SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement
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Thread: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    February 11th, 2019
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    SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    I bought my 97 P38 4.6 HSE back in January with the SRS light on hoping it would be an easy fix. After a few months I was took the car into an independent garage and had their Autologic to find the fault, it appears to be the rotary coupler according to him and he quoted me £140 for the pleasure for replacing the coupler.

    As I was already spending £250 on getting the heater matrix o rings replaced, I thought I would attempt to replace the rotary coupler myself with a £18 second hand one from a breaker. I have the RAVE and I think I understand the process but have a few questions about it that I am sure someone on here can clarify.

    1. When disconnecting the battery, do I need to follow the 17 second ignition key procedure to stop the alarm going off? I haven't been able to find information about the 'back up battery' noted in the workshop manaual from 96 models onwards and if it is fitted to my car.
    2. How can I move the steering wheel to get to the 4 torx screws without moving the wheels? Am I misunderstanding the instructions?
    3. Once put back together, will I need to take it to the independent garage to get the fault code cleared? Only reason I need this done is to get it through an early MOT.


    First time I have needed to do this to car so wanted to have some extra information before disconnecting the steering wheel and taking apart the steering wheel.

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  3. #2
    FORUM MODERATOR RRToadHall's Avatar
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    By now the battery back up for alarm sounder is long dead. remove negative first

    Download RAVE and follow the directions

    remove the airbag from to steering wheel disconnect the harness from the back of the make sure the front wheels are pointing exactly forward make sure the wheels or brake disks are pointing forward on the rig you are removing the rotary coupler from.
    When dealing with yourself, act with your brain
    When dealing others, act with your heart.

  4. #3
    JUNIOR ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by woolyfox View Post
    As I was already spending £250 on getting the heater matrix o rings replaced
    You were ripped off. Done heater core O rings on two cars this afternoon, an hour each maximum.
    96 4.6HSE
    98 4.0 Police spec
    and a number of others I maintain for the owners.

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  6. #4
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    My SRS light was on too when I got mine, hadn't been running for 8 years, reset the fault with a nanocom, and the light was out.
    The guy who did the roadworthy test didn't want to do it because the SRS light on could be very expensive to fix... Turned out to be a flat attecn1`r\y what caused it.b

  7. #5
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_G View Post
    You were ripped off. Done heater core O rings on two cars this afternoon, an hour each maximum.
    I assume you cut a hole in the center console behind the covers to gain access? That's something a shop will not do..

  8. #6
    SENIOR ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhoud View Post
    I assume you cut a hole in the center console behind the covers to gain access? That's something a shop will not do..
    there is no need to destroy interior by cutting holes in order to replace/renew heater core O rings, I outlined the procedure on a different post.
    2k p38 4.6
    95 lwb 4.6
    01 d2 4.0

  9. #7
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by 95classiclwb View Post
    there is no need to destroy interior by cutting holes in order to replace/renew heater core O rings, I outlined the procedure on a different post.
    LHD probably not, RHD you do..

  10. #8
    JUNIOR ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    I can't see there would be any difference in the relative positions of the radio, HEVAC and O ring screw on LHD or RHD but I tried once going in through the hole left after the radio and HEVAC had been removed and you can't quite get the screwdriver perpendicular to the screw. Far greater risk of rounding it off so it's much easier to cut a small diamond shaped hole in the side plastic. It's all going to be covered up by the console side trims anyway and, if it really worried someone, there's nothing to stop you glueing the bit you cut out back into the hole. A main dealer wouldn't do it that way but an owner or even an Indie would.
    96 4.6HSE
    98 4.0 Police spec
    and a number of others I maintain for the owners.

  11. #9
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    I agree with RichardG that you cannot get a straight shot at the screw without making a cut. Had to do this to drill off the head when I did my O rings.

  12. #10
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    I cut the hole too on my RHD 2001 car. not sure if there would have been another way without taking out the center console. It worked fine and took me about 2 hours, after I had to redo it because the first time I did not have the pipes with the O rings pushed into the heater core far enough.. make that mistake only once It helped that my car is amazingly clean behind the panels and the screw came loose nicely. no corrosion or wearing issues there. Must be a Japan climate thing..

  13. #11
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: SRS Rotary Coupler Replacement

    In reply to the O ring replacement, it was easier for me to get a specialist to do this job as I plan on doing a multitude of other faults myself and this one seemed to tricky for me as the first attempt on this car.

    Back on topic, I finally got the steering wheel off and replaced the coupling. Steering took awhile to wiggle out following a very good guide on Youtube for a discovery 2 steering wheel removal. I did however loose one of the six screws that secure the underside of the steering column trim, those small gold screws, somehow bounced under the driver's seat...

    I am glad to say first turn of the ignition the SRS light turned off and stayed off! Has stayed that way as well, I was quoted £140 by the local garage for just the part! My £18 eBay part was a real cost saving.

    Thank you all for the tips and clarifying some of the process for me. Time to do the next job, replace the driver's window regulator...

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