steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:31 pm

Help, I can't get the steering wheel off. Have had a puller on it
with tension.(lots) Soaked with oil and used heat. About to cut
it off. An advice?

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:05 pm

How did you apply the heat and about how hot did it get? Heat breaks the hard crust of rust and also temporarily increases the size of the hub of the steering wheel. Use the largest possible puller, have it tightly applied while heating. Tapping with a hammer at the same time is very helpful so long as the hammer blows do not deform the parts.

I might add, heat the hub, not the shaft that goes through it. Of course the shaft will get hot, but the hub should be hotter. As the hub gets hotter it expands more and that constitutes movement!! Movement gets the wheel off!!
Last edited by Bus Driver on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:41 pm

Bus Driver wrote:How did you apply the heat and about how hot did it get? Heat breaks the hard crust of rust and also temporarily increases the size of the hub of the steering wheel. Use the largest possible puller, have it tightly applied while heating. Tapping with a hammer at the same time is very helpful so long as the hammer blows do not deform the parts.

:Dito:

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:21 pm

I presume you have been using commercial anti-rust potions? Like PBlaster or WD40? These sometimes take several days to work their magic. Others say that a homebrew 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF works even better. If you heat the hub moderately before applying the chemical, it will be sucked in more readily.

In terms of "banging on it," you might try hitting opposite sides of the steering wheel hub simultaneously with hammers from two sides. This technique is often used on (say) auto tie rod ends and ball joints.

If you HAVE to cut it off, you should cut down parallel to the steering shaft, just deep enough to get down to the steering shaft. Then get a chisel or thick screwdriver blade down into the saw kerf to pry the hub away from the shaft. New and used IHC steering wheels are readily available.

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:48 pm

I have a brass hammer that I use to drive them off from the bottom.

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:39 pm

Cecil wrote:I have a brass hammer that I use to drive them off from the bottom.
I use a large dead blow hammer. Of course if it is not as tight as you expected when you do that, you have to retrieve it from the yard after it goes flying out the door and rolls down the hill. :oops:

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:18 pm

I you have an air hammer put a blunt tip on it and place the blunt on the shaft (nut off) and while vibrating the shaft pull on the steering wheel chances are good that it comes off with easy

Re: steering wheel removal

Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:13 am

RustyKnuckles wrote:I presume you have been using commercial anti-rust potions? Like PBlaster or WD40? These sometimes take several days to work their magic. Others say that a homebrew 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF works even better.


I can attest that 50/50 ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and acetone works FAR better than anything I've bought (excluding Kroil; haven't tried that yet). Don't get in a hurry. Soak it and give it some time, it'll come off.

Re: steering wheel removal

Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:37 pm

Steering wheel is off. Changed to a larger puller, more heat.
Plus the big brass hammer Cecil mentioned.
Thanks for the help. Sure glad they go back together
easier than they come apart.

Re: steering wheel removal

Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:52 pm

I use stale diesel fuel/used motor oil/and LOTS of heat with good luck!---around here the owner wants stuff apart NOW so thats what he gets----dont worry bout paint!---they make more! LOL!!! thanks; sonny

Re: steering wheel removal

Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:59 am

Good news!

When I went to take the wheel off my '53, I was all prepared for a fight. My results were similar to John's when it came flying off in one hit.

Re: steering wheel removal

Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:31 am

Matt Kirsch wrote:Good news!
When I went to take the wheel off my '53, I was all prepared for a fight. My results were similar to John's when it came flying off in one hit.
Yup, I was working on one last summer and expected the steering wheel to really be stuck. I have a dead blow hammer which weighs around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, and I drew back and swung it at the hub of the steering wheel with both hands anticipating it taking several blows to remove the wheel. It flew out the door about 10 feet and when it hit on the ramp coming up to the shed took off and went 30 feet or better before it stopped rolling. I just stood there with the hammer in my hands and my mouth hanging open watching it go. Sure glad I had a big yard.

Re: steering wheel removal

Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:06 pm

I also have a stuck steering wheel on my 61 Cub. When you hit the back of the wheel do you also do anything to keep from knocking the steering shaft backwards and putting pressure on the steering mechanism ?

Re: steering wheel removal

Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:19 pm

There is a bronze thrust washer on either side of the gear at the end of the steering shaft. I don't think you could damage the gear during steering wheel removal. Image Picture from TM Tractor.

Bob