White M3A1 Scout Car Steering Wheel Restoration

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philipgslattery
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White M3A1 Scout Car Steering Wheel Restoration

Post by philipgslattery » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:13 am

There have been a few previous threads on this, but I thought I would post photos and technique of how I restored the steering wheel . I really thought it was too far gone but after encouragement and tips from the "G" I decided to have a go myself.
Gary H supplied a late model one , but I thought I would give the original one a go.
You will see that it is green and not black or metal spoked. I am sure that it is original. My friends scout car has an identical one as has the scout car in the shed at Beltring.

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These first photos show the wheel in situ and when removed.It looked as bad as I've seen. There were large splits around the hub and multiple large cracks in the rim. The metal skeleton was intact but warped.I thought there was nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

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The warped metal skeleton was straightened bu putting a metal spndle through the hub, clamping it to a vise, and then pulling and pushing on the rim. It was 'eyeballed' to be straight.

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A G clamp was used to partially close the gaps in the plastic around the hub. These were then glued with "Araldite" and allowed to set for 24 hours. Each of the 3 segments of the hub was done seperately. (This photo shows one of the filled and temporarily painted section, while another section is being clamped and glued )


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I did try a section with the 2 part "POR 15 " epoxy putty pack but found that the "Araldite" was much better because it was flexible and didn't crack. The cracks in the rim were similarily treated. It took 2 / 3 goes to build up the level in the deep cracks and splits.

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To give an idea of how the build up was going "Tamiya" flat olive drab was painted onto the area.

Next a powered "Black and Decker" conical burr was used to ground off surplus "Araldite".


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This process of temporary olive drab painting and burring was done multiple times. The correct shape and smoothness was done by both feel and eyeball.



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Next "Tamiya" plastic hobby putty was used to fill minor imperfections and further olive drab painting was done ( being water soluble this was easy ). Multiple sandings using fine paper and further paintings were done. This was done probably 10 times or so until a very smooth surface was obtained.

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It was then painted with the exact matching green paint which was mixed by my local automotive paint shop. A flattener was added to remove some of the gloss. Further fine sandings and paintings were done with 24 hours between coats. All up 4 coats were given.
It was interesting that the paint was brushed rather than sprayed on , and after it ran into itself , the brush marks were not visible.


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The final views show the horn button placed over the central recess prior to installation to see what it would look like.

I did try the melted green plastic technique as described elsewhere on the "G", but found that this wouldn't work for me.The plastic wouldn't melt properly.

Some might criticize the finish for being too glossy but in real life it is acceptable. The remaining original intact parts of the wheel were relatively shiny to begin with - a bit like the black ones. Furthermore the camera flash does tend to accentuate the reflection and hence the shine. Ultimately use and handling should rough it up a bit. If necessary it can still be very finely abraded with a compound. Not all the inperfections have been ironed out - I wanted it to retain some of its 'patina'.
A lot of hours were put into it , but it should do the job.


Philip


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Post by Bill M » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:23 am

That is a very nice job Phillip. To have that done professionally would cost hundreds! The old Araldite is handy stuff.
Cheers
Bill.
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iowa
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Post by iowa » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:37 am

thanks for this very informative post
i need to do just this with my slat wheel
iowa
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steering wheel

Post by yd328 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:32 am

Great job and thanks for the informative post. Gary

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Post by rgus » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:55 am

Outstanding! Who would have thought.
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tfscobie
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Post by tfscobie » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:45 pm

How did you get it off the shaft in one piece?
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68427vette
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Post by 68427vette » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:46 am

wow,, glad i kept all my old steering wheels...... NICE JOB!!!!!!!

philipgslattery
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White M3A1 Scout Car Steering Wheel Restoration

Post by philipgslattery » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:47 am

T.F. It is nearly 4 years since the wheel was removed. My friend who actually removed the wheel cannot remember if he just belted it from the back with a rubber mallet or if he used a wheel puller.
He said that as a last resort, if you were stuck, holes could be drilled in the hub, something passed through and then pulled.Later the holes could be filled.

Someone else may have a better idea.. A search of the jeep section may also be fruitful.

Philip

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tfscobie
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Post by tfscobie » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:36 am

Yea...I have a '41 M3 that had (I repeat...HAD) the original steering wheel on it too. We spent about 40 hours trying to pull that bugger but ended up cutting the shaft and replacing the entire shebang.

I have tried over the past 2 years pulling the wheel from the shaft now that it's off. Nothing seems to work (heat, penetrating oil, old truck wheel-pullers & keys, tactical thermonuclear devices... it will not budge). I was just hoping that someone had a better way of dealing with my FUBAR steering wheel situation.

Anyhow, my M3 does steer but it would be cool to have the original back on. I'll keep tugging away...literally.

Hey, where did you find the center "horn" button? I need to replace mine also.

Thanks!
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philipgslattery
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white scout car steering wheel restotation

Post by philipgslattery » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:01 am

T.F. From what I can recall the horn button came from Gary Hebding ages ago. Philip

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tfscobie
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Post by tfscobie » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:55 am

Thanks and pancakes!
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Thundercat97
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Post by Thundercat97 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:33 am

What would be a good substitute for Selleys Araldite Ultra Clear here in the US? Any thoughts since I have only found it for sale in AU and NZ.

Thanks....
Rob

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retro-roco
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Alardite??

Post by retro-roco » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:37 am

From the looks of the double barrled syringe that it comes in , I'd say it looks like the standard two part epoxy that you can pick up in any hardware store...
Kirk Gustafson
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philipgslattery
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white scout car steering wheel restotation

Post by philipgslattery » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:12 am

I'm sorry I don't know the U.S. equivalent of Araldite. I thought it was universally available.It is a 2 part epoxy glue which is as strong as , and is very versatile . I'm sure that there would be a local equivalent. If there isn't just let me know and I will start up an export business.
Philip

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Post by Thundercat97 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:41 am

hahahaha.... thanks guys. I will go check it out this weekend.
Rob

41 WLA Type II
42 Open Cab CCKW 353
43 Diamond T M3 Half-Track
57mm M1A2 Anti Tank Gun
1 Ton Ben Hur Trailer


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