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Old 01-15-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
junker
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Default Passenger side airbag disable

My family is growing and the old SW2 won't fit 3 kids in the back with carseats. My wife's 2000 Windstar van is the most unreliable thing in the world so we always had the saturn as a backup. Well, I've always heard you shouldn't put munchkins in the front seat with an airbag. What are your opinions? Can I disable the passenger side airbag? Or put in a switch? How have others addressed this issue?

The saturn uses about half the gas so I would like her to be able to use the Saturn now and then for long hauls and when I have her Windstar up on jackstands (which is often).

Here in Maine kids under 80lbs and under 8 years old must be in a carseat.

Thanks!

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Old 01-15-2008, 12:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

id put the oldest one in front with a regular car seat and have the seat as far back as possible. thats also what it says in the owners manual. the main thing is you dont want them to be bear the bag when it goes off. stay way way back. your cAR also has only lower speed airbags not capable of the fastest deployment. ....next generation airbags....

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

Junker, please make it a habit to mention the year as well as the model. I had to go digging through several of your old posts to find it. You do this a lot. You have a '95 and it does have the fast deploying air bags.

To disable the passenger side air bag, remove the instrument panel top cover. There are two screws in the middle that have to be removed. Then several clips along the front that you have to pop out. Do this slow and careful or you'll break one or more off. Once you have it loose. Lift it up and pull back. Try not to mess up the vin number tag too much. Pull back the insulation on the passenger side and you'll see a yellow connector. Take that loose and the air bag will be disabled. I can't say whether this will set the air bag light.

You might want to look at richpin's video of pulling the instrument cluster to see how to pull that panel. He's richpin6a on youtube.

...
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

You can unplug the air bag, which will cause a warning light or pull the fuse, but both airbags wont work then. Or you can buy a passenger side air bag disable switch from Saturn. I can look up the part number when I get home. Im sure its pretty expensive though.

I'd just unplug it and live with the light. At least its reminding you its unplugged.

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
You have a '95 and it does have the fast deploying air bags.
(Emphasis added to denote that BarnOwl's post supersedes the previous post to the contrary.)

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

only problem with that is that if you have another passenger and get into an accident its a lawsuit waiting to happen. if you really need to disable it do it with a switch that is available with an approval. and dont everyone jump on me for saying this its the truth. also even back in 95 i think most belts were made to work with airbags and may not stop you without it. they have different methods including break away stitches or belts that stretch to take some of the impact of off passenger.

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

I thought the warnings were for "rear facing" child seats. A properly belted child in a front facing booster should be as safe as an adult *in the same seat*. Rear seats will always be safer for most *properly belted* passengers in a front end collision.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

I hate giving advice for things like this because nobody accepts personal responsibility for their actions anymore, but here's what I would do. That means ME, not YOU. If you do this you do so against my advice, which could result in injury, death, or at the very least, decreased social status or a wife who doesn't find you attactive anymore.

Personally, I would find out what the internal resistance of the Saturn airbag simulator is (the airbag simulator is a tool used to diagnose airbag systems without playing with actual airbags). I would then obtain a resistor of a similar value and a DPDT switch, then make up a circuit in which with the switch is used to switch between the resistor or the airbag. In one position the passenger airbag is connected to the SDM and everything functions as normal. With the switch in the other postion the resistor is connected to the SDM, which tricks it into thinking the passenger airbag is still there, which results in the other airbag still functioning normally.

Actually, truthfully, I'd make up a module that does all this, but must be reset every ignition cycle, so that it defaults to "normal" mode and must be manually set to "passenger airbag off" each time the car is started. A light would be added to the cluster to remind me that the airbag is on, so that I would remember to turn it off if my kid was in the passenger seat.

...but that's just me...

...
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

And I'd unplug it and tell anyone that didn't want to ride without the air bag to sit in the back.

...
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Passenger side airbag disable

that will work but have it in writing

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