I have always been fascinated by quick-release steering wheel work. However, you will hardly find any information about these steering wheels when you look online. Most people are., therefore, confused as to what are they, how they work, and the installation process.
In this article, we will walk through everything you need to know about the quick-release steering wheel. By the end, you should understand what they are and how they work. This extensive guide also includes a brief description of the installation process.
Quick-release steering wheel: What is it?
Popularly referred to as a performance steering wheel, a quick-release steering wheel is attached securely to your steering using pins, pull or push rings, and cams. You have probably noticed that most steering wheels get attached using a large nut hidden using trim pieces.
To get the user ultimate performance and racing capabilities, the quick-release steering wheel does not use trim pieces. There is also an included collapsible steering column that increases safety significantly. When you use this steering wheel, you can get in and out of high-performance cars quickly.
Quick-release steering wheel: Composition
The quick-release wheel has three major components that you need to understand; the billet hub adapter, pinless quick release, and the 'beauty ring.' We need to take a close look at these three components first before we can move on.
The 'beauty ring' is a piece of trim that integrates the entire assembly while neatly hiding the steering shaft. You have probably noticed that the steering dashboard/column in high-performance cars look elegant.
The billet hub adapter is cylindrical and mostly constructed from machined aluminum. It can be anodized using a color you prefer, or you could always leave it bare. Your preference will dictate what you deem fit for your car.
The pinless quick release is an integral part that ensures the whole assembly works seamlessly. Your steering wheel can come off and on quickly, ensuring that maximum security.
The billet hub includes a central recess at the top to ensure that the user gets continued use of the OEM cap. The recess also contains three holes that bolt the billet hub adapter securely. You, therefore, get a three-bolt quick release mechanism as simple as that. You could also get the holes counter-sunk if you need machine head bolts.
On the billet hub adapter are also included tapped holes for attaching the OEM steering wheels. You will need to use bolts and follow a specific pattern depending on the model that you get. A customized system could, for example, have a nine-bolt design depending on your preference. The typical pattern, however, is referred to as a Moto-Lita pattern.
The billet hub adapter includes another central recess at the bottom to help cover the top part of your quick release. You get more clearance, which means that you can access the flange easily. The through-holes match up with the quick-release threaded holes to get you seamless functionality.
Quick-release steering wheel: Workings
The splined hole at the bottom of your quick-release mechanism engages a splined sleeve. The sleeve's interior, therefore, gets splined, thus joining the steering shaft. Consequently, the sleeve's exterior gets splined and engages the quick release.
The central groove then engages the ball bearings, which usually extend from your splined hole. When you pull on the release flange, you release the ball bearings and allow the entire mechanism to function appropriately.
However, you need to make two significant adjustments if you need a flawless experience. First, you will have to shorten the splined sleeve significantly to give you more space. Remember that you will need to fit a lock nut within the quick release interior.
Secondly, you will need to replace the nut and get one with a small diameter than the original. To fit the splined hole, you will need a nut with a diameter of about 7/8 inches. In comparison, the original usually has a diameter of about 1¼ inch.
These adjustments ensure that your original MGB steering shaft remains as it was. What this means is that you can always revert to stock condition at any time. Using a quick-release steering wheel is, therefore, not a permanent move.
Now, you need to understand that there could be certain modifications depending on the model you plan to use. However, an ordinary skilled person can easily make small changes to ensure that they get a functional system.
The quick-release steering wheel can have certain minor modifications that you should expect. The system is also bound to change with time as everything does nowadays. The working, however, is similar for all the different systems.
Quick-release steering wheel: Installation
3/8-inch drive ratchet
3/8-inch drive 22mm deep socket
3/8 inch 6-inch extension
Small flat-head screwdriver
3mm Allen wrench
Small hook pick
Step 1: removing the horn
Ensure that your car is correctly parked before we begin any work. The car wheels should also be perfectly straight, thus ensuring that you get a proper wheel alignment. Pull out your horn gently and pry beneath the plastic ring using a small screwdriver. Note how the different wires are connected or take a picture for better reference.
Step 2: Remove wheel assembly
Remove the center nut on the wheel and pull your steering wheel towards you. The entire assembly will come off, which means you need to proceed with a lot of caution.
Step 3: install the ring on your short hub
Use your small hook pick to remove the ring because you will need it for your new assembly. Remove your ring carefully because it is attached to a black wire. You can then slide your ring back and move on to the next step.
Step 4: installing the quick release
Press your quick release in position until you feel it engaging. Re-install your steering wheel using the original hardware that you took out. You could always cut your hardware length if it is too long.
Step 5: Install the horn
Connect all the wires as they were, then install the horn. Use the reference picture to ensure that everything is in position.
Now that you understand the workings of a quick-release steering wheel, finding the best model can be an issue. Ensure that you get a quick-release steering wheel that suits your needs. Conduct extensive research on different brands before landing on one. Look through various customer reviews to help you make an informed decision.
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