Removable Steering Wheel - Parts List, Videos, What I did & What I Recommend

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C5 Corvette interior, partially gutted) with removable momo aftermarket 330mm steering wheel

The C5 Corvette is notorious for coming with a very excessive OEM steering wheel. At 380mm, it's incredibly excessive. This can cause a host of issues for track going folks. In my case, I couldn't fully turn the steering wheel without hitting my leg with my hand, resulting in me doing tons of hand shuffling. I also struggled to egress the car without adjusting the steering wheel position up, which worked decently enough but if the mechanism was ever damaged in an accident I'm not sure I could reasonably escape the car. There are also the performance implications of being able to turn a smaller diameter wheel quicker for improved turn in, although this is likely offset by the increased force needed so... that one I'll let you determine for yourself. Whatever the reason though, you've found yourself here interested in an aftermarket steering wheel!

Here are the parts I used and links to them:

First, removing the steering wheel:

On the off chance you haven't heard yet, removing the steering wheel on the C5 Corvette is generally either a debacle or surprisingly reasonable. Here are some youtube videos I referenced for information on how to go about removing the steering wheel.

NOTE: In the first video above he talks about some trickery to remove two bolts that are kind of tucked under the plastic of the steering wheel and it taking an hour to deal with... just cut the plastic off with a Dremel (I use this one) to gain easy and instant access. There isn't really a used C5 steering wheel market... so just get on in there!

How my Steering Wheel Removal Actually went...

So unlike the folks above, I could not remove mine with the steering wheel removal tool. I tried everything and so did my good friend and Lemons teammate who is a career fabricator and not a small dude. Neither of us could figure out any combination of tool that would remove the steering wheel gracefully. We tried penetrating oil, heat, hammers, 3 arm pullers, steering wheel pullers, brute force, we removed the seat and targa top and tried to powerlift the steering wheel off from a squat... nothing worked!

The only thing left that I could do was cut the steering wheel off. So if you find yourself in the unfortuante but not entirely uncommon situation where the steering wheel just won't come off... here's how to cut it off.

C5 Corvette wheel being cut off because it's stuck on

I started simple by cutting the arms of the steering wheel off. This got me access to where the steering wheel itself goes onto the splines of the steering column.


Learn from my mistake, the metal shavings from the steering wheel are FLAMABLE! You can see my legs in the above picture. I was sitting and cutting the wheel, getting all the shavings on my leg. When I got to cutting off the center piece by the spindle, if I started cutting the actual steel of the steering shaft, sparks would come off. For me, this ignited my pants on fire. Fortunately, I was able to put it out right away and it was more just startling than anything. LEARN FROM ME THOUGH AND BEWARE OF THE FIRE RISK!!!!

Example of final cut piece of a C5 Corvette steering wheel to free it from the oem steering column, without damaging the spindles.

When it comes to cutting the last remaining part of the steering wheel off the spindle, be sure to run parallel to the splines of the steering wheel shaft. Otherwise, you risk damaging them!

Momo removalbe 330mm steering wheel and half inch spacer awaiting install on a C5 Corvette.

Tips for putting the steering wheel on straight & about that steering wheel spacer.

So if we're lucky... you remembered to straighten out your steering wheel before you started and you chalked the wheels so they didn't move. Kudos to you if so. If no, no worries, straighten the wheels out as best as you can tell, and then proceed onward. Be sure when assembling all of this that you do NOT torque down the new steering column lock when first assembling everything. You will assemble it all relatively loose to confirm that it's all correct. In my case when I first assembled the steering wheel I was a single spline off. I used the steering wheel puller to remove the hub (works great on the new hub) and I just rotated the NRG hub adapter one spline over. It worked like a charm!

So presuming you followed the above directions and got the steering hub adapter on and the fixed plate of the quick release... you're now at the point you want to connect the steering wheel onto the quick release. You'll need to attach the steering wheel hub adapter picture above. At first, you'll perhaps be confused about how to put it on and not upset the offset of the steering wheel. Don't worry though, see all the extra threaded bits and offsets on the adapter? Just rotate it you'll see that it all can pop together no problem with some general messing about.

Just how different is an aftermarket steering wheel? What are the pros and cons?

Example of a 330mm steering wheel on a C5 Corvette with the OEM steering wheel put around it to demonstrate that 50mm difference in circumference.

So switching to the 330mm steering wheel there are the usual benefits that people will note:

  • Easier ingress/egress even when not removed).
  • Improved clearance around legs/knees.
  • Improved ergonomics as you can position the steering wheel closer to you (spacer).
  • Quicker turn in (debatable, but I agree).

There are some drawbacks though that don't get much talk:

  • The gauges become very difficult to see as the steering wheel will now block a lot of them. Not ideal!
  • The blinker and wiper column levers now stick out past the steering wheel and are extra easy to bump when reaching for other things.

Overall though for a track car... if you've got seats and harnesses and feel comfortable removing the steering wheel, this is a no brainer improvement!

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