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custom fiberglass steering wheel


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Velocity Motors 
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Moderator spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Electrical Theory. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Fabrication. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Mobile Audio and Video. Click here for more info.spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Mobile Security and Convenience. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: March 08, 2002
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posted: June 28, 2006 at 8:16 AM / IP Logged  
The main thing I would be concerned about is if your using this as a daily driver steering wheel or not. The concern here is how your going to attach the steering wheel to the metal splined steering column ? Remember that the steering wheel has to be able to be strong enough to turn the wheels at a stand still and also crumple ( not shatter ) in an accident.
Jeff
Velocity Custom Home Theater
Mobile Audio/Video Specialist
Morden, Manitoba CANADA
Melted Fabric 
Silver - Posts: 509
Silver spacespace
Joined: October 24, 2003
Location: California, United States
Posted: June 28, 2006 at 12:44 PM / IP Logged  
Never knew about the crumple part.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration.
5150azn 
Silver - Posts: 584
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Joined: June 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: June 28, 2006 at 6:25 PM / IP Logged  
I've been thinking about his one most of the day. I can't get past the picture in my head of being impaled by the steering spindle after the steering wheel breaks away during an accident.
Tell the Snap-On guy I'm not here!
hoopty388 
Member - Posts: 1
Member spacespace
Joined: August 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 11, 2006 at 6:21 PM / IP Logged  
heres an Idea, all the steering wheels I know of have a metal core. If you got one from a junk yard and put it in a nice hot fire it would remove everything but the metal core and then you could lay fiberglass over it, having style and security.
please remove rectal helmet before speaking
Flakman 
Copper - Posts: 365
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: April 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: August 12, 2006 at 2:07 AM / IP Logged  
There was actually a DIY article in Car Audio and Electronics a month or so back that did the steering wheel. Used the original hub to maintain the airbag and made a steering wheel around it. I think they used some sort of acrylic. Looked cool. Would not have to worry about being impaled or not having an airbag. I'll have to check which issue.
The Flakman
I feel strange. I have deja vu and amnesia at the same time.
John | Manteca, CA
Melted Fabric 
Silver - Posts: 509
Silver spacespace
Joined: October 24, 2003
Location: California, United States
Posted: August 13, 2006 at 5:58 PM / IP Logged  
Yea, I would like to read that article. Good looking out.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration.
layzboy 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: April 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 14, 2006 at 3:22 AM / IP Logged  
the article you referred to is in the March 2006 issue of Car Audio and Electronics. It's vol. 19 no.3. I'm not gonna lie, for someone with no fiberglassing experience this project would be a tough one, but it definately doesn't look impossible. Dave "fishman" Rivera shows a how-to in 8 steps on page 78 of the magazine. He uses casting resin (basically liquid acrylic) which is the clear part of the resin that settles at the top of the tubs it's made in. Fiberglassing is generally done with tooling resin which is the brownish color. I haven't used much casting resin, but when I have dabbled it was a little pricier than tooling resin just because of the way it's made. If you do choose to follow the how-to in the magazine, it should work exactly the same with plain fiberglass resin since it's the same thing just a brownish color. You would just have to wrap the wheel in whatever fabric you choose.
Hope that was at least somewhat helpful for my first post on this forum.
hzemall 
Copper - Posts: 55
Copper spacespace
Joined: May 26, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: August 14, 2006 at 10:13 AM / IP Logged  
The easiest way to make a new steering wheel is to simply make it out of Plexiglass. It would be harder then pouring one out of a resin and would not "blow up" like one made from casting resin.
Simply make a MDF "mock up" of what you want and router it with the plexi to get a perfect piece, then round the corners and polish the hell out of it.
I wouldn't do it on a daily driver though, there are hundreds of quality aftermarket wheels out there that should suit anyones needs.
Tim Baillie
Installer/Designer/Fabricator
Certified Autosound & Security
torquehead 
Copper - Posts: 144
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 14, 2006 at 6:41 PM / IP Logged  

Hey, hey, hey....wait a minute, this is a fabrication forum.  Make the dang thang....uhhh, dang it!!!  7 out of the 17 stearing wheels I have fabricated similar to your description was made from 5/8 rebar.  Get some decent lengths of rebar (your going to have to determine how much you need according to your design).  Cut only one at first, weld it to a factory steering wheel plate from a salvaged unit if you want.  Using a torch, heat/bend to the desired shape to act as a foundation.  Weld the bent rebar (I usually use 3 bars of rebar together to form a large enough bulk for the foundation), weld it to the wheel plate, even if you have to buy one of the Grant adaptors.  From this point on, turn on the front, back, left, and right sides of your brain and use your imagination.  You can pack the bar/wheel with foam/expanding foam, glob bondo filler all over it.....anything you want to bulk up a shape (I packed one steering wheel with bondo after the foam build, then put on some rubber gloves and squeezed the steering wheel to have finger imprints on the fore-side of the handles).  By the way, if you want to imbed some buttons or switches into your wheel, dont forget to wire the steering wheel first before you pack on the body filler/ect.  You could get even more raw with your metal skills and wrap it in steel sheeting, tig weld it, rivet it or whatever you desire.  These are some general ideas to set you back on the CORRECT track, which is FABRICATION.  But, if you want a clear plastic one...to each his own.  Ill leave you all with a web-site to provide you with some visual candy that may pop a spark into your sights....some of you veterans may remember this car....

https://iweb.alpine-usa.com/html/adc/adc_install5.html?par=p1c5

....when you first get on this webpage, scroll down to the bottom and pick "13", the last picture of this page is the very beginning of the steering wheel.

If you want to see the forefront of the site, here.......

http://www.stevebrownuniversity.com/links/links.aspx

Melted Fabric 
Silver - Posts: 509
Silver spacespace
Joined: October 24, 2003
Location: California, United States
Posted: August 15, 2006 at 1:37 PM / IP Logged  
Damn, I was looking for the link to all of Alpine's demo cars. Thanks for posting it again. I was trying to show anothe member them.
And yea, if you can think of it, fabricate it. If anyone reads these forums, they better have a motive of making something in mind. We are the members of the DIY coalition. To go out and buy something that is pre-made like a head unit is nuts! BUILD IT yourselfcustom fiberglass steering wheel - Page 2 -- posted image.
Well, I do not fully expect everyone to reach inside and bring out the electronics engineer within themselves, but yea. All things that can be done with out EXTREME EXTREME research and development, go after it. Then again, if you want to be all out custom, feel free to take it on.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration.
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