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      01-28-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
3002 tii
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Another Aftermarket Seat & Airbag Question

So I'm ready to finally throw in a matching bucket seat for passenger side on my 07 coupe. I do not want to rip open my stock seat to transfer the occupancy mat sensor so I fully expect the airbag light to come on. What I just want to know is *knock on wood* - in the case of an accident, will my airbags still deploy? Or does the error light signify that airbags have been disabled (because it does not suspect a passenger)?
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      01-28-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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I've seen conflicting reports on this. Some say it will indeed render the airbags useless, others say you can put a piece of tape over the light. I would devise a bypass or *cringes* do the transplant. I had even read that removal of the seat while power is still connected can toast your airbag module all together. Too much chatter and not enough definitive info.

I'm still looking for a "good" solution for mine. I picked up a bypass of eBay but the plug was for the previous generation and wouldn't work. I'd love to keep this thread alive till a definitive answer is found for all.

Good luck.
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      01-28-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogzilla View Post
I've seen conflicting reports on this. Some say it will indeed render the airbags useless, others say you can put a piece of tape over the light. I would devise a bypass or *cringes* do the transplant. I had even read that removal of the seat while power is till on can toast your airbag module all together. Too much chatter and not enough definitive info.

I'm still looking for a "good" solution for mine. I picked up a bypass of eBay but the plug was for the previous generation and wouldn't work. I'd love to keep this thread alive till a definitive answer is found for all.

Good luck.
I'm assuming you updated to a 06-08 seat? If so, I'd say your best bet is to just buy a new occupancy sensor. I think those are cheaper than the 06-08 ones ($430 on Tischer) and retrofit into your new seat. I just don't want to have to rip open my factory in case I go back to it, which means ripping it open 2x.

I'm going to email those eBay sellers and ask if the e9x bypass modules work. If not, I'll consider the $430 for a new sensor. End of day I don't care about the light. My concern is that the airbags will not deploy during an emergency.
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      01-28-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Update:

So I contacted one of the eBay vendors (m35-drive) and explained how the 06-08 Z4's have the new occupancy sensor which is built into the cushion. He directed me his newer-style bypass module which he claims is not only compatible with our cars but airbags will deploy during accident:

My module will not only remove the airbag light (like some other sellers on eBay) but will also ensure that the on-board computer recognizes that a passenger is present in the passenger seat and seat is OCCUPIED. So with my module installed, ALL AIRBAGS WILL WORK PROPERLY AND DEPLOY IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT.

Worst case I'll send this back if it doesn't work but $60 seems like a worthwhile gamble. Will report back in a few weeks.
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      01-28-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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That is excellent news. I would be very interested in this option. I don't mind tearing into my original unpleasant vinyl seats (as I've already started the process) but was very hesitant of opening and potentially ruining my beloved M sport seats. One OOPS would be not only expensive, but very saddening. A post back would be greatly appreciated! Good luck.
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      01-28-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogzilla View Post
That is excellent news. I would be very interested in this option. I don't mind tearing into my original unpleasant vinyl seats (as I've already started the process) but was very hesitant of opening and potentially ruining my beloved M sport seats. One OOPS would be not only expensive, but very saddening. A post back would be greatly appreciated! Good luck.
Keep in mind the one bad thing about having the system think the seat is constantly occupied is that during an accident, it may now deploy the airbag regardless, causing unnecessary further damage. But who knows, maybe at that point any impact big enough to cause the airbags to deploy is considered a total (or not far from).
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      01-28-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC_OFF View Post
Keep in mind the one bad thing about having the system think the seat is constantly occupied is that during an accident, it may now deploy the airbag regardless, causing unnecessary further damage. But who knows, maybe at that point any impact big enough to cause the airbags to deploy is considered a total (or not far from).
I've weighed that as well and at this point, it may not make any difference. But you are absolutely correct. If it's not significant damage, and you are driving solo, you may be forced to pay for any damage caused by the extra bag going off. Certainly a consideration. I can only imagine what it would cost, but my gut would say between $1000-2000 out of pocket potentially.
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      01-28-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Please let me know how that goes, as I'm about ready to purchase the same sensor from that vendor. BTW, how far up NJ are you?
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      01-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dre99gsx View Post
Please let me know how that goes, as I'm about ready to purchase the same sensor from that vendor. BTW, how far up NJ are you?
Will do, ordered everything today.

Up in Fort Lee / GWB area.
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      01-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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How and why your air bags deploy: http://www.shipkiller.com/Air_Bag_Activation.html
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      01-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for the link, good reading material
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      01-28-2013, 07:29 PM   #12
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You'd think if the module could make the airbag deploy then it could also have a switch to indicate the seat is unoccupied and keep it from deploying.

Are you doing a harness bar or cage? Or still using stock belts? I'd like to do seats but I definitely want belts and need to have a harness bar made.
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      01-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonH View Post
You'd think if the module could make the airbag deploy then it could also have a switch to indicate the seat is unoccupied and keep it from deploying.

Are you doing a harness bar or cage? Or still using stock belts? I'd like to do seats but I definitely want belts and need to have a harness bar made.
One step at a time my friend, haha. Unfortunately my budget doesn't allow for the cage and 2nd seat. So this year I'll add the 2nd seat and continue to run stock 3pt seat belt. And then maybe next year I'll go half cage + 6pt harness.

I find not having the 2nd bucket seat a little limiting. While I know the tracks I've been to pretty well, occasionally I'd still like an instructor to ride with me to show me some tips but most will not feel comfortable if seats are not same (although most rules only focus on equal "restraints", ie seat belts).
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      02-08-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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Just want to report, the bypass module works! After removing the stock seat, I made sure to disconnect the battery for about 30 mins. Unplugged harness below the seat, transferred over the occupancy wire along other cables. Plugged in the module, installed my race seat. Turn key, NO airbag light =)





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      02-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #15
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Awesome! Ordered one as well.
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      02-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #16
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is there any reason to believe why these would not work on a z4m?
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      02-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #17
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is there any reason to believe why these would not work on a z4m?
They should work the same, I'm certain we share the same p/n for the occupancy mat sensor.
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      02-08-2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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solid. thanks for the heads up. will have to order next week. id rather do this than pay the local shop 80/hr to try to code it out
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      02-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
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solid. thanks for the heads up. will have to order next week. id rather do this than pay the local shop 80/hr to try to code it out
Why don't you wait a week. I'll drive around for a bit to make sure no surprise lights pop up. Couple things to keep in mind though:

1. With this bypass, the car assumes someone is always riding in the passenger side. That means should you be involved in an incident even with nobody riding beside you, the passenger side airbag should/will deploy.

2. Because the car assumes someone is occupying the seat, you will get the seatbelt chime on. Seller provides 2 workarounds, one involves opening up the receptacle. The other is to keep the belt always plugged in. I actually purchased a separate seatbelt extender to use with my Recaro so something's always plugged in.

3. If you already have the airbag light on, this will NOT CLEAR the error. You still need to get the code cleared after you install the bypass module.
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      02-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC_OFF View Post
Just want to report, the bypass module works!
You Sir, are the MAN...
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      02-08-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DSC_OFF View Post
3. If you already have the airbag light on, this will NOT CLEAR the error. You still need to get the code cleared after you install the bypass module.

haha glad i read this =)

thanks again !
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      02-08-2013, 09:43 PM   #22
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haha glad i read this =)

thanks again !
Yea, I realized that this might be your issue since I'm sure you already have race seats. But at least with this hardware, once you clear the code you can leave it off for good.
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