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Thread: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

  1. #1
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    Default The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    A buddy of mine just bought a montego blue 96 NA. The airbag light is on solid. Research tells me that the only "fix" is to replace the airbag computer nestled under the dash.

    Best price I can find on a new computer unit for him is a bit over $400 (ouch). I'd thought about chasing a junkyard part, is there any way to test the unit? I'd hate to yank the whole dash out of his car only to install a bad part .

    Were it my car I'd likely fix it with a bit of black tape and a nice aftermarket steering wheel but this guy's wife is an insurance agent and is on him (aka me) to make the bags functional

  2. #2
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    How/why in the hell did he tell the agent this??

    Those modules are famous for going bad. You can score one now and then used but if it were me I'd disable the bags and tell my agent theyre 'fixed'.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  3. #3
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    "How/why in the hell did he tell the agent this?? "

    lol his agent happens to be his wife..

    I suggested disabling the bags & killing the light . His response

    " If I get in a wreck , survive and the bags dont fire she'll kill me "

  4. #4
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantri
    " If I get in a wreck , survive and the bags dont fire she'll kill me "
    HAHAHAHAHAHA if the wreck doesn't kill you, the wife will. Wow, that's ridiculous. I've had mine on solid for... months now. Apparently unplugging the unit causes that

  5. #5
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Lose/Lose situation.

  6. #6
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Since the ins agent knows, the unit should be replaced and the bags need to be functional. I'd recommend a new one. Make sure to order the newest version: N0Y4-57-K30
    Keep receipts for the part and labor.
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  7. #7
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    I had an airbag ling on in my 96, i took the bulb out of the gauge cluster and painted it black (if you take it out, it will buzz at you).

  8. #8
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Ahhh...I see.
    Perhaps a 'fix' including wiring the airbag light to cyle on and off??
    Either way, I would not repair the ****ty old airbag systems found in NAs. But thats me.
    I have never known them to help anyone, but know of numerous injuries caused by them...as well as $$$$ of damage often totalling the car when they blow in a fender bender.

    I guess for this poor fellow there is no way around spending $400.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  9. #9
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Are the airbags really that bad kurt??

  10. #10
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Yeah, they are that bad. If the pass. side goes it'll require replacement of the entire dashboard and windshield... even if no one was sitting there, big waste if you ask me. Not to mention if you are wearing your seatbelt properly, there is no reason you should come in contact with the damn things.

  11. #11
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Quote Originally Posted by MX5ATLanta.com
    Are the airbags really that bad kurt??

    You will get all different opinions on safety equipment on NAs.
    I have shared my own opinion, others may vary. :P

    I can tell you this, if you bang into someone at a stop light, a typical happening in ATL, and your airbags blow, they will likely hurt you...at least a little. Typical injuries include, burns, bruising, and/or cracked/broken bones. In addition, your car will be trashed by the ensuing explosions.

    My own opinion is that given the cheapass rather poorly engineered nature of early NA bag systems, the liabilities out weigh the positives. BUT, thats my opinion. Use your own discretion.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  12. #12
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    When mine went off, it blew out my back window too.... ripped the window and zipper clean off the top.

  13. #13
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Holy hell! How did it do that?!

  14. #14
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Well, you expand several cubic feet of air in a nearly airtight cabin and you'll find the weakest link of where air wants to escape.

  15. #15
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Ah, yeah, that makes sense... Should have added that you had the windows up. lol

  16. #16
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Yeah, minor detail.

  17. #17
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantri
    "How/why in the hell did he tell the agent this?? "

    lol his agent happens to be his wife..

    I suggested disabling the bags & killing the light . His response

    " If I get in a wreck , survive and the bags dont fire she'll kill me "

    get the computer out... get it down this way.. ill redo all its contacts and check for any bad chips. if i cant fix it its free if i can $20 for my time is all i ask

    mazda is notorious for using no rahsin core on the chip bordes and that meens no silicone overcoat to prevent corrosion.

    my friend had the same thing happen woth his full display on his FC we redid all the contacts and EVERYTHING INCLUDING CLOCK DISPLAY poped rite on when we plugged it in.

  18. #18
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    the airbag module suffers from component failure, namely a capacitor leaks and spills its guts on the board. the cap is replaceable before it splits, but once it's failed, it's too late to repair the module. 10 blinks of death, as it's called, as the diag light will flash a code 10. (or some will stay solid)
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  19. #19
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    come on theres tons of parts guys on here... someone has to have one! if i didn't have 93 id give you mine.

    i prefer the feeling of blunt force trama over factory talcum powder shoved in every hole in my face... besides... looking at the wheel ........***** has gotta go...

  20. #20
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    Default RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

    The 96 is known for this...that piece is fairly high demand. I have sold a few of those but have nothing for it. I do have the module for an NB though...looks the same but I dont think its compatible.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

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