Removing Steering wheel, and/or horn & indicator switch
 from Austin Seven Ruby and Big Seven  

The steering ‘column’ consists of an outer column, with one tube positioned inside. The outer column has the steering box at the bottom end and is fixed under the dashboard and to the bulkhead so that it does not turn.  Inside this is the inner tube which has the worm at the lower end which fits into the steering box.  The centre tube has the horn and indicator switch fixed to a plate at the top end and passes through the steering wheel and inside the inner column.  The wiring from the horn and indicator switch passes down this tube to connect to the wiring loom.


Ruby Steering 600

On the later Ruby the clamp is fixed to the housing.


Big7 Steering


In order to remove the steering wheel, or the horn/indicator switch, open the o/s bonnet and locate the steering column.  At the base disconnect the wiring from the main loom and label each connection to make re-assembly easy. 

Then release the clamping bolt (Big7 has a pinch bolt) at the base of the outer column which holds the ‘horn’ column in place.  This prevents the tube turning and keeps the indicator switch in the correct position.

Tie a length of string, about 3m, to the wiring so that this will be drawn up through the tube.  This is essential as the wiring must be drawn through the bushes inside the tube during re-assembly, so do not pull the string right through, but untie and leave it in place.

The horn/indicator tube can now be withdrawn with care as it must be held in line with its tube and will touch the headlining.  It may be tight!

The removal of the steering wheel can now be effected with an 11/16 BSF ring spanner (or box spanner) on the exposed nut.

When re-attaching the steering wheel make sure that the front wheels are pointing directly forward.  The position of the steering wheel spoke has to be at 12 o’clock as within the boss the two lugs have to be positioned one either side of centre in order to cancel the trafficator switch.

Tighten the nut securely!

To re-fit the inner tube and horn/indicator switch first re-attach the string to the wiring, then one person is required to draw this through whilst the second person carefully feeds the tube down the inner column ensuring that it does slide through the bushes.

Once it is completely through position the indicator switch correctly and tighten the bolt/clamp at the base of the outer tube. 

Re-connect wiring as labelled and test each function.  


This article was written by Doug Castle in answer to a question received via our website, July 2020. 

See also

Overhauling the Steering

Steering Box and Track Rod