Is it hard to change a steering wheel

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Hibred, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Hibred

    Hibred Light Load Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Wondering about changing the steering wheel in the 94 Western Star, the cab is so cramped between me and the steering wheel i thought about replacing the 20" wheel with an 18", should make some more room, i hope. Any thoughts or suggestions on doing this would be appreciated, never pulled a steering wheel off just wondered if there are any things i should look for or watch out for and exactly how its done, it is tilt and telescopic if that makes a difference, thanks. I want to put a new seat in and all the replacement seats seem to give me even less room, this is the reason i was hoping a change to a 18" sterring wheel would help some.
  2. JSmitty

    JSmitty Light Load Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Midland Tx
    Should be able to remove the center cap on the steering wheel (horn button), and unscrew the center bolt. Might have to take a wheel puller to get it off. I'm not familliar with the star cars, but I'd say in all reality, with the right tools, probably take you about 10-20 minutes to swap them out.
  3. oneshot

    oneshot Medium Load Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    Take the horn cap off. Loosen the nut that holds down the steering wheel. Back the nut off till it is flush with the shaft. Place your knees under the steering wheel and apply upward pressure. Take a medium size hammer and with one firm strike on the end of the shaft the wheel should loosen from the splines on the shaft. Remember, dont beat just a good firm hit. Take your time, it may take a couple of times. I've never had to use a puller and never damaged nut or shaft.It's the pressure up then the shock of the hit that will loosen it. Hope this helps.
  4. Bigstretch

    Bigstretch Light Load Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    NW IL
    I HAD to use a puller on our T800. Somebody had it REALLY tight. Used anti-seize when I reinstalled it.
  5. Heavyd

    Heavyd Road Train Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Most steering columns are the same general design. You will need a quality puller. The steering shaft is tapered where the wheel sits. The wheel is also tapered, it is a very tight fit. Most the nuts get over-torqued even from the factory and so the wheels are over crushed onto the column. It can be harder than you think. I do alignments and centering the steering wheel is part of most jobs. I have pulled off literally hundreds of steering wheels over the years. Trust me, I have worn out my first Snap-on steering wheel puller. Anyway, most of them were harder rather than easier to get off. The old trick of prying your knees under the wheel and hitting the column with a hammer is more likely to damage the column and hurt your yourself in the process. Definitely get the right tool for the job. Any puller of the proper size will work. The puller treaded holes in the wheel itself are usually 5/16" fine thread. Make sure what ever puller you use has the proper end that will press against the top of the column with out damaging it. For example, if the end if the column is solid and flat, don't use a puller with a pointed end as this will spit the shaft. Common sense. Most steering wheel changes only take 15 mins or so with the right tools. If you don't have the right tools it would be worth your time to take it to a shop, also like I said, some are really badly over tightened and you will need to take to a shop where they might have to use an impact gun to get it off. One way or another, I recommend just going to a shop.
  6. HISPEED428

    HISPEED428 Light Load Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Plum Coulee,MB
    Its best to use a puller.I've never been able to get mine off the shaft without one
    The Challenger Thanks this.
  7. The Challenger

    The Challenger Kinghunter

    Dec 22, 2007
    East Central FL
    I agree with hispeed. I just helped my friend replaced his and it took a puller. Man those are so much harder when they are bolted down.

  8. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    i just replaced my 18" with a 15" car wheel:biggrin_25525: you wana talk about fun... lmao
  9. HISPEED428

    HISPEED428 Light Load Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Plum Coulee,MB
    Did U have to change anything?
  10. oneshot

    oneshot Medium Load Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    I understand a puller would be easier if u have access to one. But it's like replacing a tie rod, if you dont have a tie rod tool a couple of well placed hits with a hammer and it breaks loose. The shock from hitting it is no worse than some of these roads we drive on.But i do agree with HeavyD a puller is easier.
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