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Ron Quiett

steering wheel removal

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my car is 1937 zephyr 4 door sedan. Question is how would you normally remove the steering wheel.

My first thought is to drill two holes and tap some fine threads.And use a steering wheel puller.

I wanted to throw the question out there first. Thanks, Ron

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A puller will very likely break apart the plastic hub, if it's not already broken. Before doing anything else, I would hit it with penetrating oil for a couple days and rock the wheel back and forth, and hopefully it will loosen itself.

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Thanks for the reply Cecil. The steering wheel is pretty much intact. Other than the normal cracks. I don't want to damage it. This is my first pre-war project. I may ask a few silly questions.Ron

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Let me break this to you now Ron, no assistance is available here until you post pictures!

(We love these cars, complete, in progress or [hopefully not] parts hulks.)

Removal of the steering wheel in my 36 was surprisingly easy. I removed the nut and a couple light bumps with the heel of my hand eased it right off. I had more trouble with the long bolt holding the horn button and headlight switch actuator assembly. I have a 36 Ford column with a salvageable banjo wheel that is being difficult. I've been soaking the nut with penetrating oil off and on for 2 months and still haven't gotten it to break free gently.

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Hi rusty, here are some instructions I sent to a fellow a while back, his was a postwar, so ignore the horn ring part, but the rest is the same, good luck

easiest way to remove them is to disconnect the battery, get someone to help you, and when one person pushes the center of the ring down hard, the other person turns on the spokes counter-clockwise. Do not try to turn the outer ring, or it is likely to break. Once it is off, disconnect the horn wire, set the spring aside, and remove the center nut, and squirt it with penetrating oil trying to get it between the hub and the steering shaft, Kroil is the best, PB Blaster pretty good, 3 in 1 in a pinch, WD40 is worthless. Put the nut back on the steering shaft, run the nut down until it is exactly flush with the end of the shaft, then get 2 5/16 fine studs or bolts about 3"-6" long, and thread them in to the 2 threaded hole along side the steering nut, measure the distance between the studs, you want a stout piece of strap steel with drilled holes at the distance between the studs, an old Ford spring shackle bar works perfect. I always run the studs down as far as possible in to the steering wheel, put a lock nut on each of them to help keep the studs firm in the wheel, then slide the drilled strap over the studs so it's center is on the nut, using washers, put a 5/16 nut on each stud, and snug them down so the bar has even pressure on both sides, and with a 1/2" deep socket on a 3/8 ratchet wrench, take 1/2 turns alternately on the nuts until they are reaching a lot of resistance, then take smaller turns alternately. A tap on the center of the strap with a hammer often helps too, but if it doesn't go, don't panic go have a sandwich and a beer, and when you return a few more nudges with the wrench, a few more taps, and just when you are sure it is not going to work, Pop!! And it is loose. Has always worked for me many times over the last 60 years.

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A great starting point, looks like it's pretty complete. Drivetrain all there? No body sag, any choice options? From the picture the body does look pretty straight. (is that a parts car behind it too?)

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I didn't get a motor with the car, otherwise it is complete. The car sat for many years with the top off of the transmission. when you look in the transmission you see water and some busted up gears. I look at the bright side, at least the case isn't split. Or it wouldn't hold water!

No options that I can tell. I'm still doing research on the car and learning a little about the zephyrs.

The parts car has bits and pieces of a heater in it, the unit is gone, but the defroster duct is there. It also has the two speed rear. from what I've read some of those are pretty sought after.

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Fortunately, the tranny internals are exactly the same as a Ford, so you shouldn't have any problems with getting parts for the rebuild. You'll also find that rear axle seals, bearings, etc. are primarily Ford parts.

The Columbia rear end is a nice option. Is it the version that has a speedo cable that goes all the way back to the rear axle?

If you haven't already done so, you should get a copy of the chassis manual for a 1937 Zephyr, you'll find it invaluable. Check the vendors listed on this site.

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Speaking of Columbias, it looks as if the guy who wanted my speed change unit and the long and short speedo housings and cables has taken a powder, so they are available again for $250.

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I'm a little slow, but I got the steering wheel off today. I drilled and tapped two holes in the metal hub, and used a harmonic balancer puller. I soaked the center with kroil for two or three days, and put a pretty good bind on it before it finally let go.

Now I have another question. How do you remove the fuel tank filler neck? It has to come out before the tank can be removed from the frame rails. It looks like I see pipe threads at the base. It would be nice to know for sure before I start twisting on it and break something.

I just about have the body bare naked and ready for media blasting inside and out. I'll post some more pictures after I get it de-rusted. Ron

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Hi Rusty, you did not comment on my SW removal gamut at the top of this thread, if you tried it and it didn't work, I would really like to knowand hear why, so that others will not be misled by my well meaning advice, also I have perfect repro plastic '37 tail light lenses for sale, write me off line about them. rolf@got.net, The gland nut on the gas tank filler I have never had to contend with, so I will let others offer pertinent advice on the kind of wrench you will need to loosen and remove it

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RolfBu, your instructions were right on the money. The only issue was that the '37 steering wheel hub did not have the two holes to screw the bolts into. I had to drill and tap the two holes, 5/16, 24 tpi. Thanks, Ron

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Now here is a puzzle, Ron is absolutely correct, I have a '37 wheel, and it does not have the threaded holes either, first Ford steering wheel I have ever seen without them, 1928 and on all have them, I wonder how they expected them to be removed?? Maybe just as Ron did???

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Ron, your correct, the filler neck has a loose sleeve nut with holes in it for a C type spanner, screwed into the tank neck, I have just had mine out to renew the lead sealing washer, the filler neck was loose in the tank and sleeve, but the sleeve nut threads were rusted solid into the tank, a lot of penetrating oil and patience needed here, if you have not got a C spanner, you might manage with pipe grips, or stillsons, after it was reassembled, I filled all around the thread area with grease, just to try and keep the water out of the gap, and stop it from siezing up again. Good Luck. Peter Smith

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Thanks for the information peter. I will keep hosing it down with kroil this week and try to get my hands on a spanner wrench. A strap wrench may work well also without damaging the filler neck. And the stillson as a last resort!

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I got the filler neck removed this evening. A few days of soaking with kroil and a spanner wrench. No problem. I really expected it to put up more of a battle! Thank you all for your input.Ron

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fortunately, the tranny internals are exactly the same as a Ford, so you shouldn't have any problems with getting parts for the rebuild. You'll also find that rear axle seals, bearings, etc. are primarily Ford parts.

The Columbia rear end is a nice option. Is it the version that has a speedo cable that goes all the way back to the rear axle?

If you haven't already done so, you should get a copy of the chassis manual for a 1937 Zephyr, you'll find it invaluable. Check the vendors listed on this site. </div></div>

It looks like the speedometer drive gear is right behind the trans on the torque tube. It's gone, but that looks like where it use to be. Sorry it took so long to answer the question CBoz.

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The factory version of the Columbia two-speed capped off the regular speedo gear at the front of the torque tube, and instead ran off of a speedo gear on the rear passenger axle. The rear passenger axle housing for these cars had a entry point for the speedo cable right before the backing plate.

For dealer-installed Columbias that ran the speedometer off of the front of the torque tube, there was an adaptor that mounted to the outside firewall to account for the change in engine speed. BTW, there is a dash control cable for this type of setup for sale on ebay right now, if you don't have it.

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And of course if worse comes to worse a person could get the one Rolf has announced earlier, that he has for a set price and the hard to get short cable housing, but I know most people on here prefer e-pay, because then they have the prestige of being able to pay more, just kidding, R

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Whoops, that's right -- if you need it, go to Rolf first.

Really don't care one way or the other about ebay, although I *will* say I think it favors the seller over the buyer. One thing that is irritating is that people will try to sell off pieces that really should go together. For example, there's a guy trying to sell the console sheetmetail for a '38 / '39 in three separate auctions -- driver's side, passenger's side and front. Who the heck wants to take the risk of getting 2 out of 3 parts? The sellers being a greedy chump; I wouldn't be suprised if he ends up with no bids on any of the pieces.

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