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57 Smaller steering wheel?

This is a discussion on 57 Smaller steering wheel? within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Just saw a smaller steering wheel on a resto; am now considering one for my 57. Any experience to share? ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 71.81.178.62
Old 02-14-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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57 Smaller steering wheel?

Just saw a smaller steering wheel on a resto; am now considering one for my 57. Any experience to share? I hate the current wheel - its just too big for this big girl. I would do the replacement for driver comfort. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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white owl,

Go online to Amos Minter (sells and restores Small Birds out of Dallas Fortworth) and scroll down their webpage. About midway they advertise a smaller diameter steering wheel for our birds that is an exact replica of the originals, but makes getting in and out of the car much easier. Its not cheap, but good quality pieces never are. They have a contact phone number on the web page. Good Luck!
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Two of my friends, one with a 57 and the other with a 56, have the smaller wheels. They like them very much. One has power steering, the other does not. The one that does not says there's not that much, if any, difference. I'm seriously thinking of getting one.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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Found another source for the smaller wheel. ClassicBird.com
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:49 PM
 
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Thanks! Looks like there are a few sources for these; it's a common issue I guess. It will be my next purchase. Thanks for the comment re power steering or not, I was very curious about the difference between wheels without it....
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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I installed one after matching the dash color and the center was cheesy..so we simply popped it put and swapped the original. This is how it looked....
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:14 PM
 
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smaller steering wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZINGERCUSTOMS View Post
I installed one after matching the dash color and the center was cheesy..so we simply popped it put and swapped the original. This is how it looked....
I didn't see the pic. I have a 55 and want a smaller steering wheel. Where did you get yours?
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:57 AM
 
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Smaller diameter steering wheel

I have used two different steering wheels on my '57. I put a 1965 Mustang steering wheel on it several years ago. Straight bolt-on, but left a gap at the column where the base of the Mustang wheel was slightly smaller than the collar of the T'Bird column. I had trouble with the turn-signal cancellation sleeve, and may have not gotten it lines up properly.
More recently, I purchased the smaller diameter aftermarket T'Bird wheel. I don't think the splines are properly cut, as it was a difficult install - VERY hard to push the wheel home on the steering shaft. I ended up putting "anti-seize" compound on the shaft splines, and forced the wheel on 1/2 way using a hammer and a large impact socket to pound it on. Once half way on, I used a steering wheel puller to remove it, and then re-installed it (with anti-seize) and the hammer and socket. Not sure if it can ever come off again.
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:52 AM
 
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Smaller Steering Wheel

Hi: My dad and I bought a 55 in 72 with 30Kmiles on it. It was stored until recently I started restoring it. Disk brakes all around, etc. Getting in and out was torture. I found a smaller one but not flat like 55 but deep like 56-7. Amos Minter in Texas. No web, no credit cards, you mail a check for $395 to Amos and he will mail your wheel. Black, I think, is the only color. Can't recall the address tho. https://www.amosminter.com/Minter_Ac...s_Options.html
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:41 PM
 
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While the 56 wheel may physically fit (not even sure of this) the 56 wheel with the dish will stick out a lot more than the 55 wheel did making entry and exit a lot more difficult. You have to change the steering column as the 56 and 57 columns were shorter to account for the dish in the wheel.

Wheels can be painted interior color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregoryk7 View Post
Hi: My dad and I bought a 55 in 72 with 30Kmiles on it. It was stored until recently I started restoring it. Disk brakes all around, etc. Getting in and out was torture. I found a smaller one but not flat like 55 but deep like 56-7. Amos Minter in Texas. No web, no credit cards, you mail a check for $395 to Amos and he will mail your wheel. Black, I think, is the only color. Can't recall the address tho. https://www.amosminter.com/Minter_Ac...s_Options.html
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:44 PM
 
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Brute force is never the right way to go. If you looked, you would have found out that the splines were different (a problem with aftermarket wheels I am told) and a little judicious work with a file would have solved your problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobrajeff View Post
I have used two different steering wheels on my '57. I put a 1965 Mustang steering wheel on it several years ago. Straight bolt-on, but left a gap at the column where the base of the Mustang wheel was slightly smaller than the collar of the T'Bird column. I had trouble with the turn-signal cancellation sleeve, and may have not gotten it lines up properly.
More recently, I purchased the smaller diameter aftermarket T'Bird wheel. I don't think the splines are properly cut, as it was a difficult install - VERY hard to push the wheel home on the steering shaft. I ended up putting "anti-seize" compound on the shaft splines, and forced the wheel on 1/2 way using a hammer and a large impact socket to pound it on. Once half way on, I used a steering wheel puller to remove it, and then re-installed it (with anti-seize) and the hammer and socket. Not sure if it can ever come off again.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Brute force is never the right way to go. If you looked...
Actually, I DID look - the splines are not "different" - they are poorly machined. After the first test fit, I pulled the wheel off, boxed it back up, and was about to send it back to CASCO. I decided to call them to see if I just happened to get a bad one, or if they were ALL that way. I spoke to one of their tech guys, who said they were ALL like that - very difficult to install. I am not the only one who has had difficulty installing one of these.

I'd agree that brute force is not the preferred way to go, but, when I've already invested $700 that I could not get back ($350 for the wheel, $350 to have it painted to my match interior), I went ahead and used it. I am very happy with the results.
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