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Steering Wheels

Steering Wheels

I am in the process of restoring a 150 DHC and need a new steering wheel. About a year ago I saw a 150s OTS and it had a wood wheel which looked to be original. The owner said that it was a original equipment option. If anyone knows if a original wheel was made and by who please let me know. - Skip Smith, 150 DHC

Hi Skip, My 1958 XK150 OTS has a dealer installed Brooklands woodrim steering wheel with stainless steel wire spokes. It is magnificent! There were display ads in Road & Track back in the fifties for the wheel. After a customer would break the plastic wheel while using it as a leveraging point to lift his body out of the seat the dealer would suggest the much more durable and expensive Brooklands alternative. Brooklands, by the way, was the original manufacturer of steering wheels used by Jaguar in the XK's. I located mine several years ago at a cost of $350 from a dealer in California who remanufactures the plastic XK wheels and advertised in Hemmings under "services". - Coinman1

Skip: My 150S OTS has a wood wheel but originality is uncertain even though it has been on for decades. Many British cars like MG, Jaguar, Austin-Healy, Triumph had nice aftermarket wood steering wheels (made, for instance, by Nardi) installed SOON after purchase due to the bus wheel size of the original steering wheel !! The Nardi wheel for the MGA is SIMILAR in appearance to the factory optional wood wheel, but it does differ in a number of details. - Dave Quirt, 150S OTS, Mk II 3.8, MGA Twin-cam

I don't know specifically about XK's but there was a rare option for Mark 2's called the "Derrington" wood rim steering wheel. I believe this was an aftermarket item like Nardi but it definitely came on a friends Mark 2 when it was delivered new, and I have seen one other in a photo in a Jag book. - John McDonagh

To all: Have any of you had any experience reparing steering wheels with cracks and/or missing pieces of the black rim material. Guidance or tested sources would be welcome. - Thanks, Klaus Nielsen

Check in Hemmings..there is an excellent book disributed my Motorbooks Internation in Minn. that deals with the subject. John Shuck..beijing

Black powder coating is a very best method for reparing of our steering wheel. - Leo van den Bosch Belgium 1952 xk 120 ots

Epoxy putty works best. Form it into the damaged areas and when hard sand it to shape. I used it to restore my "Brooklands" wheel and it worked well. Afterwards you will need to prime and paint the wheel. Jamie DFiff

We had a lot re steering wheels before - should be in the archives. But what about 120 wheels? Am I wrong, or are they not a dull sort of mottled finish (unlike the later 140s and 150s that were shiny smooth black)? If I am right (or have all my 120s just been too poor?), how do you get that 120 finish? - Regards, John Elmgreen

Klaus, The XK120 steering wheels that I have seen have been more of a pot metal with a fairly thin coating on them. The XK140, XK150 steering wheels actually have a metal frame covered in a thick plastic (bakelite?) with details molded into the plastic. Definitely built differently than the XK120. Cleo Bay

Jamie: A "Brooklands" wheel? Tell me more, is this a treasured artifact or a description of a 4 spoke XK wheel? Regards, John Morgan

Yes J.M., it is an original Bluemels (the maker of the standard wheel also) "Brooklands" wheel that looks to be original to my car. I don't know if the debate has ever been settled if Jag orignally installed any "Brooklands" wheels at the factory or if most were dealer installed. It is a "banjo" type wheel with usually light colors for the rim, and lots of chrome, it also uses the horn button and bezel from the standard wheel. It is probably the centerpiece of the car (since the wheel is so big on an XK) and usually gets the most comments at shows. Dick Cavick also has one on his OTS I recall. As a side note Moss Motors has just started to offer reproduction spoke badges of the "Brookland Bluemels" blue enameled badge that goes on the wheel, so anyone with a wheel can renew that part of their wheel. Regards, Jamie

Klaus, My steering wheel was badly cracked and had pieces missing from the rim. I removed all the loose material and filled it with an expoxy filler which I then filed and sanded back to the required shape. After a coat of undercoat it was sprayed with black semigloss and it now looks like new. - Roger Herrick

When I bought my XK120 in pieces in 1970 the steering wheel had no coating on it at all. The rim and hub are made from aluminum, and the spokes are steel. The rim has the finger ribs molded on the forward side and the thickness of the aluminum rim seems approximately correct, about the same as the MKI's plastic wheel. I ended up just painting it black. What was the original construction? Did it have a plastic coating? - Mike Eck, '51 XK120, '62 3.8 MKII

Hi, Klaus - Eastwood Co., at http://www.eastwoodco.com/, sells a book on steering wheel restoration, which features the use of PC-7 epoxy (the stuff sold in auto stores and good hardware stores, usually packaged in two 35mm film cans). It dries to a grey, slightly-flexible finish, which can be sanded and painted (black epoxy paint is best) to match the original XK-140 steering wheel (best to paint the entire wheel). Good luck! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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