Union Jack

Restoration of My 1967 AH Sprite MK4

Restoring the Steering Wheel

Enfo Logo

Note: Each photo below can be clicked for a larger view

Top cleaned Bottom cleaned Top cleaned Bottom cleaned Harold did his best to ensure I had a full car when he turned all the original boxes over to me. I never tried to take an inventory until we moved from the Morningstar storage unit. As we loaded boxes onto the trailer for the trip, I at least looked in each one and listed what I could easily see. This became my first "inventory". When we got the tires on we wanted the wheel to more easily move the car but it was not in the box it was supposed to be. Since that was the only box I found that could contain it I just suspected my quickie inventory was wrong and there was no wheel.

Moving forward a couple of months and I was looking for brazing flux. On another shelf unit, under several other things, I saw another box about steering wheel shape. After moving all that stuff and opening the box, this is what I found. It does need a complete restoration but I have done that before and will do the same for this one. Actually, it is a nice enough design and with a leather wrap will be quite acceptable. That also saves a few hundred dollars for a replacement.

As shown here, I have washed the wheel thoroughly with soap and water then sanded the plastic rim with 180 grit and sand blasted the aluminum hub. It is now ready to begin restoration. The first step will be to grind out the cracks and splits to clean, solid materials then fill with PC-7 epoxy. The DPO's repair attempts may or may not require further attention. We'll know when it is opened up.

Top patched Bottom patched After grinding all the cracks and flaws to clean material, I filled everything with PC7 epoxy. After sanding that to 180 grit, I added another coat of the epoxy being more careful to get it as smooth as practical. After sanding that, again to 180, I filled any remaining flaws with the Smooth Sand glazing putty and finally sanded to 320 and 400 grit. These photos were taken at that point, ready for primer. The gray areas are the PC7 and the almost white ones are the glazing putty. I decided to leave the PO's patch as it was pretty solid and the alternative would require something similar. Besides, the twisted wire protrusion was very close to where a finger hump would be so I thought it would be unnoticeable.

Paint setup Paint setup To be able to paint the whole wheel easily, I used about the same setup I used for the Prefect wheel. I didn't have the extra long bolt (that was probably a piece of all thread) so I used what I had on hand. It is a 4-1/2 inch bolt, used for installing the front suspension springs tightened to the hub, with a couple of nuts that clamp in the vise jaws to hold it all in place. I then mixed a small batch of the old PPG DP90, black epoxy primer and applied 2 coats. This stuff still works fine after 20 plus years. After that dried in a few hours, I sanded it lightly with 400 grit and applied 3 coats of PPG K200, the urethane high build primer/surfacer.

In epoxy In epoxy In epoxy
In K200 In K200 In K200

The next day, I sanded the urethane to 600 grit and applied 2 thinned coats of the epoxy as a sealer. As soon as the weather permits, I will finish the job with black urethane. I had forgotten how much I like the K200. It was so smooth that it almost didn't need sanding. True, it can't be built as high as the newer polyester surfacers but it sure is more convenient to use. It is mixed 4 to 1 and has a decent pot life. You don't have to nearly panic and get the gun washed out within 30 minutes.