Steering wheel gets me all *black*

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:38 am

My steering wheel is in OK shape, it has some cracks in the black coating (is that stuff the old BakeLite compound?) Anyway, it looks to be oxidized, not turning white or anything, but even after a lot of rubbing and buffing with shop towels, and cleaning off with ArmorAll cleaner, it gets me downright black after only a little bit of handling.

If it is BakeLite, then the black stuff must just be the "carbon black" coming off it, and the phenolic resin must be broken down from sitting out for 50 years, but I would think it would stop shedding after a while, and this one doesn't show any sign of slowing down! What can I do?

My company makes (among other things) the phenolic resin that when combined with carbon black is used to make the heat-resistant handles on pots and pans, or that is compressed into the little black chips inside your computer. Maybe I should ask the oldest chemist I can find down in the lab... :D

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:44 am

I washed mine in the sink with dish soap until no more black came off and after it was good and dry I put (303-product) on it and my hands dont get black no-mo. :)

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:40 pm

I know its not bakelite...more of a rubber thing.

Like JB said, you can clean the black oxidized material off with detergent or paint thinner. You can even shine them up with a mild rubbing compound after you get it clean. Getting it clean the most important. I like that Meguire's Vinyl & Rubber product to stop the oxidation and protect. :D

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:44 pm

Allen, I coated mine with the Plasti-Kote that is used on tool handles.

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:31 pm

ditto, John. a little JB weld in the cracks, dremel tool sand job, and black plasti dip in aerasol can. not show quality, but very serviceable.

Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:12 pm

I mixed clear marine epoxy and coated three times after filling the cracks. Sanding in between. The wheel soaked up the epoxy like a sponge and after the third coat and sanding was slick as a ribbon. I figure any epoxy would work and then thin with a little acetone to make it brush on friendly. The acetone will flash off pretty quick after application.

Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:15 pm

Ditto on the JB. Fill all of those cracks in and then take some sand paper to them to clean them up. I black enamel painted mine after that. Looks real good (certainly not show quality though) without the mess.