If you own an older L or B Series Kubota tractor chances are pretty good that the steering wheel on it looks like it has seen better days. It is probably chalky, scratchy, white and coarse. Seems like most Kubota steering wheels end up like this after a couple of years in the sun.
Why the Steering Wheel Degrades
The steering wheel on your Kubota tractor is made from a vinyl chloride polymer resin that degrades as it is exposed to the elements and ultraviolet light from the sun. This gradual chemical breakdown in the material of your steering wheel shows up as a chalky white residue, almost like the wheel is flaking apart.
Some creative owners, dissatisfied with the appearance of their Kubota’s steering wheel have:
- wrapped the wheel in electrical tape
- installed an aftermarket steering wheel cover
- gone to the expense of replacing the wheel with a new one – average cost for a new wheel is around $150+
Quick Restoration Tip
Before doing any three of the above, try this tip: using a propane torch, on a relatively low setting, work the flame over the wheel inch by inch. You will be able to see the old resin melting and the wheel returning to its former black state. Keep the flame moving slowly, watching the resin turn black and move on before you burn it. If you do burn it a little, wait a few minutes and go back over the area, remelting it.
Take your time and keep going over all black parts of the wheel and center cap. The process takes about 20 minutes but afterward you have a wheel that looks almost new! Worth a try before you experiment with electrical tape or order a new wheel.
Service Department Vic