Removing steering wheel

Discussion in 'How To' started by mercdudecbr600, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Thought I’d write up a little how to for anyone looking to replace, remove the steering wheel.

    First, disconnect battery and put the terminals together. Next you’ll need 8mm socket set to remove the two airbag bolts. Access them at an angle from the backside of the steering wheel
    [​IMG] See the 2 holes on both sides of the steering wheel shown in the picture.

    Then pull the airbag unit away from the column and disconnect the horn connector and airbag connectors. [​IMG] pinch theses connectors and pull them straight out of the airbag.

    Now you should see the 13mm retaining bolt holding the steering wheel on. [​IMG]
    This bolt is torqued to 40lbs and has threadlock, so it’s on there tight. The bolt is soft (probably tty) so be careful about rounding the head off with an impact. I used a shallow 6 point socket with a breaker bar to get it off. Hold steering wheel with one hand and use breaker bar with other and it should come off with a little effort.

    Now comes the fun part - getting the wheel off the splines. Jeep in their wisdom did not provide threaded holes in the wheel like every other auto manufacturer so you can’t use a standard puller. Instead you have to get a claw puller. On each side of the wheel is a small spot 1/2” or so for a claw to grasp but it must be a small puller. [​IMG] I rented this 2 ton puller from autozone, any larger and it won’t fit. Factory service manual has a diagram showing the correct/special mopar puller, and it looks basically like a flexible pitman arm puller. So this tool is close enough to work.

    These pullers don’t have a special fitting to fit between the splines and protect the threads, so I used the steering wheel bolt as the bench to push the wheel off. Just thread in on about 2/3 down and it works perfectly. It should pop off no problem. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Don’t worry about marking the steering wheel, it’s a keyed spline and it only fits one way.

    Unlike most other things on cars, installation is easier. Put wheel onto splines, torque the bolt back to 40lbs and everything else is reverse of removal. Hope this saves someone a headache, I certainly had to scratch my head about the puller for a while.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
    LibertyTC and sleeplikeforever like this.
  2. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Full Access Member

    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Location:
    Buffalo
    Nice write up

    Question - is the steering shaft indexed to the wheel at all ?
    I’ve seen some where one where it skipped a spline on the shaft and wheel so it was impossible to put back on in any other direction.
    Others have a marking.
    Some like my one import has nothing.

    Just curious - looking to replace to newer wheel soon
     
  3. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Indexed=Keyed? Basically theres a small channel in the splines and large tab in the wheel. These have to match up. I knew this because I replaced my stock 02 wheel with a newer one so I could see the splines in the new wheel. But just in case, you could mark it - there is a center arrow on the wheel itself.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Full Access Member

    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Location:
    Buffalo
    Perfect. Thanks!
     
  5. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Location:
    White River, South Africa
    My 2002 Export CRD does not have an indexed or marked spline...easy to shift it over by one spline.

    So I marked the position of the splines with a center punch so as to align the wheel up correctly. Weird how the Export models have some strange differences to the USA/Canada models!

    Nice write up and pictures posted by the way!:)
     
  6. sleeplikeforever

    sleeplikeforever New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Whoa.. Seems like a really tricky task but doesn't seems so tricky for you :))