Rover SD1 Tips 'n Tricks - #10 - Remove a Steering Wheel the Scary Way

Rover SD1 Steering Wheel Specially Adapted for LHD - TeeHee!

A Fine Collection of SD1 Steering Wheels - Click any Image to Enlarge

What follows is an exchange of Emails regarding removing a very stubborn Rover SD1 steering wheel from its splined steering shaft. For reasons entirely unclear, previous owners sometimes torqued down the centre fixing nut with force more akin to tightening a cylinder head bolt..

When that has happened removing the SD1 steering wheel from its splined steering shaft can be a very dangerous process for the uninitiated. Brute force beyond normal recognition has to be applied in complete safety to prevent an untimely facial injury. Here is the verbatum conversation

Dear Ramon, As a new owner and new club member I have a problem you might be able to help with. My car’s indicators don’t cancel properly (quite dangerous actually). The seller gave me a replacement switch assembly, but I can’t get the steering wheel off with a conventional puller, it being made of rubber.

Rover SD1 Steering Wheel with Matching Burr Walnut Veneer
Rover SD1 Steering Wheel with Polished Chrome Spokes
Rover SD1 Steering Wheel, Wood and Viking Boat Badge

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Haynes mentions a special tool, 18G 1014, but I don’t know how to access one. Any help would be very welcome. Regards Chris Godfrey 5015

Hello Chris, This is what I do! Remove the centre pad and undo the big nut a few turns until it is really loose, but definitely NOT near the end of its threads.

Then vigorously waggle, the steering wheel from side to side, top to bottom, up and down, push and pull, I mean seriously abuse. Use a soft wood lever if necessary or even a scaffold pole wrapped in a towel to release the grabbing splines. It will break loose, I guarantee, even if you have to soak the splines in WD40 overnight.

Whatever you do – DO NOT REMOVE THE CENTRE NUT COMPLETELY - otherwise you will finish up at the dentist or in hospital with a broken jaw. When refitting use copperease on the splines and do not over tighten – just nip it up with the star washer in place and you will never have the same problem again. After all its not gonna work loose without you seriously knowing about it and the splines prevent it rotating freely anyway!

I hope this helps - Ramon

Dear Ramon, Further to your suggestion as to how to get the steering wheel off, I thought about it for a bit, and came to the conclusion that it was a barbaric misapplication of brute force to a fine piece of engineering, a wanton act of vandalism that shouldn’t be attempted in any circumstances.

Then I did it anyway and it came off in 20 seconds. Do you know a good osteopath?

Regards Chris

Plainly brilliant! Brute force triumphs over good engineering practise. Nothing new there then?

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