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clock spring...help


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I have to look for an old post somewhere, but the noise you mentioned reminded me of an incorrectly positioned steering column assembly.

If you look at TP's picture, you can see the gray housing that holds the unit in place. This unit can be moved up and down on the shaft.

If you put it too far down on the shaft, the steering wheel column will make a ticking, or grinding noise when turning, because it is hitting the 'clock spring'.

The solution that I am aware of is to move the entire assembly towards you (higher up on the shaft) to allow sufficient clearance underneath it.

Greasing will not solve this problem.

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Thanks for the hint. From what I read my noise most likely is the spring. It gets much worse the colder it is which doesn't seem to match up with a shaft problem. If greasing the spring doesn't work I will surely try your suggestion. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks

Patrick

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you guys are messing around in an area that I would suggest you don't. if you don't know what a clock spring is or what it does, it is going to cost you a lot of $$$$ when you try do something with it. if your lucky all you will get is an airbag light you will have to pay to put out. if your not lucky you can end up with the airbag exploding in your face. there are some places to tinker with your car then there is the places to leave to qualified techs.

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you guys are messing around in an area that I would suggest you don't. if you don't know what a clock spring is or what it does, it is going to cost you a lot of $$$$ when you try do something with it. if your lucky all you will get is an airbag light you will have to pay to put out. if your not lucky you can end up with the airbag exploding in your face. there are some places to tinker with your car then there is the places to leave to qualified techs.

The clock spring is just a connector to the airbag. The wiring is coiled up (about 6 feet or so) that allows you to rotate the steering wheel from all the way left to all the way right. If you open up the unit, the coil will jump out at you, and putting it back in is a nuisance. More important, you have to find the 'midpoint' again, otherwise you'll either create too much slack, or tension when rotating the steering wheel. To prevent this rotation from occuring, the tensioner spring (silver left in first pic), will keep the coil centered when removed from the steering shaft (The steering wheel pushes against this spring, allowing free rotation of the coil).

Besides, you only have to take this unit on or off, to get to the stalk unit below it. This is the one that may be mounted incorrectly (second pic below). You can move this up and down on the steering column. That's where I think the problem lies.

airbag_spring.jpg

obc_stalk_3.jpg

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what I meant to say is that an airbag is a bomb waiting to go off, the wrong sequence of events and they will go off. the capacitors in the control unit don't always discharge.

I have been working with them since they came out and I still treat them with respect. this is NOT an area to be experimenting in.

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Respect and fear are two different things. I will be taking all normal safety precautions and of course being carful. The fact that the airbag COULD go off if some strange malfunction happened is not going to keep me from working on it. In the same vain if a jack stand fails will I was underneath the car it would hurt/kill me too but it's very very unlikely.

That all being said, if you don't hear from me again Maqcuda you were right :)

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Yea, I'm still alive. :) No big boom.

It was actually very easy. I'm still not 100% sure what was making the noise but I greased everything that looked like it might be rubbing and I tightened everything else and all is good. It hasn't made a single sound. The real test will be in the morning when the car is cold.

Just wanted to let everybody know that the grease/tighten technique might have worked.

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After driving for a few days I would say it's 98% fixed. The only time it will make any noise if I'm pulling out of the driveway and let the wheel go after full lock. Even that has been reduced to a softer noise. So not 100%, but free so I think I'm still ahead. I'll try and track down the other 2% if i get a chance.

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