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Replacing Air Bag Retaining Frame to Eliminate Horn When Bracking

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I have 1999 996 with 100k miles. The horn started sounding during braking. I went to forum and found problem which is worn bushings in the air bag retaining frame. I purchased new frame for $101.25 from Pelican and tried to replace it. I successfully removed the two #30 torx bolts from back of wheel and the four retaining screws holding the frame. There are three wire connections from airbag to inside of steering wheel. I successfully removed the two that were simple clips but could not remove the plastic clip in the middle of the steering wheel. There was a tab on top that seemed to be holding the clip into its connector. I pried it up and it broke off, but I still could not get the clip out. It still seems to be catching on something inside the clip housing. Is there a secret to getting the clip out?

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Thanks Loren. I saw that post and that is what led me to horn problem being the worn airbag frame bushings. I decided to go with replacement of frame, but then have found problem that is similar to problem mentioned in other posts, namely that the grey, multi-wire connector between the airbag and steering wheel will not release from its clip. The female clip appears to be attached to a grey sliding plastic disk inside the steering mechanism. Maybe this is why dealer wants to replace entire steering mechanism as stated in other post. I wonder if I can cut the three wires and splice back together once I replace the frame? Maybe I am better just going with the black gasket material or finding "O" rings solution but some people appear to have been able to replace frame which I would prefer.

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After consulting with electrical engineer, I decided that cutting two wires and splicing was a workable solution and I preferred to have the new airbag frame. The wires do not move relative to the other components within the frame, so I was not terribly worried about abrasion of wires. I used butt splices size 16-22. See attached pictures. I followed other post 28-horn-problem for disassembly procedure and was careful to disconnect battery. Repair went smoothly and so far appears to have solved


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  • Admin

I did not see how to get the connector off the back of the airbag. I tired but did not want to force it. It was not obvious how to get it off.

With the battery disconnected and the key out of the ignition - very carefully pry it straight up. If you pry it off at an angle you can damage it.

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Your electrical engineer did you a real disservice. You should never use crimp connectors on anything that has to do with airbags or any on board computer systems. SRS systems are very sensitive to resistance and you are asking for trouble. Just the fact that you have made the wire longer by adding connectors is a big no no. Over time your SRS will light up because of an improper connection or corrosion. Most OEMs will call for a new harness if there is a cut wire or bad connector Porsche is one of them. BMW is one OEM that did approve of splicing however it must be soldered and covered with approved watertight shrink tubing. The connection you have made really concerns me for your safety.

Edited by binger
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  • 1 month later...

Sorry if this isn't the correct place, but I recently got a Airbag Fault Code: Unknown DTC: 28. Does anyone know if this is related to the airbag in the steering wheel and/or the airbag retaining frame? I have a 2000 Boxster 2.7.

Edited by bhorn2525
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