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The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

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  • 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
    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'.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      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 "

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      • #4
        RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

        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 ;)
        ~Andrew
        Atlanta Region SCCA
        D Prepared Miata

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        • #5
          RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

          Lose/Lose situation.

          Originally posted by miata5620
          Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

          Comment


          • #6
            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.
            DIYAutoTune.com

            | 10AE-T | BEGi S4 | GT2560r | Enthuza | 6UL | MS3Pro PNP|
            | 2001 Track Rat | Enthuza | Jenvey | MS3Pro PNP | Exocet in Progress|
            | 1992 323 | Wrong-wheel-drive Miata Endurance Racecar|

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            • #7
              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).

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              • #8
                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.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

                  Are the airbags really that bad kurt??

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

                      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.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

                          Holy hell! How did it do that?!

                          Originally posted by miata5620
                          Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              RE: The dread 96 NA Airbag control unit

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

                              Originally posted by miata5620
                              Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

                              Comment

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