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    Steering Wheel Swap

After 100k + miles and at least 3 owners, my Sy's steering wheel had reached the end of its life. The leather was worn badly and it was quite an eyesore. I tried a wraparound cover for awhile, but the feel and fit was never quite right.

Good fortune was mine when a fellow list member offered two brand new original-style steering wheels for sale. Mine arrived in great shape, so we went to work to make the swap.

First step was a quick trip to the local parts store for a steering wheel puller. There are probably many different sources to choose from, I got mine from Discount Auto, Performance Tool #W150. Price was $6.


Step 1 for the swap is to remove the center GMC cap over the old wheel. A flathead screwdriver or just your hands will work to pry it off. Pull off the wire connector for the horn and set the cover aside.

We used masking tape to temporarily mark the alignment of the steering column and the steering wheel. The tape was placed across the two surfaces, then carefully cut along the seam between the column and wheel.

Next remove the triangular-shaped cotter ring and the retaining nut. Assemble the wheel puller and thread the bolts into the two holes on either side of the center of the wheel as shown. This kit came with a spacer for the middle bolt which goes between the center (driving) bolt and the wheel. A few turns on the center bolt and the steering wheel is ready to remove.

Next we held up the old and new wheels together and placed masking tape on the new wheel to match the location of the old. Use this mark to ensure the new wheel is installed with the same alignment as the old. It's a little tough to know whether you've the new steering wheel seated all the way in. We gave it a few good taps, leaving approximately 1/4" gap between the new steering wheel surround and the steering column.

Re-install the retainer nut, cotter ring. Re-connect the horn wiring and install the center cap.