I have a habit of reading too much into things and when I read to pull and twist the spindle off I got it into my head that there were threads inside and I was worried I might damage them. Well, at least in the 2001 version, there are no thread. I ended up using a chisel and hammer to get the damn thing off! I am curious though, since there seems to be a range of difficulties in removing the spindle (if that's the right term?) is it connected to the year of the car? Before going down the brute force route, I did wonder if there was a hole in the top of the unit that I could use to hit the shaft off. Well, there is. I took some photos, so if anyone ends up where I was, dark out and no way to lock your car, it might be another way to remove the piece.