Materials to Maintain Your ZHP IIIII Hand Protection IIIII Tools to Maintain Your ZHP
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    San Francisco Bay Area

    DIY: Refinishing Leather Streering Wheel with M3 Tri Stich doityourself

    My goal was to replace worn alcantara wrapped wheel with used M3 Wheel without spending more than a re-wrap. The wheel I found in an M3 forum ($100) had faded and warn leather. I reviewed a lot of forums post before deciding how to approach this. I finally decided on Doc Bailey's Leather Black. This stuff is used by Harley owners for boots, jacks, seats, etc. I picked the product for cost, ease of use and a post on another forum. I made a few tweeks in my method, so here's what I did.

    Supplies: Doc Bailey's Leather Black ($11), 1200 grit Sand Paper, Mr Clean Magic Eraser, bucket of water, 1/2" Blue Painters Tape, 1" sponge paint brush, Alcohol Wipes, rubber gloves, plastic cup, lent free clothes.

    Time: Refinishing about 3 hours (but 3 days in between for drying). Add an hour for wheel removal and replacement.

    This is the wheel before.

    -First, I highly recommend removing the wheel and covers. It makes the job a lot easier and this process is messy.

    -Sand out the rough spots being careful not to damage the stitching. Get the wheel as smooth as possible.

    -Then with a bucket of plain water, soak the Magic Eraser and give the wheel a good scrubbing to remove the oils and built up dirt. Rinse the Magic Eraser frequently. A lot of color will come off and this will unseal the existing finish so it can absorb the Doc Baileys. Don't freak out, the wheel will look like crap and you bucket of water will be black.

    -Let the wheel dry, preferably over night.

    -Rub the wheel with alcohol wipes (or rubbing alcohol with a lint free cloth), this will help finish the cleaning and dry out the leather even more.

    -Make sure the wheel is bone dry and apply the blue tape to all stitching. (If you have black stitching you can skip this step). Make sure the edges of the tape are making firm contact. The tape will cover a bit more than the stitching, but the rubbing process will even out the finish.

    -Pour some Doc Baileys in a plastic cub, soak the foam brush and apply an even coat to all the leather. Let that sit a while and dry (an hour or so). Apply a really goopy heavy coat, as much as the wheel can hold without dripping.

    Let the wheel sit over night.

    -Now get yourself some lint free clothes and start rubbing off the excess Leather Black. Once a heavy layer is off, remove the blue tape. Continue wiping down the wheel with the clothes-try to avoid rubbing over the stitching for now but right up to it and the leather that was covered with tape even out. Once the clothes stop pulling off so much color, you can rub over the stitching without worry. Let the wheel sit over night before re-installing. Before re-installing give it one more wipe down.

    Here's the wheel installed! It is still a used wheel but the color is deep and consistent, the leather has a soft feel and the tri-stitch was unaffected. It's been on a couple of weeks and I am still happy with the result. Total cost was under $150 and I have an M3 Tri Stitch steering wheel!

    *The Cobey Wheel DIY on wheel removal was very helpful as well as several Youtube videos on wheel removal.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Liberty Township, OH
    Well done. Thanks.
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs l Maple Interior Trim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Wow, awesome! That's very cost effective, too.
    In the market for an E90 M3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Southern California
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"

    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV, Anthracite Black "my individual" interior trim
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Suspension: AST 44100 dampers, Bimmerworld front adjustable end links, Swift springs (8K front, 10K rear), Vorshlag camber plates
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

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