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  #1  
Old 06-08-2009, 05:33 PM
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Steering wheel ribbon cable ...what??

So my steering wheel control buttons sometimes worked, other times...not so much. I figured, well.... there has got to be a poor connection in there somewhere....I suspected the slip ring, as it enables a connection between the buttons on the wheel and the car.

I have taken the wheel off before to fix a squeak, but then I didn't remove the slip ring....
So as soon as I pup it off, a freakin' ribbon cable jumps out, like a spring that slips loose and unwinds....
I knew of its existance, but I always thought that it is twisted up in a casing somehow and you don't really have to mess with it. Not in my steering wheel! ( 3 spike sports)
So there I am, winding it back, forward, sideways, don't really know what I'm doing....it's not winding the right way, always leaving one or two of the cables longer or turned. Also I didn't want to put it back the wrong way, turn my wheel while driving and snap it on half.
......And there is absolutely 0 info on this anywhere to be found.
2 hours later I figured it out and just wanted to post this, so that if someone has a problem like that can DIY it or contact me for help.

Here's how it goes: (I could not take the 2nd pic, as both of my hands were taken holding and twisting the cable.

1. Straighten the ribbon out completely, so all cables are untangled and paralel to each other, running from the steering column to the slip ring.

2. You can only wind it one direction on the column and only one direction on the slip ring, because the way the ribbon lays.

3. Since this enables your connection for the steering wheel when you turn it right and left, one assumes the ribbon must have even lenght wound on the slip ring and the same lenght on the column, otherwise it will snap as you make a turn, or worse.....it will not let you turn at all in one of the directions, so you will have to take wide detours going places and stuck with only a right or left turning X5.

4. When you have the same turns or lenght on both, the ring and the column, the last loop you make, will overloop in the oposite direction.

5. It takes approximately 14 fingers to hold the whole thing together, as you pup the slip ring back in. I only had 10 today and did it in 3 min. after figuring out the logic behind this crap.

PS. The slip ring connector was broken and all loose, so I did find the original problem. Now I will have to get a new one and do it all over again. Sweet.
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2009, 09:38 PM
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you have to have that ribbon very loose so it can turn 3 times freely. its a pain in the ass, i did it to my honda once
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:03 PM
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You need a new "clock spring". Expect to spend something like $100 but your controls should start functioning again.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:48 PM
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Informative post, thanks.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulu95 View Post
You need a new "clock spring". Expect to spend something like $100 but your controls should start functioning again.

Hey, isn't a clock spring supposed to have the spring part in the clock? like enclosed? Mine isn't .. I think it's home-made. Well, will see what the new one looks like then. Heading to dealer tomorrow.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:12 PM
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At least when you get the new one you should never have to wind it again! It comes together and centered. AJust swap it out with the untangled one and you're done.

Kudos for rewinding that thing though, I've had customers give up and cut the cable to be able to drive it in for a new one.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
At least when you get the new one you should never have to wind it again! It comes together and centered. AJust swap it out with the untangled one and you're done.

Kudos for rewinding that thing though, I've had customers give up and cut the cable to be able to drive it in for a new one.

Oh, I was not going to let the freaking cable get me. I think I used every curse word I knew and even came up with some new ones.
Thanks guys! It looks like it's going to be easy to swap it for a new one.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTRIGA View Post
Heading to dealer tomorrow.
i have one (used) sitting in my garage seen i swapped out to new one for my SMG wheel.Let me know i can have it next day to you for your need
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:15 AM
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Wow! now that is a scary sight... I think I would have just got a new one from jump and not even tried to figure it out but thanks for the info.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbmwx5 View Post
i have one (used) sitting in my garage seen i swapped out to new one for my SMG wheel.Let me know i can have it next day to you for your need

Tom, I saw your reply a bit too late. Apreciate the attemt to help out though. I got the new part from a dealer...$120 put it together, 5 min later all works great. I know you would have given me a better deal, oh well. Now I hope the airbag lite goes away after driving it for a while.

Last edited by ARTRIGA; 06-09-2009 at 02:36 PM.
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