Taking advantage of the warmer weather, I hoisted the traveltop off the Scout this Saturday. After some experimentation with my first soft top (a snap-top Kayline) I bolted the hardware for the black top back on and got it back on. Then I thought I might take advantage of some spare time to replace my steering wheel. I called up an old post to find the relevant information and got to work.
Pulling the plastic covers off went very easily, and I made it down to the locking bolt with no problems.
Then I found I had the wrong bolts to go in my column, so Finn and I ran out to the store to get the proper size and thread. Lowe’s didn’t have much in their 1/4″ fine thread selection; the best I could do was 2 1/2″ in stainless steel. When I got it home they went in the column easily, but the center punch screw immediately went off course as I started threading it. I put a wide extension on the end of the punch but that didn’t help, so then I threaded the locknut back on about a quarter turn, hoping it would hold the punch in place. That just made the whole assembly bend at an alarming angle, and the last thing I want to do is snap a bolt off in the column, so I backed it all out and put it back together.
It’s clear I need a more precise kit to get the proper amount of pressure on the column; I’ll have to see if I can rent one from somewhereâ€“but first I’m going to buy a turn signal cam and a new lock barrel and do the whole column at one time.
Update: two thingsâ€“firstly, I need to flip the crossbar of the puller so the flat side is out. Duh. Secondly, I may have a Jeep wheel here, in which case the dinged-up center section is replaceable on eBay if I search for Jeep OEM steering wheel CJ7 1980.