Saturday, November 15, 2008

argh...steering wheel....

So, it's been over a month since my last post. October has come and gone, and the steering wheel is still on the car. We still couldn't get enough leverage to turn the nut. So we bought a breaker bar (like a socket wrench but it doesn't rachet and the handle is a foot and a half long). Bingo! the nut finally started turning.

Now for the past few weeks, the problem is removing the actual steering wheel. Apparently steering wheels are mounted in place using the physics property of friction. Even though the nut can be taken off and there's a clear path to freedom for the steering wheel, it refuses to budge.

First, we tried a hammer and pull method that was shown in a youtube video on an MG. I know some people said that this will damage the threads of the steering shaft, but given our limited tool selection this fit our needs. The method involved whacking the bolt on the steering shaft and pulling on the wheel. A couple whacks and pulls later, the steering wheel was still just as tightly on as when we started.

After I checked some online postings, I decided to try and use a steering wheel puller, a special tool designed specifically for this task, to remove the steering wheel. Also from online googling, I learned that you can borrow automotive tools, like a steering wheel puller, from Autozone. The Autozone people were super helpful and it turned out for a $21 deposit, I could borrow the steering wheel puller and could return it for a full return on my deposit. Sweet deal.

Well, despite the good news, it turns out that the steering wheel puller was not meant for 1968 Triumphs. The vintage car lacks the steering wheel holes that are needed to mount the steering wheel puller to it. Ugh, back to the drawing board.

So what's next...searching around on the internet, it turns out there is a different steering wheel puller that pulls by clamping down behind the wheel. This, I am hoping, will fit the Triumph steering mount. I'll need to check if Autozone has this available to loan. Otherwise, I think it'll be $30 to purchase it.

Also, on the not so bright side, examining the steering wheel mount closer, it appears that the previous owner had removed the steering wheel but prying it off and left indentations along the edge of the steering wheel mount. :-/ Poor car.

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