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options on replacing worn steering wheel

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by tjrinaldi, Oct 19, 2010.

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    I have the older 4-spoke //M steering wheel for my E36. I cannot decide whether to replace with a used stock wheel (like from eBay or something), a NEW stock replacement (I have no idea where I can find one of these), or perhaps a racing wheel as the car does see track days.
    I do not know ballpark prices on the mentioned options, so what advice does anyone have based on the facts that I would like a new steering wheel that functions for both street and track at the most reasonable price?

    Where will I find these products?
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    You might be able to find a good used one in the classifieds over on bimmerforums
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    It kind of depends on whether or not you want to give up your airbag. If you want to keep it, your options are limited. Used steering wheels shouldn't be hard to find since most everyone who has turned their E36 into a race car took the stock wheel off (and many stuck it in a box in the attic, like me). There's an E36 M3 steering wheel on ebay right now, but I don't know how its condition compares to yours.

    Another possibility if you want to keep the airbag or the stock look is to have your existing steering wheel professionally restored. Search online for leather restoration steering wheels or call a leather restoration service in your town.

    If the airbag is not important, then the possibilities are almost endless. Slap on a Momo Competition (comes with a horn kit but needs an adapter) and don't look back. Feels great on the track.

    Good luck.
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    I'm actually in the process of restoring my stock steering wheel right now using the Leatherique steering wheel kit (I have the same wheel you do). I had some serious issues on mine, with the leather completely worn through in spots and it was just looking (and feeling) nasty! Up until recently, I used the Wheelskin and like MGarrison said, it's cheap & easy and looks and feels pretty good. The only reason I took it off is because the lacing broke so it had to come off anyway. I figure if the restoration doesn't go well, I can always put it back on.

    Since mine spends most of its time on the street (unfortunately), i decided I didn't want to give up the airbag and I couldn't find a really good used wheel for the price I was willing to pay so I thought I would give this a shot. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    John in VA

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    You can change your wheel to a different style. Depending on the date of manufacture, you might need a new slip ring in addition to the wheel.

    You can purchase a used wheel from eBay, craigslist, or any of the many BMW enthusiast forums, or new from Roundel advertisers, dealers like Tischer BMW, or even your local dealer!
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    Hey, thanks Dan!!! I am interested in how you do.
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    Arthur B Fisch

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    Steering Wheel Restoration

    I too restored my OEM steering wheel with very good results. Not brand new, but better than good. Used the Leatherique kit, with the prepping agent, filler, dye, and clear overcoat. Took my time in a garage. Walked away from it after each coat.

    Total time probably about 6 hours or so. More time consuming than difficult.

    The only difficult things were #1. After the filler was applied to fill in the "suede" worn areas, the dye took two applications to fully cover the filler. #2 The overcoat clear, was shiny. Not too slippery. I used 2000 grit sandpaper and 0000 steel wool and it seemed to take the shine away and look very acceptable. No more suede on 2 O'clock.


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