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Old 12-08-2011, 07:41 AM
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PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Overland Summit black olive ash burl wood steering wheel into a Laredo.



There are two types of people the ones who like wood trim and the ones who hate it….


For those of us who own a WK2 Grand Cherokee laredo, we only have two choices for interior colors:
1. Black
2. Dark/mid Grey stone

With those two color choices you only get the black faux wood trim; which is that simulated Black wood appliqué that just happens to mimic the black olive ash trim of the Overland Summit model but without that cheesy looking chrome ribbon running across the bottom.

That got me thinking maybe if I came across a steering wheel from “Summit” I could install it in my Laredo X with Dark/mid Grey stone interior.

Studying the pictures while considering the possibility of the swap I realized that the “Summit” wheel was black and would not match my steering column or airbag. So I had the revelation to simply change the color of the leather and then reuse the spoke unit and airbag from my car.

For those of you who have black interiors this is a straight forward swap you just swap out the spoke/unit with the one from your car and you are on your way.

Dark/mid Grey stone interiors owners let’s get to work on this transformation.

Tools Needed:

· T 25 Torx driver
· Phillip screwdriver
· Small flat blade screwdriver
· 10mm socket (for airbag removal)
· 10mm Allen socket (to remove the bolt that attaches the steering wheel)

Other supplies needed:
· Masking tape
· News/masking paper or poly film
· Prep solvent/lacquer thinner
· Vinyl paint/Dye (in closest matching color you can find to the Dark Grey stone)


PART ONE


(DISASSEMBLY & MASKING FOR COLOR CHANGE)
Here the Overland Summit wheel in polished wood and flat black leather (this on has the saddle stitching)

Step One: Remove all the screws


There a total of 8 (6 x T25 torx and 2 phillips) screws to remove before you can separate the front and rear halves of the spokes
Step two: Taking your small flat blade screw driver you are going to carefully pry the two halves of the spoke/button units apart.
The front (silver section) spokes have four tabs that are easily broken so take your time when prying the two halves apart.
Once you have separated the two halves carefully pass the spokes trough the rim of the wheel noting that the buttons on the rear of the spokes are attached by some short wires that don’t give you too much play
Now with the spokes/button unit now free of the steering wheel take your small flat blade screwdriver and undo the large white plug for the heater element.

Here are the spokes and the wheel held together by the wheel heater plug connection separate this connection as noted about.

Step 3: Masking and prepping for paint
· To begin masking start at the point where the wood meets leather, make sure that you cover up the wood with the thinnest amount of tape possible so that the leather is properly exposed for the color change.
· Continue covering the wood section making sure it is completely protected from any possible overspray
·Then move onto the horizontal spoke you want to cover unit as well as the connector for the heater element because we don’t want to get paint on the splines of the wheel ( you will notice that the back of spoke have sections of black paint. This is to make the exposed section less conspicuous through the airbag bolt holes).

Here you have your wheel freed from all the spoke cover and now ready for masking off.
I used newspaper and masking tape for my mask material

Now that you have your wheel masked off you need to wipe all the oil and dirt from the surface of the leather that is to be painted/Dyed I used a paint prep spray called Prep-All and some paper towel in the past I have used lacquer thinner and a clean rag or paper towel to prep the surface.
For my paint/dye I am using Dupli-color fabric and Vinyl paint in Charcoal, It is not a perfect match however Dupli-color vinyl paint is very durable and will last many years, there are other makers of Vinyl paint such as SEM(has more variety of colors and you can find a closer match) or Plasti-Kote. If you are anal and have access to a paint gun and compressor you can visit your local automotive paint store and have them custom mix you the Dark grey stone for this job to get the best match possible.
I will leave you with a some teaser Photos but part two will resume with the installation into the car and swapping the spokes and buttons

ready to unwrap


Here are both wheels side by side you can see the difference in color (I am looking for a closer match and have a second wheel to do) it still works well with the other shade of Stone


For thos of you wondering if the Black ash matches with the faux wood trim YES! it does perfectly
Stay tuned for PART TWO coming soon

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Old 12-08-2011, 07:46 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

How could I forget to Big UP! forum member Scurvy for sourcing the wheels!
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:33 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Looks Awesome! Is there any DIY instructions for changing out my black Laredo steering wheel for one that comes in the Summit? How did you remove the airbag? Will there be any issues with the unused steering wheel buttons? How did you remove the steering wheel from the steering column? Any info you can provide would be awesome! I really want that wood steering wheel/gray spoke unit.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:06 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgomets View Post
Looks Awesome! Is there any DIY instructions for changing out my black Laredo steering wheel for one that comes in the Summit? How did you remove the airbag? Will there be any issues with the unused steering wheel buttons? How did you remove the steering wheel from the steering column? Any info you can provide would be awesome! I really want that wood steering wheel/gray spoke unit.

Glad to see you are tuned into this, I will address all that in part two of this how.

to answer your question about the unused buttons the ACC buttons have an additional connection not present in that laredo so you can either swap them out or your can simply reuse that buttons from your original steering wheel.

I have a second wheel to do and I will photograph the removal of that one, when I did this one I did it at night and it was too dark for taking pictures.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:33 PM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

I will be anxiously awaiting your next post.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:52 PM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Great job!
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:17 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Correy,

Nothing like reviving an old thread! I was thinking about doing this too. I have a couple of questions.

1. How does the wood feel compared to the leather?
2. Is the stitching brown or black?
3. Do you have a part number?
4. Where's your 'part two'?

Another outstanding job by the way!
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:07 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

1. I just prefer the wood because it ages better than leather in the sense that you can tell when a wheel is old since your hands tend to make the leather shiny.

2. The stitching on one wheel was brown and the other was black

3. I could not find any obvious marking for a part number I think this is ordered with the trim code.

4. Part two was supposed to be removing and reinstalling the wheel.


If someone wanted me to recover the wheels like I did I guess I could make that a part two
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  • Outside: colormatched Altitude Grille, S Limited rear valance, Euro frt. bumper moulding, Rear chrome trim. Sharkfin, 20% tint, RFUK (built my own)
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:31 AM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

How bad would this look leaving the leather alone with a gray interior?
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:04 PM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

I think it would look better than the grey not matching perfectly. I like the looks of the wood wheel. However, I do not like the feel of them. We had a similar steering wheel on our previous Aspen. Whenever I got in to drive after my wife was driving all week, the wood felt grimy/dirty. I always had to keep a MF handy to wipe it clean. My wife does have clammy hands, and often snacks while driving. That doesn't help.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:19 PM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

I like the wood wheel better than a leather wheel as far as the both the look and feel and have no problem at all with the wood wheel feeling clean and new after a year and a half. I don't eat in my Jeep. It's easy to wipe the wheel clean with a damp microfiber cloth when I wash/dry the Jeep, if it ever needs it. The leather in my last Grand Cherokee got discolored and shiny looking and showed wear after a few years. I had it for 6 years.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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Re: PART ONE: Summit steering wheel in to a Laredo X

Well just a reminder that ultimately I ended up using the leather off my Original Laredo steering wheel to recover the Summit wheel.

There is not much options and this was the only way to get a perfect match.

Some have asked about just using the black steering wheel the way it is but my question was always " what about the airbag, it won't match the black wheel?"

Here is a picture of the finish product and remember I had to do this twice because the 2011 also has the same mod.
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