If you own an old L or B Series Kubota tractor, then you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to restore its steering wheel. After a lot of time, the wheel commonly turns into a chalky, scratchy, white and coarse mess. You may think you probably have to live with it, but that is not the case. The wheel can be restored so that it looks as good as the day you purchased the tractor.
The reason for the wheel turning into the chalky condition you see is because it is made from a vinyl chloride polymer resin that degrades as it is exposed to the weather and ultraviolet rays of the sun. The chemicals of the wheel breakdown over time and become a chalky white residue. It kind of looks like the steering wheel is flaking apart.
You can do what some have done to make the steering wheel look presentable including wrapping it in electrical tape, wrapping it with an aftermarket steering wheel cover, or replacing it with a brand new steering wheel. Replacing the old steering wheel can be rather pricey.
There is an alternative way to mend the problem without laying out any precious cash. You can restore it yourself.
You will need a propane torch to perform the fix.
Run the torch at a relatively low setting and work the flame over the steering wheel inch by inch. Right before your eyes you will see the old resin melting and the wheel becoming as black as it originally was when you purchase the tractor. Keep working the torch slowly over the surface allowing it to turn black, but take care not to burn it. If you do burn it, then wait a few minutes and then re-perform the procedure to re-melt the resin.
Take your time and slowly go over all the black portion of the wheel and center cap. After just 20 minutes you have a steering wheel that looks almost as good as new.