Ram B1500, B2500, B3500, 1999-2003

Removal & Installation

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CAUTION
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) uses an air bag. Whenever working near any of the SRS components, such as the impact sensors, the air bag module, steering column and instrument panel, disable the SRS. Refer to "Chassis Electrical" for air bag removal, handling and installation procedures.


NOTE
Do not move the front wheels or steering shaft once the steering wheel is removed. Moving the front wheels or steering shaft will disturb the relationship between the clock spring and the shaft. If the relationship has been disturbed, the clock spring must be centered prior to reinstalling the steering wheel.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Wait two minutes. This time is required to discharge the capacitor and prevent unintended air bag deployment. The system is now disarmed.
  4.  
  5. Ensure the steering wheel and the vehicle-s front wheels are in the straight ahead position.
  6.  
  7. As required, remove the speed control switches from the horn pad by unscrewing the attaching screws.
  8.  
  9. Remove the four air bag module retaining fasteners at the back of the steering wheel.
  10.  
  11. Pull the module far enough away from the steering wheel to disconnect the clockspring wire harness.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the air bag module hardware

  12.  
  13. Label and disconnect the clockspring wire harness.
  14.  
  15. Remove the air bag module from the steering wheel.
  16.  
  17. Matchmark the steering wheel and shaft.
  18.  
  19. Remove the steering wheel retaining nut.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the steering wheel nut

  20.  
  21. Using a steering wheel puller, remove the steering wheel from the shaft.\

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Using a puller to remove the steering wheel

  22.  

To install:

  1. Align and install the steering wheel on the column shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install a new retaining nut and tighten the nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the clockspring wire harness.
  6.  
  7. Install the four air bag module retaining nuts and tighten to 80-100 inch lbs. (9-11 Nm).
  8.  
  9. As required, install the speed control switches on the horn pad.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Check the air bag system for proper function prior to driving the vehicle.
  14.  


CAUTION
Disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column, seat belt tensioner, or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. This is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Failure to take the proper precautions could result in accidental airbag deployment and possible personal injury.


NOTE
Before beginning this procedure, be sure to turn the steering wheel until the front wheels are in the straight-ahead position.

  1. Place the front wheels in the straight-ahead position.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable. Wait two minutes for the system capacitor to discharge before further service.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, remove the driver airbag from the steering wheel, as follows:
    1. From the underside of the steering wheel, remove the two screws that secure the driver airbag to the steering wheel armature.
    2.  
    3. Pull the driver airbag away from the steering wheel far enough to access the two electrical connections at the back of the airbag housing.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the steering wheel wire harness horn switch feed take out connector from the horn switch feed pigtail wire connector located at the back of the driver airbag housing.
      WARNING
      Do NOT pull on the clockspring pigtail wires or pry on the connector insulator to disengage the connector from the driver airbag inflator connector receptacle. Improper removal of these pigtail wires and their connector insulators can result in damage to the airbag circuits or connector insulators.

    6.  
    7. The clockspring driver airbag pigtail wire connector is a tight snap-fit into the airbag inflator connector receptacle, which is located on the back of the driver airbag housing. Firmly grasp and pull or gently pry on the connector insulator and pull the connector straight out from the airbag inflator to disconnect it from the connector receptacle.
    8.  
    9. Remove the driver airbag from the steering wheel.
      NOTE
      If the driver airbag has been deployed, the clockspring and the steering column must be replaced.



      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. View of the driver-s side airbag and related components: Clockspring pigtail wire (1), steering wheel wire harness (2), steering wheel (3), connector for horn (4), airbag (5), screws (6) and clockspring (7)

    10.  

  6.  
  7. Disconnect the steering wheel wire harness connectors from the upper clockspring connector receptacles, if equipped with an air bag.
  8.  
  9. Remove the screw that secures the steering wheel armature to the steering column upper shaft, which is located within the hub cavity of the steering wheel.
    WARNING
    Be sure that the screws that secure the steering wheel puller to the steering wheel are fully engaged in the steering wheel armature without passing through the steering wheel and damaging the clockspring.

  10.  
  11. Pull the steering wheel off of the steering column upper shaft spline using a steering wheel puller (Special Tool C-3428-B, or equivalent).
  12.  

To install:

  1. Reinstall the steering wheel onto the steering column upper shaft. Be certain to index the yellow rubber booted engagement dowel on the upper surface of the clockspring rotor between the two fins cast into the lower surface of the steering wheel armature hub. Pull the upper clockspring pigtail wire through the upper hole between the steering wheel back trim cover and the steering wheel armature.
  2.  
  3. Install and tighten the screw that secures the steering wheel to the steering column upper shaft. Tighten the screw to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm). Be certain not to pinch the clockspring pigtail wire or the steering wheel wire harness between the steering wheel and the screw.
  4.  
  5. Reconnect the steering wheel wire harness connectors to the upper clockspring connector receptacles.
  6.  
  7. Be certain that the steering wire harness is routed between the steering wheel back trim cover and the steering wheel armature.
  8.  
  9. Reinstall the driver airbag onto the steering wheel, as follows:
    1. Position the driver airbag close enough to the steering wheel to reconnect the two electrical connections at the back of the airbag housing.
    2.  
    3. When installing the driver airbag, reconnect the clockspring driver airbag pigtail wire connector to the airbag inflator connector receptacle by pressing straight in on the connector. You will know that the connector is fully engaged when you hear a distinct, audible click as the connector snaps into place.
    4.  
    5. Reconnect the steering wheel wire harness horn switch feed take out connector to the horn switch feed pigtail wire connector located at the back of the driver airbag housing.
    6.  
    7. Carefully position the driver airbag in the steering wheel. Be certain that the clockspring pigtail wire and steering wheel wire harness in the steering wheel hub area are not pinched between the driver airbag and the steering wheel armature.
    8.  
    9. From the underside of the steering wheel, install and tighten the two screws that secure the driver airbag to the steering wheel armature. Tighten the screws to 90 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
    10.  

  10.  
  11. If equipped with an air bag, you must perform the supplemental restraint system verification test procedure located in the Air Bag section in Chassis Electrical.
  12.  


CAUTION
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) uses an air bag. Whenever working near any of the SRS components, such as the impact sensors, the air bag module, steering column and instrument panel, disable the SRS. Refer to "Chassis Electrical" for air bag removal, handling and installation procedures.


NOTE
Do NOT move the front wheels or steering shaft once the steering wheel is removed. Moving the front wheels or steering shaft will disturb the relationship between the clock spring and the shaft. If the relationship has been disturbed, the clock spring must be centered prior to reinstalling the steering wheel.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Wait two minutes. This time is required to discharge the capacitor and prevent unintended air bag deployment. The system is now disarmed.
  4.  
  5. Ensure the steering wheel and the vehicle's front wheels are in the straight-ahead position.
  6.  
  7. As required, remove the speed control switches from the horn pad by unscrewing the attaching screws.
  8.  
  9. Remove the four air bag module retaining fasteners at the back of the steering wheel.
  10.  
  11. Pull the module far enough away from the steering wheel to disconnect the clockspring wire harness.
  12.  
  13. Label and disconnect the clockspring wire harness.
  14.  
  15. Remove the air bag module from the steering wheel.
  16.  
  17. Matchmark the steering wheel and shaft.
  18.  
  19. Remove the steering wheel retaining nut.
  20.  
  21. Using a steering wheel puller, remove the steering wheel from the shaft.
  22.  

To install:

  1. Align and install the steering wheel on the column shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install a new retaining nut and tighten the nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm) on Ram, or 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) on Dakota and Durango.
  4.  
  5. Connect the clockspring wire harness.
  6.  
  7. Install the four air bag module retaining nuts and tighten to 80-100 inch lbs. (9-11 Nm).
  8.  
  9. As required, install the speed control switches on the horn pad.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Check the air bag system for proper function prior to driving the vehicle.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Removing the air bag module hardware



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Removing the steering wheel nut



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Using a puller to remove the steering wheel

 
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