How to Remove the Steering Shaft on a 1988 Dodge Dakota

The steering shaft on your 1988 Dodge Dakota is the column supporting the steering wheel. The steering shaft also houses the turn signal switch and the wiper switch. In order to remove the Dakota's steering shaft, you will first need to remove the wheel and then the two switches. You will also need to remove the airbag from your vehicle if your Dakota is equipped with one, as failing to do so may cause serious injury to you.

Tools Used: Socket wrench, Small screwdriver, Steering wheel puller, Slotted screwdriver

Remove Steering Shaft

Park the Dakota on a flat surface and engage the parking brake. Open the hood and, with a socket wrench, disconnect the battery's negative-terminal.

Unscrew the horn pad from behind the steering wheel. Use a small screwdriver to press into the four holes on the rear of the steering wheel and push the horn pad out. If equipped, remove the airbag from the steering wheel as well.

Remove the steering wheel retaining nut with a socket wrench and use a steering wheel puller to remove the steering wheel.

Use a slotted screwdriver to pry off the lower and upper steering shaft covers.

Remove the screw holding in the turn signal switch and pull the switch out.

Use a slotted screwdriver to remove the bearing housing. Remove the coil spring as well.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the lock plate and remove the lock plate from the steering shaft.

Insert a small screwdriver into the lock cylinder release hole and push inward to release the spring-loaded lock retainer. At the same time, pull the lock cylinder out of the column.

Remove the bolts from the steering shaft with a socket wrench and lower the steering shaft onto the driver's seat.

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