my goodness!! you mean some of you people got that LOCKPLATE off of the wheel column WITHOUT a Lockplate removal tool?!!!
I take my steerng wheel off every few months to tighten up the column (it gets loose at the tilt part) so i know it well on my '87. Should be similar.
The lockplate (aka gear-like shaped thin plate that sits under the steering wheel needs to be pushed in with a lockplate removal tool (looks like a U with a **** at the bottom). It'* pretty straight forward, it screws onto the steering column'* center shaft and then (using a wingnut on its know) you can compress the lockplate'* spring. that lets you EASILY remove the snapring that holds the lockplate on.
Two things amaze me: #1 that that little snapring holds the pressure of that spring down and keeps the lockplate on at all times and
#2 that ppl here were able to remove that snapring without a lockplate tool and didn't have that lock plate fire off at their faces!!! Careful out there guys!
Let me know anything else u need bud, you'll get it back together quick!