Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
Last week I fitted a steering wheel off a 2005 156 to my 2003 156 and to my surprise, it didn't fit.
The problem was that the newer steering wheel had three 'master splines' (flats without grooves) in the centre hole. These did not fit over the splines of my steering column. My older steering wheel had no master splines - that is, it just had splines evenly-spaced all round.
I considered changing my steering column (as you have) but decided to modify the steering wheel instead by using a hacksaw blade to add three more splines. Then it pushed on. It wasn't actually very difficult in the end despite feeling like a horrible bodge at the time.
I wonder if you have the reverse situation of the steering column having master splines and your steering wheel not having those master splines. Maybe that explains why the steering wheel is not fitting on properly. I guess you have a different two options - get another steering wheel, or change the column back again.
I think the wheel centre is a magnesium alloy intended for impact absorbance - it seems an unusually soft material (easily cut with a hacksaw blade), so perhaps the nut worked loose and the wheel splines became chewed (as shiny_car asked).
As for the original knock - have you checked the column height adjuster clamp for cracks? Could be that a crack opens up only when it's tightened up (lever pushed up).
'00 GTV V6, '08 FIAT 500, shell and parts for a '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
Last edited by alexGS; 21-04-10 at 10:01.