So I read on a thread over at LotusTalk that I wasn’t alone in having either a scuffed up silver ring around my steering wheel or that I had a sticky tacky black airbag cover. It was most likely some cleaning agent that was used on the steering wheel. It’s been easy to scuff since the day I got it but just recently got tacky to the touch.
The paints on the silver ring used were a Dupli-Color adhesion promoter which I was told basically does what all the “for plastic” paints do. Then I used a Toyota “perfect match” paint and finally a light clearcoat using Valspar flat clearcoat. The airbag cover itself was done with a couple simple coats of Performix Plasti-Dip which is a rubberized paint.
Here’s a shot of how scuffed up it was.
The airbag itself is easily removed by unscrewing two small allen-head screws on either side of the steering wheel (on the part of the wheel that rotates). From there it just simply falls out. You’ll have to pop up a small tab on the electrical plug attached to it and then you can unplug the plug itself from the airbag (simply pull out).
I taped up the airbag cover to do the ring surround first. I lightly sanded the silver ring first before applying the first coat. I apparently used either too abrasive of sandpaper or didn’t sand it smooth enough so I went back after the first coat of silver and sanded it totally smooth (having the silver coat made it easy to see which spots stuck up and which parts were smooth).
I didn’t use any primer other than the adhesion-promoter. I used about 3 coats of silver paint and then applied a light coat of matte clearcoat to help keep it scuff-free.
The cool thing about the plasti-dip is that it peels up pretty easily with an exacto knife or a razor blade so there’s no need to have to tape up the emblem in the middle. You can easily run a razor blade around it afterwards and peel it off.
This photo’s lighting makes it appear like there’s a lot of texture to the cover but one more coat on top of it really helped smooth it all out. If I had to do it all over again I might’ve sanded the cover too so that I wouldn’t have to have 4 coats of plasti-dip. The word “airbag” isn’t quite as readable after that many coats.
And here’s the final product! Took about 4 hours from start to finish with 95% of that time being spent just waiting for coats to dry.