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Old 04-09-2012, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Freightliner: Steering Wheel Removal

Im considering upgrading my steering wheel & I'd like to figure out how to remove the steering wheel first.

I expected to find either a removable pad or a nut under the horn / button under the center/logo cap...all i found was the contact points & springs for the horn button.

I've not yet removed the lower steering wheel shroud, thats my next step...
but i was surprised NOT to find any removable steering wheel padding or screws on the underside of the wheel (that might be holding a cover on).

any idea on the procedure for removing a FL Columbia steering wheel ?
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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Oh oh, pretty soon you'll have blue neon washer nozles, chrome and blue neon on all your dash switches, and a skull on the shifter and turn signal stalks. Hahahahaahah. I'll ask my truck mechanic buddy if he's ever taken one off a Columbia.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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dont have to worry 'bout that w/ me...im not much of a chrome (or carbon fiber) guy...

BUT....

ive just finished updating and adding better lighting to all the basement storage bays and toe kicks...i installed LED light strips (20 inches, 75 LEDs per strip)...ive got more light and less electrical load now. (strips are easily soldered together or cut to length).

Im considering adding some under coach LED's for ambient light...but friends are having an intervention to prevent me from doing that
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
ive just finished updating and adding better lighting to all the basement storage bays and toe kicks...i installed LED light strips (20 inches, 75 LEDs per strip)...ive got more light and less electrical load now. (strips are easily soldered together or cut to length).
Post some night pictures of the new lighting!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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will do ! photos in the storage bay are difficult - but next time were out ill get some photos.

here are the lights i bought - the seem to be good quality (despite my isolated problem of obtaining them).

12V 75-LED White Light Strip (50cm) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Bushpilot-what model Freightliner do you have. I took my horn button out of the steering wheel the other day (electric horn not working) and the button is a self contained unit. The nut that retains the steering wheel to the steering shaft was visible under it. I have a '07 Century series.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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gordy - its an 04 columbia, w/ what i call the m2 dash cluster...that is to say it does not have separate individual gauges rather the gauges are part of a cluster (behind some "glass" w/ the speedo & tach)

when i pulled the horn button/cover all i see are some springs and contacts for the horn, it has occurred to me that the logo/cover maybe the 1st layer and that i may need to pull the next layer made up of the springs & contacts - but i was uncertain.

ill look again and take some pictures.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #8
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it has occurred to me that the logo/cover maybe the 1st layer and that i may need to pull the next layer made up of the springs & contacts - but i was uncertain.
That would be my guess. Regardless of year or make, somewhere in there there's a big nut on a splined shaft.

You may need a puller to get the wheel off the shaft.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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yeah im familiar w/ the process and have several pullers.

im being overly careful (for the moment) but didnt see a seam below the horn contact/guts so im not even sure how or where it would come out.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:08 PM   #10
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That's a lot different than mine then. Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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ok, finally figured this out - in the center of the wheel there is a button assembly (under the logo button) that also needs to be popped/pried out.

once you have that horn contact button out - the steering wheel nut is exposed.

the horn wires thread THRU the steering wheel SHAFT - so some xtra care needs to be taken when pulling the wheel w/ a press/puller....i used a socket large enough that would contain the wires (w/out risk of pinching 'em) and then let the puller press against the socket.

I'll get some photos up today - as im installing my new fancy wheel
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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ok heres the pics....

the nut is a 1-1/4".

the first picture shows the "removal" of the logo/horn button (pried out w/ a small screw driver).



next shows the actually spring & contact mechanism (under the logo button)....again pried out w/ a small / thin screw driver.



now we see the horn WIRES which are threaded thru the HOLLOW steering shaft...



now you can see the socket - i used a socket smaller than 1-1/4 (having loosened the steering wheel nut) for the puller to press against & so that the wires could be CONTAINED (w/out pinching) in the large socket.

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #13
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the wheel is off -



and the new wheel is ON...

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Old 09-29-2012, 10:30 PM   #14
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That wheels is fancy looking. Did the horn button plug right in to the stock wires?
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:25 AM   #15
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That wheels is fancy looking. Did the horn button plug right in to the stock wires?
pretty much....

one wire plugs into the the push-on / blade terminal
the other (ground) wire i had to modify slightly by putting it under one of the ground screws...pretty simple stuff.

I'll take a picture so you can see the connections & minor modification needed.

btw the steering wheel is a pretty common unit - 179 bucks (all over the net)...i got it from one of my local shops, its
one of those things that i wanted to touch & feel 1st hand, before buying. Its made by United Pacific (http://www.uapac.com) its finished nicely, and its a nice / welcome change from the OE plastic unit. I figure i can always wrap it w/ a leather "wheel skins" cover if it turns out to be "too cold"...even that would be nicer than the OE steering wheel.

FWIW i have a wheelskins leather cover on my f350 wheel.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:04 PM   #16
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horn button wiring....the white (extension wires) came with the steering wheel....
im not sure you need all that length...i used it

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Old 12-07-2014, 11:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
Im considering upgrading my steering wheel & I'd like to figure out how to remove the steering wheel first.

I expected to find either a removable pad or a nut under the horn / button under the center/logo cap...all i found was the contact points & springs for the horn button.

I've not yet removed the lower steering wheel shroud, thats my next step...
but i was surprised NOT to find any removable steering wheel padding or screws on the underside of the wheel (that might be holding a cover on).

any idea on the procedure for removing a FL Columbia steering wheel ?
The layer of springs under the horn button is the bottom of the horn switch. Pull that out and you will find the nut securing the steering wheel.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:40 PM   #18
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Is the old steering wheel for sale? I need a new one.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:46 PM   #19
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Default Horn Problem....

Anybody know how to repair the contact surface on my steering column when the contact spring tears up the contact surface on the column. My mechanic installed a new contact spring dry and tore up the contact surface on the column. Am I screwed and have to buy a new column?
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:01 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by epiatek01 View Post
The layer of springs under the horn button is the bottom of the horn switch. Pull that out and you will find the nut securing the steering wheel.
i think you can see that in my next pictures...where I've not only exposed the nut but talk about how to use a socket to protect the horn wiring when using a puller to press the wheel off the spline.

Quote:
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Is the old steering wheel for sale? I need a new one.
PM me an offer (i think i still have the aftermarket wheel box, so i can ship it in that, well protected), lets talk...shipping would be on you.
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