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Lexus Wood And Leather Steering Wheel Revealed!


LexKid630
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Couple of weeks ago surfing on eBay, stumbled across an 03 ES300 steering wheel, no bids with 10 minutes to go, only $35. I said what the heck, placed a bid for $100, ten minutes later auction ended, my bid being the only, so i got a steering wheel for $35 with $15 shipping- DEAL??!!

It came in today (UPS is AWFUL) and asked myself for the first time, why did i get it? Didn't really feel like re-selling it, so i decided to play with it. :pirate:

There have been so many rumors about the wood in a Lexus; is it real wood? ...I don't really know any others, but i decided to cut it up! I cut each stitch with a razor blade and pulled off the leather (seems to be glued to the body with 3M spray or something...). Underneath, lies a black "squishy" material that's attached to the metal frame of the wheel.

I remember a while ago, i asked a question on here... about an inch and a half down from where the leather meets the wood on the side pieces, some (but not all) wheels have sort of a "bulge"- no one really knew what it was from, until now! Under the leather of this section, there is a piece of what looks to be gray PVC pipe material that's sanded down (i can see the scratches) to be level with the surrounding "squishy" like material. I guess on some wheels, it's not sanded down enough, resulting in that "bulge"- see picture.

I then took the wheel to my band saw, did a few cross-sections of the wood and surrounding areas.

The wood is REAL! Real what seems to be cherry in this case, with a dark red stain. I am going to guess that the wood is "spray" stained (as opposed to rubbed" because even that black "squishy" material (under the leather) is coated with a very thin layer of red (that just peels off...). I used to think there was quite a thick layer of clearcoat over the wood, but it appears that the clearcoat is VERY thin by my cross sections.

The wood appears to be encasing a metal rod that goes all around the wheel, most likely for strength purposes (always wondered how the wood alone could be so strong).

I also made a few other cuts on the wheel, enjoy the pictures!

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Interesting!

It's always fun every now and then to just take some things apart..... in a way that you know you'll just have to throw it away when you're done dismantling it! B) hahaha

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Interesting!

It's always fun every now and then to just take some things apart..... in a way that you know you'll just have to throw it away when you're done dismantling it! B) hahaha

Amusing project/time killer. A little like buying empty bottles of beer. My mother tells me that when I was a kid, there wasn't a toy she'd bought for me that I wouldn't have in pieces within 5 minutes. Then I'd be confused why there was nothing to play with. :huh:

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Told ya it was real ;)

The clearcoat is much deeper on the LS wheel, you can tell the grain has a lot more depth when you look at it...

I honestly don't know how lexus makes the finish so smooth with such a thin layer on these ES wheels. i'm guessing they need to wet sand and polish the clear to get it as smooth as it is, how don't they go through??

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just noticed this post..lol.. loved it.. first off I know what it is to be that bored..Living off shore on ships most of my life.. secondly very well done inspection.. I agree that has to be put in a file for now you know...lmao.. Thanks.. Next always wondered how far the umbrella holder in the door of a Bentley goes back..lol.. just incase you are bored again..J/k :lol:

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I just noticed this post..lol.. loved it.. first off I know what it is to be that bored..Living off shore on ships most of my life.. secondly very well done inspection.. I agree that has to be put in a file for now you know...lmao.. Thanks.. Next always wondered how far the umbrella holder in the door of a Bentley goes back..lol.. just incase you are bored again..J/k :lol:

Haha, if i ever find a Bentley for $35 maybe i'll cut the doors apart and check for you :P

I don't think the model car Bentley's are that cheap LOL

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