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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, I came across a product on Amazon that would allow for a leather wrap to be applied to the 4.4's steering wheel. I was intrigued, as I have always liked leather wrapped steering wheels since they feel a lot nicer and give the wheel a thicker grip.

Here is the product: Amazon.com: Steering Wheel Cover

I bought the one with black stitching and had it delivered with Amazon Prime. I believe the current seller does not offer that, but YMMV.

First and foremost, here is the steering wheel as it was before, and I'm sure we're all familiar with. Over the last two years, I've gotten a lot of oil on it from lots of driving.



Looking inside the box, this is what we find inside:



You will get two sets of instructions (one is in Chinese and has better images to follow along with, the other is in English but very brief). You'll also get some double sided tape, thread, a needle, and some scissors. Very handy. I did not, however, use the double-sided tape because I knew I would need to shift the cover along. It's holding up fine without it.



Needing light to work on this, I placed a worklight from Snap-On above the car through the moonroof, which was partially opened.

As for installation, I just slipped the cover on -- very tight -- and lined up the sewing lines (such as where the perforated leather meets the non-perforated leather). This is crucial for lining everything up so you can push the excess under the spokes after.



As you can see, the sewing line is matched up and everything was tucked in. I used the cross-stitch pattern, and you can find plenty of videos on YouTube to help you with that. See the next caption for more info on that.

To tuck the excess in, I used an old credit card to push it between the gaps, which worked out just fine. You may need to use two -- one to open the gap up, and a second one to push the excess leather in.



Continuing along, the cover does have some accommodation for the extra grips on the wheel at the 10/2 positions.



Just some more stitching. One thing to note is that you need to sew all the way to the end! Some videos on YouTube say not to do this, but if you don't, the fit will be off.



All in, this took a few hours (mainly because of my need for perfection) to get everything nice and tucked in. I really like the feel and would recommend it to any other 4.4 owner!

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
 

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Well done! I wouldn't have the patience to deal with that.
 

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Interesting -- I've used Wheelskins before with pretty good success, but depending on how wide the spokes of the wheel are, or how "molded" the shape is, they can bunch up or wrinkle at certain spots. I've never seen the custom-cut wraps like that. Very nice.
 

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Nicely done! A very professional job. Well worth the effort!
 

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That is by far the nicest aftermarket cover I've ever seen. I would never have known it wasn't factory. If I wasn't so lazy I'd do it myself.
 

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Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel

Very nicely done! You have a lot of patience and it shows! I did one of these on one of my early cars and it certainly didn't turn out this nice.

Great timing for me too ….I've just started looking around for one like this too….. I picked up what I thought was a pretty nice leather one - the pre-formed kind you pull over the wheel but my wife couldn't take the strong chemical smell from that non slip inner liner so I'll check out the stitch version.

Thanks for sharing the process too.

Cheers!
 

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I installed this same kit last week. I had a Wheelskin cover for years & always hated how it left the spokes uncovered. This cover was very easy to stitch (I didn't use the tape either). It looks & feels great!
 

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Custom cheap cover hand stitched

My fingers are long and overlap too much on the stock steering wheel grips.
Plus grip is lacking.
Bought this one off of amazon for $8.09 total. Cheapest one I found that matched the dimensions of my 2016 rav4 steering wheel:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PC0G07A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Doesn't have the extra grip at 2 and 10 o-clock but i'm happy with it.
Feels very nice (real leather + perforations).

Before:


After:
 

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Really impressive? Once wrapped, is the added thickness very noticable? I am thinking about doing this but am concerned that the wheel thickness will annoy me. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Really impressive? Once wrapped, is the added thickness very noticable? I am thinking about doing this but am concerned that the wheel thickness will annoy me. thanks!
I can't speak to the newer RAV4's that come with a leather steering wheel, but for mine, it isn't much thicker.
 

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That's amazing work you did. I would like to learn it by myself, but I have to left hands, so I chose professionals to restore my steering wheel. if someone interested could take a look here
 
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