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Hand Stitched Steering Wheel Wrap (DIY w/ PICS)

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Old 07-14-2016, 03:23 AM
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Hand Stitched Steering Wheel Wrap (DIY w/ PICS)

Hey everyone.

I just picked up a Xuji leather steering wheel wrap from Amazon for $50 and got it installed today.The process was not painless but it was worth the results.

My 2007 G35 Sedan has a gross peeling old steering wheel and it got worse when I tried to clean it one day. I thought the Armorall wipe was taking dirt off, turned out it was taking the leather off the wheel.

Anyways, I picked that steering wheel wrap in black leather with silver stitching. It took 2 days to get here from awesome Amazon and it looks great. The leather smelled wonderful (if you like leather) and it looked clean and well cut. A test fit showed it was cut out nicely for my steering wheel. Also, the packaging it came in was very nice and it even had detailed instructions which appear to be translated from Chinese.





I researched a bunch of these wraps since the cheapest steering wheel fix I could find is a $450 re-sewn Infiniti steering wheel. New from Infiniti was about $800, so for a $50 wrap I figured what the hell.

Other wraps compare to the quality of the Xuji, however, this was the only wrap I found that covers all the way up to the steering wheel bezel. The others simply wrapped around the spokes on the steering wheel.



You can see here what my old wheel looks like. It sucked, it was annoying to grip, and looked terrible. The top of the wheel felt gritty and I often noticed my hand would have small black particles on it after a long drive. The rest of my car is super clean, but the steering wheel looked like it was from an old sunbeaten car.




So, I did what most people do when they mod their car, I drank a beer. I decided it would be easier to do this modification with the steering wheel off the car so I popped it off. I wont go over the detail of that, but you can find out how to remove the steering wheel and bezel from which is a decent writeup. I used this when I replaced the steering wheel trim a while back so taking it off again was quick, took maybe 10 minutes. Having the wheel off the car definitely gives you more access to all areas of the wheel, but mainly I wanted to watch movies inside my house instead of sitting in a hot car!




I then proceeded to wrap this steering wheel in my house with the A/C on as it is hot as hell here in Sac right now. I also had Die Hard 2 on in the background (porcelain Glock 7 made in Germany?) so it wasn't too bad. I watched and re-watched maybe 5 different videos on YouTube about this type of install, the most helpful video was
because it shows the majority of the process.

Once the wheel was off the car, the first step was to put the double sided tape on the outer edges of the wrap. Some wraps do not use tape, this one did. I was on the fence about it, however in the end I am glad I used it. Lemme tell ya tho, it sucked. It took maybe 45 minutes to peel off the double sided tape after this wrap was put on the wheel because it is super tight and sometimes hard to reach. However, the tape did hold it in place and I would rather spend more time with the tape than having the possibility of a slippery cover (which I don't!).



Once the taping was done, I put this on the wheel and got it test fitted as well as I could. There are seams in the wrap that match up with the seams on the wheel itself which made it easier. It will never line up perfect, but I did my best to make it look like it was going to wrap around the wheel and it worked out for me.



After the test fit, I pulled the double sided tape and pressed it firmly into place. Once it felt "right" I began the process of hand sewing the wrap. I dare not explain this, rather, watch that aforementioned video (and others on YouTube) and they will show you how to sew it. This part took me probably 3 hours to do. I did take a few breaks, but in reality I watched "Training Day" in entirety and I wasn't even done sewing by the time the movie was over. My recommendation for this process would be to make sure you follow the video (or written) instructions, and pull tight on the string as this stuff is thick and pulls itself together nicely. When all was said and done, I was THRILLED at how this turned out, even before I reinstalled it on the car.



The last part was the reinstallation which was once again, very easy, since I had done this before. The new wheel looks great, didn't add very much thickness at all which was something I was concerned about beforehand, and it feels awesome to grip! I never poked myself with the needle, and even though the whole process, start to finish, took almost 6 hours, it was well worth it. Ideally I would rather have a new wheel, but at a near 1/9 the price, I would do the wrap again for sure!



I by no means am a pro sewer, actually, I don't know that I have ever sewn more than a small rip in a shirt, but I did a decent job. It looks great on the car, and the picture doesnt do it justice. The last pic there makes the color look like an off black, but it's not. That pic is in the sun with the flash on my phone, all the other pics were inside my house or garage. The black matches up perfectly, the perforations looks great, and it fits very well. Keep in mind that, in my example, the wrap never fits perfectly. There are some spots where there is excess material, so you can feel small wrinkles in it. Someone with more experience could likely do better, and it no way matches up to the smoothness of a brand new leather steering wheel, but again, for $50, you can't beat it! I was never going for perfection, but it sure looks and feel way better than it did before, even with small imperfections in there.

A few tips if you are interested in this install:
  • Removing the wheel helps because you can tuck the fabric behind the bezel, whereas on the car you would have to cram it in there and the tolerances on my bezel were so tight it would have taken forever.
  • When putting the tape on, use long pieces to make it easier to peel off. 1 big piece instead of 4 long pieces means only 1 pull from the start instead of 4.
  • Pull the thread tight on spots where there may be a gap and less tight on areas where there is a lot of fabric. This wrap doesn't fit perfectly so some spaces will be different, not to mention if your wheel was like mine than some of the material has come off the wheel over time.
  • Take your time and relax, if you rush it, and mess up on the thread pattern, you either have to redo it or leave it messed up.

Other than that, totally worth $50 and my time while watching some movies! If you want to undertake this process, I hope this write-up can offer some insight into what it might be like for you.

If you have any questions, let me know!

_Michael

Last edited by MikeJones916; 07-14-2016 at 03:30 AM.
Old 07-14-2016, 03:53 AM
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Here's mine as well as my shift **** on my 2010 g37 coupe. Also have the entire interior as well as my steering wheel trim vinyl wrapped in 3m brushed black aluminum.



Old 07-14-2016, 04:05 AM
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Oh nice I didn't even think about the shift ****. That could use some replacing as well.

Also, your steering wheels looks better than mine does, more smooth, did you do anything in particular during the install, does it ever flatten out over time or anything?

_Michael
Old 07-14-2016, 04:07 AM
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I actually had a fellow member on the g37 forum do mine. I got it in the mail and my reaction to a DIY was "helllll nooo" lol. Kudos for taking it on and getting it done though man.
Old 07-14-2016, 04:29 AM
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Haha, thanks, yeah it sucked for sure. Whomever did yours did a great job, I wish mine turned out like that but I'm still thrilled.

Really just not feeling the gritty steering wheel in my hand was worth all the money and time I spent today.

I'll have to check into that shift **** now, looks great!

_Michael
Old 07-14-2016, 04:46 AM
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That hand stitched steering wheel looks awsome.. I got to find something like that for my wheat color interior, lol. I know everybody hates the wheat/ tan interior. But I think I can pull it off with the gradiation color combo and black/carbon fiber bits im going with also..
Old 07-14-2016, 06:20 PM
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Contact forum member Ryne which is also his name on the g37 forum. He does it all and ships them to you.
The Following User Says Thank You to kennyz424 For This Useful Post:
Tyke420 (07-15-2016)
Old 07-16-2016, 10:24 AM
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyke420 View Post
That hand stitched steering wheel looks awsome.. I got to find something like that for my wheat color interior, lol. I know everybody hates the wheat/ tan interior. But I think I can pull it off with the gradiation color combo and black/carbon fiber bits im going with also..
Hey Tyke.

I purchased my wrap from Amazon, which only had the one color available, but when I contacted the seller, she gave me another option.



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