It may be desirable to remove the lock if a key-less ignition system is being retrofitted (such as in my case) or in racing applications, where accidental key removal is possible and wheel lock-up could be particularly dangerous.
You will probably need:
- Phillips Head & Flat Head Screwdriver/s
- 21mm (or 13/16 inch) Socket & Driver
- Needle-nose Pliers
- Hammer (maybe rubber mallet)
- High Speed Rotary Tool (With cutting wheel attachment) (such as Dremel etc.)
I am not sure how this will affect you legally in your area or with your insurance provider, so I do not recommend following this guide before first being certain the procedure is acceptable. The actions performed in these steps have the potential to be unsafe in their execution or in their effects on the vehicle; you are responsible for the outcome, so be careful!
Step 1: Remove Steering Wheel Screws
There are a total of three screws on holding the front of the steering wheel on. the 12 o'clock screw can only be accessed easily if the wheel it turned upside down (as pictured).
Step 2: Remove Horn Cover
Once it is removed, you should be presented with the image shown. The screw in the center can be removed and the crimp-end providing power to the horn should pull out easily as the center horn assembly lifts out.
Step 3: Remove Steering Wheel
Use the socket to loosen the central nut until it is about flush with the end of the bolt (you may need a fair bit of leverage to get the nut moving!)
Levering behind the wheel (with you knees or someone else's help) try to jiggle the wheel until it pulls forward. The rubber mallet could be used to tap it from behind, or you could try to hit the end of the bolt with a hammer. Remember, the wheel is on a spline, so any rotational motion of the wheel will be counter-productive!
You could try this approach (basically what I described above): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwf2BDC5DMo&feature=related
PLEASE NOTE THE POSITION OF THE WHEEL BEFORE YOU REMOVE IT - it's very easy to put the steering wheel on skew-whiff without realising!
Step 4: Remove Indicator Assembly
Step 5: Remove Lock Assembly
As you can see, there are 2 bolts holding the lock to the steering column - and they don't have heads for unscrewing! The only option to be able to the lock assembly is to take a rotary tool (or similar) and cut heads into the top of the bolts. It shouldn't take long and makes future steps easier, but don't stuff it up, or you won't be able to secure the lock to the column very easily afterwards (obviously).
Step 6: There's Your Problem!
Step 7: Remove Rotary Switch
This picture could be useful if you are installing any additional electronics while you're in here.
Step 8: Remove Internal Plate
Looking into the cavity left by removing the electrical switch we can see a plate blocking our access to the inside of the assembly. There are probably many ways to remove this, but I decided to bend the two smaller sections holding the plate in place using needle nose pliers and LOTS of force. After that, try to use a flat-head screwdriver to pop the plate out. It is likely that trying to bend these two smaller pieces back during re-assembly will break them off (it did for me). However, if you keep the top semi-circle un-bent, the plate should slot back in fairly securely.
Step 9: Remove Locking Block
Step 10: Re-assemble!
Hopefully you don't end up with any screws left over!
Happy Car-ing =)
P.S. Feel free to comment on this article if you have any improvements to my methods - this is the first time I had worked on this part of the car, so I'm sure there are better ways!