A 21-mm deep socket is required for the job, and holding back on the steering wheel allows you to loosen the nut. You may need to enlist the help of a friend to hold the wheel, but resist the temptation to work against the steering wheel lock. With the nut and associated lock washer removed, it was time to take the steering wheel off. I marked the steering wheel and the top of the steering shaft first, however, to help me re-install the steering wheel in the proper position on its splined steering shaft later on.
With a bit of wiggling and pulling, the steering wheel came off. The first signs of the failed inner bearing ring were small bits of plastic lying in the steering column cover. One movement of the shaft up and down confirmed the original diagnosis — the plastic inner bearing sleeve had failed. The good news was I had the parts on hand to repair the problem.
After wiping the shaft clean, I carefully removed the C-clip from the steering shaft. I contemplated changing out the bearing, but closer examination showed I didn’t have a puller that would easily pull the bearing out of the column. I’m certain I could have gotten the bearing out, but the words “quick fix” were still ringing in my ears, so I picked up the repair bushing I bought from Performance Products.
After cleaning out the steering shaft one more time and applying a light coat of grease on the inside of the steel repair bearing, I grabbed a 21-mm deep socket and a hammer. Using the socket and hammer, I drove the repair sleeve down the shaft and into the old bearing. The deep socket hit the top of the steering shaft before the new bushing was fully seated, so I used a square piece of steel to tap the flanged end of the bushing in until it was fully seated.
Once the bushing was seated, I proceeded to install the steering wheel, carefully lining up my marks. The lock washer, nut, and horn ring went on next. Finally, the wires were connected and the horn button was aligned. Elapsed time: 43 minutes. How could this be? A repair completed on a Porsche in less than one hour and with a total cash outlay of less than $10? Unheard of.
The news gets even better — the steering was new-car tight and that famous Porsche feedback was once again streaming from the steering wheel. There was one minor glitch, though, and it seems to be a personal problem with this particular mechanic. Try though I might, it seems every time I take a steering wheel off and replace it, the wheel is never centered, this in spite of my latest efforts with a Sharpie. Of course, this was the case once again, so I spent an extra 20 minutes removing the steering wheel and indexing it exactly one spline to the left to perfectly center the wheel. And then I was done. Hey, that was quick and easy.