I just bought a 5 Ton two arm puller to remove my steering wheel. I got the nut off last night and have been trying to get the steering wheel off with no luck. I have the puller tightened so much I'm afraid I may break the wheel spiders.
Next I was going to try some heat...any thoughts?
Put it under a load and rap the maincenter shaft. The jarring may pop it loose.
I ended up getting it loose without heat. It was on much tighter than I thought. Now I cannot get the rim off the spider!
The screws are rusted up pretty good and the slots are galled so the screwdriver keeps slipping. I am going to carefully drill out the screws without damaging the rim or spider.
It's all original and I intend to keep it that way.
Christopher, if you can drill out those tapered wood type screws you are a better driller than me!
Might I suggest the following. Have an experienced MIG welder weld through the hole in some nuts onto the oval head of the screws. This will give you much greater purchase on the screws with a wrench instead of a screwdriver. Additionally, the heat from the weld may also help with the removal.
This method is often used in machine shops to remove broken studs.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thank you Allen.
I thought about welding something to the heads of the screws but I was afraid the rim would get wrecked. It is an original rim...it's not plastic but it's not wood either.
I have a Bridgeport Milling machine and am going to try to drill out (1) screw just for kicks. If that does not work then the welder it is.
Bummer because the screws are loose in the spider...they are stuck in the rim.
Seems rather easy to free up the screw heads from the spider holes. That wood screw is just tapered underside, typical countersink in the metal spider. Only thing sticking would be the taper underside due to rust.
Best bet would be to soak with a great penetrating oil, best brands, PB Blaster, Kroil, Liquid Wrench...etc. That will do the job.
Then file out the head slot and custom fit a screwdriver tip to the new slot. Rock the screw head back and forth, it will come free.
The material in the rim is soft, and you will then need to find an oversize wood screw replacement.
Photo of the original screws, different thread.
Best found for replacement are stainless single slot wood screws.
Thank you again folks. The screws were not rusted to the spider because when rocked back and forth you could see a gap all around the head of the screw.
I ended up using a bolt extractor and with a little bit of setup (and patience) I was able to get the screws out.
But as you can see from the pictures both the rim and spider are bent. Not sure how to "flatten" out the rim but the spider should be able to be repaired. I'm going to try those penetrating oils because WD40 is not working for everything.
Nice set up to drill out that screw. Did great!
As for the spider arms. They are pressed steel and can be pressed flat on a flat surface. Just did that for a 17" spider I found and cleaned and painted. The rim from another 17" was fine and in good shape, they are hard to come by lately.
However, that 16" rim you have, made of Fordite, is just not able to be straighted again.
Sorry But too much age and hardening.
Many times the larger Improved Car 17" rims become egg-shaped or oval too. No luck to fix that. Same with the 16" in my picture.
But, Bob's Antique Auto Parts has made new rims for the 16" and in ABS plastic, cost only $50 are terrific replacement.
Thank you Dan. I am going to try my luck with the Fordite rim...even if it is a little warped. I'm hoping once I fix the spider, the rim will have no choice but to conform to the steel spiders.
Do you know if drawings exist for any of this stuff? I would love to know what the proper height is for the spiders.
Thanks for the pictures!
Here is a 2010 thread where some folks had good luck straightening Fordite steering wheel rims in a 250 degree oven:
Looks like I'm baking a Turkey and a Rim for Thanksgiving!!!
Not at the same time!
To smoke a Turkey, consider apple wood (maybe even Hickory) - not Fordite!
Fordite smoked turkey...classic.
A LARGE soldering Iron on the screw head should allow it to be easily removed. If the screws are loose in the spider, it is sometimes easier to get the screw to tighten a touch before loosening.
A straight Fordite rim is kinda a rare thing, although I have a few of them for my cars.
I'm thinking because the screw extractor was tapered that when it was biting into the rim screw it was also forcing the outward. I feel like it was flaring the screw outward into the existing hole making it even tougher for me to get out. Anyway it worked but maybe that is why it was so tight in the Fordite rim?