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Replacing C4 steering wheel

Oct 7, 2007
Amherst, NY
1996 Torch Red Coupe (Prior 1988 and 1989)
My steering wheel is in need of replacement. Prior owner damaged the leather with his rings. Are reproduction steering wheels sold on e-bay any good? They sell around 140 plus shipping? User feedback appears positive. I've scanned the GM service manual and have a few questions regarding the procedure. Do I need any special tools other than the wheel puller? 1989 does not have an airbag system so this looks like a straight forward pull and replace project. How do I make sure that the replaced wheel aligns properly with the front tires? A slot or gears? Thanks in advance.;help
If you use an OEM wheel it will have a strike mark that alignes with a strike on the steering shaft to center the wheel. When you pull the cap off to get to the retaining nut you'll see it. If using an aftermarket wheel just be sure the wheel is dead straight befor removing the factory wheel and then put the new one on set the same way.
Over time I went both ways. First I purchased an OEM wheel, sending back my scuffed up core as trade in. It got re-scuffed in 3-4 years. Then I bought a repro wheel. It's still free of scuffs after 3 years. I report, you decide. I do think that next time I'll get a two-tone black/saddle wheel which I believe is actually vinyl and shouldn't scuff.
Try contacting Chuck Pelton on the "other" forum, he recovers Vette steering wheels to look better than new and also does custom two tones, special stitching etc.
His prices are a fraction of the specialty stores, you know who I mean.
I'll contact Chuck on Monday to learn more on what he offers. Appreciate the contact. Looks like he specializes in steering wheels. If this doesn't work out, I'll take Tony's input to heart and order a reproduction wheel.
Contacted Chuck and was quoted $225 plus $50 core charge. I'll focus my efforts now on finding a high quality reproduction steering wheel.
Well this gets interesting. I checked out e-bay and Chuck is selling his rebuilt GM steering wheels for $174.95 plus $15 shipping, and $25 refund if you send in old core using buy-it-now. He claims the imported reproduction steering wheels may have bad welds. Check out item# 220576546153.
I did not have a satisfactory experience with the vendor that you mentioned, for my 1986 corvette. He sent me a broken steering wheel puller, and the quality of the stitching for the new steering wheel wasn't that great, especially in the inside corners, it looked pretty amateurish, the edges of the leather were turned up a little. But I guess my standards were pretty high, I wanted a steering wheel that looked stock, and that's not what I got. This was just my experience, others may think differently.
Appreciate the vendor info. I'm leaning towards a repro wheel that I can return if not satisfied.
I'm impressed by the amount of money Mr. Pelton is asking for a wheel. It seems to be fairly profitable as when he was soliciting requests for older, stock steering wheels (to refurbish I believe), I offered mine for around $40. When he did get back to me, he stated that he was buying the old wheels for much cheaper.
Great business model!

That said, I ended up getting another steering wheel from a car that was being parted out. It is great. No issues. Also, minor cuts and stuff can be fixed...you'd be surprised what you can do with the leather steering wheel repair kit from Leatherique.com...
Try Jason at Vette2Vette Corvette Parts!
I stopped by his shop last September and took some pics:
Here is an interesting pic that many of us have never seen. I took it at his shop. This imprint is located near the rear speaker area on newer C4s. Possibly 89 and later (?).
That's cool! Think about the effort that had to go into including it in the mold. It took me a minute to figure it out; at first; I was think'n WTF??!!
Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevy (cool!) it would be an interesting bit of trivia to know what technician was responsible for that!

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