Steering wheel won't come off! -
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-21-2017, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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2000 WJ 
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Steering wheel won't come off!

So I'm trying to change the airbag clock spring in my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. It was supposed to be a one day job but to my annoyance the steering wheel won't come off.

Shown in the picture: it has no bolt holes to accommodate a bolt steering puller so I had to use a claw puller. I tried two different claw pullers and they didn't work. Seen in the picture they started to strip the shaft and also starting chipping chunks of metal on the rear of the wheel.

After that I resorted to soaking it in WD-40, penetrating oil, and trying to pull it out by hand which failed. I also tried hitting the shaft with a hammer while pulling.

I tried the claw pullers again with a combination of turning, hitting with a hammer, turning, hitting, etc. which didn't work.

I finally tapped in 5/16" bolt holes to accommodate a bolt puller. Well that didn't work and the puller bolts literally started to bend at an angle.

Next I'm going to tap bigger holes and try 3/8" or higher bolts to try to stop any bending.

Is there something that I don't know about? Is there some kind of pin or lock? I've also heard some things before about a the ignition needing to be in a correct position. Any other ideas? I've had a much easier time taking the wheel off my 50 year old classic. This is just ridiculous.

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post #2 of 3 Old 09-22-2017, 01:09 PM
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Location: Lake Havasu City
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what ever puller you use. when it gets to that point the force on there is enough to start, bending etc. at that point tap on the steering wheel with a brass or hard rubber hammer. same idea when doing ball joints. works in most cases. this way the load on the thing being pulled is shocked off buy the vibration. Just dont ruin what your hitting.

be sure to disconnect the battery and enough time for it to discharge the SRS. what ever is specked. most are few minutes to be safe.

good luck.

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post #3 of 3 Old 09-22-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Alright I finally got it off! Tapped in 3/8" holes. Those big bolts weren't bending unlike the 5/16ths. I kept turning the puller and hitting the wheel with a hammer (like 222Doc suggested) after each turn for good measure. It reached a point that I couldn't turn the wrench with my own strength so I used an impact wrench for 5 seconds til the the wheel popped off.
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