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Restoring Airbag functionality after deployment ?

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308
259
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
25 min. to 1½ hrs. from Sonoma (ugh... traffic!)
Hello all,

I'm just beginning a major restore/rebuild of a salvage 2013 Mustang. Many things to delve into, but today I am just trying to figure out what I will need for parts, and the process for restoring airbag function after the driver's front & side bags have deployed. My searching here on TMO brings up stuff related to the recall mostly. I've found a fair amount of information elsewhere, but much of it seems conflicting. Dealer service needed or within the scope of home repair? Replace or reset control module? Clockspring? Sensors? Replace seat, or airbag & reupholster? Maybe seat belt needs to be replaced also? Probably I'm missing something else too?

I know there's a lot of questions here, I admit a bit of confusion around all this and any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
308
259
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
25 min. to 1½ hrs. from Sonoma (ugh... traffic!)
We had a single airbag deploy on our Focus RS. We need to replace the airbag and the seatbelt assembly. Both fire and have to be replaced.
I'm guessing just the front airbag? Performed by a shop or at home? I hear much about having to reset control module(s?), maybe included in labor if done by a shop?
 
119
277
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Auckland, New Zealand
I bought new airbags for steering wheel and seats and new seatbelts, though you can get the belts rebuilt. The clock spring was fine and the airbag module can be sent away and re-coded for around $50, e.g. at Safety Restore (these people also rebuild the belts by the look of it).

For the seats mine were stripped and had the new airbags installed. The seat covers were sent to a specialist upholsterer to get sewn up as they have to use some special thread and process so the airbag can deploy properly again. Note that I am located in New Zealand and that specialist upholstery thing is a requirement here, I'm not sure if that would be needed in the US but thought I would mention it in case it is useful.

I assume in the US you may be able to buy used (but good) airbags and save a bit of money that way. Again we are not allowed to do that down here when getting a repaired car back on the road. And to be fair with the cost of new airbags being fairly reasonable (certainly compared to the VW/Audi stuff I am used to, thank you Ford!) I'm not sure I would bother with used as it is also a critical safety item so I felt new was better.
 
308
259
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
25 min. to 1½ hrs. from Sonoma (ugh... traffic!)
I bought new airbags for steering wheel and seats and new seatbelts, though you can get the belts rebuilt. The clock spring was fine and the airbag module can be sent away and re-coded for around $50, e.g. at Safety Restore (these people also rebuild the belts by the look of it).

For the seats mine were stripped and had the new airbags installed. The seat covers were sent to a specialist upholsterer to get sewn up as they have to use some special thread and process so the airbag can deploy properly again. Note that I am located in New Zealand and that specialist upholstery thing is a requirement here, I'm not sure if that would be needed in the US but thought I would mention it in case it is useful.

I assume in the US you may be able to buy used (but good) airbags and save a bit of money that way. Again we are not allowed to do that down here when getting a repaired car back on the road. And to be fair with the cost of new airbags being fairly reasonable (certainly compared to the VW/Audi stuff I am used to, thank you Ford!) I'm not sure I would bother with used as it is also a critical safety item so I felt new was better.
My hope is to strip the seat, install new airbag in it and the steering wheel, replace the seat cover with new, and have the module reset. I bought a new seat bottom cover years ago but never replaced it, so essentially it'll be a new seat.

If that's the extent of it I'll be happy!
 
308
259
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
25 min. to 1½ hrs. from Sonoma (ugh... traffic!)
I wonder when the government regulator types will figure out that if you use seatbelts, you don't need air bags.

Never. One complements the other. Full harnesses are another story.
I believe that my airbags helped me remain unscathed while wearing just factory seatbelts when I hit the wall at Sonoma doing 50ish mph.

Full harness is on my short list for my current build.

While searching online for info pertaining to my airbag situation I came across an interesting statistic. A significant number of airbag related fatalities involved unbelted occupants. The initial hard braking before the collision threw the victim onto dangerous proximity or direct contact with the airbag just as it deployed.

...But everybody here wears their belts...
 
6,394
8,272
I believe that my airbags helped me remain unscathed while wearing just factory seatbelts when I hit the wall at Sonoma doing 50ish mph.

Full harness is on my short list for my current build.

While searching online for info pertaining to my airbag situation I came across an interesting statistic. A significant number of airbag related fatalities involved unbelted occupants. The initial hard braking before the collision threw the victim onto dangerous proximity or direct contact with the airbag just as it deployed.

...But everybody here wears their belts...
I can attest to some of that, a fair amount of motor vehicle accidents I responded to had secondary injuries that may have been attributed to air bags. One in particular hit a wall hard enough to injure the driver is a side collision, bounced off, hit a tree and that actually triggered the steering wheel air bag.
Originally they couldn't give away air bags, now they are required.
 
435
581
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Wisconsin
I can attest to some of that, a fair amount of motor vehicle accidents I responded to had secondary injuries that may have been attributed to air bags. One in particular hit a wall hard enough to injure the driver is a side collision, bounced off, hit a tree and that actually triggered the steering wheel air bag.
Originally they couldn't give away air bags, now they are required.
Not to derail the thread or hijack it but man, do I dislike the smell of airbag ingredients after deployment along with the Impact bruising.
 
6,394
8,272
Not to derail the thread or hijack it but man, do I dislike the smell of airbag ingredients after deployment along with the Impact bruising.
Sodium Azide, many people are allergic to it. Only thing that can react that fast, and also deadly in a car fire if the bag has not triggered
 

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