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65VerdeGS

Removing wood steering wheel

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I'm replacing the chrome bezel beneath the hub of the (simulated) wood steering wheel with a newly chromed one.  This bezel appears to be the same for all Rivieras with tilt wheel.  There are slots in this bezel for the tilt wheel lever, and turn signal lever.

 

My question: Is the procedure to remove the steering wheel as described on page 8-5 of the '65 Shop Manual the same for the optional wood wheel?

 

The shop manual shows only the standard steering wheel and associated parts.  I know the wood wheel parts are different, and wonder if the removal procedure is therefore different.

 

I have a generic puller kit with a slotted plate and various bolts to thread through the plate.  This isn't the J-3274 puller illustrated in the Shop Manual.  I must presume it'll work fine, with a bit of fiddling.

 

Anyone have experience with removing the wood steering wheel that can advise me?

 

Thanks,

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Hi Alex,

  Pulling the wood grain wheel is the same as any other wheel. make sure you leave the nut threaded on the end of the steering shaft so the end of the shaft doesnt distort if you happen to put too much pressure on the center screw of the puller. Make sure the puller is "square" and not cocked. A good, straight pull shouldnt take much pressure if the puller is "square" with the hub. If you feel you are cranking down too hard on the center bolt of the puller try changing the orientation of the puller to hub by loosening or tightening the bolts which go thru the puller into the steering wheel hub after taking pressure off the puller screw. Also, use a liberal spray of some type of penetrant if the steering wheel is being stubborn. Make sure you get the penetrant between the hub and shaft and give it a few minutes to spread before you try again. Often, when you have pressure on the wheel with the puller a few light taps on the puller center bolt with a light hammer will help. Dont wail on it, a series of rapid light taps is better. If you`re sweating bullets and getting frustrated walk away for awhile. Good luck!

Tom

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One other thing, you won't be able to see the puller holes in the wheel until you remove the horn bar and the horn contact

plates beneath the bar.

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Hi Tom and Winston,

 

I borrowed a generic puller which came with an assortment of bolts to thread into the hub.  For some reason I could only thread in 1/4" into the two holes.  I tried every one of the bolts, and found two that were long enough to clear the puller plate and the hub.  I carefully centered the center screw to ensure it was 90 degrees to the hub.  I also loosened the nut on the end of the steering shaft as Tom advised.

 

Well... I carefully turned in the center screw and one of the bolts pulled out of the threaded holes!  It brought along some metal, about two threads worth.  The steering wheel didn't budge away from the shaft at all.  So I gave up, not wanting to damage anything further.  I put everything back together so I'm back to where I started.

 

I'm guessing the puller kit didn't have the proper sized bolt, so the ones I put in there weren't correctly threaded.  That would explain why the bolts would only go in a short way?  Can't tell if the steering hub should take coarse or fine thread bolts.  

 

I guess I'll have to surrender and go to a mechanic to help me out.

 

Any suggestions where I went wrong?  Supposing I stripped the upper 1/4" of one of the hub holes, how do I fix that?  

 

Sigh...

 

 

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Pullers have fine thread and coarse thread bolts that come with them......Some cars used fine thread, some coarse. Sounds like the bolts

you tried to use were the right size but the wrong thread. When using a puller the bolts have to go in all the way to the bottom of the holes

on the steering wheel. You can solve your problem by running the correct tap into the holes and cleaning up the threads, then running the correct

bolts all the way to the bottom of the holes.

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Alex, the holes should be inch to inch a quarter deep, fully threaded. As Winston says, need to run a tap all the way in to clean up the holes. Winston, you have a loose wood wheel. Can you tell Alex if takes course or fine thread? I am not sure, and don't want to tell him wrong. Wheel goes into a splined shaft. It is straight, not tapered, so it may be tight all the way off, about 3/4" total. Use liberal amounts of WD-40 or PB Blaster on the spline to get it loosened up. Make sure the center bolt that goes against the steering shaft is straight and stays straight. These have to be pulled straight off the shaft or you will destroy a wheel getting it off.

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My wood wheel has the coarse thread, which all GM cars of this era had. The fine thread was used by Ford and Chrysler.

The bolts used should be 5/16 coarse thread.

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If all else fails and you're willing to try it, I've removed steering wheels on cars (usually in a salvage yard when I'm trying to find a part) by doing the following.  Not something I'd recommend but it does work. 

 

Back the nut off the steering column shaft until it clears the end of the shaft by a couple of threads.  Leave plenty of threads still threaded. 

 

Sit in the seat and get your knees behind the steering wheel. 

 

While exerting pressure up on the steering wheel with your knees, give the nut a good sharp whack with a big hammer. 

 

The wheel will loosen itself from the splines and come off.  The wheel is not pressed on the splines.  As soon as the "wedged" fit is released, it will come off. Same with a puller.  Once you break it loose, the wheel will come off.

 

Good luck. 😎

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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