Restoring any classic car is a big undertaking, but Classic Industries is here to help you along the way. In addition to providing a huge selection of restoration parts, we've also created some DIY guides to show you how to replace common items in your own garage. Today, we'll be taking a look at how to remove and replace a 1963 Impala steering wheel. These steps will be similar for other Impala and Full Size Chevy vehicles of this era.
1963 Impala Steering Wheel Removal & Replacement
We filmed a video in our Classic Industries Tech Center that shows how to install a new steering wheel on a '63 Impala. You can watch it below, or read on for a step-by-step summary of this DIY restoration project.
Since the steering wheel is an item you touch every time you drive, and it bakes in the sun through the windshield, it's common to see these parts faded, scratched, and peeling. Rather than spending more time and money restoring the wheel that's already in your Impala, you can simply purchase an original-style replacement from our web store.
Edgar begins by discussing some of the steering wheel options that can be found on the Classic Industries web site. In this case, we decided to stick with the original look, so an OER reproduction wheel was selected.
Before beginning, you'll need the following tools:
- • 3/4" socket
- • Ratcheting wrench
- • Various Philips and flat screwdrivers
- • Steering wheel puller tool
- • 1/2" Torque wrench
- • 1/2" short socket and short extension
- • Hammer
- • Punch and chisel
Impala Steering Wheel Removal
Start by disconnecting the battery. Then remove the two screws on the back side of the wheel. These hold the chrome horn trim ring in place, so remove it and set it aside. Next, remove the horn ring support, spacer, and spring plate, which are held on by three flathead screws.
Now you're ready to take off the retaining nut and lock washer. Use the ratchet, extension, and 3/4" socket to loosen and remove this nut.
A steering wheel extraction tool (a.k.a. wheel puller) will be needed to press the steering wheel off its shaft. Select the appropriate bolts from the tool kit, and hand-thread them into the wheel hub to make sure they're correct. Then center the extraction tool on the wheel, hold the wheel in place, and turn the ratcheting wrench to pull the wheel off the shaft.
Assembling the New Steering Wheel
Remove the turn signal canceling cam from the back of the old wheel. Then unpack and prepare the parts included in the new '63 Impala OER replacement wheel kit. Turn over the new wheel, reinstall the canceling cam and screw, and push in the horn contact. Drop in the spring plate, spacer, and horn ring adapter, and thread in the three screws that attach these items to the wheel.
If you purchased a wheel that didn't include the horn ring and Impala horn emblem, you'll need to assemble these parts. This can be done by setting the emblem in place and carefully tapping the four tabs with a hammer and punch to angle inward. (Warning: do not bend the tabs too far! If you do, they may break off.) Epoxy can also be used to permanently bond the emblem to the horn ring.
Installing the Steering Wheel
Back in the car, make sure the turn signal lever is in the neutral position. Line up the wheel with the indexing mark on the shaft, and thread on the attachment nut. Use a torque wrench set to 35 foot-pounds to tighten the nut. Finally, place the horn ring into the wheel, and reinstall the two screws on the back side.
Re-connect the battery and check that the horn and turn signals are working correctly. If so, you're done! Good job.
More DIY Restoration Guides
Want to learn about classic car restoration? Here are a few of our previous do-it-yourself articles. We'll be publishing more of these in the future, so stay tuned!
- DIY Camaro Window Felt Replacement
- DIY Chevy Nova Dashboard Restoration
- DIY Ford F-100 Glass Replacement
- DIY Battery Terminal Cleaning
Need Restoration Parts for Your Chevy Impala?
Classic Industries offers a catalog full of thousands of restoration parts for the classic Chevy Impala and other Full-Size models. Click the button below to get a free full-color restoration parts catalog for Impala & Full-Size Chevy.