Real Leather Steering Wheel

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Adam1a, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. Adam1a

    Adam1a Member

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    Well just like a few folks on here with the factory fake leather steering wheel that starts to peel in a couple years, I couldn’t stand looking or holding my peeling steering wheel any more. I was looking at the leather steering wheel that Tom’s sells on eBay but $600 is a lot to pay for one I felt. A couple months ago, I stumbled across Craft Customs in Texas that will restore steering wheels and can-do custom work. An email and picture of what I wanted and they confirm that redoing my wheel in black leather with blue baseball stitching would be no problem.

    I bought a used wheel off eBay for cheap and had it sent to them. I was told that the turn around time would be 2 to 3 weeks and it was just at 3 weeks when my wheel arrived. Installation was a little tricky as I disconnected the battery under the hood and waited 10 min before starting. Using a 4” awl, I was able to disconnect the three fingers that hold the airbag onto the steering wheel. Once the airbag was free, disconnect the electrical connectors to the airbag and all switches on the steering wheel. With a level, I made sure that the wheel was level before removing it so the new wheel would be in the same position.

    With the old wheel off, I transferred the switches on to the new wheel and installed the new wheel and airbag. I connected power and then took a quick test drive. The wheel feels great and the blue stitching matches the blue stitching on my seats and blue trim in my 3 Touring. Total cost was $300 and that included them shipping the wheel back to me.

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  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Cool! It really looks OEM. Just curious, is the total $300 just for the upholstery job? Or does it includes the cost of buying a used wheel? I wonder what the labor cost of swapping a wheel would be if had to be paid to be done???
     
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  4. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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  5. Adam1a

    Adam1a Member

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    Thank You. I was wanting an OEM look, just a better quality wheel.

    The $300 was for the upholstery job and shipping back to me (Fedex, insured, signature). I bought a used wheel on ebay for $55 and I paid $32 to ship the wheel to Craft Customs (USPS Priority, insured, signature). Overall total is $387 for everything. As for removing the wheel, you will need a steering wheel puller (rent or borrow from parts store), Philips screwdriver, 19mm socket and driver with extension, and for me, a metal awl.

    I had found a YouTube video of the airbag removal but the guy had already removed the airbag and just explain it. The guy said that you have to remove the lower plastic cover on the column but I didn't have to. Just insert the awl into one of 3 holes on the back of the wheel (hole should be at the 12 o'clock position) and pry up and you should feel the airbag pull away a little. Turn the wheel to the next hole and repeat two more times. Pull the airbag and disconnect the electrical connections and then pull all the switches, leaving the clock spring alone.

    Transplant the switches and reinstall everything in reverse order. Everything should take about an hour to do.
     
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  6. ScottReb

    ScottReb Junior Member

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    That's awesome! Was the wheel you found on eBay a soft tex one or the full rubber/plastic one? I'm seeing lots of plastic ones. Also, do you have the link to the eBay customs? Couldn't find them but I know of CraftCustoms, an excellent company.
    Thanks
     
  7. Adam1a

    Adam1a Member

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    The wheel that I bought was a soft tex one that looked as bad as my wheel. You could ask Craft Customs if they could cover the rubber wheel and if there would be a price difference. I cant say enough how great the wheel looks and feels. I feel that this is what Toyota should have done in the first place. I plan to send the wheel in my Jeep to them to redo early next year.
     
  8. ScottReb

    ScottReb Junior Member

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    Thanks. Craft got back to me today, they can do it with any type of wheel for same cost. Wish I could find one for what you paid! See a few for $100, but I'll give it a week.
     
  9. Adam1a

    Adam1a Member

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    Do a search over at Car-Part.com and see what you can find. I found a leather one in LA for $75 (2018) that comes with all the switches and no bag. The switches in the wheel are worth some money if you need replacement or sell them to recoup some money.
     
  10. ScottReb

    ScottReb Junior Member

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    will do Thanks!
     
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