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How to Replace Clock Spring 1997 - 2001 Toyota Camry

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Created on: 2016-07-18

How to replace a broken clock spring on 98 Toyota Camry.

  1. step 1 :Disconnecting the Battery
    • Loosen the negative terminal with a 10mm wrench
    • Let the disconnected battery sit for 30 minutes to drain power from the modules
  2. step 2 :Removing the Airbag
    • Remove the Phillips head screw from the lower steering wheel column
    • Turn your key to accessory mode
    • Turn the wheel 90 degrees
    • Remove the Phillips head screw from the column
    • Turn the wheel 180 degrees
    • Remove the Phillips head screw from the column
    • Separate the steering column cover with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Remove the upper portion
    • Remove the panel from the tilt column lever
    • Remove the lower portion
    • Pry out the small round cover behind the steering wheel
    • Remove the T30 Torx screw from the airbag (it may not come out completely)
    • Pry out the trim cover on the side of the airbag
    • Remove the T30 Torx screw from the airbag (it may not come out completely)
    • Touch metal surfaces to remove static charge
    • Remove the airbag from the steering wheel
    • Pry off the wiring harness from its clip
    • Disconnect the wiring harness
  3. step 3 :Removing the Steering Wheel
    • Remove the white electrical connector from the clock spring
    • Remove the 19mm nut from the center of the steering wheel
    • Keep the steering wheel straight
    • Evenly tap either side
    • Remove the wheel from the splines
  4. step 4 :Removing the Clock Spring
    • Remove the four Phillips head screws from the clock spring
    • Remove the clock spring from the steering column
    • Disconnect the electrical connectors
  5. step 5 :Installing the Clock Spring
    • Make sure the clock spring is locked in the proper position
    • Turn the spring 5 turns, or until it will no longer turn
    • Turn the spring two 1/2 turns so that the arrows line up
    • Reconnect the yellow connector
    • Reconnect the black connector
    • Insert the clock spring into place
    • Tighten the four Phillips screws
  6. step 6 :Installing the Steering Wheel
    • Insert the steering wheel into place
    • Line it up straight
    • Tape the wheel onto the splines
    • Realign the electrical connector
    • Start the center 19mm nut by hand
    • Torque the steering wheel nut to 26 foot-pounds
  7. step 7 :Installing the Airbag
    • Touch metal parts of the car
    • Connect the wiring harness
    • Clip the wiring harness into place
    • Lay the bag into the wheel
    • Tighten the two T30 screws to the airbag
    • Press on the trim button and piece to the steering wheel
    • Insert the upper steering column cover into place
    • Tilt the column up and insert the lower column portion
    • Press the tilt trim piece into place
    • Tighten the Phillips head screw to the bottom of the column
    • Turn the key to run
    • Rotate the wheel and tighten the two Phillips screws
    • Straighten the wheel
    • Remove the key
  8. step 8 :Connecting the Battery
    • Reconnect the battery with a 10mm wrench

Tools needed

  • Socket Extensions

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Torque Wrench

    T30 Driver

    No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver

    19mm Socket

    10mm Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to remove and replace the airbag clock spring in this '98 Toyota Camry.

The items you'll need for this repair include a 19mm socket and breaker bar, a 10mm wrench, T30 Torx bit with a ratchet and extension, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, as well as a torque wrench.

Using a 10 millimeter wrench, loosen the negative terminal on your battery. Remove and isolate the terminal. After disconnecting the battery, allow the vehicle to sit for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that all of the power is drained out of the capacitors and modules and allows you to work on your airbag safely.

Remove the Phillips head screw from the bottom of the clam shell on the steering column. Turn your ignition key to run. Turn the wheel 90 degrees to the right. Remove this Phillips head screw. Rotate the wheel in the opposite direction and remove this Phillips head screw. Using a small flat blade screwdriver, separate the upper and lower steering column covers. Lift up and remove the upper portion of the clam shell. Pop out the panel around the tilt column lever.

You need to remove the front with a flat blade screwdriver. Tilt the column up and remove the lower portion of the clam shell. On the back side of the steering wheel is a small round cover; Pry that out with a flat blade screwdriver or a non-marring prying tool. Inside, there is a T30 torque screw. Using the T30 torque socket and extension and a ratchet, loosen the screw. These are usually a captured screw which means you can loosen it fully without it coming out of the steering wheel. Check as you loosen it. Eventually, you will feel that the airbag is free of the bolt.

Using the small flat blade screwdriver or a non-marring pry tool, remove the cover from the driver's side of the airbag. This will reveal another T30 Torx screw. Remove that with a T30 Torx socket and a ratchet. Again, this is a captured-style bolt, meaning that even though it has been loosened completely, it may not come out. Keep spinning it until you can remove the airbag. You can never be too safe when working on an airbag. Even though I usually wear rubber gloves, be sure to touch some metal surfaces and remove any static charge that may be on your body before removing the connector for the airbag.

Remove the white electrical connector from the clock spring. It may be helpful to push down with a flat blade screwdriver. Remove the 19mm nut in the center of the steering wheel. This can be on there pretty good, so you want to make sure that you have a good size breaker bar. Be sure that your steering wheel is straight and that you do not move this or the clock spring, because the clock spring can only move so many rotations before it will tear and damage. If it's not centered, when you reinstall, then the first time you turn your steering wheel, you can risk damaging or breaking your clock spring.

Once the wheel is loose, evenly tap on both sides of the wheel until it comes off of the splines.

Remove the four Phillips head screws securing your clock spring to the steering column with a number 2 Phillips head screwdriver. Remove the clock spring from the steering column. Remove the electrical connectors at the base of the clock spring. There's a safety on the yellow connector because it's an airbag line; move that out of the way. Release the connector. Remove your clock spring.

Whether you're re-installing your old airbag clock spring, or you've received a new part that is not locked in to the proper position, these clock springs can only turn so many times before they will break and cause failure of all the electrical components in the steering wheel, up-to and including the airbag. If ours is not in the correct clocked position, you'll note that our sticker says we have 5 turns and an arrow. This means that from the point at which the clock spring won't turn any farther, it's going to be one, two, three, four, five turns before it will not move any farther the other way.

Once we've found the point at which we can't make any more turns, our center point will be 2 and a half rotations. We have one, two, and these are just approximate mind you, because when we reach our half turn, you'll notice that there's a little arrow marked on. There's our two and a half turns. We'll want to make sure when we reinstall the clock spring and its components that we've kept it at two and a half turns.

Reconnect the yellow electrical connector. Snap the safety back into place. Reinstall the black connector to the left. Reinstall the clock spring onto the column. You'll see that there's a tab on either side with a notch in the column where they line up. Be sure that you have aligned your clock spring properly before tightening it down and reinstalling the wheel. Reinstall your four Phillips head screws.

To reinstall the steering wheel, feed the yellow electrical connector through the top. Line it up nice and straight. Tap it back onto the splines. Reinstall the electrical connector at the top. Start the center nut by hand. Torque the steering wheel nut to 26 ft. lbs., using a 19 mm socket and torque wrench.

Be sure to touch some metal parts of the car. Be sure that your body is free of any static electricity before touching the airbag. Staying clear of the airbag, reconnect the electrical connector. Lock the safety back into place. Lay the bag back into the wheel. Tighten the two T30 screws on either side of the airbag with a T30 Torx bit and a ratchet. After tightening each screw, reinstall the plastic covers on the back of the steering wheel. Place the upper portion of your steering column cover back on. You may have to drop the tilt steering wheel down to make this easier. Tilt the column up, and install the lower portion of the cover.

Reinstall the cover on the tilt portion. Install the Phillips head screw at the bottom of the column. Insert your key. Turn it to run so that you can rotate the wheel 90 degrees. Tighten the Phillips head screw with a screwdriver. Rotate the wheel 180 degrees in the opposite direction, and install the last screw. Straighten the wheel. Turn your key off.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this video helped you out. Next time you need parts for your car, please visit 1AAuto.com. Also check out our other helpful how-to and diagnosis videos.

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