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TaurusKev

So You Wanna Take Off / Remove Your Steering Wheel

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Copying over some of my writeups here, good for if you wanna change your steering wheel out to leather and or leather w/ wood, or downgrade to the vinyl/rubber one from a base model. Or any other reason to remove the wheel.

Note: Although this write up is for the Gen 4.5 with the upside down taco air bag. This write up will help in the aid of removing a Gen 2 and 3 Steering wheel. I hear the Gen 4.0 is a bit silly.

This is easy to do. But before I start - Disclaimer time!:

You are dealing with your Supplemental Restraint System Airbag. Airbags can cause harm or death when improperly handled according to studies. This is a guide to point you in the right direction, but I will not be hold responsible for any harm done by fiddling with your Airbag system. Continue at your own risk, otherwise take it to a shop.

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Step 1. Unplug your negative battery cable, and turn some accessories on (Headlights) or whatever to help drain the capacitors. I recommend 30 minutes or more to let the car sit. Service manual suggests 1 minute, I still prefer 30+, be safe than sorry.

Step 2. Remove the plastic covers behind your cruise control switches, they are 2 circles. And inside is an 8mm bolt. Remove those, and carefully make sure your airbag doesn't fall out on the last bolt, position steering column facing up is my recommendation.

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Step 3. carefully lower the Airbag, as you can access the two wiring clips behind that are what detonate your airbag. My guess is there are 2 plugs for the 2 stage? Dunno, just don't be stupid here and apply ANY power or test equipment to these plugs.

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Step 4. Unclip the wires from the back of the bag.

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These are color coded, and also shaped so they cannot be improperly installed. Remember, this whole procedure, your car is to not have your battery connected, at all, no lights, indicators, etc should be functional. The clips release from the sides, and pull out easily. Note, store the airbag so that the Ford emblem is facing up. Just in case the bag DID detonate, it wouldn't make itself fly up and cause damage. I placed mine on an antistatic bag used for computer parts.

Step 5. Grab a T-50 Torx bit, and remove the center bolt in the steering wheel (image above for location of bolt) This is a b***h to get off, but doable.

Step 6. (What I did) pull violently side to side, top to bottom, corner to corner, until wheel comes loose. I did not need a special puller. It will slide off.

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Optional part: Changing components from 1 wheel to another (You bought a leather wrapped wheel, or wood trim wheel, but wanna keep your Cruise control, and back housing.)

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Step 1. Remove the 4 big torx screws, size is a T-20.

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I recommend placing them on something like a carpet, and in the way it was pulled out, that way easy to put back in.

Step 2. Remove the black plastic underneath, torx bit T-15, there are only 2 of these. The top half pulls out with some working out, they are wedged in, but easy to get out.

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Example of how I have everything laid out on the floor:

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Step 3. Remove all Phillips head screws. 4 Long ones for cruise control, 2 for holding the plastic cover on. Set these aside and remember which are for which (not hard to do)

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Step 4. remove switches and shove them into the middle. Then just pull on the plastic, and ensure you make sure the switches don't get caught on the wheel. I don't recommend separating the harness from Cruise control from plastic, then set it down. You now have your whole wheel apart.

Reassembly is the reverse of removal for both wheel removal, and component removals.

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Enjoy! Hope this writeup helps someone interested in removing their Gen4.5 Wheel. :thumbs:

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You're 2 days late to help me! Lol. I had a hell of a time pulling my stock one off. The manual doesn't help either and made no sense and my wheel was really pressed on good.

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Never found what this is talking about to loosen it off.

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Yeah, them wheels are pressed on tight, gotta pull like hell, in all directions. The instructions have always been on the bad club, until now wink.gif

Brian reminded me of this, and I remembered I had to swap it over smile.gif

Edit: Here's a crude video of removing a steering wheel that hasn't been removed before without having to rent the puller.

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Better late then never. :lol:

I was actually in the process of making my own how to while I was doing it Sunday and just said screw it. The next person will just have to deal with the crap too. Finally found my 2 draw puller and got it off. <_<

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Two suggestions:

1. Maybe mention that you should go crazy with pushing buttons, pedals, and switches to completly dissipate any lingering voltage in the system?

2. Center the steering wheel on the column for easier reinstallation.

Otherwise, great writeup!

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Yeah, I know my wheel came a bit sideways when doing my manual pull method, the trick is remembering how it came off. Though, it would be pretty cool to mount it upside down :P

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Hmm. Mine said UP behind the actual steering wheel so you know what way is up.

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Mine too, I figured one would remember how they removed their wheel at least :)

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Mine too, I figured one would remember how they removed their wheel at least :)

I remember my new clockspring said "TOP" in two places...i'll have to check my photobucket to confirm.

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My stock one said pull towards the bottom left only. The leather one I put in said pull at the bottom left and towards the top middle. And then once the wheel was off the black plastic had top written on it.

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I'm gonna have to follow this soon to replace the clockspring assembly in my '05. The SRS error code 19 is constantly on, as of today.

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Awww, well, this is an excellent write up on how to get to your Gen 4.5 Clock Spring too!!

Note, the write up for this is very similar for a Gen 2 and 3. So, not strictly 4.5.

Ahh... I remember working on that car all the time. Time to start doing upgrades and write ups with the Essex and Gen 2 for me! :)

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Wow the 4.5 wheel is a lot different to remove than the gen 4 wheel.

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Kev, Idk if you were aware, but we do have a tutorial and how-to sub-subforum!!! It's inside the aesthetics subforum. I'm going to move this there.

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Note: A video of pulling the steering wheel without a puller has been posted on the third post.

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Guys, pulling the steering wheel off without a puller is a good way to get a loose-fitting steering wheel if you're going to be putting it back on. The steel shaft enlarges the hole in the softer aluminum wheel when you're yanking it back and forth. Been there, done that. I had to wedge a steel shim between the wheel and the shaft to keep the wheel from rocking on the shaft afterwards. Save yourself some trouble and get the loaner puller from Autozone, etc.

 

Mike

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Hey Mike,

 

Welcome to the club! First of all :)

 

 

Out of the many many Fords I've done this to, I never had any issues by doing it this way. By pulling at all directions accordingly, the wheel will just slip off.

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Hey Mike,

 

Welcome to the club! First of all :)

 

 

Out of the many many Fords I've done this to, I never had any issues by doing it this way. By pulling at all directions accordingly, the wheel will just slip off.

 

Ok, that makes me wonder if I did something else to enlarge the hole in the wheel. It's been a while, but I seem to remember holding the wheel while torquing down the bolt. I guess that could have moved some metal on the flat part of the hole in the wheel. Thanks.

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It's possible. I do know my 05 Taurus wheel pretty much slipped off with almost no force, and I bought that new...

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