I’ve seen a couple of people asking about this so I thought I would post some instructions w/pics on air bag removal. I’ll also include the steps for steering wheel removal since we’re almost that far. If I leave anything out let me know.
1) Make sure wheels and steering wheel are pointed straight ahead.
2) Put on a pair of safety glasses just in case.
3) Disconnect the negative battery cable (both if it is a diesel) for at least 1 minute. I disconnected both negative & positive from both my batteries and let it sit for 10 min. because I don’t like things going boom in my face.
4) Remove fuse access panel and check for voltage at fuse panel. Not necessary, but see comment in note 2.
5) To the right of the under dash fuse panel there are 2 plugs next to each other (see pic) Unplug the black smaller plug to disconnect the drivers air bag. Disconnect the bigger gray plug that goes to the cruise buttons if you are pulling the wheel or need to check the wires for continuity.
6) Open & empty glove box. Squeeze the sides in gently past the stops so the glove box door opens to the floor. Look up and unplug the passenger air bag connector just for safety sake.
7) Locate and remove (pry out) the 2 plastic round covers on the back of the steering wheel.
8) Remove the 5/16 head bolt from behind each plug. If you look closely inside the hole there is also a torx head screw. No need to worry about this screw leave it alone. See blurry pic & 2<sup>nd</sup> pic
9) After removing these 2 bolts, gently lift the air bag off the steering wheel.
10) Disconnect the 2 wiring plugs off the back of the air bag and set the air bag in a safe location out of the way where it will not be bumped or disturbed.
Chris, any advice on how to test the airbag controller/sensors and clockspring? I'm doing a rebuild and need to replace driver's airbag (passenger side was turned off).
Do you know the clockspring is bad? It sits just under the steering wheel. Once the steering wheel is removed you can remove the clockspring and wiring harness for replacement. If you need more info let me know.
As far as replacment of the air bag the manual says this (condensed version)
Driver Air Bag Module <o></o>
WARNING: If replacing a deployed air bag module, always replace the air bag electronic crash sensor (ECS) module. <o></o>
WARNING: After deployment, the air bag surface can contain deposits of sodium hydroxide, a product of the gas generant combustion that is irritating to the skin. Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. <o></o>
WARNING: Never probe the connectors on the air bag module. Doing so can result in air bag deployment, which can result in personal injury. <o></o>
WARNING: Air bag modules with discolored or damaged trim covers must be replaced, not repainted. <o></o>
NOTE: Repair is made by replacement only. If a part is replaced and the new part does not correct the condition, install the original part and perform the diagnostic procedure again. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.<!--[endif]-->Prepare the vehicle for driver air bag module removal. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.<!--[endif]-->Remove the driver air bag module. See above<o></o>
Install the driver air bag module. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.Connect the horn electrical connector. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.<!--[endif]-->Connect the driver air bag module electrical connector. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.<!--[endif]-->Position the driver air bag module into the steering wheel. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.<!--[endif]-->Install the two bolts. <o></o>
<!--[if !supportLists]-->5.Install the two steering wheel back cover plugs. <o></o>
Restore the vehicle to operating condition. <o></o>
Prove Out Procedure
Turn the ignition switch from the OFF to the RUN position and visually monitor the air bag indicator with the air bag modules and safety belt pretensioners or restraint system diagnostic tools installed. The air bag indicator will light continuously for approximately six seconds and then turn off. If an air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) fault is present, the air bag indicator will either: <o></o><o></o><o></o><o></o>
The flashing might not occur until approximately 30 seconds after the ignition switch has been turned from the OFF to the RUN position. This is the time required for the restraints control module (RCM) to complete the testing of the SRS. If the air bag indicator is inoperative and an SRS fault exists, a chime will sound in a pattern of five sets of five beeps. If this occurs, the air bag indicator will need to be repaired before diagnosis can continue. <o></o>