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Author Topic:   Steering Wheel Removal
jimmyz posted 11-26-2001 10:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimmyz   Send Email to jimmyz  
I am getting reacquainted with my 1982 15' sport. I want to redo the wood this winter and cannot figure out how to get the steering wheel off. I have removed the center piece of wood and unscrewed the 1" bolt and washer. What next? Thanks, JZ
Tom W Clark posted 11-26-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The wheel just comes off. Well, actually it typically comes off only with some effort. They are usually really stuck on there and a gear puller is the appropriate tool to use. But before you do that put some penetrating oil on the shaft overnight. Something like WD-40 or Liquid Wrench or anything you have. Rent a gear puller if you don't own one or buy a cheap one (it will be adequate for this purpose).
kingfish posted 11-27-2001 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I agree with Tom, but I'll offer an interim step you might try before you buy a wheel puller - put the penetrating oil on overnight, but before you head for Autozone, re-thread the nut onto the shaft, and turn it in so it is flush with the end of the shaft, or just a little less than flush (end of shaft is just below the outside face of the nut), then have one person take a steady strain on the wheel trying to pull it off the shaft, while you tap on the nut/end of the shaft with a hammer. This will often times allow the wheel to come loose.

Doesn't work, no harm no foul, go get the wheel puller.


Dick posted 11-27-2001 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
One addition to the method Kingfish described.
Use a rubber mallet or a block of wood between the nut and the hammer.
dgp posted 11-27-2001 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Will that hammering effect the clutch in the NFB steering box?
Bigshot posted 11-27-2001 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Should'nt affect the NFB but be carefull you don't rip the console out:)
kingfish posted 11-27-2001 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I like BS's answer; I'm not talking about "hammering" though, but "tapping", and not with a 32 oz. framing hammer, but with a regular, laying around the house type hammer of the 16 oz. or so variety. If the tapping doesn't do it, *don't* get a bigger hammer. Go to Autozone and get that gear puller.
jimmyz posted 11-27-2001 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimmyz  Send Email to jimmyz     
Thanks for the helpful tips. I will give wd 40 time to work and then try your suggestions. I'll let you know.

Jim Z

acseatsri posted 11-27-2001 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
DON'T HIT THE NUT OR THE STUD! Put a socket OVER the stud to protect it, then hit on the end of the shaft directly. As an alternative, after you've broken the stud, you can drill and tap the end of the shaft to use a bolt to hold the wheel on. You can trust me when I tell you I'm an expert on this procedure! :)
jimh posted 11-27-2001 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Get the gear puller. You don't need a fancy titanium gear puller used on military helicopter rotor hubs.

Get a made-in-China crappy gear puller produced by the "Happy-Lucky Horse Dragon Pot Metal Casting Industry Company Ltd." for $9 at the auto part store.

kingfish posted 11-28-2001 09:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

What in the world did you whack that shaft with, an 8# maul?

I have used the method I describe above on five different boats, literally dozens of times, and the worst thing I have ever suffered is dinging one part of the leading thread over a little from having the nut turned in a smidgeon too far and not hitting the end of the shaft squarely. Because the nut was already threaded on, all that meant was backing it out and turning it forward again a few times, and all was well.

I have yet to need a wheel puller.

Follow your own star, jimmyz, I doubt you'll go wrong with either method.

the_FishMaster posted 12-03-2008 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for the_FishMaster  Send Email to the_FishMaster     
[Revived a seven-year-old discussion.]

I went to a local auto supply store and rented a gear puller. It was pretty cheap. It was so easy to use. The wheel came off in seconds!

jimh posted 12-04-2008 01:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The process of removing a steering wheel using a gear puller is described and illustrated in an article in the REFERENCE section. See

A2J15Sport posted 12-04-2008 07:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for A2J15Sport  Send Email to A2J15Sport     
My 1976 Sport 15 wheel was stuck fast. Saltwater boat.

WD-40 does not have much penetrating capability. The WD stands for "Water Dispersement".

PB Blaster works much better. It smells to high heaven but is very effective.

I let mine soak (some spray on top of the hub) for a few days at it popped off easily.

Always gease the hub with Lithium (waterproof) grease when you reinstall. I use the same grease on prop. shafts.

tedious posted 12-04-2008 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious    
Just took mine off the other night. Nothing, but nothing would move the wheel until I borrowed a gear puller from a neighbor. With the right tool it popped off instantly.


A2J15Sport posted 12-04-2008 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for A2J15Sport  Send Email to A2J15Sport     
I have a "gear puller" but I didn't find it neccesary, unless it just won't budge.

I coated mine with PB and after a week, it just "popped off" with gentle hits from my wrists-upwards.

If it is stuck-fast. It's time to invest in an entire new steering system.

Although mine came loose, I decided on an entire new system.

I just wish I'd gone-hydraulic.


zotcha posted 12-04-2008 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
I'm in the process of converting a 15 to a CC. Why do you think it was a mistake to have gone without the hydraulics? I've had SeaStar for 10 years in my SeaCraft 20 and would not have changed a thing. Not a problem yet. But my 1982 15 Sport I redid in 2005 steers like a dream with standard cable steering, and anticipate the same with my 1988. Just curious. Thanks. zotcha.
A2J15Sport posted 12-04-2008 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for A2J15Sport  Send Email to A2J15Sport     

We've talked about the CC conversion.

After having run a couple of boats with Hydraulic, I can say there is no comparison.

"Mistake" may be a bit broad but if I had to do it over again-hydraulic.

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