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ClockSpring Replacement

My wife informed me that her Air Bag light was on and she had no use of her Horn. Later investigation led to the discovery that here Cruise Control was not working either. After a bit of reading and asking a few questions on the net I discoverd that her ClockSpring has failed. You might ask whats that? A ClockSpring allows the Steering Wheel to rotate and route electrical signals from the Steering Wheel to the rest of the Jeep.

Clock Springs can fail due to twisting of the steering wheel with the pitman arm disconnected or simply with age. Her 98 XJ is 10years old so it was time for a replacement. I found a replacement on Just make sure when your looking for a replacement you note that the one you are buying might or might not support Cruise Control. If you do have Cruise Control you will need the 3 wire version and if you do not you will need the 2 wire version. From the looks of it you could use a Cruise model in a none Cruise, but not the other way around.
Tools: Time:
Need to update this list
Aprox 2hours taking part of the dash apart and returning

*** Take care, Tampering with the Air Bag can be dangerous and you can injure your self. *** I purposely disconnected the battery and waited 10 or so minutes while gathering tools. The Factory Service Manual says to wait at least 60seconds, but extra time is never a bad thing. Written by kizer, if you have any questions or comments about this install visit


FSM says to remove Negative (-) lead from battery. I removed both leads just incase. Something about playing with air bag made me a little nervous.

Using a Phillips screw driver remove the two screws on the knee panel.

On my XJ the two screws where at the bottom of the dash.

Using a Phillips screwdriver to remove the panel behind the knee panel. On my XJ the two upper screws where clips and just a little force dislodged them.

Using a Phillips screw driver to remove the 3 screws holding the upper and lower sections of the steering wheel shroud together.

Gently grab the upper steering column shroud and remove. You might be able to leave it in place and work around it after the steering wheel has been removed. I took mine off anyways.

Knee panel and steeering wheel shroud removed.

Using a XXXX to remove the hex bolt out of the back of the steering wheel to remove the Air Bag. There are two on the steering wheel. 1 at 10 and the other at 2.

With the two bolts removed the air bag should easily tilt foward.

Just another view.

In this picture there are 3 connections.

1. Green is for the Cruise control. Gently pry the tab and it will disconnect.

2. Yellow is for the Air Bag. Gently pry from underneth and it will pop up.

3. Black/White wire is for the horn. Slide the rubber sleeve off and unplug

Set the Air Bag unit in a safe place.

Remove the plug from the left hole near the Steering Wheel retaining bolt. If you DO NOT have Cruise Control you more than likely will not have that plug.

Using a 21 or 22 MM socket and something to hold the Steering wheel from turning. I used my knees, which actually worked rather well.

With the Retaining Bolt removed use a steering wheel puller to extract the steering wheel from the shaft. You only need to snug up the puller and after you have it snug smack the top with a hammer a few times and it will pop the steering wheel off the shaft.

Pull the Steering Wheel off and heres the back side of it where the ClockSpring lives.

Inside the Steering Wheel and the shaft there is a flat spot that the steering wheel slides on. Its more or less keyed so it only goes on one way.

Looking up you can see the bottom of the Steering Column and the bottom of the ClockSpring.

What used to be under the Upper shroud there is a slit that will expose a small tab. Slide a flat blade screw driver under the tab and it will allow the ClockSpring to tilt foward.

Undernet the ClockSpring there is another tab you move to allow the lower section of the ClockSpring to move forward.

Tada now we have a ClockSpring out so we can start taking the connections off of it.

Slide a flat tip screw driver into the notch on the main plug which will allow the "Red" clip to slide up. Repeat on the other side.

Now you will see a small clip that you can pry up to allow the main plug to unseat.

The yellow plug has a small tab just like the main plug.

With the "New" ClockSpring in place and the wiring fed through the Steering Wheel you can see where the notches on the back of the Steering Wheel sit in the middle of the ClockSpring and turn it when you turn your wheel.

Tighten down the Steering Wheel Retaining nut to xxxxxxxx

Make all your connections. If you do not have Cruise Control you will more than likely not have the Green Plug.

Tighten up the Air Bag with a XXXXXX.

Reinstall the upper shroud.

Reinsert and tighten the three screws on the lower shroud.

Using a Phillips screwdriver to remove the panel behind the knee panel.

On my XJ the upper two screws did not exist. They where clips that snapped into the lower dash. Just push them back in.

Using a Phillips screw driver to install the two screws on the knee panel.

On my XJ the two screws where at the bottom of the dash.

Reconnect your Battery.

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