How To: Remove Steering Wheel and Clockspring - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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How To: Remove Steering Wheel and Clockspring

DISCLAIMER: These instructions are provided with no guarantee. The author is not responsible for any damage or injury caused by following these instructions.

Tools needed:
Phillips screwdriver
Torx bits: T15, T25, T30 for socket wrench
22mm Socket
Steering wheel puller

Parts needed if installing steering wheel radio controls:
Clockspring for steering wheel with radio controls
Steering wheel back with radio controls (or a whole new steering wheel with radio controls)

1) Make sure the key is removed from the ignition, and turn the steering wheel 180 degrees to the right (so it's upside down)... you'll feel it click and lock into place. This will make sure that when you install the new steering wheel and clockspring that everything will be aligned correctly. Note: When you're all done, to unlock your steering wheel, turn the steering wheel to the right some more as you turn the key to the on position.

2) Disconnect the negative battery terminal of the car battery and wait at least 2 minutes. This will make sure that the airbag doesn't go off accidently while you're working.

3) Remove the screws holding the cruise control buttons to the steering wheel (Torx T15). The screws are in the 2 holes on the the steering wheel back. Note: These can be a bit awkward to get out sometimes due to the angle they're at.

4) Remove the cruise control buttons. If they're difficult to get out with your hands, use a small flathead screw driver and carefully pry them out... then disconnect the connectors.

5) Use a socket wrench with a T30 Torx bit, and remove the bolts holding the air bag module onto the steering wheel.



6) Disconnect the horn connector (on the side of the airbag) and the airbag module connector (in the center). To remove the airbag connector, you need to disassemble it a bit... simply pull out the black piece, and remove the yellow piece which is held in by two side clips (a small flathead screwdriver may be helpful). On the inside, you'll see 2 wires with terminal connectors on the end. Just carefully pull these out.

7) Use a 22mm socket and remove the steering wheel retaining nut. Note: When re-installing this, it should be torqued to 45 ft lbs. If you don't have a torque wrench, then just take note of how hard it was to remove and tighten it about the same by feel.



8) Use the steering wheel puller to remove the steering wheel. If you need to take off the back of the steering wheel, it's held on by 3 phillips screws on the steering wheel frame.

Great, the steering wheel is off... now to get to the clockspring:

9) Remove the steering column housing top. To remove this, press on the seam between the top and bottom half until you feel it click on both sides and just pull up (the rear half of the top comes up first).

10) Before you can remove the bottom half of the steering column housing, you need to remove the steering wheel tilt lever. It's held in by one T25 Torx screw. Note: Before you remove it, tilt the steering wheel all the way up for the next step.

11) Remove steering column housing bottom. It's held in by two T15 Torx screws on the bottom of it. Note: When pulling it off or putting it on, you need to slightly twist it over the key cylinder.

12) To remove the clockspring, remove the 2 phillips screws attaching the clockspring and disconnect the 2 clockspring connectors.

Just follow these steps in reverse order to put everything back together with your new clockspring and/or steering wheel. When you're finished, and you've turned the ignition to the on position, the airbag indicator should turn on and then back off (like it normally does) if things are a-ok.

Additional notes:
Before you install a new clockspring, make sure it's aligned properly. The little plastic window on it should be showing the yellow indicator. If it isn't, then turn the inside ring until you feel it click and lock into place (the yellow indicator should now be visible).

If you're new to installing things on your car, you should know that all the connectors have sort of a "trick release" (usually clips) that you need to disengage before you can pull the connectors out.

Additional notes for installing steering wheel radio controls:
There's a new connector on the clockspring that connects to a connector on the new steering wheel back. The cruise control connectors now come from the steering wheel wiring instead of directly from the clockspring.

If your new clockspring looks like it has a different airbag connector than the old one, don't worry... just disassemble the connector (it's easy, just unclip the yellow plastic piece and then the rest comes apart), and on the inside you'll find the same 2 wires with terminal connectors on the end. The colors of the wires may be different, but that's no problem either... they're wrapped so they don't get twisted accidentally, so just put them in how they naturally go into the holes. The car's airbag indicator will let you know whether things are ok later.

The new cruise control connectors from the steering wheel back may be slightly different from the old ones. They may have a small plastic ridge that wasn't on the old ones, so they won't fit. Just use a pair of really small cutting pliers to cut them off (5" cutting pliers should work), the extra plastic pieces will practically fly off... nice and easy!

Last edited by NHogan; 11-17-2008 at 11:19 AM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-21-2004, 04:34 AM
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Your write-up worked great! If everything had been "normal" things would have gone off without a hitch.
But I do have a couple of things to add ...

I used a 13/16" socket for the steering wheel nut instead of the 22mm. The fit was nice and snug so maybe this piece is SAE instead of metric? But I don't know since I didn't have the 22mm to try on it. It may even have been a different nut since 13/16" converts to 21mm. Oh, maybe it is different - I see yours is Canadian.

As Antibody noted there are two different airbag clips that can come with the clock-spring. The one shown above in Antibody's post is like my stock clip and is apparently the "old" style. But this is the one that came with my new clock-spring ...

This clip will fit into the airbag side of the connection - but the airbag housing will not allow it to snap into place. This is a disassembled view of both - old (stock) clip is the top pic ...

The metal sleeve you see for the new prong will not fit inside the old clip housing and, personally, I didn't like the loose fit that the new prongs (w/out the sleeve) had in the old housing since the copper part of them is much smaller than the old clip (flimsier, too).

What I did was open up the crimped ends of the old prongs and reuse them using the new wires. But I wouldn't recommend doing that unless you have a pair of wire crimpers. These are very small and delicate connections - they are also part of a safety device and - IMO - require extra care. I also reused the plastic separator block. If this were the horn connector I wouldn't have been nearly as picky about it ...

I asked YB and he seemed to think that the new clock-spring came out of a 2002-2003 300M. If it was a 2002, I suspect it may have been after November 2001 (since a few things seemed to have changed about then). Mine is the "old style" and my car was built in late September 2001.

Edit (2 June '06): That "new" clockspring shorted out on me late last week :/ so I had to replace it. I ordered a 2002 clockspring and it was just like my original so the used one from YB must have been a 2003. Anybody adding these controls should make note of the change-over from the 2002 to the 2003 model year.

Thanks, again, Antibody for the great write-up. I'm sure that using this How-To saved me at least an hour of fiddling around trying to find the right size torx and hunting down all the screws. Good job!

Last edited by D76G12; 06-02-2006 at 12:10 PM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 02:18 PM
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