Topics

Steering wheel removal

Ron D.
 

OK guys, lets hear your best way to remove a steering wheel, without breaking it. I tried screwing a nut on, close to the wheel, but not touching it, then screw a bolt down in the nut, and snug it against the steering shaft threads, and pull up on the wheel while hitting the bolt with a hammer.  Didn't work for me. I have been spraying it with PB Blaster for several weeks, but that hasn't helped either.

crosleyshortsport
 

Ron,  I have removed two Crosley steering wheels while restoring the cars they were on. Both of these restorations were done on vehicles that had always been stored inside. One of them simply came off, with gentle tapping, after unscrewing the nut. The other one, acted exactly as you describe. I tried the penetrating oil, I tried a steering wheel puller, I made a heavy round "tapping" block to fit around the column, so I could evenly slam the wheel backwards off. Through all this, of course I did not want to damage the threads. NOTHING worked !  That thing was not budging. I happen to have an extra wheel on display in my small Crosley museum. I fired up the cut off wheel, and carefully removed the wheel. When I got down to the center area and had cut as close as possible, It still took a hammer and chisel to get that bugger off. I was successful in not damaging anything on the column. You may need to do the same. Jorn Jensen from PA. has the correct Shellar wheels available for around $120.  Best Regards,   Jeffrey


On Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 5:26 PM Ron D. <rdole417@...> wrote:
OK guys, lets hear your best way to remove a steering wheel, without breaking it. I tried screwing a nut on, close to the wheel, but not touching it, then screw a bolt down in the nut, and snug it against the steering shaft threads, and pull up on the wheel while hitting the bolt with a hammer.  Didn't work for me. I have been spraying it with PB Blaster for several weeks, but that hasn't helped either.

wvanbusk
 

Corrosion in the metal slot cut in the metal ring molded in steering wheel can bind the shaft and woodruff key. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(engineering)#Woodruff_keys). Orient the wheel slot upward and put a drop of mild acid in the channel so that gravity and capillary action will penetrate down the shaft to the key and keyway. E.g.; phosphoric acid, which alters rust. Periodically leverage the joint by tapping the shaft with the nut loose with  attempts to rock the wheel. Eventually (hours or days) the corrosion in the joint will begin to dissolve the key will start to travel down through the keyway and the shaft will also become free. The small woodruff key may stay in the shaft cutout, hang on the end of the wheel slot or fall out in the process of separation.

Butch
 

Since no one has addressed this in a nondestructive manner, Service Motors does or did, rent a special puller set for removing steering wheels, without damage.

Lacking that, you can use a bearing puller/separator plate, assembled with the flat side to the bottom of the wheel.

Then use a gear puller, attached to the separator plate, and pull against the nut (preferably with a flat washer on top of the nut).

It's a but awkward to maneuver, having an extra set of hands helps, but it can be done.

Butch

On 10/6/2019 5:26 PM, Ron D. wrote:
OK guys, lets hear your best way to remove a steering wheel, without breaking it. I tried screwing a nut on, close to the wheel, but not touching it, then screw a bolt down in the nut, and snug it against the steering shaft threads, and pull up on the wheel while hitting the bolt with a hammer.?? Didn't work for me. I have been spraying it with PB Blaster for several weeks, but that hasn't helped either.
_._,_._

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Ron D.
 

The next thing I will try is this. I took a large flat washer, and cut it in half. I want to slip the two halves behind the wheel, and use a 3 jaw puller. I already have a thick 5/8 fine nut screwed on, to protect the threads. This way, the jaws will pull on the metal washer instead of the plastic of the wheel hub. The washer I cut was too thick to fit between the wheel hub and steering tube.  I then went camping for 4 days, so I hope to get the washer ground down a little thinner tomorrow. 

Now that I read Butch's idea, I think this should work about the same.

L.E. Hardee
 

The washer halves may fold or slip and damage the steering wheel.  I believe the bearing separator idea, while along the same principal, is superior in that the two bolts keep the halves from folding and the added advantage that the little taper on the backside of  the separator may act as a wedge between the steering wheel and the steering column as you tighten the two halves.  Any extra separating force is a benefit as steering wheels can be hard to get off.  I attached a picture of a bearing separator.  They are not too expensive to purchase.  Also some auto parts stores have a tool lending program for their customers.



On Mon, Oct 14, 2019 at 3:51 PM Ron D. <rdole417@...> wrote:
The next thing I will try is this. I took a large flat washer, and cut it in half. I want to slip the two halves behind the wheel, and use a 3 jaw puller. I already have a thick 5/8 fine nut screwed on, to protect the threads. This way, the jaws will pull on the metal washer instead of the plastic of the wheel hub. The washer I cut was too thick to fit between the wheel hub and steering tube.  I then went camping for 4 days, so I hope to get the washer ground down a little thinner tomorrow. 

Now that I read Butch's idea, I think this should work about the same.

Ron D.
 

Well, I used my washer trick, with a 3 jaw puller, and the wheel is off, without breaking. Once I got the puller snugged up, I tapped each jaw finger at the back of the wheel, and the wheel started moving up. The only adjustment I had to do was loosen the puller, and back the nut off, to maintain a small gap between the nut and wheel. My wheel did not just pop off, it slowly moved up the first 1/4" or more, before I could wiggle it off. Here is a pic of all I needed, other than the 3 jaw puller. I did use black tape to hold the washer halves in place, till the puller held them. I hope this will help someone else,trying to remove their steering wheel. Thanks for everyone's help.