Ford Steering Column Removalby Chris Moore
While the numerous Ford vehicles have their differences, many of the current models have similarities in the way the steering column is mounted. The biggest advantage in removing a Ford's steering column is that no special puller tools are needed to remove the wheel from the column.
Park the vehicle with the wheels pointing straight forward. Once the vehicle is properly parked, open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable. On F-150 trucks and other large vehicles, you often need to loosen the cable clamp nut to disconnect the cable; on smaller models, you may just need to snap off the cable. If the vehicle has air bags installed, remove the driver's air bag. Wait two minutes after disconnecting the battery, then remove the mounting bolts on each side of the wheel—turning the wheel in both directions to access the bolts—withdraw the unit from the wheel until its clips release and unplug the wiring plugs. Always store the airbag face-up someplace where it won't be struck. With the steering wheel back and locked in the forward position, disconnect all electrical connectors, such as the ones for the horn, cruise control and clockspring. Remove the bolt in the center of the wheel, then mark the steering wheel's position on the shaft. As you lift the wheel off the shaft, push the wiring connectors through the hole to keep the wiring in position on the steering column. Tape down the clockspring in its centered position so it won't move while the wheel is off. Don't turn the steering shaft while the wheel is off.
Disconnect all the trim panels related to the steering column. The knee bolster has two screws you must remove to disconnect it. The steering column cover is separated into two halves; remove the fasteners on the bottom cover and then separate the two parts. Disconnect all electrical connectors and wiring harnesses for the column. If the vehicle has automatic transmission, detach the shift cable by pulling up on the lock tab or prying it off the shift lever with a screwdriver, then disconnect the transmission range indicator cable next to the shift cable. Remove the pinch bolt for the intermediate shaft coupler, then remove the steering column mounting nuts; these should all take a flare-nut or socket wrench. Lower the column and pull it to the rear; make sure nothing is still connected to it. Separate the steering shaft from the intermediate shaft, then remove the steering column.
- Chilton Ford Pick-Ups Repair Manual; Mike Stubblefield; Haynes North America; 2006
- Chilton Ford Focus Repair Manual; Jay Storer; Haynes North America; 2005
- Chilton Ford Mustang Repair Manual; Mike Stubblefield; Haynes North America; 2007
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.