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Discussion Starter · #381 ·
While I was playing around with resin, I figured I would finally get around to filling in the steering wheel emblem I had made. I think it came out pretty good, but I will definitely make some process improvements before the next one I do.

20210915_110019 by Jose, on Flickr

20210915_110032 by Jose, on Flickr

20210915_110216 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #382 ·
I added too much heat into the batch of epoxy I was using to fill in low spots. Unfortunately, this means it started hardening as I was using it and it led to some waviness/high spots around the wheel. I mixed up another batch and used it on the smooth parts once the other stuff was dry. This will reduce how much I sand in order to even out those parts. Here it is as it sits now

20210915_132022 by Jose, on Flickr

20210915_195515 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #383 ·
Still going at the two wheels with epoxy. While waiting for a coat of epoxy to dry, I went ahead and started on the electronics. I purchased some blank PC boards and a bunch of tiny push button switches. I figured the only way I could get dual buttons into the space provided by the front buttons on the IS300 wheel was to go custom like this. I put two buttons on either end of a PCB and soldered them in.
20210928_174248 by Jose, on Flickr
20210928_182727 by Jose, on Flickr

I was happy with this setup, so I cut the PCB down to two separate boards and then cut the remainder into several others. These got buttons soldered to them as well. I actually need to make more as I have several IS wheels I am going to be doing this to.
20210928_181546 by Jose, on Flickr
20210928_182517 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #384 ·
The next time I do this, I will cut the PCB on a bandsaw for a nicer end product. Not that it matters too much as I plan to 3D print a small housing for each board and fill it with potting. I also took apart the wires that ran to the cruise control stalk in preparation for installing my push button start button. I thought I had more wiring options here, but it would seem that the wires for the base of the cruise control stalk are connected to the wires that go to the button at the end of the stalk. When you move the stalk up or down, you ground the red or the white. Alternatively, if you push the button, you are completing a circuit by connecting the red to the white. That's how they created the different functions of the cruise control stalk.
20210928_174408 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #386 ·
While allowing the epoxy on the steering wheels to harden up for further sanding, I started trying new things with the steering wheel emblems.

First step was to print out a bunch of new ones
20210930_184731 by Jose, on Flickr

Then, I sanded the faces, poured a little acetone on them to smooth them out, and painted the emblem and edges with a silver sharpie (once the acetone had dried)
20210930_194500 by Jose, on Flickr

I also printed a matt with bolts that would allow me to level it for a proper resin pour. It has little circles to raise up the emblems and allow resin to drip off of them.
20211001_113248 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #387 ·
I overdid it with the torch when removing bubbles on some of them, and that caused the silver to come off and contaminate the resin
20211002_110847 by Jose, on Flickr

Also, I should have made the raised mounts higher. Resin flowed down and bonded these to the matt, you can see I had to break one to remove it. Look at those globs of resin!
20211002_111942 by Jose, on Flickr

Here are the final emblems. On the one I broke, the resin came off intact and with the silver attached to it lol. I will probably spray it black from behind and be able to use it. The others have assorted defects that I will fix on the next run.
20211002_112058 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #389 ·
I got far enough along on my steering wheel project that I needed to get leather for wrapping both wheels. I found someone that sells automotive grade leather in bulk on Ebay, so I ordered almost an entire hide worth of leather. Good Lord does this stuff smell good! Opening that box was like walking into a fine Italian shoe store or climbing into a new Ferrari or something haha. I imagine a woman would inform me that it smells like opening a brand new Gucci purse lol. If I can find a way to dye it to match the grey in my interior, the whole interior is getting wrapped in this stuff! Heck, I might just wrap all the grey in black leather. I literally like it THAT much lol. I will definitely need to buy more leather though.

Best smelling box I have ever opened!
20211012_200221 by Jose, on Flickr

I already went and cut out a leather wrap for one of the wheels
20211012_195929 by Jose, on Flickr

I will have to make a trip to the parent's house so I can get the stitches done on my mom's sewing machine
20211012_195917 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #390 ·
Aside from the leather, I also built this nice little rig so I can work on my steering wheels more easily
20211012_200019 by Jose, on Flickr

Since this particular wheel was already sanded to perfect smoothness, I went ahead and used the rig to help me clearcoat it. I used my HVLP paint gun and some automotive clear. I initially feared that the clear would not be as smooth and lustrous as the epoxy is, but I must say, the finish is absolute perfection!!!
20211012_200019 by Jose, on Flickr
20211012_200058 by Jose, on Flickr

I have never before laid a smoother coat of clear and I fancy myself a pretty decent painter rofl. There are a couple of tiny pinholes, but nothing I can't easily fix.
20211012_200105 by Jose, on Flickr
20211012_200118 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 ·
Hopefully, I can finish filling in the low spots on the back and inside of my other wheel soon. It will look fantastic once clear coated, especially because of the red line I did on this one.
20211012_101722 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #392 ·
I started off the leather work. Unfortunately, the sewing machine I have access too does not make a wide enough stitch for my needs, so I went with a baseball stitch. I also noticed that the lack of smoothness on some of the surfaces is showing through the leather. I will likely remove it and smooth out these areas somewhat. They are rough because I filled in the gaps in the rubber using spray foam followed by hot glue gun. I got the foam pretty smooth, but the hot glue could stand to be much smoother.

20211014_135830 by Jose, on Flickr

20211016_165407 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #393 ·
Besides the steering wheel, I have also been working on the brakes in the background. I got them to feel better over successive bleed cycles, but they weren't yet where I needed them to be. However, I found out about this little gadget, the Power Probe BA10. It locks into a Toyota brake reservoir using three pins and then the center expands in order to seal an o-ring against the inside diameter of the reservoir opening. This allowed me to bleed the system quite well. I have to say, even though I can lock my two front wheels up now, I still don't like the pedal feel. I worry that part of that is the 5/8 bore of the SC cylinder vs the 1" bore of the Tacoma one. Had I remembered that a larger bore causes a stiffer pedal, I would never have gone down the SC master route.

20211013_145901 by Jose, on Flickr

20211013_145908 by Jose, on Flickr

20211013_150051 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #394 · (Edited)
Another thing I started on was getting a proper cooling fan setup. I originally intended to get two fans to mount into the old shroud I had from my failed FAL setup. However, I was able to find a 17" diameter fan with the right thickness to fit the space and a 2400 CFM flow from Derale (model 18217) . It was competitively priced vs buying two smaller fans and would leave lots of room for activities... so I got it. I've already tested it by sitting idle after a long test drive with the AC on, and it keeps the truck cool and the AC on Arctic mode lol. It also uses curved blades so it is nice and silent from the interior of the truck.

20211015_191346 by Jose, on Flickr

It's massive! Yet, it's light weight.
20211015_191808 by Jose, on Flickr

20211016_162247 by Jose, on Flickr

20211017_004553 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #395 ·
Well, I got the leather done and unraveled the masking tape so I could admire the contrasting black of the carbon against the black of the leather. It looked spectacular.
20211021_104659 by Jose, on Flickr
20211021_104628 by Jose, on Flickr

Unfortunately, the upper right hand side showed some imperfections and lumps through the leather.
20211021_104423 by Jose, on Flickr

I ended up removing the leather and smoothing those imperfections using a soldering iron (these were imperfections from hot glue gun that I used to fill in some gouges in the steering wheel rubber)
 

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Discussion Starter · #396 ·
That piece of leather never fit perfectly and was a nightmare to re-stitch, something I attempted twice before giving up and making a whole new piece
20211022_140709 by Jose, on Flickr

You may notice this leather appears a different color, this is because I did shoe polish on the other piece. This one got it after I was done stitching
20211020_223721 by Jose, on Flickr

Here is a mockup with the airbag and buttons, post shoe polish
20211023_120301 by Jose, on Flickr

I then took the buttons and lower airbag cover trim off so I could carbon wrap them. In the meantime, I installed my push start button to see how it would look
20211023_194456 by Jose, on Flickr

20211023_194507 by Jose, on Flickr

I can't wait to get this thing in the truck!
 
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