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Rebuilding the Steering Wheel with a GRANT Classic
incomplete/in progress.... please check later
Disclaimer: This is how I replaced my heatercore on a 69 MUSTANG Convertible with no A/C and no modifications in the dashboard area. This may not be the proper way or the way FORD would do this or would have done it, recommend it or would have recommended it. Although this worked for me and seemed to be the easiest solution and I try my best to describe in detail what needs to be done, I do not guarantee that it will be the easiest solution for you or that it will work for you. There is no guarantee that you will not scratch anything, spoil fluid over your carpet, get scratches on body parts or lose your mind on this trip to hell ... and back! This is for a 69 or 70 MUSTANG only, there is no airbag or anything else behind the glove box that shouldn't be touched. Anyways - use at your own risk.
Don't panic by the length of this article. I have tried to describe everything step-by-step. So the length of the article doesn't reflect the duration of the work. You may even be done, before you finish reading here.
It was Christmas Eve 2009 when Santa dressed in my wife's clothes showed up with this brand new GRANT Classic Steering Wheel and to ensure that it included all the parts necessary I precautiously put everything together when I wrote the wishlist including part numbers, correct hornbutton etc. Literally all Santa had to do was clicking the links on the wishlist to send the order to Northpole. Since I believe very strong in Santa Claus and I was sure that this GRANT wheel would sit under our Christmas Tree I already got the necessary tool that was required to get a Steering wheel removed. A steering Wheel Puller!
I still remember the last time I replaced a steering wheel very well. It was some 25 years back, when I had my FORD CAPRI back in Germany, I am talking about the European Capri, that made it to the States somehow thru Mercury and I tried to replace my not so cool (it was cool and original, but back then I didn't care) with a Leather Sports wheel I got at the Junk yard. This one would definitely attract the girls like flowers the bees (so true, you didn't get any girls with an original grandpa 70's Steering Wheel back then).
I didn't know anything about Steering Wheel Pullers back then, I bet they weren't even innovated, nor would I have had the money to get one. So I ended up a couple of hours pulling on the wheel to get it off the base and finally another hour to climb out of the trunk with the steering wheel in my hand looking at my bruises and hoping I didn't break anything ... on that car.
This time I got the Puller and this Mustang has a back seat so ending up in the trunk wouldn't be the case anyway. It's March and by now I had enough time to read thru all kind of documentation that came with the wheel as well as internet links and some Mustang literature. It shouldn't take that long to get that steering wheel replaced. Let's see. Additionally to the Steering Wheel puller I finally got a torque wrench. And then I have my Craftsman toolbox.
I can't stress it enough, it is important is to have a nice clean toolbox with quality tool. This makes it so much easier and more fun than finding the correct tool in a greasy toolbox. Believe me I know what I am talking about.
List of tools needed:
- Toolbox with rachet and a set of sockets
- 24 mm socket or US equivalent
- torque wrench
List of parts:
- GRANT Steering Wheel
- Assembly kit for GRANT Steering Wheel
- Horn Button
Before I got started I unpacked everything. The GRANT Steering wheel cam safely packed in it's own box. The toolkit in another small box and the horn button wrapped in bubblewrap. I compared what I had. Looks like I ended up with a few parts I really don't know what to do with them. I would find out later these parts are optional or for other cars. You may want to read thru the documentation that came with the wheel and the parts and really ensure you understand what they are talking about.
Removing the original Steering Wheel
First time I used a Steering Wheel puller and I was a little unsure how it really would work. But it went fairly easy. But let's go step by step. My Mustang has this Steering Wheel with the horn ring. I am not too sure if it was original for an early 69 Mustang or really a 68 wheel. I have seen different opinions about that. I will definitely keep it, in case I ever sell the car or have to compete on a car show.
Before you start make sure your car is parked with the front wheels aligned straight forward. You may also want to make sure that the car is sitting somewhere where it may stay over nite or a few days, just in case the worse comes to worst and you end up without any functioning steering wheel in your car. This shouldn't happen, just some things that came to my mind the past couple of days.
Important is to disconnect the negative battery cable before you get started, since we are actively messing with the horn contacts and you will trigger them more than once if you don't do. Since we are working with car electric you should disconnect the battery anyway.
Now for the fun part and you should calculate approximately 1 hour for the whole process.
To remove the steering wheel you need to losen the 2 screws on the underside of the steering wheel pad. A few seconds later I had the pad in my hand. Now comes the tricky part to remove the horn ring but this also went fairly easy. All you have to do is to put some pressure on the center of the steering wheel and push it down while turning it counterclockwise. There's a spring under the center which triggers the horn. Good thing you disconnected the negative battery cable. You did that? The procedure for other original steering wheels should be similar. Push and turn counter clockwise. You should now have the horn ring with the spring in your hand. Put it away.
The next task is to remove the wheel. You will see the big nut in the center of the wheel. You may now find out that although you have a nice 100 pieces toolbox. You won't have the correct socket for that nut. That's what happened to me. I ended up using a 24 mm metric socket with a metric rachet to continue my work. You want to get you the correct socket for your rachet.
After you remove this nut, the time for the Steering Wheel puller has come. At this point the wheel will just be sitting there kept in place by corrossion, time and old grease. The Steering Wheel Puller usually comes with a set of screws. Find the correct screws that fit into the 2 wholes wight and left of the screwin the center of the steering wheel without damaging anything.
(steering Wheel Puller description here)
With the Steering Wheel Puller now fixed to you steering Wheel with 3 machine screws, get your rachet and fasten the middle screw with pressure. Here's where I almost peed my pants. I had to put so much pressure on it that I first wasn't sure if that's the right thing to do or if I would break anything but eventually by putting torque on the middle screw with the left and right screw firmly fixed into the other holes you will eventually able to pull the Steeing wheel off. And that's what happened in the next couple of seconds.
With the wheel off, remove the Steering Wheel Puller. Now it's time to get the new GRANT Wheel on.
Installing the GRANT Steering Wheel
Your GRANT assembly kit should come with 3 black metal covers. In my case the medium size cover was the best fit. I found that out after I installed the largest one which actually fitted best to the column but with the new wheel attached it looked a bit weird since the black cover was larger that the horn button. The medium size cover does not align to the steering column, it's ends actually end up going into the column but it looked much better assembled. The smallest black cover was simply too flat.
But using the black cover the ... needs to be added to the column.
Here is an important point. If you read the documentation that came with the GRANT wheel they recommended to mark the position. I didn't do that, and it will work out well but there's one thing that they didn't mention and messing here will really make you end up with losing the turn indicator cancellation functionality and every time you turn on your turn indicator it stays on until... you find out that it's still on. I can't write anything about it at this point since I will have to remove my wheel again and take a closer look later on. So you may want to ensure not to move to may plastiv parts here ... then again, while I was putting my GRANT wheel together, I didn't even know I would run into that issue. So let's write on.
After putting the ... on the column, attach the black cover. The 2 cables will go thru the whole at 2 o'clock.
incomplete/in progress.... please check later
Created: March 20, 2009 by Jerry
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