1. Welcome to the new SAOCA website. Already a member? Simply click Log In/Sign Up up and to the right and use your same username and password from the old site. If you've forgotten your password, please send an email to membership@sunbeamalpine.org for assistance.

    If you're new here, click Log In/Sign Up and enter your information. We'll approve your account as quickly as possible.


    Dismiss Notice

Steering Wheel Horn Pad Restoration

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Bill Eisinger, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. Bill Eisinger

    Bill Eisinger Platinum Level Sponsor

    Has anyone developed a technique for removing the foam horn pad from the steering wheel cap assembly? The pad appears to be glued inside a chromed "can" which presses into the hub piece. It's easy enough to pry the can and foam pad assembly out of the hub but I'd like to be able to remove the pad in order to re-chrome the can. I'm thinking that perhaps careful application of a heat gun might do it but somewhat fearful of damaging the foam in the process.

    With some judicious masking and some vinyl dye I have the foam pad and hub looking pretty good (most seem to significantly fade over time) but now, it makes the defects in the chrome stand out even more.

    Any ideas or thoughts? Somebody must have done this in the past.

    Attached Files:

  2. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    I don't ever remember seeing a reproduction part for these - mostly folk have been trying to find the best one they can find and just go with that. Of course, the other thing they do over time is crack! I'm thinking that this might be a good part to 3D print. You could print it with a very light amount of infill (10-15% or so), making it crush easily on impact, essentially preserving the intent of the pad, and the outside could be designed to have the leatherette-like finish, too. You'd have to pry out the original jewel center and reuse that in the printed part - it could be inserted into the printed item during a pause in the print process, and then printed around to secure it.
  3. Bill Eisinger

    Bill Eisinger Platinum Level Sponsor

    Until then, I'm trying to figure out how to restore an original...straight forward process if you can get the foam pad out of the can.
  4. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Platinum Level Sponsor

    "if you can get the foam pad out of the can"
    And that is the hard part. I have several where the PO has tried to do just that and ended up ruining the foam center or the plastic cover as they are glued in pretty tightly.
  5. Bill Eisinger

    Bill Eisinger Platinum Level Sponsor

    If you have any that are too far gone to restore I'd take them off your hands to experiment with.
  6. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Platinum Level Sponsor

    Will send you a few when I mail your other bits......
  7. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    Hmm. Well, one approach might be to thread some piano wire through the small openings around the base, using a stout needle, and then thread the wire back again, essentially making a loop. Then as you pull both ends of the wire it would cut between the foam and the metal, separating the two. If done from each of the apertures to the others, most of the adhered foam would be released, such that it may then be released enough to prise it off without major damage.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020

Share This Page