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Checking Air bag Status

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by CDN_Cruiser, May 14, 2003.

  1. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    I've been following the air bag talk in one of the other posts and I have a related question.

    I've recently found out that my lovely truck was in a rather severe accident in a previous life :( (don't ask) and now I'm a bit worried that the bags would have blown and, potentially, not been replaced (wasn't there some TV show on this).

    Is there any way to check both the DS and PS without a full disassembly?

    C-Dan, what does a OEM repack cost (is that what they do, or is it a full replacement)?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  2. yomama

    yomama

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    CDN,

    If you are using an ARB bullbar on the front, ARB recommends that the airbags are disconnected. Mine are. The reason being is that the original bumper can give a little absorbing some shock and not causing the airbag to blow, however a ARB does not absorb, so if you hit a post say at 5 mph with regular bumper, no problem, but if you hit it with an ARB....you would most likely blow the bag.

    Yomama
     
  3. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Hugh,

     Airbags are a one time use item. Once deployed, the bags  AND the sensors MUST be replaced. Do you have access to the body shop repair bill, or know who the shop was? If you can find out, you can see what was invoiced...........

       Regards, Dan
     
     Interesting foot note:
      Toyota absolutely does not endorse the installation of ANY type of different bumper, winch, push bar, grille guard, Photoman chainlink gate, ETC, on ANY airbag equipped vehicle.
    In addition, disabling of the airbags, without specific permission from NHTSA to do so, is a no no.......................
     
  4. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Dan:

    Thanks, for the very helpful info.

    Unfortunately, I don't I just found out about this. :slap: given that I thought this was a Canadian-based truck and that you can't do vin searches for these I neglegted to do one. My dealer then told me that it was a US truck and I ran a search and found out the latest info. The dealer body guy thinks the hood and panels above the wheels were replaced.

    Is there any way to test the sensors, etc (visually or using a meter)? I don't have an ARB and one of the (big) reasons I got the truck was safety, I'm nervous that some guy has just stuffed a garbage bag into the airbag location!

    You thoughts and advice are appreciated.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  5. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Hugh,

    &nbsp:Do you have an FSM? There is an extensive diagnostic section in the book. Does your airbag light come on with the key on and engine off? It would be difficult to "trick" the on-board diagnostics to get the dash light to illuminate in that postion and then go out after engine start-up. It is very possible to have somewhat extensive sheet metal damage up front and NOT trigger the bags. The trigger parameters must be met to fire the bags. It must be frontal or mostly frontal, the vehicle inital speed needs to be above about 30MPH(IIRC) and a specific "deceleration" force must be detected. If you spank the nose of an 80 at 15MPH it'll get pretty bent up and the airbags will not deploy...........

    &nbsp:Dan
     
  6. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr SILVER Star

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    Speaking of Photoman, what exactly was that fence used for? Last time I saw it was in pics from an Alaska trip... I'm always up for true purposeful mods that make people look at you weird...

    -H-
     
  7. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    I thought Photoman's bumper was something he did with Photoshop - not real surely??

    Back to the Airbag topic - my TJM also says do not use with airbags. So what's to be done? Are TJM and ARB just covering themselves against a law suit? If Toyota won't let me disable the airbags and TJM won't let me keep the bumper, what should I do? (I'm not taking the bumper off - that's for sure)

    :beer:Jim
     
  8. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    C-Dan:

    I do have a FSM and this is a Canadian long weekend, so I will get a chance to have a look at it this weekend. I'll have to check to see if the air bag light comes on during start-up (I knows it's not on when running). I'll try and run the diagnostic but I do know that this is a seriously dangerous piece of equipment.

    There was an accident in Toronto within the last year with a three car pile-up, the woman in the middle car undid her seatbelt and was about to get out of her car when the bag triggered and killed her (initially people though she was killed by not wearing her seat belt).

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  9. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Jim,

    Um, don't hit anything?............. :dunno:

    I'm sure the disclaimers are intended to give the bumper maufacturers
    some form of defilade form potential lawsuits resulting from a collision involving an airbag equipped vehicle sporting one of those bumpers and where the airbags do not behave as designed..................

    Dan
     
  10. yomama

    yomama

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    CDN,

    I think (I am no lawyer) but what this all boils down to is. The bumper companies covering their butts and Toyota or whoever covering theirs. The bumper companies don't want you to use with airbags, because it will change the impact velocity required to set it off. Toyota doesn't want a lawsuit because their bag didn't deploy, BUT I don't think there is any law saying that you may not disconnect your airbag, heck allot of vehicles have a switch to turn off the passenger one. But I am sure you CANNOT sell your vehicle to someone and not tell them or have them sign something saying they know the airbag has been disconnected which may have been your case.

    Yomama

    Anyway I would disconnect yours if it isn't already since you are keeping the bumper.
     
  11. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    If anybody is interested in learning more about airbags, check this out: www.nhtsa.dot.gov


    &nbsp:Dan
     
  12. tiorio

    tiorio

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    Wasn't there a pretty long airbag thread on SOR last year?

    Here's my question: the airbag sensor(s) are not connected to the bumper and are really inertia devices, no? So what changes with the ARB is that there is less 'give' when you hit an object. We call them 'crumple zones' now, where in this case the bumper deforms to absorb a portion of the impact.

    Now a fair number of you have removed your front bumper to put something else on. That bumper will probably 'absorb' it's max. in up to a 15 mph crash against an imovable. Anything above 5 is going to start damaging a bunch of other stuff as well (which makes your grill, radiator, hood, engine, etc. into a 'crumple zone') or the frame rails are going to hit said immovable object and you stop real quick.

    The ARB and others bolt right on up to those frame rails so when you hit the immovable object, the 'crumple zone' of sorts that is the front of your truck no longer exists.

    Now I can't remember at what speed impact with an immovable object the airbags are supposed to deploy but lets say it's 15mph (it doesn't really matter too much here).

    <15mph impact with immovable:

    Stock - fair amount of expensive damage, no airbag deployment, minimal impact (relatively) on occupants
    ARB - negligable damage to bull bar, poss. airbag deployment, moderate impact on occupants (less car absorbing the kinetic energy of the vehicle through deformation over time, more sudden and powerful impact on occupants)

    >15mph impact with immovable:

    Stock - significant damage to front, airbag deployment, moderate impact on occupants
    ARB - moderate damage to front (as long as frame is not bent of course / high-speed), airbag deployment, significant impact on occupants.

    It's the same reason that although the old American cars can really come out of a crash with something newer looking a lot better and with a lot less damage, the occupants in the newer car have fewer injuries (by a surprisingly large margin). When you put a bull-bar on the front, you reduce the amount of impact the car itself will absorb which loosely (but definately) translates into a greater 'impact' on the passengers.

    The purpose then of the bull bar is to protect damage to your vehicle at the expense of passenger safety IN A CRASH WITH AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT.

    Where it gets even more gray is when you hit another car (same mass as LC). Two crumpling masses are better than one but if your bull-bar hits their crumple-zone then their vehicle has to absorb twice the energy (this is obviuosly over-simplistic but it gives a decent idea). If you hit something with significantly less mass than the LC (deer or Jeep ;) for example) then the bull-bar prevents damage to your vehicle with most damage being done to Bambi's mom and not your truck.

    Geez, if your still awake...

    The net result of all this is that the bull-bar may make the airbags go off at a slower speed impact than stock HOWEVER (and this is a BIG however) the airbags will still go off at the same 'impact point' or change in inertia as they did before! The airbag isn't related to the speed directly, think of it as being related to the amount of impact on the occupants! With the bull-bar, the occupants are more affected and when they are, the air-bag will go off as it would with stock.

    It's not some touchy little magic box that's going to go off every time you parallel park (if you park like I do that is) but bull-bar or not, when the sensor reaches a threshold where the airbags shold be deployed for passanger safety, they will.

    Anyway, I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but I leave 'em on with my ARB. If I hit something hard enough that they should go off, I want them to go off (trail or no trail - just be sure you know how to get the truck rolling again!)...
     
  13. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Todd:

    I tend to agree with your post. I completely understand why both the truck manufacturer and the 'bumper maker' have seemingly conflicting points.

    If I understand your post correctly, people in a less severe (defined by MPH) crash with an ARB-type bumper may have air bag deployment as they are subject to deceleration forces that are the same as those with a stock bumper in a more severe crash. Conversely, the 'OEM system' (bumper, crumple zones, etc) can absorb more energy in a crash and therefore subjects the occupants to less decelleration. I completely agree.

    For the most part (ie excluding small children in the front), I don't really understand why people don't have the airbags 'live' in their vehicles. Maybe you end up with a black eye from deployment in a slow speed crash (and you may have a pucker mark on your seat), but so what (my story above is hopefully the exception)? If you have 'the big one', it would be nice to have the bags. And, if the forces are strong enough to trigger deployment, you probably need the bag as well. To me it has always seemed like the arguments that seatbelts can be dangerous (yes, they can be at times, but just not the vast majority of times)

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Agreed,

    The probable outcome of a modified bumper 80 would be deployment of the bags "before" they normally would as opposed to "too late".........Ya pays yer money and takes yer pick.................. :dunno:
     
  15. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Todd,

    I didn't fall asleep and your post was very thought provoking. It's unlikely we'll ever know 100% for sure but your following summary is what I choose to believe and you gave rational analysis to back up this statement:

    >> It's not some touchy little magic box that's going to go off every time you parallel park ... but bull-bar or not, when the sensor reaches a threshold where the airbags shold be deployed for passanger safety, they will. <<

    Regarding children in the front, my son is 11 and he rides 2nd row, belted in at all times. Very, very seldom is he allowed to unbuckle. On rare occassions he has been allowed to ride in the PS and then only recently.

    My search for a Cruiser was limited to those with air bags due to safety concerns. Another mudder (Davidfj...) will confirm that the "big one" comes from nowhere when you least expect it. There's no time to enable the air bags and ask everyone to buckle up.

    So, if any of you that are reading this thread are giving the slightest thought to disabling your SRS; please do not do it. You will want every possible safety device including the HD bull-bar bumper, the air bags, and the mass of your Cruiser if and when you are involved in the "big one."

    -B-
    (Off soapbox for now)
     
  16. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    ANy crash that I'm going fast enough to discharge the airbags is fast enough that I want them to discharge.

    On the first topic- if your bags went off and weren't replaced, you would know it. There would be a giant hole in your steering wheel. Unless you have a big patch of duct tape in the middle of your wheel. Then you should be suspicious. :D
     
  17. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    To clear the air on the "fence" mod. I did this in 1997 to protect the lights and windshield from stones on a few roads up North. Many people that run these roads have some variation of this but theirs are not as beautiful as mine. As you can see it is PVC pipe and hardware cloth. Some folks put some 2x2's on their windshields, put hardware cloth on, and run a couple of those cheap ratchet binders around the A pillers through the interior to hold it in place. There are really only about 3 major highways that are all stone chips. Even wearing my protection I have gotten a busted windshield every year so now I don't even bother. Not all photos are altered with Photoshop. Sometimes a cigar is really a cigar.
    Bill