Ford F-150 Steering Wheel Removal

by Howard Altman

There are many reasons for wanting or needing to pull the steering wheel off an F-150 pickup. The task is not as simple as you might think, and some special tools may be needed. If the vehicle is equipped with a driver's-side air bag, have a qualified service technician remove the steering wheel.


Basic tools needed for steering wheel removal include a Phillips-head screwdriver, needle-nose pliers and a wrench. To mark and pull the steering wheel from the shaft itself, you'll need additional tools: a paint marker and a steering wheel puller.


Park the your F-150 with the wheels pointing straight ahead. Remove the wire from the negative battery terminal. Chock the wheels to ensure that the truck cannot move while you are working on it.

To remove the steering wheel you must do some disassembly first. The steering wheel cover is held on with two screws behind the steering wheel spokes; use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove them. When you lift the top of the steering wheel, you'll expose the horn assembly and cruise control wires if equipped. Use needle-nose pliers to pinch the J-clip that holds the cruise control ground wire in place. Do not try to pull the ground wire without compressing the clip; it will break. Now remove the horn switch wiring and pull out the assembly. This will give you access to the steering wheel nut.

Remove the nut with a wrench; a good bit of torque will be required to loosen it. Mark the shaft and steering wheel if you plan to reinstall the steering wheel so you can put the new steering wheel on in the same position. Use the wheel puller to finish the task.

A Bit of Caution

Air bags use compressed gasses to inflate. They inflate very quickly, and it can be dangerous if the bags deploy unexpectedly. It can also be rather expensive to replace an air bag, so for these reasons please heed the earlier warning: have only a trained technician work on your steering wheel if it is equipped with an air bag.

When using the wheel puller, take extra precaution not to damage the steering shaft. This would make reassembly more difficult.


About the Author

Howard Altman is a transplanted New Yorker located in Centerton Arkansas. He has over 25 years of experience in the information technology field programming and supporting code. His hobbies include keeping a 1988 Ford F150 up and running and 30 years of Radio Control (cars boats and planes) experience. He has been writing how-to articles since 2008.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images