1971 steering wheel removal trouble


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Jun 21, 2014
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My Car
1971 Mustang
1971 could.

Trying to remove the steering wheel and it will not budge. Using steering wheel

puller...lubricating the shaft....banging with rubber mallet. Everything

except heat. Any other tips? I'm afraid I'm going to strip the mounting holes

if I apply much more pressure to the puller.


Put a tiny amount of penetrating oil on center nut, wait a while.

Make sure the three rods are screwed into wheel hub as far as you can go so you are using all the threads of each hole spread the force of pulling across.

DO NOT resort to banging on the wheel to loosen it. You can damage all kinds of delicate bearings in the hub if you do.

As you are ratcheting down on the tool to remove the wheel, have someone else tap steadily and firmly on the steering wheel hub with a hammer on a long screw driver or long extension. Not hard though. The vibrations from the tapping along with the constant pulling of fhe tool should do the trick.

OK here it is... Funny story And alternate way to remove a steering wheel. This is the method I was taught as a youth and it does work but a steering wheel puller would be the preferred method. I was in tech school 30 years ago for Auto Body and we had one course together with the Mechanics. One day in the shop during this time when Mechanics and body men were in the same area, we (the body men ) observed all the mechanics huddled around a car trying to pull a steering wheel. They were having all kinds of trouble. I said to my fellow body brothers " watch this". I walked up to the car and asked what they were doing. I told them I could get the steering wheel off using no tools as long as the nut was loose but still on the threaded shaft. I was ridiculed and called a few names. They relented and allowed me to make my attempt all the while snickering and muttering under their breaths about how stupid body men were and ... you get the picture.

Step one. place the nut on the steering wheel and tighten only a couple of threads, this is to catch the wheel as it pops off. I was told that I had an uncle that forgot to do this step and learned a valuable lesson. You will under stand why in the next steps.

Step two. place your hands on the steering wheel at 9 and 3, hopefully there are webs or spokes that go from the rim of the wheel to the center hub around this position.

Step three. Place your feet on the floor boards of the car as close to the firewall as you can get, even under the brake/clutch pedals if you can. You are going to push with your legs in the same direction as the steering wheel will be popping off the shaft.

Step four. Begin to push with your legs , pull with your arms and rock back and fourth from side to side with your body all the while screaming at the top of your lungs, similar to a karate chop to a stack of wood pieces in order to break them.

If you happen to be surrounded by a crowd of 18-20 year old would be, know it all mechanics now is the perfect time to scream out with foul language your disgust for them and their pathetic weakness and incapability.

Step four the wheel will pop off and you can calmly loosen the nut and remove the wheel. If you happen to be surrounded by a group of anal cavity, would be mechanics who were just moments ago ridiculing you. Now would be the perfect time to walk up to the leader of the group hand him the wheel and simply state. "you stupid, freaking mechanics", or words to that effect. And if you happen to have another group of supporters watching the whole event don't forget to enjoy the laughter from them as you hand the wheel to the leader of the poor, useless ,would be, mechanics. I know I did.

Now I was 6'2 and 190 lbs of pure muscle at the time, so that obviously helped, and after 30 years have past, I have been gathering knowledge on how brain beats brawn most of the time. With that said I think it would be best to do what Kit advised.

My apologies to any mechanics out there who have been offended by the remarks in the previous text. I was pretty opinionated back in the day and no longer hold this type of hard feeling from a mechanic vs body man perspective :) I even have several mechanics on my christmas card list as a matter of fact :)

I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane. I have in fact removed several steering wheels in the above manner. If any one does want to try this I would suggest getting someone to video it. (oh to have video on the phone 30 years ago). If you would like to have a really great video just leave the nut off of the shaft, but please post. I would like to see that. :)

Good stuff...I was mere moments away from attempting exactly what you describe above...the yelling and cursing would most likely have been directed towards the car!


while rebuilding a 71 mach ,,I took apart a steering column someone had beat on the center shaft w/ a BFH to remove the wheel. the column center shaft is in two parts and work like a telescope with one half slightly smaller and inside the other. comparing to another undamaged column the column that was hammered on was 3/4 in shorter . this obviously screwed up the geometry of the column and pushed down on the rag joint screwing up that geometry. I was able to pull apart the telescoped halves to restore the correct length but what a hassle. anyone who beats on the shaft to remove a wheel needs a swift kick in the ass.