In-Production Custom Clocksprings
In case you’re unfamiliar with clocksprings, their main purpose is to transfer power and signal to the steering wheel or handlebars. That means heat, horn, and any other accessories that move when you steer depend on the clockspring to function. The critical role that the clockspring plays as opposed to a normal wire or plug is that it lets you turn the wheel without losing power.
We were approached by a client that was having problems with the clocksprings on their vehicle. They were constantly breaking down because they were cheaply made. Our competitor’s clockspring had two major issues. First of all, they squeaked and secondly, they weren’t tolerant of foul weather. It was clear to us that the clocksprings were designed to be used with a vehicle with a closed, controlled interior. Our client’s vehicle had an open interior.
Needless to say, they needed a custom solution. Issue was that they couldn’t find anyone else who could do custom clocksprings at the high volume they needed. Until they found us. To suit their needs we designed and manufactured an entirely unique clockspring capable of sending signals from the engine to the steering wheel. We solved the squeaking problem by using self-lubricating plastic and built the clockspring up to our high Minnesotan standards of handling the weather.
Here are the results.
- Went into production December of 2019
- Make 15,000 custom clocksprings a year for one client
- Our in-production clocksprings are custom made with vehicle-specific features
- We’ve never had a warranty claim.
Not only have we been manufacturing custom clocksprings, but we have also created entirely new clockspring concepts that we’ve patented. We developed our unique clocksprings to address issues we see in our industry. And we’ve seen a lot in our industry.
Our Infinitely Rotating Marine Clockspring
No one has a marine clockspring like we do. We know because we developed one entirely on our own and patented it. Traditional clocksprings have a ribbon wheel that gets wound around the steering wheel shaft and then unwound. The issue with this design for boats is that sometimes boat wheels can turn infinitely. Other steering wheels can’t do that so there’s no issue. We only saw one solution. Make a clockspring that was infinitely rotatable.
And so we did just that.
Here’s roughly how it works: We have an upsidedown T-shaped part that goes on the steering wheel shaft. Then we have a slipring on the shaft with copper bands and springloaded carbon brushes that make contact with the bands and give it power. The beauty of these carbon brushes is that they’re actually self-lubricating. Instead of wearing out by making contact with the copper bands, they function even better once the clockspring is worn in.
The carbon brushes are mounted on the T and make contact with the copper bands on the steering wheel shaft to connect power. No wires are needed to get power to the wheel. The result is a steering wheel that can rotate infinitely without losing power.
- Infinitely rotatable clockspring.
- Patented design.
Our Sealed, Submergible Clockspring
Just like we innovated with the marine clockspring, we’re doing it again with the sealed clockspring. If you get your ATV stuck in a pond you probably want your handlebar accessories to still work. The sealed clockspring makes sure that happens.
Right now, you can see gaps in typical atv clocksprings. Mud and water and sand will get in there and destroy it. That means that it’s vulnerable to the elements. We have higher standards. Making it sealed would make sure that even if you submerge your ATV in the pond, your clockspring won’t fail. Getting it to be completely sealed and airtioght isn’t as simple as caulking the gaps closed though. We made sure that every aspect is sealed. That includes the way that it mates into the steering wheel, the steering column and every conceivable nook and cranny within the entire mechanism.
The result is a clockspring that you can submerge in water, sand, and mud for days and nothing will get through. You can even turn it while submerged and it will still hold up. How do we know this? We tested it. We submerged our clockspring into a slurry of mud and water and rotated it 120,000 times. By hand. It was a great forearm workout.