97-01 Jeep Cherokee Clock Spring Replacement. A particularly troublesome piece of obscure electrical functionality is the clock spring in the 97-01 Jeep Cherokee. You'll know you need a new clock spring if your airbag light comes on (and stays on) and your horn and cruise control stop working. The exact function of the clock spring is unknown to me (other than to cause headaches), but it apparently acts as some form of a controller or something for the airbag. As far as I can tell, the horn and the cruise control are only related because they are wired through the clock spring.
Here's the particularly bad news about this project: clock springs are expensive. If you can, pick one up at a wrecking yard. I spent the better part of a week calling every junk yard I could find, but with no luck finding any cherokees that matched my '99. I finally broke down and ordered one through the dealer. It cost my $254 before tax (not very happy about that). At a wrecking yard, the price is closer to $10...
The replacement is simple:
1) Disconnect the battery and wait 30 minutes (you can also touch the two cables from your Cherokee together to remove any residual charge, but that's probably not really necessary). This is so that the airbag doesn't blow up in your face when you try removing it... very important!
2) Remove the two 5/16 bolts from the back of the steering wheel that hold the airbag on
3) Carefully disconnect the two electrical connections attached to the back of the airbag. Do this from outside the vehicle just to be safe
4) Disconnect the remaining cable (green connector). Be careful here not to ruin your new clock spring wires or connectors when you pull it from the wrecking yard
5) Remove the steering wheel nut
6) Using a puller, remove the steering wheel. Be careful as you pull the steering wheel off, the wires are threaded through the wheel and you don't want to damage them on your new clock spring
7) Remove the two screws (phillips) that hold the column shroud
8) Pull the clock spring out. It's attached by two plastic clips in the back (top and bottom). Be careful not to damage them
9) Install your new clock spring following the reverse order of these instructions
I hope this saves you some time.
Tags: 97-01 Jeep Cherokee Clock Spring Replacement, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, Jeep, Cherokee, clock spring, repair, mechanic, diy, auto, Do It Yourself (Hobby), steering wheel