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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Had some down time before I popped in a new master cylinder and decided to do some cosmetic work. I figured I'd start with the rusty steering wheel, give it a nice repaint treatment.

I bought a 2bolt puller and some 4" 6mm bolts and hooked it up. Easy enough right? well after guiding the two 6mm bolts in I started tightening the center bolt. It feels like its tightened all the way, it wont turn any more, but the steering wheel remains on. Center bolt is rock solid.

I left it overnight and came back to it, still not budging any more.

any ideas? I thought of the two 6mm bolts being off center but they look pretty straight in to me...

pic is attached, for what its worth

Thanks!!
 

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You aren't going to like this but it will work. Remove your wheel pulling hardware and then heat up the hub of the wheel from the inside using a propane tourch turned down low. Be prepared to burn off the insulation on your horn button ground wire. (you can remove it and repair the burned off insulation later). After you get the hub plenty warm, QUICKLY replace the puller hardware and apply preassure. Give the center puller screw a solid wack with a brass or lead hammer. The wheel will come off.

HINT: Loosen up the steering wheel nut but do not remove it from the end of the shaft. This will prevent you from distorting the ends of the screw threads on the shaft while you are applying preassure and giving the puller center screw a solid whack.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
vf31rhill thanks for the tips... I've been tempted to give it a whack at the center but am deathly afraid of mushrooming the column. The propane torch idea sounds promising though, I'll have to price out a torch

La Voce, the 6mm bolts are screwed into the factory guide holes in the steering wheel

Dbest, thanks for the link! A lot of people are recommending the hammer on the center nut... maybe I'll give it a try, while being careful about it...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
UPDATE: I tightened both 6mm bolts until they couldnt turn anymore. then I whacked at the center bolt (on the puller not the wheel) for about 2-3 minutes straight, sometimes while pulling the wheel toward me sometimes not. no budging.

Geebus, how did they put this thing on...

I don't have a propane torch, maybe I should hold of on this one until I have one :(
 

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UPDATE: I tightened both 6mm bolts until they couldnt turn anymore. then I whacked at the center bolt (on the puller not the wheel) for about 2-3 minutes straight, sometimes while pulling the wheel toward me sometimes not. no budging.

Geebus, how did they put this thing on...

I don't have a propane torch, maybe I should hold of on this one until I have one :(
Be careful when whacking end of the steering column as that puts stress on th end of the steering box and could crack it.

I use a heat gun or electric paint stripper to remove mine. Tighten up the bolts and then heat the perimeter of the steering wheel hub and gently rap the hub and center bolt with a hammer, gentle taps around the perimeter and on the end of the bolt. It will loosen eventually.

Go easy and be gentle.
 

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No insult intended - but just for the sake of completeness - did you loosen the nut on the steering shaft? It is best to loosen but not remove it. That protects the threads from damage & keeps the steering wheel from poping off and whacking you in the chin (hahaha).

The steering wheel hub is a tapered fit onto the splined shaft so it does get very tight. Tightening the large bolt in the puller should extract significant force. You could also try wiggling the steering wheel side to side - as if you are driving wildly out of control - to maybe loosen the grip of the splines.

As others have reported, it is not uncommon to strip out the 6mm holes. That indicates how much force is sometimes required. (try not to do that...)
 

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then I whacked at the center bolt (on the puller not the wheel) for about 2-3 minutes straight

Luscombe1940 beat me to the punch, but yea, be careful about whacking on the center bolt - the force goes directly into the case of your Burman steering box, which is made from cast aluminum, a material that behaves like glass. It doesn't like getting whacked!

Others' suggestions of using heat are good.

Geebus, how did they put this thing on...
It's not how Alfa put it on; it's how the steel shaft has corroded to the aluminum hub in the years since. Once you do get it off, and are ready to re-install, brush some NeverSeize onto the tapered fitting. That will make it come off a LOT easier the next time
 

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It is best to loosen but not remove it. That protects the threads from damage & keeps the steering wheel from poping off and whacking you in the chin (hahaha)
Don't anybody laugh. My nose has been broken 3 times. The first time was when I was pulling off the steering wheel on an MGA 1500. This was in the early 1960's. I was not as smart as Eric and pulled the wheel off by hand. When the wheel suddenly came off the shaft - you aready know what I am going to say -
the wheel broke my nose.

The heat is key in this situation. Steel shaft, aluminum hub. Two very different coefficients of expansion. The aluminum expands greatly and the center hole in the hub gets larger.

Concern over the steering box is legitimate.
 

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How badly do you want that wheel off?

Hey Man

Just how badly do you want that wheel off? I'd encourage you to do your cosmetic restoration in place.

These steering wheels can be next to impossible to remove. Sometimes the only way is to cut them off.

You're stripped out two 6mm bolts which gives you a hint of how much force is involved. You can do all the things mentioned above and they're all good techniques.

However all of them run the risks of damaging other components including the steering box and the column switch. So think carefully as you proceed.

Hope that helps

P.S. Nice knees
 

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Don't anybody laugh.
I wasn't really laughing at the thought of the steering wheel busting your nose. I was laughing at the idea that a steering wheel stuck so tight a puller won't loosen it could suddenly pop off.

Three times, huh? Slow learner?
 

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No insult intended - but just for the sake of completeness - did you loosen the nut on the steering shaft?
+1 for loosening or removing the nut. It's the first thing that came to mind when I read the synopsis.

Maybe I'm just lucky, or half a dozen is not a decent sample size, but I can't recall ever having a problem getting a steering wheel to come off with one of those "two bolts into the wheel, and a big fat bolt against the shaft" type of pullers like you are using. Is there grease on the torque bolt? Are you using a beefy breaker bar?

I don't think there's a way that the wheel key could slip into a position where it blocks the wheel from sliding aft, but I suppose it could be a possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
wow this thread exploded (in a good way)! Thanks for all the replies.

yes, the center nut was loosened but not removed (to keep the wheel in place so it wouldn't fly off and break MY nose!! :)

I was gentle about the banging, having read some threads where that happened... I have to be honest, it didn't feel good to do it either. I was scared.

Unfortunately I don't have the funds to buy a propane torch at the moment, so as suggested, I think the next course of action might be to try doing the restoration with the wheel connected.

I guess I'm going to plastic tarp the heck out of my driver's side :D planning to use a solvent stripper, sandpaper, metal primer and high gloss black to match the stock appearance...

Will keep you all posted, this is all probably going to happen this weekend or next.
 
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