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  1. #1
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    League City, Texas

    GM Airbag Clock Spring Repair Rebuild Rewind

    Ok, so, I did a bonehead move the day before yesterday. I had my steering intermediate shaft out to grease on my 1999 Silverado. not paying attention to the blue and white warning sticker on the shaft, I did not lock my steering wheel prior to disassembly. After I disconnected the shaft, I spun the steering wheel. A big NO NO. well, I broke the clock spring under the airbag an set off an airbag light. The clockspring is in every car with an airbag and allows a ribbon wire that is wound around a spool to spin in either direction so you can turn, and still provide power to the airbag assembly in the center of the wheel. sO, to do some research, I priced new ones and used ones. I found them as low as 50.00 and as high as 200.00. Knowing its already broke, I figure, what the heck, I may as well disassemble it because I am curious. Well, I found the problem and repaired it. The ribbon breaks from the connector and just winds up from the wheel spinning. I resoldered the ribbon wire and rewound the spool. Here are pics of my repair. Most people won't attempt to repair it because it involves the airbag assembly. One big thing you must do is disconnect the battery, and unplug the airbag fuse and turn on your headlamps to drain any leftover power from any capacitors. Whether you install a used clock spring or a new one, make sure you follow the proper windup sequence on the face of the clockspring.
    In the last pic, there are two arrows that must lineup and the yellow indicator visible in the window before you can install it. I used clamps to hold it once I set it. These things can be pricey at stealerships. To make a long story short, its fixed, took about 1.5-2 hours total and saved money.

    Center steering wheel and lock
    Disconnect battery
    Remove Fuse
    Remove Airbag and disconnect yellow wire
    Remove steering wheel
    Remove lower dash panel
    Disconnect yellow airbag wire from clock spring to dash connector
    Remove C-clip from steering shaft
    Slide clock spring off shaft and note arrow marking on shaft
    Disassemble clock spring
    Strip insulation from ribbon wire and resolder to connector
    Ohm connector to test for continuity and solder was successful
    Wind up clock spring in spool
    Reassemble clock spring
    Rewind according to instructions on face of clock spring spool
    Install back on steering shaft
    Install C-clip
    Reverse steps to assemble everything back.
    Airbag light should be not illuminated
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  2. #2
    GOT BOOST? Dockside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Ive fixed them all the time if i can't find one. But most of the time I just go to the wrecker's and get one as they never charge me for little stuff like that. When working on the airbag system unhook the battery and wait 30min-1hr befor removing/ intalling the bags, Ive never seen it happen but the module can hold power and if theres a problem it could set the bag off.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    PCB, FL
    I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to say thanks to RX951 for posting his results on this. The clock spring in my 2000 Silvy has been broken since moving it around the shop during a motor swap back in 2005. I bought a new steering wheel and though it would be an optimal time to fix the clockspring. Dealer wanted $193 for a new one so I decided to give the diy fix a try. Pretty simple procedure and saved quite a few bucks.

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