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walkerbk

Steering column clamshell rebuild

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Amongst all the big project I do on the datsun over the weekends, I like to keep a small project going during the week to keep the progress up.

 

This past week project was the steering wheel clamshell.

 

Mine had long ago bit the dust and i pulled it off and through it in a box and left all the wires and such exposed.

 

About 3 weeks ago as im packing and moving stuff around getting ready for a 3rd cross country move, i came across it. All the mounting points had been broken in one form or fashion but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and repair it.

 

I didn't take pictures of the progress as I am always forgetting to but I got the steps and the end results which turned out fantastic.

 

Step one, the top.

With the top side having all the screw mounting points broken away, I was not sure about exact locations and heights of each but I had the base locations. From that, I cut pieces of 1/2in pvc and formed it to fit on the clamshell. I then sealed it to the shell with play-off  (I think clay would have been better as the play-do leaked a little). after that, I filled the pvc with fiberglass epoxy (not poly) and added some chopped fiberglass pushing it in with a tooth pick. This gave me strong "peers" as to attach the bottom side. Once dry, I made three cuts down the sides of the pvc and it popped right off.

 

Step 2, the bottom side.

 

I then filled the screw hole or "tubes" with play-do to keep the epoxy in and wrapped ductape around what was left of the tubes. This formed a mold that I could then pour epoxy into to build the tubes back up. The epoxy I used did not stick at all to the sticky side of the ductape nor did it have any chemical reactions.

 

Step 3, matting the two peices.

 

I thought it would be a little harder than it was but this was the easiest step. I just pushed the two sections together and then used the drimel where needed with a sanding drum. It only took about 15 min and made a nice amount of dust. I then drilled holes and inserted screws. I did drill slightly larger holes than needed just to make sure that it didn't recrack but it worked perfectly.

 

Step 4, paint.

 

I did a light sanding just to scuff the surface with some 220 grit and then hit it with plastic primer. I then used 2 coats of textured rustolium spray paint (each coat was 2 light coats so really 4 in total). Although I liked the look, it was slightly rougher than what i wanted so I took 2000 grit and just lightly did a once over just to knock down the high points. I then applied 2 coats of matte clear uv resistant non yellowing.

 

Alternate step 4.

 

I was going to use the primer, then texture (1 coat), then the hammer (1 coat). I figured this would give it a raised texture then a leather grain look. I didn't do this because I loved the look of the texture. I have tried every bed liner and texture coat and this is one of the best.

 

I am very proud of the results and they speak for them selves. If there are any questions let me know.

 

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