stickman007

Steering Clock Spring Taken Apart

16 posts in this topic

Long story short, my driver side airbag shows a fault code and my horn doesn't work. Initially I thought it was some mice that got into my wiring after parking my smart for a few months. Slowly but surely I traced the problem to the clock spring on the steering wheel. Ironically, I recently sold my part car steering wheel and now the only options left was to either fork up the $$$ at the dealership or take it apart and hope for the best and here it goes.

You can find the info on evilution on the removal of the clock spring so I won't go into details. But make sure you mark down the position of everything before you start!

Once you removed the 4 torx small bolts holding the plastic cover

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There's a metal disc inside (remember to mark the position!!). You can remove that by popping the white plastic collar insider carefully! (if you don't mark it down, ESP will be messed up and you probably won't be able to get the disc back on anyways.)

post-11642-0-76672700-1408464926_thumb.jpg post-11642-0-21129400-1408464949_thumb.jpg

Finally, there are black tabs that holds the rotating part of the assembly on.

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What I found was that my ribbon (not any sort of springs) was broken.

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This is what I did, and hope that it'll work! Will put it back together this afternoon. Used some conforming spray to seal it.

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You'll have to clear the SRS light and re calibrate the steering angle sensor with STAR. Don't attempt this if you don't have STAR or skills. You've been warned. I wavered all responsibilities!

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Ahh streering wheel fun, make sure the disk is aligned properly (evilution) or else it throws a steering allignment code. Had to tear mine appart a couple times and learnt the hard way :P

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Actually that's exactly what happened yesterday afternoon when I put it back together, I didn't align the small wheel with the magnet. I've decided to just find a steering wheel and repair this later. I need to pass that stupid AB out of province test soon. My Jetta is needing some work and I can't work on it without another car.

Also I didn't realized that evilution.co.uk already had this taken apart! It would've saved me a lot of time to search first

Edited by stickman007

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The most important point is only to remove steering wheel when at centre straight ahead position. Steering wheel fixing screw mechanically locks the squib so it won't turn relative to steering wheel.

There is little chance of successfully repairing a broken squib ribbon. I made three attempts on fixing one but kept getting same high resistance fault in driver side air bag circuit. Ribbon tested fine with multimeter and test lamp. Evilution sent me a squib with damaged steering angle sensor but good ribbon. Transplanted the good ribbon into mine and it has been fine since then.

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I ended up using the clock spring from another smart. I agree with tolsen, unless you have another ribbon, no point in try to repair. I used some computer ribbon wires, and it worked for a few days and then there will always be a breaking point.

Calibration is necessary cause the ECU needs to coordinate with the ESP to know when the SW is centred. I don't know about you, my ESP has kicked in before while i'm turning in slippery conditions to help the car turn in the right direction. Not sure if it can do that if its not calibrated.

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My Cabrio is from 2002 so only ABS and Trust +, no ESP. Squib for non ESP Smart 450 cars do not have steering angle sensor. Ribbon is same for both so was easy for me to source a squib with defect steering angle sensor from a 2003 or later 450 or Roadster. I placed a post on one of the UK forums and Evilution had one he could part with.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Evilution is actually a really good place to find info on smarts. Sadly not free.

Edited by TorqueJunkie

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my smart roadster after i change the steering wheel to paddle show me abs and esp lights on dashboard, how you solve this issue? i aligned how it shows in evolution but the 2 lights doesn't go away. i connect the car to MB diagnostic and tried to calibrate the steering wheel but gets a error  it shows a F for esp.

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I suspect damaged clock spring ribbons inside squib.  Cannot be repaired.

It is important to ensure squib is locked in centre position before fitting and that front wheels are also centred.

Steering wheel fixation screw locks squib.  The screw engages a slot in squib.  Are you getting both airbag and ESP warning lights?  100% sure there is clock spring ribbon damage if you do.

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Thanks for the replay, i get the ESP and ABS lights on only. im sure the spring is good because i have horn and paddles working and no Airbag lights.

it's strange i can be a wire that plugs in to the steering wheel that is defective?

 

thanks

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because this 2 lights are on in dashboard with the 3 spoke steering wheel or the 2 spoke steering wheel, and this only happen when i swap the steering's. i check the fuses no one is blow.

 

 

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I wonder how many times I need to point this out.  Squib gets locked in position by screw that holds steering wheel to steering column.  When removing and fitting steering wheel it is essential that steering and steering wheel is in centre straight ahead position.  Slacken off screw until it engages slot in squib and locks it.  You can see the slot if you look up from below.

 

Evilution has good info on how to centre the squib but does not mention above important point.

http://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?menu=info&mod=715

 

With steering wheel off and having gone through all checks described by Evilution, do not use tape to lock squib but use steering wheel mounting screw by backing it off until it engages the slot.  Confirm squib is locked and then fit steering wheel and proceed with calibration.

 

Above is not 100% clear even in the official Smart work shop instruction attached.

 

install steering wheel.pdf

Edited by tolsen

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Thank you tolsen, this is a good suggestion and I actually have it done like that. But somehow it still did not help.

Also note that it is now too late to follow it for people currently engaged in this topic.

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Never too late but if squib is broken it is broken and nothing can be done about it.  All that can be done is set it up centred and ensure it is centred when steering wheel is fitted, then proceed with calibration and pray it works.

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