Another 97/98 clock spring(air bag sliding contact) thread..BUT unexpected REAL fix!!

Lincoln Mark VIII

  1. blackbetty97

    blackbetty97 LVC Member

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    I, as most of the mark VIII family have experienced the dreaded clock spring failure. Upon searching, I have found NO new clock springs for the gen 11. Also as equally as unfortunate, there are NO used ones within Ford at all, and a search on ebay/craigslist was fruitless. I thought I fixed the problem with a clock spring ribbon out of a continental, and made it fit, but in two weeks, my crunching and popping returned, and horn, cruise, and airbags were lost yet again.

    Out of shear desperation to have my horn work to pass PA state inspection, I began my long and drawn out search. What I found, to my elation, was the clock spring for a 00-02 Lincoln LS, and 02 Thunderbird are EXACTLY the same mount, same black box, same ribbon, pretty much same everything, minus one small problem. The Airbag Connector is different, but the wires were the same color code, and same location.

    I went to Ford, and purchased the 2000 Lincoln LS clock spring.
    IMG_20130712_132601_874.jpg

    Got home and tore into the mark VIII. I know there are A LOT of threads with this information, but since I will be altering the new clock spring, I will include a Step by Step procedure of what I did. I make NNOO guarantees this will work for you, or that you should cut or splice wires, but this is what I did and it worked for me.

    Step one, disconnect the battery.(I did not do this step, and did not have the air bag deploy, but this is on you if you don't/and it does)

    Step two, remove kick plate. This pulls down with a little force. Be careful not to pull hard enough to break the light. Turn bulb and remove light from black kick plate.

    Step Three, remove two 8mm bolts from the cover that hides your steering column under your dash. Once these are removed, pull the top gently. There are two pressure fittings on the right and left top that will pop out.


    Step four, (this is why I did not connect my battery) raise your column up and forward all the way. There are two phillips screws under your column cover that need removed. Make sure they are completely out before trying to remove your lower cover. Gently pull your lower cover down. It will come off.
    IMG_20130712_123713_713.jpg

    Step five, now lower your column completely, and out from the dash as far as it will go. Gently pull up on the top cover. There are two long plastic cylinders that slide through a notch, that the bottom screws screw into. DO NOT BREAK THEM. once the top and bottom cover are removed, set them aside.

    Step six, remove the round plastic covers on the back of the steering wheel, and with a 8mm socket, remove the two bolts that hold on your air bag.
    IMG_20130712_123045_605.jpg

    Step Seven, gently pull the air bag towards you. There is one connection behind it, for me it was Gray, but I have seen a black one there before as well. Push the tab on the connector, and gently pull the two apart. This separates your airbag from the steering wheel. Set it aside gently, and out of the way, so you don't accidentally set it off.
    IMG_20130712_123203_157.jpg

    Step Eight, Remove the T50 retaining bolt, and disconnect the white connector at the bottom of the steering wheel.
    IMG_20130712_123300_337.jpg

    Step Nine, Remove your steering wheel. A wheel puller would help at this point, but feet on the dash, and a hard yank did the job for me. I also heard that the bolt wheel pullers just strip your steering holes out, so if I had to again, I would just get the two arm wheel puller, and grab the solid metal plate and pull it off that way. My pic shows the clock spring cable hanging out, but that is because I had it apart so many times, it popped off when I removed my steering wheel. Yours should still be inside, and you should only see the round black housing for it.
    IMG_20130712_123842_872.jpg

    Step Ten, at this point, there are a few wire connections to unhook. Under the dash, you will see a black box attached to your steering column. Gently pull it down, and remove the 3 wiring harnesses that are connected to it. You will also see a white connector on the right side of the MFS(multi function switch) as well as a thin black one on right in front of the white one. The white connector pulls down, and the black connector pulls out in the direction of the dash. I did not get any pictures of the connecters that attach to the MFS, but you can clearly see them on the right side of the switch.

    Step Eleven, once all of your connectors are disconnected from the MFS, and the 3 from the black box, you are ready to remove that dang blasted broken clock spring. there are 3 plastic clips that hold it to the MFS. Two on the top, and one on the side. I used my fingernail, and gently pulled at them, while wiggling the clock spring front. you will need to alternate which ones you pull, and such, as when you wiggle it, another one will pop back on. Also note, that the center round part is kind of tight on the steering shaft, so moving the clock spring mount, and the center plastic piece together will help. Its a little difficult, but not too bad.

    Step Twelve, Take the Old clock spring, and the New clock spring into your shop, or kitchen table, or wherever you wanna do the surgery to it. You will need a wire cutter/stripper, flux, solder, steel wool, shrink tubbing and a soldering iron. On the OLD clock spring, cut the grey(or black) two wire connector off about mid way down the wires. Leave enough to work with. On the NEW clock spring, cut off the two wire black connector. The old connector is in the background of this picture. Save it, you will need it. IMG_20130712_125331_224.jpg

    Step Thirteen, Strip both the connector wire, and the NEW clock spring wires, and gently twist the copper wire. I stripped about 1/4 inch off. Tin your wires, by applying flux to your iron, then applying a little solder. APPLY FLUX to your exposed copper wires, and gently touch the wires with the tip of the iron. No flux = no solder flow, and burnt wires.
    IMG_20130712_125739_279.jpg

    Step Fourteen, Once both of the wires are tinned, on both the OLD connector, and the NEW clock spring assembly, put shrink tubbing on each individual set of wires, then one over BOTH wires together. So you have 3 pieces, 2 small, and one thicker. Since you tinned the wires, soldering them together will be easy. MAKE SURE YOUR HOLDING THE CORRECT WIRES TOGETHER. Grey with white, and Grey with orange, DON'T cross solder them.. keep the colors the same!! Touch the corresponding wires together, overlapped a little, then touch the soldering iron to both wires at the same time. Solder will flow, and your connection will be made. Pull gently to make sure the connection is secure. Repeat for the second wire.
    IMG_20130712_125933_889.jpg

    Step Fifteen, once your soldered connections are secure, move the two smaller shrink tube over them. Heat them up and watch them shrink! once the two thinner ones are done, move your thicker one over both connections. This ensures a solid connection, and doubles the insulation and abrasion resistance.
    IMG_20130712_130052_405.jpg

    Congratulations.. you are half way there. your New clock spring is ready to be installed. Mine was set correctly from the factory with a grey plastic triangle holding it in place. DO NOT TAKE this off before installation. It will mess up your winding. Just install it as is, onto the MFS. Once it is installed, and clicked onto the MFS, then AND ONLY THEN, remove the gray plastic triangle.
    IMG_20130712_130750_795.jpg

    Step Seventeen, Reconnect your Black box connections, and your white and black connections to your MFS. You will notice there is an additional black connector on the new clock spring. This was an optional feature on the LS for steering wheel mic. Your mark VIII doesn't have it, so don't worry about connecting anything to it.
    IMG_20130712_130621_672.jpg

    Reinstall your steering wheel, connect your white connector there, and replace your steering wheel retaining bolt.

    Connect your air bag, and reinstall with your two 8mm bolts, and round plastic caps.

    Move your column down, and reinstall the top cover, taking care not to break those long round plastic pieces, they kinda bend back into the holes a little, then wiggle it down and back till it pops back into place.

    Move your Column back up, and reinstall the lower cover, and the two phillip screws

    at this time, if you havent already, replace the "weather stripping" around your lower crotch cooler vent, then reinstall your lower panel, with the 8mm bolts.

    Reinstall the light into your black plastic kick plate, and reinstall, making sure the prong goes into the hole at the back of the foot well, then push the connectors back up into the dash.

    reconnect your battery (if you un hooked it)

    start your car, press the horn, watch your airbag warning code 3,2 dissappear, and take a drive and marvel at your cruise control!!

    I hope this helps someone else out there, as I was at my whits end with used ones breaking, and not being able to find them anyway.

    LAST STEP...

    Take that frackin old broke clock spring outside and shoot the livin day lights outta it!!!

    IMG_20130712_123300_337.jpg

    IMG_20130712_123842_872.jpg

    IMG_20130712_125331_224.jpg

    IMG_20130712_125739_279.jpg

    IMG_20130712_125933_889.jpg

    IMG_20130712_130052_405.jpg

    IMG_20130712_130750_795.jpg

    IMG_20130712_130621_672.jpg

    IMG_20130712_132601_874.jpg

    IMG_20130712_123045_605.jpg

    IMG_20130712_123713_713.jpg

    IMG_20130712_123203_157.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
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    • Marcus

      Marcus Dedicated LVC Member

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      Great writeup! I've worried about what I'd do if and when my clockspring went bad, since they're so hard to find. Probably a dumb question since I figure you already checked, but on the connector that has to be swapped, are the pins completely different as well as the "shell" of the plug? In other words, could the pins be swapped between plugs, eliminating any soldering?

      Oh, and do you have a part number for the clockspring? The first few pics didn't come through.
       
    • blackbetty97

      blackbetty97 LVC Member

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      ill repost the pics, they were coming up as a link for me. the first pic is the part number. No, the connector on the new one is COMPLETELY different.
       
    • blackbetty97

      blackbetty97 LVC Member

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      OK, The pics were fixed. The part number is a long one, and I am Dyslexic, so I don't want to transpose the numbers for you..
       
    • Marcus

      Marcus Dedicated LVC Member

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      Hah, I finally found it elsewhere, but glad it matches! Thanks!
       
    • wkokaneeman

      wkokaneeman Active LVC Member

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      What exactly does the clockspring do? I have the issue with my 98 LSC that the steering wheel cruise control swItch lIghts quIt workIng.can't fIgure out why?
       
    • blackbetty97

      blackbetty97 LVC Member

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      clock spring is the connections for your air bag, horn, so your steering wheel can rotate, but still keep the electrical connections
       
    • Marcus

      Marcus Dedicated LVC Member

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      Now that I think of it, I seem to recall someone claiming that the entire LS steering column is swappable with the Mark. Not sure if that's true, but it would be great if the MF switch was swappable too. Dose anyone have a pic of the LS MF switch?
       
    • marked8

      marked8 Dedicated LVC Member

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      This needs to be pinned and put in the tech section. Most valuable info since the 1st generation blend door motor fix was discovered.
       
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      • Marcus

        Marcus Dedicated LVC Member

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        If the cruise control buttons still work then the bulb inside the switch is probably burnt out. They're tiny tube bulbs, soldered to the circuit board, so not easy to replace.
         
      • lobird91

        lobird91 Well-Known LVC Member

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        Great work, glad too see people getting creative to keep Marks alive

        -Alan
         
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        • wkokaneeman

          wkokaneeman Active LVC Member

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          So whats a guy to do to get them operable? And the switches still work. The lights started flickering on & off on the right side switch bank, then quit all together, then the left side went! What a pIsser!
           
        • blackbetty97

          blackbetty97 LVC Member

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          try a junk yard... I think the mustangs use the same switches, atleast they looked the same when I was looking for the Clock Spring cable...
           
        • stormfinder

          stormfinder Active LVC Member

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          Thanks Blackbetty97,

          I have been in need of a clock spring for my viii for the year ive had it, only never being able to find one, luckily now you come with this excellent info Thanks alot man, And welcome to LVC
           
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          • blackbetty97

            blackbetty97 LVC Member

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            thanks! I have been lurkin on here for a while, but since I took all the time to fix this AGAIN, I thought id join and post something that I hope someone would find helpful!
             
          • stormfinder

            stormfinder Active LVC Member

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            Useful?

            dude, this is the kinda info that gets stickied. This is a problem for almost everyone eventually. And now we have an answer.

            You've saved alot of trouble for me, at least, and most likely hundreds more.
             
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            • blackbetty97

              blackbetty97 LVC Member

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              And if anyone isn't good with soldering, send me your old one, and new one, and I can do the repair for you. Doesn't take me but 5 minutes to cut, tin, solder and shrink wrap the connectors. Just pay for the shipping both ways!
               
            • DieselDan

              DieselDan Dedicated LVC Member

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              Excellent info! Thanks for sharing!
               
            • wkokaneeman

              wkokaneeman Active LVC Member

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              If someone needs something off of a Mark, let me know. I'm in the wrecking yards often,and I can look for what you need. It only cost $2.00 to get in. If Its a clocksprIng,then I'll need to get a puller. Anything heavIer,that would be much more dIffIcult to handle, but possIbly doable.
               
            • keVIIIn

              keVIIIn Dedicated LVC Member

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              I don't thinnk all of those switche's are illuminated, my 97 thunderbird didnt have cruise swiches that lit up and even the 93-94 marks didn't illuminate either. Might have to look around for 95 and up mark cruise switches.
               
            • 97 Octane

              97 Octane Dedicated LVC Member

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              :W to :V


              Like most members here, I've never put any thought to my clockspring going bad. Maybe its because the problem hasn't reared its ugly head with both my M8s.

              Good information here. So when and if mine ever goes bad, I will be able to search for this topic in the future and know that it is a fixable dilema. Thank You.
               
            • 97MarkJA

              97MarkJA Dedicated LVC Member

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              Nice write up, thanks.
               
            • lsc8

              lsc8 Dedicated LVC Member

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              that is some very helpful info
               
            • turn_on68

              turn_on68 Dedicated LVC Member

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              If you just need to replace the steering wheel,is the clock spring safe under it and not affected by removing the steering wheel?
               
            • UltimateSVT

              UltimateSVT Dedicated LVC Member

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              STICKY STICKY STICKY!!! Great stuff man! Especially coming from a newb. Way to make an entrance. I luv you man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shifty: :D
               
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