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  1. #1
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    Member No: 75441 TurnAround is an unknown quantity at this point TurnAround's Avatar
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    Restore your leather to near factory condition

    One of the simple pleasures in life, if .. it existed, would be to return the leather steering wheel and leather seats of our fine autos to their original matte flat factory condition. Especially the steering wheel. It's the primary interface to the car. A "shined out" steering wheel is just .. not right.

    It seems like I've tried every kind of leather treatment marketed in the auto world. All of it leaves some level of sheen.. on new leather, and.. does little to nothing for aged shined out leather.

    For the Coupe, I simply replaced the steering wheel. I ordered three wheels, and then picked out the one with the most "pebbling" (texture) as this fights "the shiney's". So the Coupe is ok, for now. The Z3 Roadster's wheel was gone, and the X5's wheel wasn't too far behind.

    This week it occurred to me; Cow. Hands. Face. Cow. Leather. Face. Cow. Leather. hmmm... Spa treatment fer the derned car!!!

    My wife suggested these two products. Use the face grinder first (my term) and work it in like heck with your hands, then, add the green sauce second (Just before the first dries. Don't remove the first product). Work 'em both in at that point. Several minutes. Don't do this on a hot day. The products need to stay wet. To work, the second one has to sit on there for 4 or 5 minutes. Keep working it. Ok, now clean the leather off with a hot water wet towel. Keep rinsing 'til its all off. Consider a round of washing with Dawn, and then rinse.

    Well I'll be.. It actually worked!! The X5, and even the Z3's wheel look near new. Matte finish. Super soft. Leather is veeery happy.

    Next project; The Coupe's seat butt and back panels. Passenger seats are ok. Driver's seat.. half way shined out.

    Here are the products to net order:

    Exfoliating Face Grinder
    Fix My Leathery Face






    '02 Z3 Coupe 3.0i [Hellröt II - Walnuß]
    '03 X5 3.0i [GrauGrün - Beige]
    '01 Z3 Roadster 3.0i [AlpenWeiß - TraumRöt]

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    Member No: 64997 kristofergregoire is an unknown quantity at this point kristofergregoire's Avatar
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    I just might try this...

    My leather is looking rough, and the steering wheel is the worst off.

  3. #3
    sunny z(oo)m
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    Re: Restore your leather to near factory condition

    Great idea! I getting Sunny Zoom ready to sell so the next owner can enjoy it the way it was when I got it. I keep the wheel (and the X5 wheel) clean, but this looks like a great approach, especially since all the products are already at hand.

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    Just finished the Coupe drivers seat

    Well.. it worked. Several of the panels had developed a half shine to them over the years. Nothing I've tried could break through this.

    20 minutes of work. Seat dried 15 min later. Now they're a matte flat finish. Leather feels a little softer too. The 2 gallons of rinse water in the bucket.. a little grungy.

    I would imagine that for seats or a wheel that are fairly shined it might take a couple of work sessions on different days. Might consider a foam sponge.

    A note of caution; I have nappa leather in the Coupe. Nappa is an aniline died leather. The color goes all the way through. Nappa is also a very high quality leather and responds well to being worked. I didn't see any walnut coloration in the rinse water, and the seats show no signs of wear through at all. They just look... new. I think these products and process are appropriate for nappa. But I also did the X5's seats which are Dakota leather. They're tan. In one spot I swear I can just baaaarely see some dark grey coming through (iow, it removed some micro thin layer of tan dye). This was an area that sliding in and out of the car with jeans was already wearing hard on the leather. I thought Dakota leather was aniline dyed too. Anyways, my point is I think all the Coupes came with Nappa, but, if anyone is reading this and has an earlier model of Z3 Roadster.. only the M's had Nappa. The other earlier Z3 leather is definitely not aniline dyed. I know, because I tried several cleaning products on my Roadster to get the Armorall off of the seats the previous owner had damaged them with, and I went through the red dye to the black grey leather in several places. (In our case, I replaced the seat covers with Nappa). I would not use this process on that leather.




    '02 Z3 Coupe 3.0i [Hellröt II - Walnuß]
    '03 X5 3.0i [GrauGrün - Beige]
    '01 Z3 Roadster 3.0i [AlpenWeiß - TraumRöt]

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