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911 Steering Wheel Spoke Repair
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Pelican Technical Article:

911 Steering Wheel Spoke Repair

David Fowlkes


3-4 hours






27mm socket, WD-40 or Liquid Wrench, seam ripper, scissors, welding shop weld the junctions between the rim and spoke, X-acto knife, Goop adhesive, blunt needles

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-82)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)

Parts Required:

Leather and thread

Performance Gain:

A restored steering wheel that looks and works flawlessly

Complementary Modification:

Replace your shifter boot with new leather

     I drive a 1982 911SC Targa that is equipped with the three spoke sports steering wheel.  When I purchased the car, two of the spokes were broken at the junction between the spoke and rim of the steering wheel.  They were held somewhat in place by the covering of the steering wheel, but the flex and popping sound was disconcerting.  To fix the problem AND keep the car in original condition ruled out a new steering wheel.  After checking around, I found that many of the sports steering wheels of this vintage were also broken at the same junction as mine.  I repaired the steering wheel as follows:

1. Remove steering wheel:

a.Remove the horn pad. The horn pad is attached to steering wheel by three pressure snaps at each spoke.  Remove the pad by pulling away from the steering wheel. The electrical connection for the horn will disconnect when the horn pad comes off.

b.The steering wheel fits over the steering column shaft and is held in place with a 27mm bolt.  Apply WD-40 to bolt, wait a few minutes, and loosen the bolt.

c.Turn the steering wheel until it is level.

d.Remove the 27 mm bolt and pull the steering wheel off the steering column shaft.

2. Remover the leather cover of the steering wheel.  I found that a seam ripper (available at fabric stores) and scissors made the job easy.

3. At each of the three junctions between the spokes and rim, I carefully removed the hard rubber that covered the steering wheel as follows:

a.Made a 360 degree cut at points "A" and "B".

b.Made a slit along the outside circumference of the steering wheel at "C".

c.Made a slit along the inside circumference of the steering wheel at "D".

4. Take the steering wheel to a welding shop and have each junction welded on both sides of where the rim and spoke meet.  My cost was $55.

5. Reattach the hard rubber: Use a rubber cement (I used "Goop" which is both an adhesive and filler) to re-assemble the hard rubber coating to the rim.  If necessary, use multiple coats and sanding.  Ensure that all seams are smooth to the touch.

6. Replace the leather cover and sew.  

a.I used a black, waxed thread and two straight, blunt needles (Tandy Leather).

b.Place a needle on each end of a piece of thread that is three times as long as the area to be sewed.

c.Sew from spoke to spoke.

7. Mount the steering wheel on the shaft and tighten the bolt.

8. Reconnect the electrical connection for the horn.

9. Re-attach the horn pad.

10. Drive with complete confidence in the steering wheel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
J.R Comments: Great article. I'd love to see more details on the stitching process. Pictures would be great too. I've always heard sewing a steering wheel is super tough to do right.
August 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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