The clockspring is designed to wind and unwind when the steering wheel is rotated, but is only designed to rotate the same number of turns (about five complete rotations) as the steering wheel can be turned from stop to stop. Centering the clockspring indexes the clockspring tape to other steering components so that it can operate within its designed travel limits. The rotor of a centered clockspring can be rotated two and one-half turns in either direction from the centered position, without damaging the clockspring tape. However, if the clockspring is removed for service or if the steering column is disconnected from the steering gear, the clockspring tape can change position relative to the other steering components. The clockspring must then be re-centered following completion of such service or the clockspring tape may be damaged.
- Place the front wheels in the straight-ahead position.
- Remove the clockspring from the steering column.
- Hold the clockspring case in one hand so that it is oriented as it would be when it is installed on the steering column.
- Use your other hand to rotate the clockspring rotor clockwise to the end of its travel. Do not apply excessive torque.
- From the end of the clockwise travel, rotate the rotor about two and one-half turns counterclockwise, until the arrows on the clockspring rotor label and the clockspring case are aligned. The uppermost pin on the lower surface of the clockspring rotor should now be aligned with the oblong pin.
The clockspring is now centered. Secure the clockspring rotor to the clockspring case to maintain clockspring centering until it is reinstalled on the steering column.
- The front wheels should still be in the straight-ahead position.
- Reinstall the clockspring onto the steering column.