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550 steering wheel airbag bubbles... any fixes other than replacing it?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by mbyormark, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    Hi everyone,
    I'm slowly working my car toward perfection, but the one thing I can't put off is the airbag, those damn bubbles are taunting me!

    Does anyone have any tips for eliminating the bubbles without completely replacing the airbag (and without risking the airbag not deploying in a collision [knocks on wood])?

    I was thinking about getting some painters tape, laying it over the bubbles, then taking a syringe with a little super glue, injecting it through the painters tape into the bubbles and then sucking out the air through the same hole. I figure this will remove the bubbles, re-glue the leather to the surface of the airbag and once it's dry, it would be no match for an airbag deployment. Thoughts? Suggestions? Previous experiences I could draw from?

    Thanks!

    Also, if anyone has a spare LH seat back control switch for a 360, 550 or 575, I'm looking for one. :D
     
  2. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 10, 2003
    16,136
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Juan Sánchez Villa-L
    i am told that those skilled with a syringe and a heat gun can inject new glue
     
  3. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    30,298
    Albuquerque, NM
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    You should be able to remove the leather, stretch, and reglue. You always want to use the battery disconnect switch first and then disconnect the airbag before doing any work on it. Should be some threads on doing that here. If uncomfortable with doing that, one of the steering wheel companies would probably do it for you for a nominal charge. Passenger side requires removing pieces so you can disconnect the airbag and recover.
     
  4. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    Hmmm, any specific type of glue?


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  5. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    Thanks! I will look for those threads


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  6. BobH

    BobH Karting

    Nov 8, 2003
    138
    Morristown, NJ
    Full Name:
    Robert H
    I used a hair dryer and a plastic body filler spreader to smooth out the bubbles.

    Gently heat, lower temperature, the area around the bubble and use the plastic spreader to remove the air like you were hanging wall paper and smoothing out air pockets. The heat seemed to energize the old glue, perhaps it is similar to a hide glue, and the car pocket has not resurfaced in two years.
     
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  7. BobH

    BobH Karting

    Nov 8, 2003
    138
    Morristown, NJ
    Full Name:
    Robert H
    That should read air pocket not car pocket
     
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  8. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    Thank you everyone! I just tried a hair dryer on low and it worked!!! A few spots were stubborn, but persistence seems to have paid off. I'll check the car tomorrow morning, if it worked I owe all of you a round!
     
    rubenpadron likes this.
  9. rubenpadron

    rubenpadron Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2013
    913
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Ruben
    Awesome and cheap solution... in my experience new leather always has a slightly different look to it, so I hope it works out for you!

    Ruben
     
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  10. tres55

    tres55 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 18, 2012
    2,011
    Canada
    Any update on if it stuck? My interior is for the most part in great shape but the airbags are loosey goosey and I would love to avoid redoing the dash for as long as possible.
     
  11. del mar

    del mar Rookie

    Feb 28, 2008
    49

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  12. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    So It seemed to work, checked it the next day and saw a definite difference in the steering wheel. It's been a few weeks and took a trip to the shop, so I will check back in to see how it worked over time
     
  13. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    Wait... the switches are the same ones used on an audi? Probably a 1997 something?????
     
  14. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    I think it's identical to a 1997 Audi A8
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  15. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    1998 Audi A8

    Part Number 4A0959765A
    Color Code 01C (Satin Black)

    ... now I just have to find it.
     
  16. JimEakin

    JimEakin Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 13, 2015
    811
    Southeast OC
    Full Name:
    Jim
    I've had bubbles in the leather in my steering wheel since I bought it. I knew of this trick from an earlier FChat post, and finally did it. I bought a drywall edge smoother at Lowes and got out my ex's hairdryer. I applied the heat and rolled the leather smooth. I was careful about the heat since I didn't want to damage the leather. The leather is smooth now, it'll be interesting to see how long it lasts.
     
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  17. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
  18. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,809
    socal
    Good find! Does the audi switch panel fit or just the tilt back bar? Those things get broken off by the parking brake handle. I have my parking brake set up to activate low to try and help prevent that.
     
  19. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    The back and seat bars are the same, the panel itself is different.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  20. ridege55

    ridege55 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    May 9, 2017
    646
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    John
    I just purchased a 599 and have bubbling on the dash and instrument pod. I think I will try the heat gun trick in those areas. They should be glued in back like the steering wheel?
     
  21. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    I imagine it would work. I'm waiting for the weather to cool down to have another go at it. I figure that way the glue will cure more quickly and increase the likelihood for a good end result.
     
    ridege55 likes this.
  22. NE550

    NE550 Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 23, 2017
    142
    Omaha, NE
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Heat gun treatment really worked on my passenger airbag cover. Used a Milwaukee heat gun on the second lowest setting (350 deg F), held about 12" away and working over one small area at a time with a soft plastic decal blade. Might go over it again to get out the few remaining bubbles, but it turned out pretty well and only took about 15 minutes. Here's a before & after shot:

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. ridege55

    ridege55 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    May 9, 2017
    646
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    John
    Awesome! I'm going to give it a try this weekend.
     
  24. mbyormark

    mbyormark Karting

    Jul 25, 2017
    96
    New York
    Full Name:
    Michael Yormark
    I’ll be working on it again tomorrow. Will do before an after photos and report back. It does work though.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  25. LARRYH

    LARRYH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 3, 2011
    5,929
    virginia usa
    I did the same thing on my 550 about 2 years ago and it is still perfect.. i just heated the area in place with a hairdryer and worked the bubbles out with a plastic body filler squeege and in 5 minutes it looked like new the process is so easy it is hard to believe it would work....but it did for me.
     

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