Remove Steering Wheel

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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Remove Steering Wheel

Postby Waterfun » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:24 pm

I am trying to remove the Teleflex steering wheel from my [1989--please use four-digits for years] SPORT 15.

I removed the center nut and washer.

[The steering wheel] would not pull off

[I] tried lubricating: no luck.

I tried [using] a rubber hammer and wood: no luck.

I have read about a woodruff key, or a pin; I don't see either[.]

[Seeks advice]


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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:18 pm

For a Boston Whaler boat made c.1989, the use of a 3/4-inch tapered shaft on the helm mechanism for mounting the steering wheel is extremely common.

I doubt there is a pin. Since there is very little chance of use of a pin, I doubt you will see one.

The 3/4-inch tapered shaft does have a key insert. I don't know if the key is called a "Woodruff key." Compare at

The key is just a common rectangular key. The brand is not important in the removal process. You won't be able to see the key until after the steering wheel is removed from the 3/4-inch tapered shaft of the helm mechanism. This explains why you don't see it.

Read my illustrated article in REFERENCE on Teleflex Seal Replacement. The article demonstrates the procedure for removing a steering wheel from a Teleflex helm that uses a 3/4-inch tapered shaft. The main topic is replacement of the seals, but in order to accomplish that the wheel must first be removed.

Generally Teleflex makes the helm mechanism, but the steering wheel on a c.1989 Boston Whaler may not be made by Teleflex. Often the steering wheel was a GRANT six-spoke DESTROYER style wheel. But the make of the steering wheel really has no influence on the process of removal.

If the steering wheel has not been removed since it was installed in 1989, it may require some persuasion to remove. There are four methods to help loosen the wheel from the tapered shaft:

  1. use some sort of penetrating oil to help get into the joint between the two metals; let the penetrating oil have an hour or two to work
  2. use some gentle heating to raise the temperature of the joint area; usually heat creates expansion, which tends to break the joint; avoid extreme heating;
  3. apply some stress to the joint by using a gear-puller gizmo; increase the tension on the joint, but don't over-do it;
  4. apply a sharp whack to the center of the steering wheel with a cushion hammer or some wood.

There are many prior threads on this same subject which can be found with a search. For example, use GOOGLE to search with this search argument: remove steering wheel stuck

Or try this hyperlink

This article has been moved from THE GAM because the article seeks advice on repairs or modifications, and the REPAIRS and MODIFICATION forum is the best forum for a topic that seeks advice on repairs.

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Phil T
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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby Phil T » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:55 pm

You definitely want to use a steering wheel puller tool.

After installing the tool and tightening, a wrap on the center bolt with a hammer often provides the shock to break it free of the shaft.

Tool example:

Fig. 1. Two-arm wheel removal tool [as seen in the REFERENCE article linked above].
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby biggiefl » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:02 pm

I have had great success removing a steering with using my knees behind [the steering wheel], but a $15 puller is good to have as backup.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby L78steve » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:21 pm

It is good practice to thread the nut back on the shaft before pulling.
1988 15' Sport, 89 Johnson 70HP
1998 22' Progression Merc 300XP
1961 12' Allstar FG 73 Evinrude 25

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:17 am

Use a gear puller {as previously recommended and illustrated]. It will get the wheel off without ruining it.

To ease future removal, install the wheel with anti-seize such as Permatex Aluminum Anti-sieze compound. More at:

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Re: Remove Steering Wheel

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:59 am

Since I wrote the REFERENCE article describing use of a gear puller and I took the picture of the gear puller rigged on the steering wheel that has been shown above, I can add further details about the gear puller tool.

The gear puller tool was purchased at SEARS and was a Craftsman Gear Puller Tool. It was very effective in removing the steering wheel, as was described in the REFERENCE article I mentioned in my reply above. Ironically, I have not used the gear puller tool since then.