Cracked steering wheel rim

not a good day: I pulled too hard on my steering wheel and split the 53 year old wood. I think it split almost all the way around. I’m afraid to look at it cause I feel sick just thinking about it. The wood was so dry that lots of dust fell from the split. So I try to make myself feel better by thinking it was going to happen soon anyways.

I was backing out (curved drive & no pass side mirror.) I thought I was getting near a curb. tried to step on the brake pedal, but got my hiking shoe caught between the pedals. The curb is getting closer! I yanked my foot out and hit the brakes. BUT during the quick stop, I pulled too hard on the wheel. Nasty sound of splitting wood…

I just put a wanted add in the classifieds for a wheel.

Also I will be fixing the old wheel and adjusting the brake pedal based on JL archives. Plus a clamp-on pass side mirror & better shoe selection.

Any wisdom on the above jobs would be welcome.

It is an easy fix!

If you want to refinish it at same time.
Take off wheel
Strip varnish
Stress wheel (ie bend it) so that the crack opens up.
Fill crack with carpenters glue
Unstress wheel
Clamp glued area with clamps (in my case I tightly wound black electrical tape around wood of wheel

69 OTS


I have a completely restored series 2 wheel, PM me and we can discuss if you’re interested.

If you find you need more advice than others are giving, p.m. me: my co-conspirator on the jeep, Charlie, is an absolute Zen-level woodworker: he fixed a rotten, terrible, old, split, wood steering wheel for the jeep and it looks like it’s brand new.

When I bought my car my wheel wood was split open similar to what you describe. Luckily I had a friend who did wood working as a hobby. I took it off and gave to him for a couple of weeks and he did the procedure Dennis describes. Twenty years later I think it still looks great.

68 E-type FHC

My original steering wheel wood was splitting in a lot of places, was missing a few small pieces of wood, and was dirty/faded.

It’s such a visible part of the car, I decided to get it nicely cleaned up. Madera Concepts, in California, sanded it lightly, replaced the small missing pieces, used syringes to inject glue everywhere needed, and refinished it. It now looks better than new.

Even though I don’t tend to put a lot of pressure on it, it feels MUCH stronger as well.


That’s interesting: the injecting glue is what Charlie did to the one on the jeep. Said it took him about a month or so of cycles to get it done but then he did the rest of it with some kind of wood dough that he made up himself from wood dust, shellacked and sanded it and seems to be quite strong.

What he says. Entirely fixable.

I used a very thin glue with a quick set time when I did the wheel on the 2+2. It was years ago, I think it was a cyanoacrylate. Then was good because it went far into the cracks by capillary action. It held up well.

I’ve just had a look but I can’t find the guy on E Bay who used to sell new wood for the steering wheels.

Does anyone have a contact or know if he’s still doing it?

Only place I know about.

He used to sell both kind of wood wheels: early and later. Have not seen him for a while. Ex UK from memory.

Nick goldsmith Uk I have his phone number
+44 7976 877908

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See above Andrew went to his place once

I’d use wood glue - PVA, rather than superglue - cyanoacrylate.

If it’s good enough for gluelam beams (engineered timbers used in construction) then it’s good enough for an E-Type steering wheel.

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It won’t be appropriate for every situation. My steering wheel had hairline cracks, no missing wood and the cracks allowed it to flex excessively. A really thin glue that wicked far into the cracks was the way to go.

There are different formulations. The glue I used I bought in a store selling woodworking supplies and was supposed to be specifically formulated for use in woodworking. You don’t want to use the two tubes for a dollar stuff you find on the racks at the store checkout counter.

Cyanoacrylate: Everything You Need to Know (

I let people drive my car but I supervise them getting in and out of the car and do not allow them to touch the steering well then.

I’ve always used Araldite as it’s good to fill dents and cracks with and you get plenty of time to get it right.

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Excellent! Another name for the E Type parts file.

I redid my wheel with a kit from the UK in 2010. Was very happy with the results, marginally thicker but made the same way from wound mahogany veneer.
I’m not sure if the guy is still around, although there is reference to him still very active in 2017 on the XK forum.
Nick Reeves, 44 121 7336898
I used a two part urea-formaldehyde glue on the recommendation of a craftsman joiner, as it has gap filling properties in case these are needed on the split joint. 12 years on and I’ve had no issues.

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