Clock spring/steering wheel

Tiny
QBJK3
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE RAM
  • 5.9L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 155,000 MILES
I recently bought the truck listed above. The air bag and seat belt lights were on and horn and cruise were not working. After extensive research decided it was the clock spring. Take the wheel off and the was correct the old one was broken! After replacing with new clock spring I am now to the point where I need to put the steering wheel back on. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do this. I put alignment marks and everything lined up still cannot get it. Like it now needs a longer bolt to connect to or maybe something is keeping it from getting close enough. Any ideas on what I did wrong and how to fix it?
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Friday, April 21st, 2017 AT 3:15 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First of all, did anyone explain the importance of having the steering system centered when you do this repair? The new clock spring comes centered, with a paper tape across the hole in the middle, and it has two buttons that get pressed by the steering wheel to unlock it. Those two things prevent accidentally turning it off-center. Once installed, the steering wheel can turn approximately one and a half turns to the right and one and a half turns to the left. The ribbon cable in the clock spring can wind up about two turns one way before it will tear apart, and about two turns the other way before it will unwind so much that it folds over on itself. That will cause it to break eventually, but not right away.

If you followed those precautions, there is one or four master splines on the steering shaft and the steering wheel's center hub. The wheel will slide right on when those are lined up. If it does not drop down far enough, the clock spring is not fully seated. When you reinstall the two halves of the steering column cover, the surface of the clock spring facing you should be flush with the plastic cover. If it is sticking up beyond being flush, it will hold the steering wheel up too far. There is plastic fingers on the back side of the clock spring housing that must pop into mating holes. Be sure those fingers did not get bent over.
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Friday, April 21st, 2017 AT 6:42 PM

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