it?  Mine is
>pretty worn off and looks bad whenthe rest of the interior looks pretty
>new.  Wondering if anyone came up with the correct stain color andkind of
>varnish or has any recommendations.  How do you get the shift handle off? 
>Do you have to pop offthe emblem with the gear shift pattern on it to
>reveal a nut and bolt?Thanks for any help, -Greg'91 200q20v, 121K

I posted a "how-to" a couple of years ago. I even did exactly what I
suggested below--using my lathe-- and got great results that have lasted
very nicely for about 20K miles of driving. I used only the Watco oil (no
stain) and applied no additional varnish. The clear oil treatment will
bring the sanded knob to a deep (reddish-brown walnut) color. Looks
reasonably close to the rest of the trim, IMO.


> do a very light
>smoothing (sanding) with a small piece (strip) of handheld 220 grit
>This will take off any dirt and remaining surface finish. Sanding might
>be best done if you can mount your knob on a lathe and sand it whilst
>spinning. Get a M12x1.5 bolt, cut off the head and chuck it
>up in your variable speed drill (held in vise or by helper). Constantly
>move the sandpaper along the length of the knob, and use a *very* light
>touch. You might want to do a final sanding with 380 or 400 grit paper.

[carefully avoid touching the plastic shift-pattern disc, or better yet,
remove it]
>After sanding, the wood will surely appear too light to you (trust me), yet
>it will darken considerably just by applying a coat or two of clear Danish
>oil (sold as "Watco Danish Oil", etc.): Soak some of it into the wood
>using a rag, wait 10-20 minutes,
>and wipe off excess. Or, you could first apply stain if *really*
>dark is what you want. Then after the oil is well-dried (a couple days is
>you can apply clear polyurethane varnish if desired. Varnish only if
>you want a somewhat glossy look. Apply several verrrry thin coats--I'd
>opt for using the water-based gel finishes that are made to be wiped
>on with a rag. Apply, wipe off, dry as recommended. Repeat several times to
>build up a smooth, durable finish. Avoid brushed-on finishes, as you'll
>probably be disappointed with the inevitable brushmarks, bubbles...

[P.S. If you're intent on using a wipe-on varnish, you may as well skip the
Danish oil, since the varnish will produce the same deep brown color as
does the oil treatment.]
>Phil R.

Phil Rose				Rochester, NY
'91 200q				mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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