'01 Taurus air bag removal

ford
taurus

#1

I bought a pair of '01 Tauri with the B4 paint code this week. One has severe damage to the left front corner and roof, but has a good right side. It is not economically repairable. The other needs the right doors and front fender. Serendipity strikes again. I have already stripped most of the parts off of the donor car including the engine and transmission for which I also have good homes.



I have removed several air bags from various earlier Tauri, but can’t figure out how the steering wheel comes off of this one. Unlike the earlier models with their two 3/4" plugs, there is one approximately 2" X 3" flap on the dash side of the steering wheel, but I don’t see where it gains me access to remove the steering wheel and/or airbag which appear to be ALL ONE PIECE on this newer car. Is there a special tool or a trick to it?


#2

Pry off that panel on the back of the steering wheel with a thin screwdriver. Unplug the air bag and clock spring connectors. Look in the opening and you’ll see a pinion shaft holding the steering wheel to the column shaft. Turn the pinion shaft 120-130 revolutions. Remove steering wheel/air bag.

Tester


#3

Thanks Tester. I’ll look into it tomorrow although I’m not sure what a pinion shaft is. Pi?on pine yes, pinion shaft no.


#4

I decided to take the crude approach to this situation and simply remove the entire steering column. Worked like a champ. Now, if I find a need for a beige airbag system, I won’t have to mess with the clock spring or anything.