E Type Steering Wheel Restoration Suggestion

Howdy Jag Lovers
Has anyone had their steering wheel restored ? If so. By whom, and how would you evaluate the results? I realize some prefer to attempt it themselves and that’s ok. The wheel will need horn part replacement, but the wood is in good shape (will require sanding & refinishing).
Anyone try British Wood in Florida ?
Thanks again.

I refinished my own wheel, not hard at all. A little sanding then 4-6 coats of a wipe on gel polyurethane.

I refinished mine as well. Wipe off varnish remover for the remains of the old finish. Titebond waterproof glue and clamps for the several cracks. Light sanding and then two coats of wipe on Birchwood Casey Gunstock oil. The horn push is available from the usuals, but all of the repro parts I have seen are more silver than the original gold.
I’m really pleased at the results, but as Mike said, not much effort at all.

I’ll echo what Michael and Ed have said. I did my own using Titebond for glue where needed and Helmsman Spar Varnish.


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Any of these finishes will work well but I like the rub on gels since you wipe it on and then immediately wipe it off leaving a very thin layer. You do this 4-6 times to build up the finish and you get a really smooth finish.

Like those above I refinished mine as well, It’s one of the easier chores to make the interior really look good. When sanding the backside, be careful not to sand away the finger grip indentations.


Try and preserve the original horn push as the reproductions are horrible - wrong chequering, wrong growler shape and wrong colour. Original should look like this:

Original vs repro:

If you can save the centre push you can fit it to the repro surround although they are plastic not Bakelite as per the original. If your ‘Growler’ is beyond redemption you can use the badge from an S3 hub cap with a little modification.

Remember the horn push is in front of you whenever you are driving and the hideous repro will really annoy you.



David’s first photo above brings up a question.

What’s the best method for getting rid of the brown surface of the horn push and returning it to black? I’ve tried various hand rubbing and polishing compounds without success.

This is quite good on black trim and plastic , wear gloves when you put it on !

Is there a way to repair an original horn button that the clear plastic has what looks like many internal cracks?

John - no way I know of to restoring the Bakelite. Best I have come up with is using metal polish but my preference is to leave it as is.

Tom - no way I know of reparing the clear acrylic. Many show signs of cracking caused by intemperate bashing of the horn. Just enjoy it as is - so much history.

JLR have gone to the original manufacturer of the horn push - Frattorini - and produced one to original specification. Yours for about $700! It seems to me the original is worth preserving regardless of condition.


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I’ve also read that metal polish can be used to remove the thin oxidized layer from Bakelite, but am nervous about trying it for fear of making things worse. If someone (maybe me) summons up the courage to give it a try, perhaps they can take before and after photos for the benefit of all. I’m away from my car currently, but if there are no takers, maybe I’ll try. My Bakelite has some semi-permanent water marks on it too, which I presume came from not drying it properly after one of our Oil Leak wet days…

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Thanks David. If I had a spare I’d fiddle with it, but I don’t want to mess up he only one I have.

I found that a few coats of black shoe polish did a great job of restoring the shine on the Bakelite.

I believe it is just old age. I do not remember the cracks when I got it 35 years ago, and I seldom use the horn.

Tried it: didnt work. Made it even cloudier.

John, try Ballistol for a nice clean & finish. Turns out Bakelite to a semigloss shine.


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