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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Good idea for a steering wheel cover?

A steering wheel cover for me serves no other purpose then to protect the steering wheel from wear and tear. I just want to keep my steering wheel in good shape for if and when I sell my car, plus its cheaper to replace a worn out cover then to replace a worn out steering wheel. Please don't try to convince me that I don't need one because I'm already set on getting some type of cover.

The problem with the Smart steering wheel is that its 14" in diameter, and most steering wheels are around 15". So the local auto store won't carry any covers that fit the Smart. I know there are some online places that sell covers of the right size, but those are limited designs and colors, so I figured why not try something different. What I'm thinking of doing is buying a leather strip thats about 20 ft. in length and 2 in. in width. I wrapped some string around the steering wheel to see how much I would need. Then just wrap the leather strip around the steering wheel overlapping by about 1/4" to make a ridge that will provide good grip. Or maybe not overlap, will have to see how it works. At the end of the strip I can use some similar colored tape or zip ties or whatever to hold down the end.

Something tells me this has already been done before?

Last edited by konsole; 11-16-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 11:46 AM
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Mine came wrapped in leather. Still looks pretty good after 53,400 miles/52 months. If you look closely you might see some wear. But, I think it would be 10 years before it was really objectionable. My gear shifter knob is another matter. I'm disappointed it has worn as much as it has. Sorry, I have no feedback to offer on your idea.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konsole View Post
A steering wheel cover for me serves no other purpose then to protect the steering wheel from wear and tear.

What I'm thinking of doing is buying a leather strip thats about 20 ft. in length and 2 in. in width. I wrapped some string around the steering wheel to see how much I would need. Then just wrap the leather strip around the steering wheel overlapping by about 1/4" to make a ridge that will provide good grip. Or maybe not overlap, will have to see how it works. At the end of the strip I can use some similar colored tape or zip ties or whatever to hold down the end.
Can't wait to see the You Tube DIY video.

Yet another use for that "all purpose" Duct Tape?

Things that make you ask why . . .
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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My steering wheel is leather wrapped also, but I still want to put a cover on it. Yes the shifter knob is the next thing I want to look at.

I could use some black gorilla duct tape to hold down the end of the leather strip. Its very thick and if I use the tape on a part of the steering wheel that I don't handle too often then I think the tape should last a long time.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 06:42 PM
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Leather wraps like that used to be available everywhere, and were considered racey ;-) I think the air bag sent them into decline because it introduced steering wheels with very thick spoke areas that were hard to wrap around.

One way to wrap would be a spiral wrap of a long narrower strip, much like a bicycle handlebar is wrapped. Wrapping this way would leave big gaps around your three wheel spokes that would not look good. At least that would disqualify it for me.

A second method would be a wider piece in the right size to wrap the outside edge of the wheel and then be sewn with cord or leather thread along the inside edge of the steering wheel. This is exactly what the OEM Passion steering wheel is meant to look like, with the sewn thread inside edge. This would avoid most of the problem of the spokes creating gaps.

A third way this is done is to use a wider piece as above, but instead of sewing it up at its inside edge, you spiral-wrap a piece of rawhide or other leather cord around to hold the wider piece in place. The spiral wrap can be wider and the spokes may interfere less.

I've considered wrapping the wheel for the same reasons but would only want to do it if I could make it look (almost) as good as the great looking OEM wheel. Plus the OEM wheel is the perfect grip thickness for me so I don't want it to get too fat. Often steering wheels are too thin for my grip preference and I like a cover just to fatten them up.

If it were me, I wouldn't cover the stick shift knob. Instead, to protect it, I would buy another knob (many available cheap) and save the stock one aside to look good when re-installed at selling time. Better and cheaper than trying to wrap it with something protective.

Last edited by l'alpe; 11-16-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:59 PM
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Not too many shifter knobs around for the 451. Smart Madness has some for the 450. My shift knob has the stitching worn down on it and I did find a replacement from another car, Haven't put it on yet. It is waiting in the glove box...
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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This would look great!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 09:00 PM
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I've been using standard wheel cover on mine for over 4.5 years
It grips the wheel just fine. You just gotta shuffle it in place every once in a while.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB DNA View Post
Can't wait to see the You Tube DIY video.

Yet another use for that "all purpose" Duct Tape?

Things that make you ask why . . .
Is that the same as duck tape?
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