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Removing a 1950 Studebaker Champion 18" 2 spoke with horn ring steering wheel?!?!

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  • Removing a 1950 Studebaker Champion 18" 2 spoke with horn ring steering wheel?!?!

    I am at a complete loss. I have never had an issue pulling a wheel off of a car. I have a 50 Champion with a horn ring and color button.



    I tried to affix a regular puller to it once I disassembled the horn, but it won't go. I looked in my shop manual and it had a "special" puller. I looked around and tried to fabricate something that looked similar.

    I hit it with a ton of PB Blast an then affixed the puller. It just built up pressure until it snapped and bent the top plate. Now I'm pissed so I stopped to regroup so I don't further damage anything. What the hell holds these things on there!?!?!

    I was going to replace the horn button assembly with all new parts and a new button. I figured I would pull the wheel and run all new wire as well. Also fixing the cracks in the steering wheel while I had it off. Now I have to do some major work or find a replacement.

    Here is what I had and what happened.

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    1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

  • #2
    I had success thusly: remove center button, horn ring, all nuts and washers underneath. You've already PB'd it, do it again, let it set overnight. Using a soft hammer, dead blow or rubber, rap alternated on both sides of the back arms as close to the center as you can get. I would suggest doing this until the wheel comes off, but it may need a puller too. But the puller would be a last resort.

    O second thought, having looked at your pictures, perhaps a small cold chisel and a hammer is the best bet. Keep cutting until its all off.

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    • #3
      Guess I've never seen a puller like that used to pull a steering wheel. Looks like it is working against itself with the collar around the post. Most just use the two bolts screwed into the provided threads on the wheel and use the center post (where you took the nut off) for the leverage. Usually a couple taps on the puller with a light hammer and a tightening of the puller screw on the center post and they pop off.

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      • #4
        Ouch!! Sorry about your misfortune. I have a 51 Landcruiser I'll be pulling the wheel soon for a new wire.

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        • #5
          I would have done that had that been an option. There are no threads to connect the puller to. If you research some threads in here, you'll more than likely see someone else dabbing up a puller similar to this. It is not pulling against itself. It is pushing on the taper (shaft) in the center whilst pulling on the wheel. I attempted to use a bearing separator to pull on the inner cusp.
          1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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          • #6
            Since it broke, I can now see behind it. What is this spring? And why is it there?

            Attached Files
            1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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            • #7
              That spring most likely pushes against a ball bearing.

              I don't ever recall removing any of my 1950 steering wheels, but I'd have thought they would have threaded holes for a puller. Lacking that I would rig up a puller that pulls against the two spokes and as close to the hub as possible. Have rubber against the spokes to prevent nicking them.

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              • #8
                Click image for larger version

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                The first picture is a homemade puller to pull wheels without the puller holes. The second is the J1594 puller Studebaker issued to dealers. Soaking them with a good rust penetrating fluid is key
                Milt

                1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
                1961 Hawk 4-speed
                1967 Avanti
                1961 Lark 2 door
                1988 Avanti Convertible

                Member of SDC since 1973

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                • #9
                  Where did you come across that 1594? Nice.
                  1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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                  • #10
                    I finally got it off. Sadly, I ended up breaking the resin surround base for the horn button getting it off. I tried with three other mechanic friends and 2 restorers. None of us could get it off without breaking the plastic and getting puller fingers under the wheel wire.Needless to say, I am now looking for a good steering wheel like the one in the first picture up there. If anyone has one they want to get rid of, please let me know.
                    1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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                    • #11
                      I seem to recall tapping threads into a couple of holes (on the top side) which were in mine when I removed mine several years ago. That allowed me to use a regular steering wheel puller. Don't remember now why I needed to take it off.....

                      I'm jealous of that automatic drive you have there.....

                      I was at an auction of Kaiser / Frazer stuff some years ago & bought a box of junk that had 2 NOS '50 horn buttons....are they still as hard to find as they were 10 years ago?
                      Mike Sal

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mike Sal View Post
                        I'm jealous of that automatic drive you have there.....
                        Not meaning to be snotty, but you might change your mind after driving the car. I have never driven any car that was more sluggish than a 50 Champion with an automatic drive. Positively frightening in traffic.
                        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                        • #13
                          Ahhh Roy... You just have to accept the fate that the car is a cruiser and give yourself time. I love the auto drive. I just take the back roads and cruise the old speeds so I don't burn up the rear end.

                          Agreed though... They are slow as Mole Asses....haha
                          1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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                          • #14
                            Mike,

                            I have a new horn button, wire, spring kit, and all other foam pads and spacers. My intent was to rewire the horn (it was shorting out) and give it a fresh overhaul while it was off. Since the steering wheel was cracked, I decided to order in some repair putty and fill in the cracks, sand it back, and repaint it too. Things seem to be much easier to do while you have them all apart. I just NEVER struggled like this on a wheel at all. Even the old timers that grew up working on these old Studes couldn't understand why it wouldn't release.

                            I guess I'll find another or have Shruck Bros recast mine. At least I have the materials now.
                            1950 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

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