Clockspring Replacement - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 04-27-2013, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Clockspring Replacement

If you have a JK whose airbag light (and associated chime) is intermittently on, you most likely have a defective clockspring. This is a common failure in JK’s, and although Jeep has recalled 2007 models for this reason, they are giving the finger to everyone with a 2008 or later, even though IT’S THE SAME PART! This is the second clockspring I have replaced; I had the same failure on my previous JK, except that time I paid the thieves at the dealership $550 for this repair. They were not going to get me again for the same thing, and I decided to do this write-up in case anyone else has the same failure and is contemplating going to the dealership for repair. As you will see, it’s simple enough to do yourself for approximately $200 in parts. It literally took me an hour to do, and I’m very slow.

Okay, first you’ll need the part. The current part number is 05156106AC. Google the part number and you’ll find plenty of online dealers who sell this part for around $200. Once you have the part, it’s time to get busy. The tools needed are:

T20 driver
Short handled flat head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
13mm socket
Dental pick with 90 degree bend (optional, but recommended)

First, please accept my apologies in advance for the crappy iPhone pics. Disconnect the negative battery cable and let the Jeep sit for 5 minutes so the airbag system capacitor can discharge. Next, remove the steering column shroud. You will need a skinny T20 driver to get to the recessed screws from the bottom of the shroud (see photo):





Once the two halves of the shroud are separated, it will look like this:





Next on the list is airbag removal. I found this to be the trickiest part of this entire project. The airbag module is retained by three clips. These clips are accessed via holes at the 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions behind the airbag module, and as such, you will be working blind as you attempt to release the clips. If you scroll down, check out the photo of the airbag module and you will see the three clips I am referring to. You are expected to work a short handled, flat head screwdriver into each of these access holes, giving the screwdriver a twist to release each clip. Doing so will completely release the airbag module. The best way to do that is to rotate the steering wheel so that the hole you are currently working on is in the 12 o’clock position. Also, I did not use a screwdriver for this, but rather a dental pick with a 90 degree bend. I suggest releasing the 10 and 2 positions first, then the 6 position last. Releasing the clips looks like this:





Once the clips are released, the airbag module will only be held on by its two electrical connectors. Release them:





You should now be staring at the empty cavity of the steering wheel. Release the electrical connector for the cruise control (if equipped):





Now release the electrical connector that goes through the wheel at 12 o’clock and connects to the clockspring:


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post #2 of 73 Old 04-27-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Next, remove the steering wheel bolt (13mm):





Give a nice hard yank on the wheel:





And you should be staring at a filthy clockspring:





The clockspring is held on with three T20 screws:








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post #3 of 73 Old 04-27-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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After the removal of the three screws, the clockspring is free and only the electrical connectors remain:





Remove the windshield wiper stalk with a single Phillips screw so that you can install it on the new clockspring:





Do the same with the turn signal stalk:





Here is the old unit completely disconnected and ready for the trash:


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post #4 of 73 Old 04-27-2013, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the shiny new clockspring installed on the steering column after transferring the turn signal and wiper stalks. You may notice a yellow protector in the clockspring at the 12 o’clock electrical socket. Leave that in until the wheel has been installed.








Install the steering wheel (the shaft is keyed so the wheel can only go on one way) and pull the yellow protector out so you can reinstall the electrical connectors. The steering wheel bolt gets torqued to 40 ft lbs.






Reconnect the airbag’s electrical connectors. You will notice that one of the airbag retaining clips is different from the other two. The different clip is installed at the 6 o’clock position:





To reinstall the airbag module, simply push the unit back into position, making sure you hear and feel all three retaining clips engage. Reinstall the negative battery cable and congratulations, you’re done!



Last edited by Chili; 04-27-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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post #5 of 73 Old 04-27-2013, 08:56 PM
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Great write up. Need to do this on my friends JK.
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post #6 of 73 Old 04-28-2013, 05:08 AM
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Not as scary as every one makes it out to be. This needs to be in the write up index.

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post #7 of 73 Old 04-28-2013, 06:22 AM
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Thanks. Perfect timing since my airbag light and chime started their mission to annoy me to death last week.

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post #8 of 73 Old 04-28-2013, 06:35 AM
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Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.
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Not as scary as every one makes it out to be. This needs to be in the write up index.
Yeah a lot easier than I imagined too. First time i remember actually seeing it, didn't realize it was a major component with the stalks attached. I thought it was a drop-in piece. This makes the $200 price tag seem a little more reasonable.

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post #9 of 73 Old 04-28-2013, 06:39 AM
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Does the replacement part seem more waterproof then the factory one?

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post #10 of 73 Old 04-28-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Does the replacement part seem more waterproof then the factory one?
Absolutely not. It's exactly the same as the one it replaced. But hey, at least they updated the part number!
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post #11 of 73 Old 05-16-2013, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for putting this up, my AB light just started going off last week... all the wires under the seats seem good so might be time for this.
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post #12 of 73 Old 06-26-2013, 06:06 AM
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Big thanks to Chili for the write-up. My airbag light started chiming last week. Replaced the clockspring and all is better. Use a mirror and flash light to see the clips holding the airbag in. I used a wide offset flat tip screwdriver. Just slide it under the clip and turn. The clip will rise above the stud. You may need to wiggle the airbag to get the clip to fully release.
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post #13 of 73 Old 08-03-2013, 07:28 PM
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Awesome write up, replaced mine today.

Last letter of the part number has bumped to D, but I didn't notice any external changes betweeen my old clock spring and this one.

Used a stubby flathead screwdriver to pop the airbag releases.

Wasn't paying attention when tightening the new clock spring back on and over tightened one. Ended up breaking one side of the u-tab that the T20 screw goes through (turn signal side). Yay me. Lol

It's so nice not hearing that damn airbag chime!!!!
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post #14 of 73 Old 08-24-2013, 09:38 PM
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Looks like mine is out too. (2009 JKU Rubicon w/ about 49,000 miles.)

Airbag light goes on and off whenever you make a turn.

Thanks for the writeup! I'll be using it as soon as I have the time.
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post #15 of 73 Old 08-26-2013, 11:42 AM
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Great write up!

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post #16 of 73 Old 10-07-2013, 11:58 AM
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good job on the write up, but you missed the step where the clockspring flies apart when you pull the steering wheel off! good thing it was already broken!

I used a right angle pick as was suggested to disengage the airbag and found pulling on the airbag cover helps get the clips to pop off.

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post #17 of 73 Old 10-15-2013, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJT View Post
Looks like mine is out too. (2009 JKU Rubicon w/ about 49,000 miles.)

Airbag light goes on and off whenever you make a turn.

Thanks for the writeup! I'll be using it as soon as I have the time.
About six weeks after I made this post the wires finally binded and started ripping when turning the wheel. I replaced the clockspring and all has been well since.

"Dusting" out the jeep with my C02 after a trail run is what caused the failure. Definitely wont be doing that again.

Thanks for the write up. Very easy instal.

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post #18 of 73 Old 03-18-2014, 03:29 PM
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Good write up!

I just did this over the weekend and I did a few things to make getting the clips off the airbag, which are the only thing even remotely tough on this part replacement.

I didn't have anything that would get in the small holes on the 10 and 2 position but didn't' have any problem with the one on the bottom, which is bigger. So I used this:



to enlarge the small holes to look more like the large hole:


and I used a small set of 90 degree needle nose to get in there and pop the clips:


It makes it much easier to get the clips off the airbag, I'm pretty sure you'll rag out the small holes anyway with whatever tool you use, this gives you a cleaner and bigger work area.

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post #19 of 73 Old 03-21-2014, 05:51 PM
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So Why all the different part numbers?I googled chili's original part of 56046056AG and nothing comes up The reason I ask is because someone local to me has a part number of 56046535AP which is supposedly out of a 2011 Wrangler. will that fit my '09 JKU? I am guessing it should. I googled that # and a mexican website comes up for me stating that it is for a 2008-2013 jeep cherokee.

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post #20 of 73 Old 05-20-2014, 01:04 PM
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Thank you for the writeup. it saved me a ton of time.

For me the airbag light started coming on intermittently when I came out of a turn. It progressed to only going off intermittently when I was in a big turn. I decided to take a risk and not pay the hundred bucks for the dealer to troubleshoot and probably tell me it was the clock spring. Found one on eBay for $180 shipped. It took me 1.5 hours to do the job. Over a half hour of that was wasted trying to figure out how to get the 2 #20 torx screws out since my driver didn't fit in the hole.

Hints I would add are
#1 ... use the tool home depot gives you to open paint cans to release the 3 airbag clips. It takes alot of brute force, but it is quick and easy and it works. Look at the pictures from the OP to figure out the direction of force.

#2 get a #20 torx tool that is long and skinny before you start - especially if your driver does not fit in the holes. Also a short one is nice for the top 2 holding on the clock spring.
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post #21 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the write up. did this last night. used the paint can opening tool but those clips were still a biatch to get off. Everything went back fine though. Still not getting shift button engagement on the auto, but I'm thinking something in the shift lock cable or linkage must be jacked up. Nevertheless, I have a new clockspring

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post #22 of 73 Old 07-02-2014, 07:20 AM
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Great and helpful write-up! I changed mine out yesterday. Took about an hour. My biggest issue was getting the 2 "sunken" T20 screws. My set is a 1/4 drive socket. Slight too large for the holes. I drilled the holes out slightly to get it to fit. Everything else went well. Thanks again! Still can't believe Chrysler won't do something about this issue.

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post #23 of 73 Old 12-14-2014, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for the write up. I don't know how in hell you popped those clips with a 90 degree pick, though. I ground down the sides of a short fat flat screwdriver.
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post #24 of 73 Old 12-29-2014, 09:14 AM
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Clock spring 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

My 07' Wrangler is having the air bag warning light and chime issue. I called Orielly's and auto zone. They game me this part number CLS 260. This forum threat says that 05156106AC is the correct part number to replace my old clock spring with. I got to buy it on Amazon and the main carrier site for the part title say it fits 2007-2012 wranglers. When I proceed to check out on amazon it says the part does not fit my jeep. I am little confused. This thread is very helpful and I would love to get this annoying chime out of my jeep. Has anyone used the part number 05156106AC on a 2007 Wrangler and if so did it work?
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post #25 of 73 Old 01-10-2015, 05:43 PM
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90 degree/offset screwdriver makes it incredibly easy.
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