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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Please excuse the rant below :) I find myself easily losing patience these days. The first paragraph below is mainly background and ranting/raving. After that is my question. Thanks in advance.

I took the steering wheel off of my 99 Toyota 4Runner -- following the instructions in the manual -- in order to remove my ignition switch. It turns out the *** **** ****** ******* manual was completely wrong, and I wasted my time and effort removing the steering wheel. In reality, there is absolutely no reason to remove it; it is COMPLETELY unrelated to the ignition switch. I followed the manual ASSUMING the ******* manual would not just randomly tell me to do a bunch of shit I didn't need to ******* do. I was wrong to make that assumption. My god I am getting SO TIRED of these Haynes manuals: they are GARBAGE not worth the paper they are printed on! I've found SO MANY things misleading or flat out wrong in more than one of these damn Haynes manuals; I HATE them! This is literally a five minute job; I could've saved myself all of this hassel by using my brain and looking around in there instead of following the idiot book. There are literally two screws securing the ignition switch to the back of the key lock cylinder; you remove the screws and pull it out and unplug it -- THAT'S IT! Following the instructions in the manual, I removed the air bag/horn assembly, steering wheel, and dash panel assembly -- absolutely NONE of which is AT ALL necessary to replace the ignition switch. The screws are easily accessible and easy to remove without removing ANY of that crap! Yea I know, I should've looked more closely at the actual switch assembly BEFORE following the manual...but I didn't.



ANYWAYS...I actually didn't come here to rant about that. I need some advice regarding the steering wheel itself.

I had to use a steering wheel puller tool to remove the steering wheel after removing the steering shaft nut the first time. I pulled on the steering wheel HARD (after initially removing the nut that secures it in place) and it wouldn't budge the first time, but came off pretty straightforwardly using the puller tool (with a notable POP sound, as one gets when pulling suspension parts...). Anyway, all the WONDERFUL....manual....says to do is tighten the steering shaft nut to 26 foot pounds (I've verified the torque spec elsewhere...). I did that but suspected that wouldn't press the steering wheel hub back onto the shaft. So after I torqued the nut to 26 foot pounds, I removed it again and tried pulling on the wheel; sure enough, the steering wheel popped right off.

I tried hammering on the steering wheel hub with a socket to get it to press back onto the shaft, but that did nothing.

Am I missing something here...? This is an interference-fit that needs to be pressed back on and then should be tight and shouldn't just easily pull off by hand....RIGHT? What's the problem? What am I doing wrong? I could just put some blue loctite on there and torque the nut and call it good, but this just doesn't seem right. Or is it...? If the steering wheel IS all the way back on, why didn't it require any force to get it all the way back in, if a puller was required to remove it from that position the first time around? And why is a puller not at all required to remove it now!?

Any advice on this?




Edit: here are a couple of posts that I looked up before making this question post (one has pictures for reference as to what I'm talking about):

https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f2/steering-wheel-removal-98-4runner-89437/

https://community.cartalk.com/t/why-do-you-need-a-steering-wheel-puller-to-remove-yet-just-press-it-back-to-reinstall/80516
 

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I use this guys 4Runner videos for a lot of my Tacoma maintenance. He’s using the factory manual and only a torque wrench. Pretty sure he is or was a Toyota Technician.

 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Badgerflorida, thank you for the response and the video. I went ahead and just put blue loctite on it and torqued it to 26 foot pounds. It sketches me the hell out though, if I'm honest. It just doesn't sit right with me: I don't understand how it can require a puller to remove (with a "pop" sound as the tension was released, just like in the video) and then just be able to slip right off again after torquing the nut to spec and then removing the nut again...

I guess maybe because the splines "freeze" in place over time...? I don't know man. I'm so pissed that I removed this thing for absolutely no damn good reason. Stupid useless service manual!

At the end of the day, I guess I at least have two things stopping the steering wheel from coming off in my hands...: the nut torqued to spec, and then the loctite as a backup/fail-safe. Ugh. What else can I do, I guess...sigh.


Hopefully this at least fixes the occasional failure-to-crank problem; I already replaced the starter motor/solenoid assembly.
 

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You did fine. A couple of tips for future. Use factory manuals in case you didn't, the aftermarket manuals are mostly a joke and to generic. NEVER use a hammer to drive wheel back on; many have a "collapsible column", pounding with hammer will shear nylon collapsible pins.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm definitely not pleased with this situation. Either it's done wrong or it's done right and I just don't understand how it works (probably the latter...). Either way... Anyway, thanks guys.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it KJ. It's pretty normal for something to break loose with a pop under pressure and then go back on like yours did. As long as you have a full nut or more on the threads and it seems to be bottomed out it should be just fine. You can't tighten it any further, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't worry about it KJ. It's pretty normal for something to break loose with a pop under pressure and then go back on like yours did. As long as you have a full nut or more on the threads and it seems to be bottomed out it should be just fine. You can't tighten it any further, right?

It is definitely a nut-depth on and torqued to spec. And I have driven it around since without any drama, LOL... Thank you.
 
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