Is it possible to over-turn your steering wheel? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Is it possible to over-turn your steering wheel?


Well-Known Member
November 30, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Edgewater, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer 5.0
Hey guys,
Quick question-- I was replacing my exhaust manifolds this past weekend, and in order to get to the driver's side bolts, I had to remove my intermediate steering shaft from the firewall to the steering box. (I have a SAS'd explorer, so custom shaft and frame mounted steering box). During this, I had to roll the truck into/out of the garage several times and may have inadvertently spun the steering wheel a time or two..

Fast forward to putting everything back together-- as I'm trying to align the intermediate shaft to the steering wheel shaft, I have to spin the wheel and I recall hearing some crunching from inside of the steering column (like plastic parts crunching). Then I was backing out of the driveway and as I turn the wheel, the horn started beeping on its own like I may have put too much force on the steering shaft when I connected it. I was able to take the airbag off of the steering wheel and retighten it alittle bit more outwards so as to not put pressure on it when turning the wheel. This solved the horn issue but now my interior lights don't want to come on. Exterior lights still work.

It's not a fuse because for a split second when I turn the headlight switch from OFF to parking lights, the interior lights around the radio bezel flicker on, then off. The lights behind the dash and on the steering wheel do not flash at all though.

Basically, I'm wondering if i over-spun the steering wheel at some point and ripped something inside of the steering column? Does the clock spring have a limited amount of rotation before it starts ripping wires?

I suspect you broke your clock spring, yes if you turn it too far with the shaft disconnected the clockspring will break.

Thanks Massacre, that's exactly what I was looking for! If I go grab one from the junkyard, is there any way to tell when the clockspring is centered? I suppose I could center it prior to removing it from the truck, and mark it..

Not sure as I have only installed new ones but if you center it and mark it with a sharpie you should be fine I would think