How to Remove the Steering Wheel on a 1988 Jeep Wrangler

The 1988 Jeep Wrangler came equipped from the factory with either a removable hard or soft top. Because many Jeep owners enjoy running their Jeeps "topless" during warmer weather, the interior components weather more quickly than in other vehicles. In addition, aftermarket companies make specialty steering wheels for owners who may wish to personalize the interior of their vehicles. The steering wheel on a 1988 Jeep Wrangler can be removed by the vehicle owner. The only specialty tool required is a steering-wheel puller, which can usually be borrowed from an auto-parts store at little or no cost.

Tools Used: Wrench set, Flat-blade screwdriver, Breaker bar, Socket set, Phillips screwdriver, Steering-wheel puller

Remove Steering Wheel

Removing the Horn Components

Separate the ground cable from the negative battery post. Begin by loosening the battery clamp retaining bolt with a wrench. Then pull the clamp off the terminal.

Pry the horn pad off the steering wheel carefully with your hand. If you are having difficulty you can insert a small flat-blade screwdriver between the horn pad and the steering wheel.

Unscrew the retaining nut in the center of the steering wheel, using a breaker bar and the appropriate socket.

Unscrew the three screws that secure the horn contact plate to the steering wheel, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Lift the horn contact bushing, receiver and flex-plate out of the center of the steering wheel.

Pulling the Steering Wheel

Position a steering-wheel puller over the steering shaft.

Thread the outer bolts on the steering-wheel puller into the threaded holes on the steering wheel.

Rotate the bolt in the center of the steering-wheel puller clockwise, using a socket, until the steering wheel is separated from the steering column.

Unscrew the outer bolts on the steering-wheel puller, from the threaded holes on the steering wheel, using a socket.

Remove the steering wheel from the vehicle.

Tips & Warnings

If you plan to reinstall the same steering wheel into the vehicle at a later point, paint or scribe a line from the hub in the center of the steering wheel, across the shaft that passes through this hub. This will keep the steering wheel straight when the front wheels are straight.

Always disconnect the negative battery terminal before servicing any vehicle's electrical system. Failure to do so could cause electric shock.

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