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Steering Column Swap-Cheaper Than A Clock Spring

5878 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  mustangjonny84
Recently, I have been reading on FSB Forums about how to change my clock spring in my '95 XL. Not only did I need the clock spring, but I also needed some bearings in my steering column and the turn signal canceler because my steering wheel actually MOVED from side to side. After searching for a '95 clock spring (to no avail) and finding only similar ones for ~$60, and the bearings, etc. totaled nearly $30, I thought about a different route.

I've always worried about the airbag. I've had the blinking light (clock spring code) since I bought the Bronco. And every time I came over a rock or log and hit the front bumper...I awaited my black eye. :) I just happened upon a different column at my local junk yard one day for $29.99!!! Hence, the following is my write-up on how to install a non-airbag steering column and wheel from a '91 F150 into my '95 FSB.
First, I want to reference another write-up on the FSB Forums (to save time) on how to get everything down to the clock spring done. Check out:
Thanks for mashori for a GREAT writeup for those who want to replace their clock spring. Follow his instructions to get down to the clock spring. One thing I might add would be to mark the direction of your steering wheel before removal so that it looks "straight" when you install it later. For those who are scared, here is a picture of the airbag...removed from the car...NOT exploded...and I have NO black eyes! :)

At this point, you're staring at your bare steering column (with the top/bottom covers, the ignition, and the wheel removed). It will be helpful later if you removed the "multi switch" (i.e. the turn signal and wiper switch) at this time. It is removed with two small Torx screws at the top and bottom on the left side of the column.

Once you have that switch out, it is MUCH easier to remove the two wire bundles on the back of the switch.

Now, hop out and look below the column and you should see something like this:

This is the bottom side of the steering column. I have tried to "draw" squares on the locations of the four bolts that attach the column to the dashboard. I believe they were 10mm...and you will need deep sockets. Then there is one more bolt at the rear connecting your column to the steering shaft that passes through the firewall.

At this point, your column is free of the vehicle save for a few wiring harnesses. Most are typical and don't require any explanation. However, there is one LARGE wiring harness that has a bolt in the middle.

Now, your old steering column is free of the vehicle! Don't throw is in the trash just yet! Take a second and remove the other side of that last wiring harness from the column. It is attached by two Torx screws that will be obvious at this point. Keep in mind, you may not need to do this if your donor column is from the exact same vehicle. I did so just because I was skipping years and styles.

Now, I hate to sound like a Haynes manual...but install in the reverse of removal. :)

For the sake of reminders...First, I attached the "other" side of the bolted wiring harness that I just removed to my "new" steering column. I then returned all wiring harnesses to their new homes on the "new" steering column. Then, I slid the back of the steering column back on the steering shaft that passes through the fire wall and inserted the bolt. After that, I raised the "new" column up to its new home and tightened the four nuts that were removed earlier. At this point, we will again stray from mashori's write up because we now have NO clock spring to install. On models that have no airbag, there are simply three copper probes on the column and three copper circles on the steering wheel. Sorry, I forgot to photograph this before installation. Next, install the steering wheel on its center shaft and re-install the center bolt. (Hopefully, you marked where your former steering wheel was pointed before you took it off.) Now, torque the center bolt to the factory approved specs (I can't remember...sorry again). The "new" steering wheel now has two simple wire connectors to connect the horn circuit.

I hope this helps! Now you have NO more clock springs. NO more airbags. And hopefully you found a wheel that has cruise control if you had it before.

As my Mom always said, "Try you lights...your horn works!"

I should also add that fellow member Steve83 has an excellent diagram of the innards of the steering column. Check it out under his writings about his beige Crown Vic!
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