rmaynard

How To Drill A Steering Wheel

35 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted

I have a brand new, and obviously never used 13" soft-touch steering wheel that I purchased for my B-100 restoration project. The problem is that there is no hole drilled in the hub for a 1/4" roll pin. Without damaging the soft plastic covering, what is the best way to remedy this problem? Can a machine shop do this or do I have really nice "wall art" for my shop?

 

B-100_SWheel.thumb.jpg.b2e6ab348e6aceeac42273715dbbccf0.jpgwall-art.thumb.jpg.2f9e56496a5c54cc0ef2c209b12c197c.jpg

 

 

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ID: 2   Posted

Well your up against a tough task to get a hole in there. Wheel must have got over looked by Quality Control. With today's modern ways of machining they can do remarkable things, so I am sure they could put a hole in there for you. The biggest consideration to me would be at what  cost. Machining cost are steep. They know you would not be there if you could do it yourself, so they charge accordingly. It just may be cheaper to find another one. Thought getting a NOS wheel like that maybe a tough chore.

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ID: 3   Posted

Thanks for the reply. I do have another NOS wheel that I can use, but I also have another project that needs a nice steering wheel as well. My local machine shops are just as you described. It will probably take them all of 15 minutes to set up and make a hole, but they will tell me that it is not an easy job and want a minimum of $100.00 to do it. I recently took a new aluminum pulley with a 1/2" bore to them with the idea of having the bore enlarged to 9/16", and then have a keyway broached in. They wanted $100.00. I of course gave them an emphatic NO. 

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ID: 4   Posted

Is that a bronze insert in the wheel Bob?  

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ID: 5   Posted

I've never had to do that.

 

Suggestions to consider....

 

maybe a sharp leather punch in a drill chuck would work to make a clean cut on the surface.

 

if I were to drill in that material, I would likely through the steering wheel in the freezer to stiffen the material.

 

 

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ID: 6   Posted

Obviously drilling "a hole" is dead simple but getting it aligned properly -- well, that aint so simple. First thoughts are that a milling machine would be a must, being able to utilize the moveable table then get a jig rigged up to find the wheels center. I wouldnt be a happy camper to get a hole drilled and find it doesnt match the steering shaft!! I'm a pretty decent 'shade tree' machinist and I cant think of a way to get a precise hole with common shop tools.

If you try it be sure to use a 'step' brill to start your hole with, it will make a nice clean starting point with out 'tearing'

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ID: 7   Posted

:twocents-02cents:    Drilling a hole that will line up with the shaft hole in a home shop isn't going to happen! If you were to use a Dremel to cut a groove in the bottom side of the wheel that will slip down over the roll pin and drill and tap the shaft to bolt the wheel down you could make that work.

58e13a2bedcf5_11bob.jpg.e1073de8c822b3e3cb15ad53ec558e10.jpg

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ID: 8   Posted

55 minutes ago, Ed Kennell said:

Is that a bronze insert in the wheel Bob?  

Just looks that way. It's lightly rusted.

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ID: 9   Posted (edited)

You could drill the plastic oversize so you can get a punch in there then plug it with something in the "specialty hardware" drawer at Lowes  or Horrible Depot .

Holding it 90 degrees in your drill press can be done by clamping an appropriate size shaft in your vice and sliding it around a bit 'till you find the sweet spot .

 

I'd hate to see that made into a clock or something ;)

 

EDIT : I didn't know the arms were in line with the hole . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Digger 66

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11 minutes ago, Digger 66 said:

 I didn't know the arms were in line with the hole . 

 

Here's a pic of the good one showing the alignment.

 

goodone.jpg.89880be62a4e00e01b98bbede6c9b4da.jpg

 

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

Oh , the way 953nut had it drawn , I thought it was in line with the arms .

I would do it how I said only I would drill through one side then flip it 180 degrees and drill the other side .

With a 3/8" hole in the plastic , plug them with 2 of these .

 

3-8-black-nylon-hole-plugs-plug-buttons-

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Digger 66

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Great minds thing alike. I already have a PM into him. But since he is probably busy building the stainless steel ?? :wh:??, I don't expect a quick answer.

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3 hours ago, Digger 66 said:

the way 953nut had it drawn , I thought it was in line with the arms .

:text-imsorry:    I was just giving an illustration of my idea.  

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Drill and tap the hub for a  set screw, insert the shaft, tighten a set screw to mark the shaft, and then remove the shaft and drill a shallow hole for a dog point set screw. 

                        :confusion-shrug:  Just thinking of other possibilities.

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Atta boy ED!!:woohoo: nothing like a nice K-I-S-S solution (keep it simple stupid)

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On 4/2/2017 at 9:21 PM, Ed Kennell said:

Drill and tap the hub for a  set screw, insert the shaft, tighten a set screw to mark the shaft, and then remove the shaft and drill a shallow hole for a dog point set screw. 

                        :confusion-shrug:  Just thinking of other possibilities.

Believe it or not, I did that on my first B-100 build, The steering wheel that I used was from a Ford. Identical in looks, but it had a splined bore. I drilled out the bore, then drilled and tapped two holes and inserted Allen set-screws. Having said that, I still would like to find a way to make this one original in every way. Call me a purist, or a fool, that's just me. :lol:

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I'd go with "purist" Bob.  Nothing wrong with that.  :)

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To drill that, a "jig" would be needed:  to hold a hand drill perfectly horizontal (up-side-down, handle up) and allow the drill to slide into the core while drilling.  Plastic should be drilled very slowly to prevent heat build-up & melting, and brass should also be drilled slowly, best to go all the way thru at one time for alignment.

Very likely need to use a "right-angle drill" because of lack of the space between core and rim.

It would take many hours to build a secure jig, a lot of work for just one product.  Some people have a very steady hand, like 'old' machinists and can hand-hold & eye-ball the drill to do this entire job, (with a sharp & very good $20 bit, I would guess 10 minutes to drill it by hand).

Many drill presses can be turned horizontal, but one would still need to build up a jig to slide the steering wheel on and there still may not be enough clearance.

Glen

 

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Still thinking here Bob.  :confusion-confused:      If you ever lose your "purity"  :ychain:, here could be  a safe solution.     Please excuse my cad dwg.... must have had some noise interference on my router.

 

IMG_7310.thumb.JPG.3c3c7730582eb0b2eda51c9df9649df3.JPG

 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. You guys are the best. :beer:

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Bob, Brian just waves that magic wand he has. He does amazing work!  

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And I bet you asked "wadda I owe you" and he said "nothin" right? Hopefully he doesn't change his tune when he gets flooded with our requests for ace machine work! :ychain::lol:

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Fortunately there aren't too many new Wheel Horse steering wheels that are missing their mounting hole. :auto-swerve:

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