: 1969 DeVille. Steering wheel restoration options



ShagPower
12-05-09, 01:08 AM
Hey guys, I'd like to get some work done to my caddy over the winter. The thing that bothers me the most is the steering wheel. I've attached some pics to show the condition. Basically the wood ring insert has cracked and is falling out.

Is there anyone who knows how to go about fixing this, or where/if I can get a new ring insert. I've looked into replacing the whole steering wheel with one made by Grant, however they do not make one to fit my car. And honestly I would 100% prefer to keep the original.

Any ideas?? I KNOW I'm not the only one with a steering wheel like this
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/wheel004.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/wheel010.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/wheel006.jpg

and a pic of the beast, just for fun
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/IMG_1451.jpg

Cadillacboy
12-05-09, 12:25 PM
What a gorgeous ride ;)
If I were you , I would have a new style .Top and bottom of the steering wheel to be wood and side pieces leather .My 96 FWB to be like that .I am sure it would look more classy after that

outsider
12-05-09, 02:49 PM
I dunno what to do about the steering wheel but that's a sweet ass ride. Can't wait to get my 69 looking that good :)

77CDV
12-05-09, 04:34 PM
:drool:

I love Rampur Green with the gold Dardanelle cloth and leather interior. Extra points for a slick top!

There are several companies that will restore steering wheels. Check Hemmings as a start. A web search also reveals several options. Make sure whomever you choose can also restore the 1969-only rim-blow horn feature. I'm currently running a 1970 wheel in my '69 FWB until I can get to the interior restoration. Then I'll have the original wheel rebuilt.

Craig

05devilledave
12-06-09, 10:37 PM
I agree, I am jealous of that Dardanelle interior. My 67 has the italian tuxedo striped looking cloth. I dread getting it re-upholstered someday. I can see many of these "$$$$$$$$$" . If you wanted a new car with that type of cloth, theyd just simply say ".... uhhhh....NO, its not an option...ever...." This is why, after my 05 deville starts giving me hell, im sticking with "cash for clunkers" Now, Im not meaning junk Caddy's, but Id rather pay $15,000-$20,000 cash for a fully restored 60s caddy, than for a used newer one. As far as the steering wheel. Find an automobile upholstery shop or a classic car restoration shop and see if they can restore it. There is a couple of both of those in Wichita, Ks. I would think they could either do the work, or know who can.

ShagPower
12-07-09, 01:17 AM
I'm thinking of pulling it off this week and painfully gluing the pieces back in with epoxy, then filling in the splits and painting it...sounds easier said than done. I'm more of a DIY guy personally, gives you more pride in your work. However I doubt the rim blow will work after this. I'll keep pics and post a build thread if it turns out good. I've talked to a restoration guy about it already but unfortunately he never CALLED ME BACK!

Thanks for the positive comments. The interior gets the most comments by far. I went to a car show in July and was parked next to my uncles mint 66 stang fastback. He was later telling me his buddies were asking where he was in the show, no one could remember his car but they all remembered the cadillac with the crazy interior. Unfortunately there is 1 rip about 1" on the top of the back seat..obviously from sun damage. Nothing makes me cringe more than people sitting on my "likely irreplaceable" interior..enjoy the pics
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/IMG_1461.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/IMG_1458.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/IMG_1459.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/stock94block/IMG_1455.jpg

outsider
12-07-09, 11:26 AM
Make sure whomever you choose can also restore the 1969-only rim-blow horn feature.

Can anyone give me more info on this feature? couldn't figure out how to honk the horn on my 69 :canttalk:

77CDV
12-09-09, 02:21 AM
Can anyone give me more info on this feature? couldn't figure out how to honk the horn on my 69 :canttalk:

It was one of those ideas that sound great in theory and are the suck in practice. You see the indentation that runs around the whole inner side of the wheel? That's where the horn ring should be. On a complete wheel, you lightly squeeze the wheel, and the horn sounds. On most cars, the horn ring is concealed in the center padded section of the steering wheel. The rim-blow horn was supposedly a safety feature, as you never had to move your hand to use the horn.

Unfortunately, the horn ring was delicate and fell to pieces in short order. Most '69s had their wheels replaced with more conventional wheels from later years. Some people try to rig a horn button under the padded center section of the original wheel, which is great, as long as you remember in your panic/frustration/anger where the hell you put the damn button so you can use the horn when needed.

Some other makes used the rim-blow feature in the 60s. None of them kept it for more than a year or two.

Craig

Aron9000
12-09-09, 03:19 AM
That is ridiculous:bonkers:

I sometimes have a strong enough grip on the wheel to choke a hooker, I guess the whole world would know I was slightly tense behind the wheel from the horn constantly blowing.

outsider
12-09-09, 10:20 AM
It was one of those ideas that sound great in theory and are the suck in practice. You see the indentation that runs around the whole inner side of the wheel? That's where the horn ring should be. On a complete wheel, you lightly squeeze the wheel, and the horn sounds. On most cars, the horn ring is concealed in the center padded section of the steering wheel. The rim-blow horn was supposedly a safety feature, as you never had to move your hand to use the horn.

Unfortunately, the horn ring was delicate and fell to pieces in short order. Most '69s had their wheels replaced with more conventional wheels from later years. Some people try to rig a horn button under the padded center section of the original wheel, which is great, as long as you remember in your panic/frustration/anger where the hell you put the damn button so you can use the horn when needed.

Some other makes used the rim-blow feature in the 60s. None of them kept it for more than a year or two.

Craig

Thanks for the information...sounds like a bad idea to me but I'll have to check into it and see if mine has that feature still intact. :bighead:

caddilacowgirl
01-25-11, 10:52 PM
I found your post when I was searching BING for a steering wheel. I almost peed myself when you said you didn't know the horn was located on the rim of the wheel. I have a 1969 Deville convertible. A few weeks after getting my baby. I took her to the shop because she kept honking when I'd make a left turn....I didn't know the horn was there either! Unfortunatly I realized this far to late as I got her back from the shop short $150 bucks and no resolution. But it hasn't worked since. Sad. Did you get yours replaced? Mine is in the same shape and I can find every part for steering except for the wheel. I was told once that there was a company that can make exact replica's. I cannot remember for sure but it was something like american classic car. I haven't looked since the wheel has had to take a backseat to my roof and tail light that my douche ex slashed and smashed when I dumped his ass. Anyway, just thought I'd let you laugh at someone else's stupidity. To think we know enough to snatch these gems up but lack the common sense to operate them. Good luck!
Jo

Neil Clarke
01-25-11, 11:08 PM
Check these people out on your gold trim
You might find they do replacement cloth

http://www.smsautofabrics.com

77CDV
01-26-11, 03:31 PM
Jo,

Google "steering wheel repair". A good number of individuals who rebuild them will pop up. There's one here in Poway, CA, that I'm planning to use when I get my car to that point.

Sorry to hear about your ex's anger management issues. Fortunately for us, we drive tough cars. :)

Craig

outsider
01-26-11, 04:03 PM
yeah, and even more fortunate for you...he didn't smash the back window! I smashed my by accident while trying to remove the rim around it and it was hard (and expensive) to find replacement! had to have it shipped from texas (to maine).

albymangled
01-27-11, 04:55 PM
if SMS auto cant help with interior cloth maybe these guys can...

http://originalauto.com/products/n-o-s-original-seat-cloth-vinyl

re: rimblow repairs....

here's a start...

yes they are MOSTLY talking about blue oval product but mention repair to other makes as well....

prices?

well make your own mind up on that...

http://www.therimblowbuddy.com/page/page/458615.htm

http://www.rimblowrestorations.co.nz/

http://www.bestinshowsteeringwheels.com/

good luck and congrats on your beautiful 69...

gymowner
08-31-11, 09:26 PM
i own a '69 coupe that has the dardenelle interior and is perfect except for the drivers seat. the car was originally from oklahoma with no rust whatsoever. even had the original L series tires on it! the car has a perfect steering wheel with the blow rim horn. once you get use to it, the horn is so easy to use. i just drive with my thumbs at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions and just touch the small lip that is made in the rubber ring and it blows easily. i have to say at first i struggled by gripping my fingers under the rim and trying to squeeze it with all my fingers....very difficult. i just relaxed one time driving and it dawned on me how to use the horn! lol back to the seat material. i have a very good upholsterer that recommended i try smsautointeriors. i called them and they stock this material! it is not oem it is manufactured material that is suppose to be an identical match. i just ordered it so am waiting for it to arrive. i will update you guys when it arrives. it was not that expensive at all. about $85 per yard. i ordered just under 2 yards. there is enough material for both front seats for about $185 including shipping....now for the cost of the upholsterer...ugh. however the car is like new. 72,000 miles and is outstanding. just had her repainted since there was some sun fading on the trunk. gorgeous paint job. had the air conditioner totally rebuilt and just got the clock back from being rebuilt. next thing i think i'll do is put aftermarket power doors locks on (invisible and works with a key fob button) and aftermarket cruise control and this car will be the best caddy around!

CADforce69
09-01-11, 05:52 AM
Congrats for owning such a remarkable '69 unit. :thumbsup: I have a ī69 SDV but steering wheel rim was destroyed by sun so a '70 wheel is coming and after a little restoring will allow me to use horn normally. I had also to restore all upholstery of my car as it was also fried by sun. Originally gold dardanelle, I asked sms and as you said itīs not expensive by any means. Another forum member used their fabrics and he said results were great. Anyway, finally I decided using leather for seats. No great difference in budget. A good upholstery job is not cheap but itīs better paying a good professional as upholstery is one of the most visible carīs parts and normally it has to last for all of the carīs life.

You can check my caddy restoration in the 69 Sedan De Ville Official restoration thread: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/232166-69-sedan-de-ville-official-restoration.html

We would love to see some pics of your car ;)

hiddensetting
02-20-14, 05:14 PM
SMS fabrics, check them out on youtube

coodeville
02-21-14, 09:27 PM
i know its kind of dated now, but i got a restored steering wheel from FEN Enterprises in NY. Google it. Thry went out of business because of a divorce. But both are still going at it in seperate businesses now. You'll want to deal with Elsa Nicademus.

MoistCabbage
02-22-14, 12:34 AM
gymowner, you need to post pics of this car :yup: .