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post #34 of (permalink) Old 13th January 2014
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Re: CLOCKSPRING (aka "rotational connector!") *FIXED*

First of all, I haven't posted before on this forum, so hellooooo all you Renault owners (and in particular, Megane II owners).

I have had trouble with my clock spring and just thought I'd put my 2p in...

While manoeuvring (using quite a bit of lock to lock) I heard a 'crack' from inside the steering column - rather like a plastic tab had snapped. After that, turning the steering wheel made a sort of scratchy sound, like loose plastic sheet in an enclosure, being moved. No airbag warnings, and everything working.

Had a search and found this thread, which spurred me on to investigate. Battery disconnected for 15 mins, wheels of the car in straight-ahead. Cowling off the steering column (5x T20 Torx to get the two halved components off), screwdriver in the back of the steering wheel and airbag lifted up towards the car roof. Flick back yellow tabs. Airbag wires are colour coded to their respective sockets. Remove horn connector and steering wheel earth. Torx T50 for the central bolt, and steering wheel off. Small Torx (forget what size) for the white screw at the back of the stalks to get the whole unit off. Remove all 3 (or 4 if you have the radio remote stalk) connectors.

* Note: the clock spring orientation should not be messed with, as it is used for the ESP/steering angle sensor - to this end, there is a hole in the face of the clock spring at about 2 o'clock, for orientation of all the components/layers inside, that should remain lined up. *

I wanted to see inside, so the red and black horn wires can be freed by prising up the cable grip on the plastic stump. Then there are 4 or 5 fragile plastic tabs that hold the front face on. Gently lift these one by one and you'll see the white clock spring, which halfway along its length, sort of doubles back on itself on an inner channel in a sort of white plastic greased 'guide'. Under the white plastic guide is a toothed ring, containing a small grey plastic cog. This cog locks the inner (steering wheel) ring to the white clock spring guide.

What had happened was the little 'stub' on the back face of the clock spring guide had got full of hair and fluff, forcing the cog off its little stub axle - that was the 'crack' as it disengaged. Further plasticky noises were made as, during steering effort, the little stub was dragged over top of the disengaged cog.

I suspect it is this that is snapping peoples clock springs, as the guide encounters resistance.

Everything cleaned with WD40, then renewed white lithium grease, re-engaged cog, keeping everything in the right orientation. And re-assemble. No more scratchy plasticky sounds and all is well.

If you get an ESP type warning when you reassemble and drive, you haven't kept everything in alignment properly, and you will need to do it all again, so BE CAREFUL and take photos if necessary. There should be no need for rotational twiddling!

Hope this is of help to some of you.

fletch106 is offline  
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