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Steering Wheel Clock Spring Repair
|How long does this take?||???|
- 1 Background
- 2 Preliminary steps
- 3 Removing the clock spring
- 4 Putting it all back together again
- 5 Testing
The instructions have been posted here as an Acrobat PDF. It's not ideal, but, at least it's better than nothing. Due to the incident where the link got broken, it will be of some help to have at least the text written down in the wiki database, retaining access to the PDF file for the illustrations.
Disabling the SIR/air bag system
For safety reasons, we need to disarm the Supplemental Inflation Restraint (SIR) system before mucking about with its components or wiring. In not doing so, we run the risk of an accidentally blowing up (deploying) the air bag, causing unnecessary repairs, and possibly personal injuries.
Have a look in the fuse box in the passenger footwell. It's located behind the glove compartment, on the passenger door side, and is accessed from underneath the glove compartment (not inside it). There's a lever next to it, which you just need to pull, and it comes down. Look for fuse number 36, which should be green and rated at 30 amps. Remove it, wait one minute for the air bag backup power supply to deplete, and you're good to go.
Wait at least one minute after removing the fuse, or you risk that the air bag might deploy, because of power still left in the backup.
Disabling the honker (optional)
If you also want to avoid accidentally honking the horn while servicing the steering wheel, pop the hood, open the engine bay fuse box, and remove fuse number 12, which is blue, and rated at 15 amps.
Removing the clock spring
Removing the air bag
The driver's side air bag is retained with two TORX screws, which you can access on the back of the steering wheel, at least in the case of four-spoke wheels. Removing the air bag is done as follows:
- Turn the wheel 90 degrees to one side. (This will make sure the steering column shroud doesn't block the screwhole.)
- Loosen (don't remove) the screw as much as you can. (You won't be able to entirely loosen it until the other one has been loosened, as the screws are captive.)
- Rotate the wheel 180 degrees to the other side.
- Loosen the other screw.
- Rotate the wheel 180 degrees to the first side again. Now you can loosen the first screw completely.
- Stand outside the car, holding your hand in front of the air bag module.
- Let the air bag module fall slowly into your hand, and disconnect the wiring harness (the yellow angled plug on the back of the air bag. This is the deployment trigger cable. All air bag/SIR electrics in the Mondeo have yellow wires.)
- Put the air bag module on a table or workbench, trim facing up.
Removing the steering wheel
- Center the front wheels, so that they face straight forward.
- Disconnect the wiring harness for the honker and cruise control, just up to the right of the retaining bolt.
- Remove the steering wheel retaining bolt. (Regular counterclockwise motion to remove it, but don't move it clockwise again until you have completely removed the bolt, as there's a blue layer of warranty paint on the threads.)
- Lift the wheel off the shaft, taking care to route the cables for the air bag, honker and cruise control through the hole above the center of the wheel.
- Put the wheel out of the way.
Removing the clock spring itself
- Remove the screws on the underside of the steering wheel column shroud.
- Remove the bottom half of the shroud, and put aside.
- Lift the top half off, and put aside. You now have direct access to the clock spring.
- Disconnect the wiring harness on the back of the clock spring, for the honker, cruise control and air bag.
- Undo the screws which hold the clock spring itself in place.
- Lift the clock spring off.
Putting it all back together again
It's a little bit more complex than just reversing the above steps. Please continue reading.
Fitting the clock spring
- Put the clock spring back on to the steering column, cable holder facing upwards on either side.
- Screw the clock spring back into place.
- Connect the wiring harnesses at the back of the clock spring to their respective connectors - Remember: Yellow wires = air bag circuitry!
- Put the upper half of the steering column shroud back on.
- Put the lower half of the steering column shroud back on, and screw the shroud back together.
Fitting the steering wheel
- Feed the wire harnesses for the air bag, honker and cruise control through the hole above the center of the steering wheel.
- Put the steering wheel back on to the shaft. Ensure that the shaft allignment marks are alligned, and that the wiring doesn't get pinched.
- Re-insert the retaining bolt, or preferably insert a new one.
- Tighten the retaining bolt with a torque of 50 Nm (which should be 37 ft. lbs. in old money)
- Put the wiring harness for the honker and cruise control back into place. Make sure that the connector sits securely in the clip in the wheel.
Fitting the air bag module
- Reconnect the yellow wiring harness to the air bag module
- Install the air bag by reinserting the TORX screws the same way you loosened them, although with a loose fit.
- Tighten these screws with a torque of 11-13 Nm (8-10 ft. lbs.)
Putting the fuses back in place
Put the green 30A fuse back into place 36, and tilt the fuse box back up into position. If you removed the honker fuse, go back into the engine bay fuse box, and reinsert the blue 15A fuse into place 12.
- Stand outside the car
- Insert the ignition key, and turn it to RUN position.
- Look at the air bag indicator lamp in the dashboard, which should light up for 6 seconds, and then turn off.
ANY different behavior than described above means that the air bag diagnostics detected a fault.