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Discussion Starter #1
About a year ago, I picked up a Nardi S-Limited wheel locally but have noticed that in the past few months it has started to rapidly deteriorate. I really enjoy the look and feel of this wheel so would like to restore it, if possible. It looks like the rim is painted and is starting to chip away, especially along the bottom edge, and crack in some places. Also, the area on the spokes where it meets the rim is quite rough and faded. It looks like the wheel could be sanded down smooth and possibly painted but before I potentially ruin this wheel further, I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions regarding paint/dye or prep?

I was debating going with a wheelskins cover as well, but before I'd put the money into that, I think I'd rather put it towards another wheel.

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The question is that finish. If the top smooth surface of the leather (not sure what to call it has come off, you're kinda boned. Nothing to do but recover the whole wheel. But if it's just something stuck to the leather or the leather having been deglazed and dye rubbed off, you can likely fix it.

Leather is amazingly resilient. You can sand it, you can scrub it with acetone. You can generally mistreat it a lot. But with a little care, it can come back to fresh easily.
 

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Interested in seeing where this goes. I've been using an S-Limited wheel for years and nothing has ever flaked off like yours. Seems like it was maybe neglected some needed leather treatment and got too dried out. Hopefully it can be salvaged, I really like this wheel too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I haven't been able to find any results for anything like this. It looks like most of the leather steering wheels either lose pigment or layers of leather peel off and neither are the case with mine. Taking a closer look, I can see a black top layer, a gray/silver layer (base coat?), and finally a tan/brown surface underneath the coating. The top layer is so fragile and peeling like paint, I didn't notice it when I first picked it up but it didn't take long to start flaking off.

Worst case scenario, I still have my pizza box wheel and this would be good incentive for me to order one of the Eunos Momo or Mod 78 wheels I've been eyeing for some time now.
 

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Looks like it's a fake. I've got an original nardi s-limited steering wheel that came with the car. It hasn't peeled off like that. There are a few scratches here and there, however, it's black leather underneath. Looks like someone has possible used black paint over your steering wheel to make it look like leather. Where did you get it from?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I really doubt its a fake. I bought it locally from someone who had imported it and used it for years on another miata, Other than the finish, I see no reason for it to not be a real nardi product, it has all the correct markings, an original horn button, and is sturdy. After a closer look, it does look like someone tried to (poorly) refinish this in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The top layer feels like paint, or almost like a rubberized finish. It peels and chips just like spray paint too. Underneath isn't a hard solid surface like wood or bondo, its pliable, not very soft, but could definitely be leather, using my finger nail I can make an imprint and it slowly takes shape again. The layers go black>gray>tan.

In a local store I found a bit of the leather dye you mentioned on your site, which is an incredible reference and gives me a lot of inspiration, by the way. I may try a test spot on the bottom near the backside of the wheel with a bit of acetone to deglaze whatever may be on there and just a small dab of dye to see if it takes. If it does, I'll see if I can bring this thing back to life at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I scratched at it a bit and it seems like thats the base layer, it doesn't want to scratch or peel away, but there very well may be black leather under it. I was planning to try my luck with this over the weekend.
 

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I've had a careful look at your pictures and I think I know what the problem is.... The original steering wheel was Tan in coloured. Looks like the PO attempted to change the colour and used an undercoat (Gray) then Black paint. You'll need to strip off the black paint and gray undercoat, then re-do the steering wheel with a black leather dye + satin coating if you want to restore it.

Refer Tan Nardi wheel:

http://clubroadster.net/vb_forum/21-interior-sponsored-rev9-autosport/14380-post-up-your-custom-interior-post3132233.html#post3132233

http://mx5cartalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=61323&p=771891&hilit=tan#p771891
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I now have a new momo wheel on order. My whole interior is going to be reworked in the near future with new door cards, radio (NB radio perhaps), NA6 dash, shift knob, door pulls, console, and the soft top is being pulled as soon as I get my hardtop painted. Hopefully I can find a set of NB seats at some point, my drivers seat bolster is starting to tear and I'm not comfortable installing a rollbar yet with the stock seats in place with my head as far above the head rest as it is.

In the middle of all this I'll attempt to see what is going on under the paint and restore it if I can.
 
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