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Clock Spring - Cruise Control


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January 13, 2014
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 X AWD EB 5L
2001 Ex v8 stock...
The cruise control buttons have been replaced. The cruise light on the dash keeps blinking and the coast button honks the horn, cruise will not set. I've taken apart the steering wheel a couple times with no luck. It seems like the wiring in the steering wheel is good. Is it possible the clock spring is damaged?

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The odd electrical symptoms do suggest the clock spring. Has the steering shaft been disconnected for some reason since the cruise worked last? The clock spring is very fragile, but it usually only breaks when the column is apart in some way, and someone turns the wheel(CS) too far.

Pretty sure the clockspring isn't why the coast button operates the horn. The horn wire comes out of the clockspring wiring by itself. It is possible to plug the ribbon wire into the cruise buttons the wrong way. A messed up clockspring most likely means broken wires.

All of the steering wheel wires go through the clock spring, any broken wires may cross and touch others. It's not likely to connect wires wrong in the wheel or below in the steering column. Possible for sure, but besides work done in the area, I'd guess the clock spring has been spun too far in the past.

Look at wiring below for issues of course, taking the wheel off is a bigger deal for most people.

This may sound weird, but it actually may be a in line fuse on the master cylinder. There was a recall from Ford on this year's ago. My 99 explorer and f250 both suffer from this. The f250 was fixed once and everything worked again for a while, but it all stopped again. I've just delt with it as I don't drive far enough or tow to worry about cruise. A horn would be nice to have again though.

I'll read through those sws... Thanks. Horn works normal. I don't think the cruise worked since I bought it. I thought maybe the wires to the buttons were reversed, but that is near impossible to do, there just is not much slack in there.

If/when you buy a new clockspring, be sure you get one for an Explorer with cruise control. The listings can be very confusing and misleading. The clockspring is different depending on whether you have cruise or not.

If you try to find one in the salvage yard, stay away from any vehicle with an airbag that's been deployed. Airbag deployment destroys the clockspring.

Any tips on testing it? From my understanding the buttons have different resistances so that you can have multiple switches / buttons on a few wires.

Check the post on this thread, it sounds like it may have been wired up incorrectly when the cruise buttons were replaced. How to replace cruise control buttons (w/ pics)

I got switches with harness from Amazon for a really good price. I tried just using the switches and the existing harness, and my horn went off continuously. Turns out the horn and cruise control are on the same circuit, and my new switches were reverse polarity from the original ones. It really isn't that hard to switch out the harness, so I recommend testing the hookup before you install.

There are three clock springs for the 95-01's, without cruise, and with AC/radio controls or not. The two spoke wheels have the AC and radio controls, the four spoke wheels can only have cruise.

The fuses and wire checks out good, but the SCDS is shorted even when the brakes are pressed. No change in the resistance no matter how much the brake is pressed. With the recall wire disconnected the cruise still does not work, but the coast button no longer honks the horn. It looks like i'm going start by replacing the SCDS.

Just throwing this out here. one heck of a coincidence but I was on Amazon last night looking at these after market switches. Looking at the reviews some of the cheaper ones had a lot of complaints describing exactly what you are having, press the button and horn sounds. I believe that in some cases when they were sent a replacement the new one worked fine. If you haven't done it already, you might want to go back and look at the reviews for the item that you bought before you start replacing parts, you might have just got a bad one.

One quick question, the recall poste here say for a 96 explorer (I didn't read it) from the parts pages that I looked at the cruise control buttons changed in the late 97 model year so is that recall is applicable to your 2001.

I hope to be putting in one myself in the next week on my 98.

Well with the SCDS resistance not changing when the brake is pressed, I'm starting there. The buttons were replaced by the dealer before I bought it. The recall must be applicable to the 2001 years, It's on my Ex. Side bar... Both Amazon and Rock Auto have the "upgrade" a new sensor and wiring harness that seem to have the fuses.

The recall involved multiple years. When I had my '01 Sport Trac at the dealership for an unrelated issue 2 or 3 years ago, they replaced the switch on the master cylinder due to the recall.

Resurrecting this thread for some help. I replaced the pressure switch on the master cylinder, the horn no longer honks when coast is pressed. Cruise still does not work, it will not enter self test. I found this thread with some good troubleshooting:
Speed control issues
There is no voltage at the servo, which indicates the brake switch.
On post 17 there's troubleshooting for the brake switch. I have continuity from the servo to the brake switch and the switch has a good ground connection. When I push on the brake the switch opens to ground and the brake lights work.

Is there more than one brake switch? If only 1, is the wiring to activate the lights separate from the wiring to deactivate the cruise?

Any advice or wiring diagrams you can share is appreciated.

Anyone have the part number for the Clockspring part number for cruise and audio control?