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How to replace Airbag clock spring?

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I have a 98 Boxster.  When I removed my steering wheel to install a 4-stalk (for Cruise control and OBC)  the airbag clock spring went "sproing" and unwound.


I tried to follow the instructions printed on in, which basicaly said to wind it all the way one way, and then back off some number of turns and align the arrows.  My problem is that I could never get the thing to stop winding.  It didn't move very smoothly.  I ended up putting it in the middle somewhere and reinstalling.


All was find for a week, but last night it suddently started clicking and this morning the steering wheel bound up backing out of the driveway. I continued the turn, and it must have broken inside.  The steering is great now, but no horn and the airbag light is on.


I ordered a new part, but wanted to get some advice on installation. 


Has anyone installed a new one?   Will it come already in the centered position?  After last time I don't really want to break it, this was a $245 mistake for me.


I've heard people tape them to keep it from moving, but how can you get the tape off when the steering wheel is installed?


The little tabs on the old unit were half gone - but I'm not sure what they do anyway.  Those little tabs can't be what moves the spring?  They have little "forks" on the ends - why?  Here are the forks:



Thanks for any help,



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Installing a new clock spring is actually pretty easy and intuitive.  It will come "precentered".  The metal piece on the right in your picture should lock it in place.  It is important to be certain that the wheels are turned straight before you remove the steering wheel and when you replace it or the lock does not work appropriately.  When you place the steering wheel, there is a sort of tapered ramp that will push the metal clip aside and unlock it.  The tabs with the forks fit into recesses in the back of the steering wheel.  They are what holds the front plate in place and centered on the steering wheel.  Be sure not to break off the new ones, they are important for proper functioning of the clockspring.  I have noted that sometimes the metal lock gets bent some how and doesn't lock the spring when you take off the wheel. 

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I've never bought a new one, but have purchased several used from eBay and and also from LA Dismantlers.  I've always followed the directions (in English on Clockspring) without any problems.   You would think the new ones would be dead center, but I wouldn't count on it.  After installing (and wheels facing dead center and true), just lift the stop and turn clockwise until it stops, note the arrow (on the center part you turned) then turn counterclockwise two turns and then continue until the arrows mate up.  The hardest part is getting the steering wheel dead center.  You may have to remove (redo)  and move the steering wheel a notch left or right.




Edited by kbrandsma
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