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How to remove a steering wheel that doesn't have threads for a puller

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  • Steering: How to remove a steering wheel that doesn't have threads for a puller

    About a week back, I asked about removing a steering wheel from a 1951 Champion Custom. I was looking for a puller that didn't require threads in the wheel.
    I decided to call Shrock Bros. to see if they rented them. I spoke with David and he gave me some great advice on how to remove the wheel.
    You put a little penetrating oil on the shaft and let it soak. Make sure you have the nut on the end of the shaft before you try to pull the wheel. The next day you grab the steering wheel on the ring by the two opposing spokes and pull one side toward you, and the other away, back and forth. Have patience and keep rocking back and forth.
    This worked!
    David was very helpful and friendly.

    John

  • #2
    That's great news. I'd be afraid of cracking the wheels, but happy it worked for you!
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    • #3
      I’ve had good luck smacking the back of the spokes, close to the hub, with a dead blow hammer. Just don’t hit hard enough to bust the wheel.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mbstude View Post
        I’ve had good luck smacking the back of the spokes, close to the hub, with a dead blow hammer. Just don’t hit hard enough to bust the wheel.
        I tried to use a rubber mallet on it and it wouldn't budge.

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        • #5
          would a little heat be advised here ????

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          • #6
            I'm like Ron, after 70 years these steering wheels are somewhat brittle. I'm not sure I would yank on the rim but that's just me.

            John, have you looked in the Shop Manual, in the steering section? It should show you how the steering wheel is pulled off. The parts are fairly easy to make out of some scrap flat stock and all thread. I made one for the C-Cab truck steering wheels. Here are a couple of pics from the '50 Shop Manual, but refer to your '51 manual to be sure. Again, with a 70 year old wheel, I'd be careful with the factory method too!
            Click image for larger version

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            Click image for larger version

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            Paul
            Winston-Salem, NC
            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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            • #7
              I like this option better using the OEM adapter.

              I was going to suggest drilling and tapping 3/16 holes into the steel body of the wheel and using a conventional puller. I’ve had to do that more than I care to admit on a few marques that also fought me in being removed.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Originally posted by r1lark View Post
                I'm like Ron, after 70 years these steering wheels are somewhat brittle. I'm not sure I would yank on the rim but that's just me.

                John, have you looked in the Shop Manual, in the steering section? It should show you how the steering wheel is pulled off. The parts are fairly easy to make out of some scrap flat stock and all thread. I made one for the C-Cab truck steering wheels. Here are a couple of pics from the '50 Shop Manual, but refer to your '51 manual to be sure. Again, with a 70 year old wheel, I'd be careful with the factory method too!
                Click image for larger version

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ID:	1876776
                Click image for larger version

Name:	Steering Wheel Puller 2.jpg
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ID:	1876777
                I considered fabricating a puller like the one in the manual, but I tried the method of rocking the ring and it worked. I was careful about how much I stressed the wheel. You just take your time.

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                • #9
                  A Harbor Freight bearing separator gets you 90% of that puller. It even has threaded holes in it already. Here are pics of mine in action:

                  https://stude.vonadatech.com/wp/steering-wheel-removal/

                  It looks like they don't sell the one I bought any more but this one should work:
                  https://www.harborfreight.com/bearin...tor-63662.html

                  Nathan
                  _______________
                  http://stude.vonadatech.com
                  https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                  • #10
                    I've found if you remove the nut and put it back on upside down just flush with the shaft. Then get your knees under the spokes of the wheel and putting just as much up force as you can hit the end of the nut with a dead blow or large hammer will break them loose. Of course that was back in the day when I had more strength.

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                    • #11
                      Will that bearing puller work on a '51 Steering column -- it's not the thin post of earlier years..

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                      • #12
                        They make steering wheel pullers for Model A fords which look similar to the Champion puller in the shop manual (might need longer bolts). These are available from many Model A vendors for around $50 (they come with two different size plates (1928-29 & 1930-31) that go under the steering wheel.) I haven't tried one on a Studebaker so can't say for sure if they will work or not, but they do work well on Model A's.

                        ​​​​​​
                        Dan Peterson
                        Montpelier, VT
                        1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
                        1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

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