Repair MGW Shift Knob - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Repair MGW Shift Knob

I have several MGW shift knobs that I have tried over the years. They are different shapes and sizes but all are black textured material with a coin sized emblem in the top. The emblem is the same design as the factory steering wheel - a raised chrome pony on a silver background with a chrome ring around the outer edge. It appears that the emblem is made of some base metal with a (thin) silver plating. That plating wears off exposing the ugly base metal underneath. The chrome portions still look like new but the once silver background now looks terrible.

I contacted MGW for any ideas on how I could repair this and there response was "buy a new one".

I think some silver paint would cover the base metal nicely but of course that would wear off in just a few days. Is there some sort of clear epoxy or other finish that I could put over the silver paint to protect it from coming off? Any other ideas of how I could fix this? (Please don't tell me to buy yet another shift knob... been there, done that).


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019
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a couple of solutions...… spray urethane with a hardner over the item (take it with a $20 to a paint shop and ask the painter to spray it for you the next time they have their gun out or apply clearBra or similar type material


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019
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I'd suggest doing your thing with the silver paint. Then add several coats of aerosol clear coat (the same that's used over car finish). Or go to a layer or two of fiberglass clear resin as this is thicker and will build up quicker.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Actually, the resin suggestion made me think of something... how about using that clear resin that we all made paperweights with in grade school? I could use one of those silver metallic permanent markers to cover the base metal showing through then mask everything and carefully pour on some acrylic resin. That stuff is practically indestructible once hardened. I could shape it to match the curve of the knob and buff the surface and it would probably outlast the car.

What d'ya think?
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2011 Pony Pkg. convertible M6
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019
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Only thing with resin is some types are susceptible to high temperatures, so it may get soft in the sun. I would try some of that aluminum tape they sell for putting together duct work or metalized vinyl.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019 Thread Starter
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I'll have to watch for the resin softening in heat but I think as long as it's not in direct sunlight it will be fine. Something to remember with the top down though.

I'm afraid I don't understand the tape idea. The logo I'm trying to fix is a chrome pony on a silver background and is about the size of a quarter. The chrome pony in the center still looks new but the silver background has worn off and bronze colored base metal underneath is showing through. It looks like the attached picture except that the black background in the picture is silver in the real thing. I was thinking of silver paint until someone suggested those silver indelible pens. I don't see how tape could be used.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019
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Replace it with the round cue-ball type, nothing to wear off...

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019
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the way I meant was to cover the whole surface with the aluminum tape, but that tape may be too thick for that shift knob. Only thing I can think of is using silver leaf to cover that metal.

wjbertrand is right, best bet is to get a new shift knob, looks like the plating is coming off the current knob.

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Last edited by Neighsayer11; 07-19-2019 at 10:31 PM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019
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NS11, that's what happened to those fiberglass boats I repaired years ago. LOL Seriously, I've used casting resin with fiberglass cloth to repair plastic car panels and never had an issue.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Certainly replacing the knob (again) is a possibility except for the fact that I hate cue ball type knobs. I prefer something with texture so one of the MGW knobs I bought was a textured ball but it has the same logo on top which has also worn in the same way. Frankly, MGW may make the best shifters but their knobs are just cheap. I've had several and they all suffer the same problem - cheap plating that doesn't stand up to day to day use. I've bought their latest attempt which they claim are "deeply laser etched" and the jury is still out on how long they would last. But the ball knob, although it has a nice texture, is just too small for my big hands. And the cylindrical knob, aside from also being too small in diameter, is just a plain cylinder with no real shape that looks like it belongs in a Toyota more than a Mustang - I had a similar one in my 76 Celica GT.

The one I like and am trying to repair is shaped more like a blackjack (for those of you familiar with that particular weapon), is large enough to provide a comfortable grip, has a nice texture, and looks like it's factory equipment. Of course they don't sell that model anymore and apparently they don't have any old stock around that I could get. If I can't repair it, I may just have to go back to the factory knob. The resin I ordered arrived yesterday so I will try that over the weekend (first on the ball knob that I don't use as a test). Wish me luck.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019 Thread Starter
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So I made repairs over the weekend. I found that, although the silver marker covered the area, it didn't do it evenly no matter how lightly I applied it. So I went to the local hobby store and got some Testors silver model paint and paint thinner along with a selection of brushes. They were having a sale so it cost just over $6 total. A really fine tip brush allowed me to get the paint right up to the edges of the chrome pony logo. I remembered an old technique from when I was young and actually building models where you use a small straw to blow on the freshly painted surface to eliminate brush strokes and it produced a pretty good result. Not perfect but certainly much better than the worn plating look it had.

The resin turned out perfect. Fortunately the logo button is slightly recessed so there's a lip around the edge that allowed me to pour resin and not have it run down the sides of the knob. Thin layers of resin take forever to cure at room temperature so once it got tacky (about 12 hours), I set it up next to a hair dryer on low to speed up the process. Within a couple of hours I had a perfectly clear, hard as a rock finish protecting the logo. Hobby resin is self leveling and de-gassing so the bubbles from mixing were completely gone in the cured product.

The car was out in the sun yesterday afternoon and although the plastic got warm to the touch, there was no sign of softening so I'm encouraged that this might be a good long term solution. I might have preferred a more matte or satin finish rather than the high gloss but I think I'll leave it for now. I might try some buffing techniques down the road to soften the gloss.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBird00 View Post
The car was out in the sun yesterday afternoon and although the plastic got warm to the touch, there was no sign of softening so I'm encouraged that this might be a good long term solution.
Glad this worked out for you, some of the resins I have worked with that are consumer grade are really sensitive to mixture ratio's and temperatures, hence the warnings. If you are cleaning the shift knob avoid isopropyl alcohol or acetone like the plague, they can affect the resin.

I hear you about some shift knobs being too small, I ended up going through about 4 before I settled on a 2-1/8" heavy shift knob.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019 Thread Starter
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This resin specified a 50/50 mix and that it was critical to be precise so I used small graduated cylinders to measure before mixing and made a couple of test batches first. I had plenty since the smallest kit I could find was 8 oz. bottles and I only needed a small quantity. It has been sitting in the Florida heat for a week now with no impact so I think i got it right (fingers crossed).

Thanks for the advice about alcohol and acetone. Those aren't products I would normally use for cleaning (well, alcohol for prior to applying two-sided tape or decals) but I will be especially careful not to use them around the knob.

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