Walkthrough: Replacement of Spiral Cable (Clock Spring) - Nissan Frontier Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Walkthrough: Replacement of Spiral Cable (Clock Spring)

I learned many things here on this forum that saved me already quite a bit of money but never had the chance to contribute myself. Well, here is my attempt to pay back a little bit and to save you guys some $$ should you run into a similar situation.

Several months ago my airbag light started to blink. I didn’t do any work on my truck previously nor did I have any other issue – it just started. Heading over to the dealer to check for error codes (nobody at parts stores wanted to check as it was the airbag light). $104 later I was told Code B1049 and B1054 and that the Clock Spring (Nissan calls it Spiral Cable) would have to be replaced. Estimated cost total, a whopping $1372 – I was pretty speechless.
The service guy told me that it was so expensive because the technician would have to pay special attention so the airbag wouldn’t explode. Also, steering would have to be realigned and calibrated and all together this is very labor intensive so the cost would be justified. Well, this cost is NOT justified – it is a total rip-off. In a moment you’ll see why.

I called courtesyparts.com (thanks guys – you are great) and got the correct part number for my model (you’ll need the VIN). For my 2007 Nissan Frontier CC Nismo it is part number 25560-9BH2A (switch assembly). I paid less than $180 incl. shipping.




Tools required:
19mm Socket, extension and ratchet
5 or 5.5 mm allen wrench
10 mm wrench
phillips screw driver
small screw driver (optional)

Well, I guess it’s time for the famous disclaimer.
***** Disclaimer *****
The reader assumes all responsibility for any alterations and modifications made to their cars. The author of the DIY thread you read is not liable for any damage to your car (or yourself) as a result of poorly documented instructions. The thread here is for informational purposes only and should not be followed by people who are inexperienced when it comes to working on their cars. If you are not sure you know what you are doing, consult a qualified mechanic.
***** End Disclaimer *****


(1) Park the truck with the front wheels aligned straight

(2) Write down your stored radio stations or you’ll regret it later

(3) Disconnect both, the positive and the negative, cables from the battery. I wrapped some bubble wrap around to make sure it won’t accidentally get in contact with the battery.

(4) Important: Wait at least 3 Minutes before proceeding!!!

(5) Slide the plastic steering wheel back cover towards the dashboard. You’ll get a small gap which makes it easier to locate the Retaining Clip inside.




(6) Locate retaining clip access hole and insert 4 – 6mm blunt tool (I used the 5.5 mm allen wrench)







(7) Press upward (toward center of steering wheel) on retaining clip until driver air bag module is released
from steering wheel. It will actually pop right out if done correctly.



(8 ) Lift the driver air bag module from the steering wheel and disconnect the air bag module and horn connectors.


(9) Remove the driver air bag module and store somewhere safe.
CAUTION (out of the service manual):
_ When servicing the SRS, do not work from directly in front of air bag module.
_ Always place air bag module with pad side facing upward.
_ Do not insert any foreign objects (screwdriver, etc.) into air bag module or connectors.
_ Do not disassemble air bag module.
_ Do not expose the air bag module to temperatures exceeding 90°C (194°F).
_ Replace the air bag module if it has been dropped or sustained an impact.
_ Do not allow oil, grease or water to come in contact with the air bag module.





(10) Disconnect



(11) Loosen the steering wheel center nut but don’t remove completely. Keep on 2 to 3 threads for next step.



(12) Pull the steering wheel towards you to remove. You may have to yank a little. After it pops out remove steering wheel center nut completely. Nissan specifies to us tools KV481J0010 (J-1859A) and KV481J0020 (J-42578 ) but is not necessary IMO.






(13) Remove the three screws


(14) Separate upper and lower column cover


(15) Disconnect wiper and washer switch connector


(16) Remove lighting and turn signal switch and remove wiper and washer switch (while pressing tabs, pull away from spiral cable to remove)


(17) Disconnect the spiral cable connectors


(18 ) Unscrew the two screws holding the spiral cable in place (please note the screws can’t be removed).


(19) While pressing the tab, pull the spiral cable away from steering column assembly




Old (left) and New (right) Spiral Cable


(20) Installation in reverse order.

Make sure the spiral cable is in the neutral position which can be detected by turning left 2.6 revolutions from the right end position and ending with the locating pin at the top. Be very careful or the spiral cable may snap.

Remove Safety Clip before installing the steering wheel.




(21) Final step after completion would be to reset the air bag warning light. This is already covered in thread
Pesky Airbag light!!



That’s it - took me less than two hours. $1372 estimate – I’m still mad about this ridiculous price quote.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 07:06 AM
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Best step by step I have seen in long time!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 05:26 PM
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$1372??!!! What a joke. I would have laughed in that guys face.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 08:50 PM
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Thanks for the writeup. I'm adding this to the "DIY project stickies" post located here:

DIY Projects "stickies"
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I just hope this can help someone else out of a similar situation.
And the $1372 is no joke. I got it in writing and I know plenty of folks who would have ended up paying that sum just because they whould have been scared to death simply by the description of the service guy.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowdrop View Post
Thank you. I just hope this can help someone else out of a similar situation.
And the $1372 is no joke. I got it in writing and I know plenty of folks who would have ended up paying that sum just because they whould have been scared to death simply by the description of the service guy.
I am currently in this situation, you wouldn't happen to have some pictures of the repair itself (what was soldered and how), thanks for the walk through as well very informative. Thanks

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 07:24 PM
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Attempted repair of the cable itself here:
37" Build, Titan Swap Suspension

I would not recommend bothering with it; better to just buy the replacement.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 04:44 PM
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Also, this thread does not discuss how to reset the VDC/Slip lights which will likely go on from disconnecting the battery and/or replacing the steering sensor which is part of the spiral cable. Ongoing discussion here:

37" Build, Titan Swap Suspension

I'll post a solution once I find one; there are a multitude of ideas here on the forum but it sounds like reprogramming from the stealership may be the only way.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 12:55 PM
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FYI, I have come to a conclusion. After replacing the spiral cable the steering sensor must be recalibrated or VDC will not function ("VDC off" and "Slip" lights illuminate on the dash). The ONLY way to recalibrate the sensor is to take it to a stealership; it requires programming from the Consult-III computer (DTC code readers and eBay Consult clones won't do the trick). See section BRC-78 of the service manual for details.

All of the suggestions on this forum for calibrating via driving straight for X distance or any other nonsense is just that; nonsense.

Of course; the process takes about 5 minutes but dealerships will typically charge for a full hour. I called around and got quotes varying anywhere from $70 to $120. Some folks on the forum have gotten it done for free as part of routine service; I doubt you'll get any stealership to commit to this over the phone though, you'll just have to get lucky.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 01:14 PM
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True?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtofSS View Post
FYI, I have come to a conclusion. After replacing the spiral cable the steering sensor must be recalibrated or VDC will not function ("VDC off" and "Slip" lights illuminate on the dash). The ONLY way to recalibrate the sensor is to take it to a stealership; it requires programming from the Consult-III computer (DTC code readers and eBay Consult clones won't do the trick). See section BRC-78 of the service manual for details.

All of the suggestions on this forum for calibrating via driving straight for X distance or any other nonsense is just that; nonsense.

Of course; the process takes about 5 minutes but dealerships will typically charge for a full hour. I called around and got quotes varying anywhere from $70 to $120. Some folks on the forum have gotten it done for free as part of routine service; I doubt you'll get any stealership to commit to this over the phone though, you'll just have to get lucky.
Is it true that the only way get this reset is at the dealer? My issues started after replacing the clock spring, then driving it to get the VDC light to go out, then I started getting the slip issues.

2010 Crew Cab V6 AUTO 5'9 BED TOW PACKAGE SE 2 WHEEL DRIVE 138,305 MILES AS OF 07/05/16. Senior citizen go get groceries truck. Retired heavy duty truck and construction equipment shop foreman. 4x cancer and stroke survivor (reason I'm retired)
. 58 y.o.
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