MTech II Steering Wheel Restoration

I found an even better steering wheel -BMW M-Tech model to replace the 3-spoke Sport wheel I have now. It needed quite a bit of work as the leather was cracked and someone had leaned a car door against it which scuffed the leather and crushed the foam padding. On a scale of 10 it’s probably a 4/10.

I used Leatherique Leather Restoration products for this. This is my third time using this system (second steering wheel) and I’m getting better each time.

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Step 1:

  • remove dirt from the leather with a damp cloth, clean the vinyl with Vinylex (or similar vinyl care product)
  • applied “Leather Rejeuvenator” but any non-waxy leather care product would probably work
  • cleaned the leather with “Pristine Clean” (not sure what it is, some kind of mild solvent)
  • allow the leather to rest for 48 hours

Step 2:

  • using 400 grit sand paper wet with “Super Prepping Agent” (another solvent, definitely contains some acetone) removed most of the old dye, smoothed off any raised parts of the leather
  • filled the crack with super glue to keep the edges from curling up
  • used leather crack filler (almost like plaster but with quite a bit of flex in it) and 600 grit sand paper to fill in cracks and crevices
  • allowed crack filler to dry for 20 minutes or overnight
  • kept using crack filler and sanding until smooth

Step 3:

  • applied dye using a foam brush, allowing 20 minutes between coats
  • let dry for 48 hours

Theoretically I should be able to use 1500 grit sand paper to wet-sand down any spots where the leather die has gone on unevenly or a droplet has formed but everytime I’ve done this on a steering wheel it just sands right through the new dye. Instead, gently dry sanding for only the shallowest of problem areas seems allowed. It’s more important to put on thin coats and take your time in the first place rather than fix it later.

I’d rate the wheel a 8 or 9/10 now. The leather used on these wheels doesn’t usually have much texture to begin with and after decades of wear and tear and my restoration there is even less leather grain left. Completed job:

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August 25, 2012 cosmetic