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$600 or $1100 Steering wheel project... exact same result, because I wasted $500

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Phoenix, AZ, USA
#1
So I’m not going to explain everything, but that’s what it looks like for my investment so far to recover steering wheel (although I may end up with a couple)

Some interesting lessons here that may really be helpful to someone by the way, spoiler is the first picture.

1. started out with purchasing a Redline kit to recover with synthetic Alcantara. Wanted a slightly thicker steering wheel as the stock ST is a skinny one. Applied foam and stitching project didn’t end up well as I easily ripped through the material so the cover was (somewhat) ruined.

2. Contacted Redline (Poland) they were slow responding back and forth but agreed to give me a little bit of a discount on a leather (stronger material) cover and more money to have them send me the kit, and subsequently install. I paid, received, and sent off the steering wheel.

3. Ordered a cheap non-leather 2019 Fiesta SE wheel from e-Bay, it was like new. Thought about using the Alcantara cover that was torn, with a BMW stitching strategy that loops through the straight line stitches rather than through the holes in the material.

4. Steering wheel is much larger, so cover does not fit well especially on the sides. Started sanding down the sides... but then looked a the difference (nice to have another ST with a like new steering wheel to show.

5. Local shop will recover this one in Alcantara for $450 (I would be well over $1000 at that point)...

6. We’ll see how the leather cover turns out from Redline and the local vendor, but they remove the leather cover and install some cheap thin foam, so it will not be much thicker I bet. Lether seems nicer that OEM, and I had them put a bloue stripe/ring at the top, blue stitching.

RECOMMENDATION: Buy a cheap non leather steering wheel that’s already a lot thicker, sand off some of the weird angled edges, and recover by a local shop, or you can try ordering a cover for the non ST wheel and DIY (not doing this so you may end up with issues if they don't have the exact same wheel dimensions set properly).

I'm not done yet but lots of lessons learned... and the non-ST wheel is much nicer if you prefer a thicker steering wheel.
 


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OP
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Location
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Thread Starter #2
Turned out great... 2019 Fiesta SE wheel + sandpaper + Genuine Italian Alcantara + professional + $500 cash

Adrian in Phoenix -- "Steering Wheel Art" (480)939-1208
https://www.facebook.com/SteeringWheelsArt/

Super happy. This requires a lot of skill, and a little bit of glue... the blue ring is buffalo suede... feels great, original ST wheel feels cheap in comparison. My advice, do this right off the bat. I paid a lot more in failed attempts, and would have settled for a lot less... but the quality of material, the worksmanship, the end result, and for the price, it's the only way to go.

83396264-CD0C-4849-8967-EBEA413CB4E9.jpeg E79192AB-9F35-48A3-8DEC-8A77D3400863.jpeg
 


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M-Sport fan

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#4
If you must retain the air bag, THIS is the way to go (and what I will do if I do not just say 'eff it', and get a Sparco suede wheel, and some QD hub). [wink]

That looks, and I'm sure feels, about as great as the factory form wheel ever could. [twothumb]
 


OP
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Thread Starter #5
Wait, is the ST wheel smaller or larger?
Smaller!

First post first picture shows the comparison... the ST wheel (installed on the left) is perforated leather and relatively skinny, feels like soft crunchy foam underneath tthe leather. Took the Fiesta SE wheel and put it right on top so you can see how much thicker it is. The ST wheel was in very nice shape, from the 2018 car... the 2014 was not very pleasant and some of the foam was collapsed under the leather. I sent this one in to recover. Now you see how many times I've tried to get what I like here, and what i have found.

Also, see the Alcantara extending on top of the switches in the last picture... this is possible with the SE wheel, the ST wheel has a big step here, so it wouldn't come out as nice. The SE wheel has some sharper style angles, so I sanded these down for a smoother look. If you remove the leather/foam from the ST wheel, it's narrow with deep grooves for the seams, not nearly as nice to recover as the SE wheel in my opinion.

I did send another wheel to Redline for them to recover, that's an ST wheel, I'l post a picture when it returns. It will be leather as they didn't like the simulated Alcantara I ordered previously too much and recommended leather with new foam.
 


M-Sport fan

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#6
I am wondering if he was asking whether or not the SE wheel was larger or smaller in OVERALL diameter, vs. the actual rim thickness diameter, which is what you have shown.
In any case, is the O.D. of both wheels nearly identical, or IS one smaller in O.D. than the other??
 


M-Sport fan

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#8
Yes, that's one of the things I LOVE about the Sparco mod 383 suede wheel specifically in their, or any others' lineup(s), as it has that very large rim thickness diameter, which then 'ovalizes' out at the top and bottom sections of the wheel, to be even wider yet. [wink] [thumb]
 


OP
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Thread Starter #9
The oval cross section (as opposed to round) is where most of the thickness comes from. Interesting how they have a more sporting shape wheel (in my opinion) for the SE, never would have known if I didn’t buy it and compare side by side.
 


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#10
Would like to see both refinished wheels side by side to see the thickness difference.

What are the "weird angles" that you sanded off from the SE steering wheel?
 


OP
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Thread Starter #11
What are the "weird angles" that you sanded off from the SE steering wheel?
if you get a chance to see/hold the SE steering wheel, with hands 9-3, the thumb areas have some angles not on the ST wheel. The other place is the back side radius near same locations, and the finger grooves are too pronounced if recovering, causes issues with cutting material and stitching, and aren’t needed as pronounced. No pictures other than what was in first post.
 


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Birmingham
#13
Thanks for the info, I feel your pain! I’ve had an Alcantara covered wheel in another car and really like it. I’ve liked Redline’s other Alcantara products in that car too. I’d like to eventually add some pieces to the Fist, I may pick up an SE wheel cheap to see if I like the feel better.
 


CarGuy

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#14
Thanks for the info, I feel your pain! I’ve had an Alcantara covered wheel in another car and really like it. I’ve liked Redline’s other Alcantara products in that car too. I’d like to eventually add some pieces to the Fist, I may pick up an SE wheel cheap to see if I like the feel better.
I have one on the way to me. I found it on eBay and it was listed for $99 or make offer. I offered $80 and they took it. Probably could have gotten it cheaper but I will post up when I get it.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 


jeff

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#15
Nice job. When I bought my car I subsequently sat in a Focus ST and realized our wheel was too small, the Focus ST wheel is perfect. I spent some time researching as you did but ultimately decided it was too much coin for a steering wheel. But glad yours came out so well!
 


OP
A
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Thread Starter #19
What are the "weird angles" that you sanded off from the SE steering wheel?
OK so the wheel is covered and installed now, but I can “sort of” illustrate on the pictures from the listing... keep in mind that any irregularity will prong through the cover, I learned that trying to shave and recover motorcycle seats.
 


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Cleveland
#20
I am wondering if he was asking whether or not the SE wheel was larger or smaller in OVERALL diameter, vs. the actual rim thickness diameter, which is what you have shown.
In any case, is the O.D. of both wheels nearly identical, or IS one smaller in O.D. than the other??
I'm looking for a smaller circumference while keeping a larger cross-section. No one I know makes a replacement that keeps the controls/airbag that's smaller in OD. At least not without a custom 1K price.
 


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