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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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Discussion Starter #2
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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Discussion Starter #3
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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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!


 

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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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Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.
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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Thanks for putting this up, my AB light just started going off last week:mad:... all the wires under the seats seem good so might be time for this.
 

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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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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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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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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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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.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1381897231.488394.jpg


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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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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So Why all the different part numbers?I googled chili's original part of 56046056AG and nothing comes up:dunno: 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.

Bert
 

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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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