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Old 01-18-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Fan#: 107719
Location: McKinney, TX
What I Drive: 2013 Silver SE Hatch

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I just finished swapping my steering wheel (No more hard plastic!). I bought a 72 hour subscription to the Ford service info.

1. IMPORTANT!!! Remove the negative battery terminal and wait a couple minutes. (Ford documentation says to wait one minute.)
2. Lower the steering column to its lowest setting.
3. Remove the Torx screw on the top of the upper steering column shroud.
4. Turn the wheel 90 and undo a clip for the upper steering column shroud.
5. Turn the wheel 180 the other way and undo the other clip.
6. Remove the upper steering column shroud and position it out of the way.
7. With the wheel still at 90, you will now be able to access a round hole on the back of the wheel. This provides access to a spring member than retains the airbag unit. Insert a flat blade screwdriver. You need to get between the spring member and its stop, so bias the screwdriver blade towards the steering column axis during insertion. When it's all the way in, twist it 90 to release the latch and pull on the airbag unit. This wasn't easy. You need a screwdriver with a small enough shaft to maneuver in the hole but a wide enough blade to disengage the latch when you twist it. I had to file one down.
8. Rotate the wheel 180 the other way and unlatch the other side.
9. Remove the airbag unit enough to access the connectors.
10. Disconnect the connector for the steering wheel controls.
11. Disconnect the two airbag connectors. You must pry up an orange locking mechanism to remove them. They look fragile at first, but they do come up.
12. With the airbag unit removed, turn the wheel to straight ahead.
13. Disconnect the connector from the clock spring.
14. Remove the center bolt. A 24mm or 15/16" socket works best.
15. Remove the wheel.

Replacement is mostly self-explanatory. The center bolt torque spec. is 48 N-m. Note the latching features at the front of the upper steering column shroud.
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