Steering Wheel Recover!

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BMW e21 Sport Steering Wheel Recovered

 

My steering wheel leather was starting to unwrap. The threads were disintegrating. I thought about other steering wheel options and nothing was perfect. Newer steering wheels are smaller and thus requiring more steering effort which I am not pleased about and nice reconditioned older ones are pretty expensive.  So I thought about the possibility of having my wheel re wrapped. I looked around and found someone that will send you the custom cut and stitched leather, you just have to do the labor to install. The cost for the wrap is about $80.  I looked up the company and googled them for reviews and was alarmed. There were rave reviews on certain sites and horrible reviews on others. Lots complaining they never received the product at all. Then an F rating by the better business bureau. Maybe not right?  So I emailed the company to get more info. The owner responded promptly and was very courteous. He said he could cut my wheel cover and have it done the next day and ship the following day. I sent him a Paypal and crossed my fingers. In a few days I got a tracking number and a few days after that it arrived.

 

 

So far I was impressed. The quality of the leather was great. Soft. Supple. Much nicer than the original. The kit came with instructions, thread and needles. I began to think and thought maybe I would like blue thread instead of the black that was supplied. I decided to call and ask him what type it was so I could try and source some locally. He was very pleasant, told me what kind if was but offered to send me for free 2 different shades of blue. I was kind of blown away because that is above and beyond and not expected. After about a week I gave up on the blue thread, and bought some from Amazon. This was the worst part of the transaction but seriously, how angry can you be about not getting free extra thread??  I can’t.

So now is the moment of truth…time to pull the wheel cut the old cover off and recover the wheel.  At some point in every job you get to a point of no return. The step that once you cross, it’s all or nothing.  So I cut the threads with a razor blade and pulled the old cover off. Matched up the new cover and began the process.

 

the instructions were helpful as was a few videos I watched on YouTube beforehand. The technique is simple. You don’t stitch through the leather. You actually go under the stitching and above the leather diagonally back and fir the skipping a stitch. You pull this tight and it pulls the wrap tight and closes the seam. Simple yet very time consuming. I did one section in blue but because it wasn’t perfect the imperfections stood out. If I was going to do that I would have to be super careful. Nope. I decided to go for the black. So I cut the blue thread off rest itch it with the supplied black thread.

 

The he entire job took about 5 hours total. It was tedious and just required patience. The results were amazing. My wife thought it was a completely new steering wheel and didn’t think I would be able to pull it off. Very satisfied with this upgrade. I didn’t realize how bad the old one felt until I got the new one installed. It’s a huge difference.

 

Is is it perfect? No.  The spoke areas have a tad bit too much leather and it’s not tight and the thread in that area is a little messy. I’m going to clean both issues up soon and then it’ll look like a 9 out of 10 custom wrap job.

BMW e21 Sport Steering Wheel recovered and installed

Looks as good as new!  Closeup of the stitching

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