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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to disable the airbag on the passenger side of my '99 Plymouth Grand Voyager.
Can someone tell me how?

The dealership's service department will do it for a price, but I'd rather do it myself. I hate paying others to do things that I can do myself (unless it's just something that I despise).



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Chad Landry
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'68 El Camino, 357, L31 Vortec heads, 700R4, 3.55 posi.
 

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Chad,

Just some input,

Perhaps it would be better to have the dealership do it from a legal standpoint. If someone was hurt or killed and a hot-shot lawyer found out you were the one (I'm assuming your not Daimler-Chrysler factory trained tech), they could really go to town, regardless if the airbag was even involved. Often times the dealership also makes you sign a paper that makes sure you are fully aware the bag is off in the event of an accident.

Just some thoughts. Hope I didn't sound negative, that wasn't the intent.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You didn't seem negative, Joe.

I probably do though. I don't give a rat's ___ about the legality of getting some mediocre "factory trained technician" to put his hands on my car. I'm sure any of them could do it, but none of them could do it any better than I can. And I won't do it any "less properly" than they would. It's just a matter of getting the information.

I'm still ticked about the "factory certified" technicians that screwed up my 700R4. These guys have more certificates and awards on the wall than a lawyer for the ACLU, but if it isn't in the textbook, they don't understand it. It's like they understand how the parts fit together, but they don't understand the dynamics of how the things work. The absolute basics are lacking. The principles aren't there. Just the specifics. (I'll find out tomorrow morning if they fixed it right the second time).

I will only use the dealership if I can't get information any other way. I'll gut the entire wiring system to find it if I have to.

Sorry for the rant, but I've seen very few "factory trained technicians" in the past decade or two that have impressed me with their abilities.

Thanks for the friendly advice, Joe.

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My Web Page (updated 3-19-02)

"America will endure!"

Chad Landry
TC Member #643
ACES Member #04556
'68 El Camino, 357, L31 Vortec heads, 700R4, 3.55 posi.

[This message has been edited by cjlandry (edited 04-15-2002).]
 

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Typically, there is readily accessible plug to unplug, for if you were doing work on the dash (any instructions for working on the dash will probably start with "unplug the airbag").
According to the NHTSA, you can make a request for authorization to have an on/off switch put in, but there has to be a reason, and your VIN get's registerted as having the mod.

Also, I believe your 99 would has what is considered a 2nd generation airbag, where it doesn't inflate so hard and hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. I've been searching around a bit too. Still haven't found instructions on how to do it other than installing an expensive switch.

Gene, your NHTSA link was a real eye opener.

It gives me good reasons to not disable the thing.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Taken from NHTSA's airbag information brochure:However, the number of lives saved is not the whole story. Air bags are particularly effective in preventing life-threatening and debilitating head and chest injuries. A study of real-world crashes conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the combination of seat belts and air bags is 75 percent effective in preventing serious head injuries and 66 percent effective in preventing serious chest injuries. That means 75 of every 100 people who would have suffered a serious head injury in a crash, and 66 out of 100 people who would have suffered chest injuries, were spared that fate because they wore seat belts and had air bags.

For some people, these life saving and injury-preventing benefits come at the cost of a less severe injury caused by the air bag itself. Most air bag injuries are minor cuts, bruises, or abrasions and are far less serious than the skull fractures and brain injuries that air bags prevent. However, 87 people have been killed by air bags as of November 1, 1997. These deaths are tragic, but rare events -- there have been about 1,800,000 air bag deployments as of that same date.


The one fact that is common to all who died is NOT their height, weight, sex, or age. Rather, it is the fact that they were too close to the air bag when it started to deploy. For some, this occurred because they were sitting too close to the air bag. More often this occurred because they were not restrained by seat belts or child safety seats and were thrown forward during pre-crash braking.

The vast majority of people can avoid being too close and can minimize the risk of serious air bag injury by making simple changes in behavior. Shorter drivers can adjust their seating position. Front seat adult passengers can sit a safe distance from their air bag. Infants and children 12 and under should sit in the back seat. And everyone can buckle up. The limited number of people who may not be able to make these changes may benefit from having the opportunity to turn off their air bags when necessary.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know how accurate their statistics are, but they don't seem to represent insurance companies.

Of course, it's in the best interest of the people who manufacture and sell the on/off switches to sensationalize stories such as those that my wife and I have heard about the hazards of air bags.

Oh well, live and learn.

While I believe the air bag is a good thing, I still don't believe in laws telling me what I can do with the safety systems on my cars. Emissions laws I can understand because they affect the entire community. But if I want to jump off of a cliff, that's my business.

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Chad Landry
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'68 El Camino, 357, L31 Vortec heads, 700R4, 3.55 posi.
 

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Air bags are very expensive to have replaced after they've been inflated in an accident. If I owned a car with dual air bags, I'd definately install a switch to disable the passenger side bag when no passenger is in the seat. Some vehicles even come with factory shut off switches for the passenger side bag. The installation of a simple switch could save you up to $1500 replacing the air bag on the passenger side that went off in an accident, even though there was no passenger in the seat for it to protect.
As a supervisor of a large fleet of vehicles, I've seen the cost of having to replace two air bags exceed the cost of repairing the body damage sustained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now there's a good reason to have a disable switch.

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My Web Page (updated 3-19-02)

"America will endure!"

Chad Landry
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ACES Member #04556
'68 El Camino, 357, L31 Vortec heads, 700R4, 3.55 posi.
 

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You must be very careful when working with airbags. I worked in a chevy dealership for about 5 years and we did all go through a short training class for airbag, or airbag related work. I know what most people's perception of dealership mechanics are, but this is one case where it is not quite accurate. It is very easy to accidentally deploy and airbag, and not something I would reccomend. Static electricity can deploy an airbag in some cases. Also airbags can destroy a windshield if the steering wheel is not in the right position. Sorry, just had to defend the dealership mechanics there a little bit. Bottom line is, if you arent sure about EXACTLY what you are doing, do not learn by actually working on an airbag.
 

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Old Longboarder,

I believe that the only vehicles that come with a passenger side airbag shutoff switch are two-door pick-up trucks where there is no other seat to put rear facing child seats. On all other vehicles you are supposed to put the child seat in the rear and so you don't need to disable the pass airbag. I am not sure that this is true but that is the therory behind the OEM shut off switch.

As for shuting off any airbags I am a firm believer in airbags. I have seen many, many fatal auto accidents in the past 15 years in the fire service. And in the past 5 years the number of fatal accidents in my fire district have dropped significantly. Is this all airbags? No, but they have helped for sure. I have seen people walk away from some pretty spectacular crashes with minor bumps. I am sure that airbags have killed and injured some people since they came out, but with proper education of how to use vehicles with them the benifits far outweigh the risks.

Sorry, I don't want to preach but I try to learn from what I have seen and this is one thing that I am totally sold on.


R.J.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Old Longboarder:
R.J. I agree with you totally. But why have an air bag that deploys in an accident when no one is sitting in the passenger seat which will end up costing a lot of money to have repaired??<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of my newer cars has a "passenger seatbelt warning", to where if there is weight in the passenger seat (even as much as a gallon of milk), and the seatbelt is not fastened, a seperate warning light lights. Seems like this system would easily tie into the air bag circuit to prevent it from inflating when the seat is empty. Who knows...maybe it already does; I just hope I never find out.
 

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I would guess that this would be one of the next generations of airbags. Ones that will sense if their is a passenger in the seat before the airbag goes off.

By the way, this sucks if you are an emergency responder to an auto accident because every airbag that is in the vehicle that is not deployed you have to treat it as a loaded bomb. If an airbag deploys while you are working in a car it can be a very bad thing.
 
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