The clockspring of your Mercury Cougar provides a steady electrical connection to the Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system, or airbag, and the horn even when the steering wheel turns. This allows the airbag a constant ability to deploy in the event of a collision. Replacing the clockspring may become necessary when the airbag light stays on or the horn fails to work properly.
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Things you need
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Torque wrench
- Steering wheel retaining bolt
Direct the wheels of your Mercury Cougar in the forward position and disconnect the positive battery cable. Remove the negative battery cable and allow the reserve power to the Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system to discharge for at least 1 minute before you replace the clockspring.
Disengage the supplemental power supply to the airbag of your Mercury Cougar. Turn the steering wheel one-quarter of the way around to access and remove one of the screws attaching the airbag to the steering wheel. Rotate the steering wheel halfway around to reach and remove the second screw. Remove the airbag unit from the face of the steering wheel.
Undo the wiring harness for the speed control on the steering wheel of your Mercury Cougar. Use a wrench to take out the bolt holding the steering wheel in place. Pull the steering wheel off of the steering column and bring the airbag wire harness through the opening in the steering wheel.
Access the clockspring and remove the screws holding it in place. Disconnect the electrical connections and remove the faulty clockspring from your Mercury Cougar. Replace the clockspring with a new unit and reconnect the electrical hookups before replacing the clockspring and screwing it into place.
Replace the steering wheel, being careful not to pinch the contact wire for the airbag. Hold the steering wheel in place with a new retaining bolt. Tighten the bolt to 37 foot pounds of torque with a torque wrench. Reconnect the wiring harness and connector assembly to the steering wheel and the airbag unit. Tighten the screws holding the airbag in place on your Mercury Cougar to between 8 and 10 foot pounds of torque.
Reinstate the backup power supply to the airbag and replace the battery cables. Reconnect the positive battery cable for your Mercury Cougar first, and then follow with the negative battery cable.