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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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?
 

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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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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. :wink:

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

Things that make you ask why . . . :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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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.
 

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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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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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same stuff, different brand name. The 'Gorilla Tape' is much thicker and doesn't conform to irregular surfaces as well, and there is the 100 mph duct tape they use on Nascar tracks for holding bodies together.. that's CAR bodies...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is that the same as duck tape?
Duct tape is what all these type of tapes are called. Duck tape is just a brand name of duct tape. Its called duct tape because its original use was meant for duct work. I use to think this type of tape was called duck tape with the duck on it, but thats only 1 brand name of this type of tape. Gorilla tape is a very thick duct tape with a very strong adhesive, so it fits the purpose better of what most people use duct tape for.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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.
I took the steering wheel cover for my 2007 VW Rabbit off and slid it over the Smarts steering wheel. The VW is 15" and the Smart is 14". In my opinion there was way too much space between the cover and the steering wheel to work. If the cover is dead center over the wheel then there is 1/2" of space all around.
 

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I took the steering wheel cover for my 2007 VW Rabbit off and slid it over the Smarts steering wheel. The VW is 15" and the Smart is 14". In my opinion there was way too much space between the cover and the steering wheel to work. If the cover is dead center over the wheel then there is 1/2" of space all around.
Usually those wheel covers have to be stretched a bit to fit on standard 15" wheels, so maybe the cover on your VW was stretched out and a new cover would fit fine. As Pee Wee finds
 

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We bought a red alligator cover at Pepboys. We cut out about an inch of material, punched holes on each side of the cut end, and inserted a leather shoelace. With the lace at the bottom of the steering wheel, it tightens up nicely, and looks very custom.

Jill
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We bought a red alligator cover at Pepboys. We cut out about an inch of material, punched holes on each side of the cut end, and inserted a leather shoelace. With the lace at the bottom of the steering wheel, it tightens up nicely, and looks very custom.

Jill
That sounds like a really good idea. Whenever I want to remove the steering wheel cover to clean it I can just untie the knot and the cover just falls off. Did you insert any metal ring or something similar into the holes you punched to give the hole a bit more strength?
 

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Thanks Gearhead....Wheelskins - The World's Finest Genuine Leather Motoring Accessories, Steering Wheel Covers, Driving Gloves and Shift Boots

That is just what I have been looking for for my Rialta. Maybe I'm a nut:D but of course..... I can remember buying a new Isuzu Rodeo back in 94, my Trooper had just died, and I just couldn't stand the cheap plastic wheel.. So I had to replace it with an oem leather one found on a more upscale model.... cost me BIG $$$$. I have lived with the VW plastic one in the Rialta for the past 12 years or so and wished I could have a leather one.. Just placed an order and hope to have on the MH before it's next trip.
 

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That sounds like a really good idea. Whenever I want to remove the steering wheel cover to clean it I can just untie the knot and the cover just falls off. Did you insert any metal ring or something similar into the holes you punched to give the hole a bit more strength?
Nope. It was pretty stout, with a couple layers of vinyl and a rubber backing. It didn't look likely to fray. Just leave a bit of an edge next to the hole, and lace the thing up like a shoe. Trim the ends of the lace so they aren't too long, and tuck the ends into the cover. We used one of the small round leather laces, like from a dress shoe.

Good luck!

Jill
 
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