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pass airbag shutoff switch on 355 or 360?

Discussion in '348/355' started by lukek, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
    2,046
    San Francisco
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    LK
    Is there a way to disable an airbag on the passenger side in a 355 or 360 (I think 355s had a passenger airbag)? Is it done with a key (a la Corvette and pickups), a special weight sensor (a la Mercedes), a special seat with a deactivation bar (a la Porsche), or is it even possible?

    thx
    luke
     
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  3. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,951
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    No method is provided OE. But installation of one would be quite simple. The problem is, to be legal and for the installer not to mention the owner to avoid possible liabilities or prosecution you have to apply for permission from uncle sam.
     
  4. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
    2,046
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    LK
    I guess an inline switch and some tape over the light on the dash would be one way, but these days, it is pretty hard to be absolutely sure that the thing has been defeated/turned back on....
    So....if it is not there on the 360, even bleaker chances for the 355.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,951
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    The sys looks for the correct resistance in each air bag circut, so you could install a bypass circut to switch to, with the correct resistance and the light would stay out. However I think just switching it off and letting the light stay on would be a good reminder that the bag is off. That is unless you want it off permanantly.
     
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  7. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
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    LK
    thanks to the pointer to a previous thread. Kind of bad news...Who knows if disabling the pass airbag actually diables the driver airbag, too....
    I might have to wait til the kids do not need seats, 40 lbs, or maybe even 60.

    "Eat, eat, young man !!!!"

    :)
     
  8. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior

    Jul 3, 2004
    867
    Park bench, Canada
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    Mark
    The Airbag! Who would have thought that you could market a thing that kills small people and kids as a safety device! Oh, and that most governments mandate its installation in every car. Hold the wheel tightly with your seat a bit too far back and it will rip your thumbs out of their sockets when it goes off for it will trap your digits as it pushes you back further than the length of your arm. The funny thing is that in a lot of places a five point harness, which does a much better job, is illegal, being an active safety device.
    With that rant out of the way I should point out that the passenger’s airbag in the Ferrari 360 is part of an integrated system. If you read the manual it explains how the safety belts are wired to tighten in a crash and then release - they uses some sort of explosive bolt that blows white powder everywhere to do the job. Now if you disconnect the passenger air bag and have a crash the belt will briefly jerk your passenger tight and then let him or her flop towards the dash, which is not a good thing for either passenger or dash, particularly if we are talking about a kid who might not properly fit the belt at the best of times.
    Last year I went the legal route and had the passenger airbag deactivated from my Mini. In order to do the job properly I had to buy a belt unit from a British Mini One (no airbag) and install it on the passenger’s side of my car - plus sign a Federal form, a dealer’s form, a BMW form and a Mini form. (If you can’t write I guess you can’t legally chauffeur a kid). My point here is that there is no market - that I know of - that sells an airbag free 360, so short of finding out if there is a FIAT part that does the job, removing the airbag could leave your passenger in a very bad place. Given that the reason you are considering deactivating the airbag is because you are a responsible person, you probably don’t want to leave the passenger with what has now become a defective safety belt.
    Kram
     
  9. jeffdavison

    jeffdavison F1 Rookie
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    Jul 29, 2002
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    Suwanee Georgia
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    Jeffrey Davison
    be careful desinging the "switch". If you could switch between airbag and a resistor, the switch would have to be made static proof somehow, as an errant static spark in the contacts could set the bag off.

    jd

     
  10. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
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    LK
    it was simpler in my Boxster. I bought a special bar that bolted to the bottom of the seat and it included some electrical wires terminating in a plug. I already own a Porsche child seat, so all I need to do now is attach the special buckle from the bottom center of the Porsche seat to the deactivation bar, and my passenger airbags (side and front) are deactivated. Dealer needed to reprogram the computer at installation, too.

    I might have to shop for a 456 or Maser coupe instead.....I do not want to wait until both of my kids are 60 lbs. The idea of dropping them off at preschool in a 355 did appeal to me very much....
     
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  12. 355pz

    355pz Rookie

    Jan 8, 2004
    17
    I went down this path on my 355.

    I worked through Cauley Ferrari to have a passenger airbag bypass switch installed. The dealer had never done one or heard of one done so he agreed we would learn together and at any time I could back out with out any problem. He could not give a price or any other information.

    Step 1: Fax NHTSA and fill out a form to give the dealer permission to install a switch.
    Step 2: Sign a waiver from Ferrari eliminating them from any liability
    Step 3: Order the switch from Ferrari which took a few weeks.
    Step 4: Time to decide! The switch came in about 4 boxes, a wiring harness,a leather wrapped schroud, a key to disarm with a panel and light to let you know it was dissabled. Overall a very nice factory appearance. Next steps were to remove the console and seats to install the switch. The switch goes on the console under the IP. This was an estimated 8 hr job.
    The estimate for the switch and to install was about $2,000.....

    At this point with my 3 year old daughter still thinking the car is a bit too loud to drive in I decided the 2K was better invested in her college account.
    The end result was the parts were returned to Ferrari and the mechanic and I had received an education. The dealer was fantastic for the entire "journey" and now knows the implications.
    We were told that the European spec 355 models all had airbag switches installed from the factory, can anyone from over the pond confirm?

    Hope this helps
     
  13. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
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    LK
    This is very useful ! For me, the ability to install it, even at $2K, might mean the difference between being able to buy one (355), or not. Too complicated to explain here, but I appreciate the update...
    :)
     
  14. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie
    Consultant

    Dec 26, 2001
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    ~Red~
    Hey Luke,

    I have seen some of your post for the 360/355 series. Thought I would chime in on this. As of the Ides of March, FNA did release a parts bulletin to all of its dealers so that you can apply to purchase the Air Bag switch kit.

     
  15. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
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    LK
    When it is coming from a guy with one of the fastest times around the kart track...you got to take it as gospel.
    :)

    The kit is available for both, right?

    thx !
    luke
     
  16. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie
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    Dec 26, 2001
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    ~Red~
    :D who me??? Hence, my new "location" :)

    This buletin pertained only to the 360. So, reading the post below from 355pz, it appears that maybe you might be able to get it from FNA as well. ( I can not get my F355 parts cd to run right now, so I can not check :( )
     

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