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Discussion Starter #1
When I got my 55 back in the fall of 2016, the steering wheel was a mess; the horn ring was broken, the horn didn’t work, and the signals didn’t cancel. There was also a large gap between the wheel and the turn signal housing.

I took everything apart and managed to get it all back together and working correctly—except for the left turn signal canceling cam. The nylon pall had been broken, and I stupidly thought I could glue it back together with super glue—that worked for a very short time.

I was really surprised when I didn’t need a puller to remove the wheel. It came right off, and the nut had not been torqued hardly at all.
I did not replace the bearing at that time.

Today I took the car out to run some errands, and I noticed that there is some play in the steering wheel, I do not mean a delay in the front wheels turning with the steering wheel, but rather the steering wheel itself will move side- to-side and up-and-down slightly.

My first thought was that the bearing is now shot—I know I will have to take it apart again to investigate, but does that movement point to the bearing needing to be replaced, or is it possible that I did not tighten the nut that holds the steering wheel to the shaft well enough?

It has been a while since I did the work, and it was really the first thing I tackled, so I am not sure how much I trust the work I did.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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It could be either. In any case make sure the nut is tight, before driving it again. It could be a disaster if the wheel comes off the splines. The steering wheel applies tension to a spring and split washer between the wheel and bearing to prevent slop. See note in bottom left corner to stake nut. Assembly manual.
 

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I was really surprised when I didn’t need a puller to remove the wheel. It came right off, and the nut had not been torqued hardly at all.....I did not replace the bearing at that time.
Thomas...I have to ask you...Why didn't you torque the nut down, when you put the wheel on?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I absolutely did. I am just not sure if I did it sufficiently. This is a small, small amount of movement and is new.

I did not, however, stake the nut. I am not really sure what that means in this context. My understanding of the term is to deform the threads, but wouldn't that ruin the shaft? I know I must be misunderstanding.

What exactly are they referring to in the assembly manual?
Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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I'd use locktight before staking the nut. Every time you remove the nut it will deform the threads on the shaft a bit more until they get sloppy like mine. They didn't have locktight back then, and they certainly weren't planning on these cars being driven and worked on in 2020 and longer! So I say a new nut and locktight.
 

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It's possible that the splines on the wheel or the steering shaft have been damaged. I've never encountered a situation where the wheels would become loose when they were properly installed and torqued on correct splines! The nut is a large one and proper torque should hold the wheel in place so that it's a problem (needing a puller) to remove it. Lock-tite should not be necessary or desired.

Thomas: Check the splines on your shaft and inside the wheel itself and make sure they are clean and sharp and not worn/rounded...
 

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May not the proper procedure...However, I use a lock washer and a thinner nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is there a torque value for the nut? It was definitely loose. Tightening eliminated the play.

I have checked both the assembly manual and the shop manual. Did I miss it?

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Thomas: If you can't find a torque value for the steering wheel nut, then reference a torque chart based on bolt/thread size.. the larger diameter the bolt/nut, the higher the torque used. For steering wheel nuts, I don't use a torque wrench, but I tighten them until the wheel stops moving on the column splines (that will close up that gap you mentioned). Generally that's about as tight as you can get it using a rachet in one hand and holding the wheel (to keep it from turning) with the other hand... I'd guess about 50 ft-lbs?
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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The torque values were added to the 57 assembly manual. They are not in the 55 and 56 manuals.
 

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The torque values were added to the 57 assembly manual. They are not in the 55 and 56 manuals.
Dam...You're good Don. :)(y)
 

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Don, I know torque values were standard in the sixties AIMs but I never noticed it in the 1957 AIM! Thanks!
 
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