What are the odds of the airbag working in my ‘93 if I ever need it? - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 28Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 07:14 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
Platinum Subscriber
 
Gubi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 9,666
Don't tick me off, Murray, or I'll go buy a Ferrari like John and hang out with the cool kids!

In all seriousness there are three sensors: two at the front and one in the orange control unit. They all need to trigger within a few microseconds for the bag to deploy.
msiert and WithanF like this.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
Gubi is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 07:55 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Jim G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ga
Posts: 3,754
Garage
If you turn on the key and the airbag light comes on then goes off and stays off. The system is working correctly. Every 10 years your are suppose to check the system by setting a fault code then erasing it. After doing that if the light comes on with the key and goes out and stays out. The system is good.

If the light comes on and then starts flashing then you have a fault in the system and more then likely it will not work. As the system is suppose to shut down if there is a fault in the system.

There were problems with the 1st version of the front sensors which were updated in 92/93. Also the airbag clock springs can give trouble.

As to the airbag deploying in an accident it takes 2 of the 3 sensors. 1 of the ones in the front and the one in the computer.

To set a fault for testing the easiest one is unplugging a front sensor then turn on the key. The light should start flashing. Turn off the key and reconnect the front sensor plug and clear the faults. If the light goes back to coming on then going off and staying off. Then the system checks out and is functional.

And that how you do it according to the car and airbag manufacturers.
msiert, WithanF, brownie93 and 2 others like this.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
I just got 2 more. Now I have a Matta. I must be crazy.
Jim G is online now  
post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 02:14 AM
Registered User
 
spiderserie4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 7,079
I guess another way of posing the initial question would be:

has anyone ever seen a crashed S4, with the airbag deployed?
WithanF likes this.

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
spiderserie4 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 03:04 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Jim G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ga
Posts: 3,754
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
I guess another way of posing the initial question would be:

has anyone ever seen a crashed S4, with the airbag deployed?

Yes.

I bought one from the insurance auction a few years ago and the airbag had deployed.
WithanF and spiderserie4 like this.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
I just got 2 more. Now I have a Matta. I must be crazy.
Jim G is online now  
post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:07 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Stevew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Carson City, NV Class Champion Reno SCCA 2018
Posts: 1,019
And another thing

Kudos to Jim G for his detailed description of the mechanics of airbag deployment in S4 Spiders, but I believe the primary matter of concern in system functionality of vintage airbags goes beyond an electrical check of deployment circuitry and lies in the patency of the propellant. From a Popular Science article, here discussing the Takata fiasco:

“Automakers and federal regulators have found multiple causes for the inflators turning deadly. Among them: bad oversight on the manufacturing floor; the design of the car itself; and years of exposure to high heat and humidity in certain regions (a number of the deaths have occurred in Texas and Florida). Such heat and humidity can break down the propellant wafers, so that the ammonium nitrate propellant—a chemical than can be used in making bombs—burns too hot and too quickly, creating excess pressure in the metal housing that then explodes with deadly force.”

Here’s the article in its entirety:

https://www.popsci.com/how-airbags-a...to-work#page-2

I suspect ammonium nitrate was also the propellant of choice in S4’s and those cars living in high heat and humidity environments may be more susceptible to chemical degradation, resulting in anomalous deployment.

Everyone has no doubt seen video of airbags going off (as shown in the linked article) but last weekend, I volunteered at Reno SCCA’s Street Survival program for teen driver training and as always, a highlight is controlled deployment of removed airbags on the course. Two were set off and the surprisingly loud BANG jolted all of the assembled multitude. A third airbag was deployed with a pylon atop and launched the hapless object 100’ skyward.

In conclusion, I am concerned a nearly 30 year old airbag, especially one that has endured an unfavorable environment as described above, could be counted on to perform as originally designed and may in fact be a source of additional injury in a crash. I don’t know what crash statistics are for pre-airbag equipped Spiders, but would be inclined to disable a S4 SRS and count on properly used seatbelts to be my source of protection.

Now, can we talk about the reliability of elderly seat belt webbing?

Best
WithanF and brownie93 like this.

Steve Waclo Carson City, NV; '87 Spider QV, ES Champion, 2018 Reno SCCA (125k);'93 Honda Nighthawk 750 (105k);'03 GMC Sierra SLE 2500HD Turbo Diesel (155k);'08 Altima Coupe 3.5SE, 6sp (125k)
Stevew is offline  
post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:29 AM
But Mad North-Northwest
Platinum Subscriber
 
Gubi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 9,666
Ammonium nitrate was introduced by Takata as a cheaper option in 2001. It has stability problems, that’s why nobody else used it and that’s why Takata is recalling all those airbags.

The airbags in our older Alfas use sodium azide. Different beast and much more stable.
Stevew and brownie93 like this.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
Gubi is online now  
post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:18 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 46
Yes, S4 Spider airbags work. Unfortunately, mine was haunted and went off unexpectedly. I suspect a fault in the airbag controller as I was stopped waiting on traffic to exit a parking lot. The replacement air bag will be installed when I redo the suspension, interior, top, engine, etc. this summer. I also picked ups used airbag controller which will be installed at the same time.
WithanF likes this.
Backfire is offline  
post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 09:33 AM
Registered User
 
msiert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backfire View Post
Yes, S4 Spider airbags work. Unfortunately, mine was haunted and went off unexpectedly. I suspect a fault in the airbag controller as I was stopped waiting on traffic to exit a parking lot. The replacement air bag will be installed when I redo the suspension, interior, top, engine, etc. this summer. I also picked ups used airbag controller which will be installed at the same time.
OMG, that would take one by surprise! Did it smack you in the face pretty hard?

Darkside Member
msiert is offline  
post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 03:20 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by msiert View Post
OMG, that would take one by surprise! Did it smack you in the face pretty hard?
It did not. It hit my arms and pushed them to the side; one arm was bruised. Needless to say I was surprised. I cut the deployed airbag out of the steering wheel and continued driving. I considered hanging the airbag on the garage wall as a trophy but I had a better use for the space. I'm lucky that it didn't deploy when I was driving.
Backfire is offline  
post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 10:40 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Jim G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ga
Posts: 3,754
Garage
When I worked at a SAAB dealer between working at Alfa shops. I had to replace the airbags on a 9000 that was hit in the front.

When I spread out the bag the owner must have just finished apply her lipstick right before she was hit. As there was a perfect imprint of her lips dead center in the bag.

That bag hung on the wall of my garage for years.
radamm likes this.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
I just got 2 more. Now I have a Matta. I must be crazy.
Jim G is online now  
post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:58 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 31
Garage
Hi -- There is a replacement airbag for S4 spiders? Do you have a website? When I looked last year online I kept drawing blanks when I entered 1991 Alfa Spider.

Also, to add to the conversation -- I was talking at a car meet with someone who worked for an auto parts distributor. He had said the early airbags were originally slated to work for about 10 years, but had proved to age better than expected and manufacturers were feeling better about going 20 years (excluding the Takata misfire). He felt getting into 30 years like the last gen spiders was definitely unknown territory. And that drivers of these 'aged' cars were pretty much participating in a live experiment -- as there is no one else testing out 30 y.o. early airbags.
Stevew and brownie93 like this.
kugu is online now  
post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 09:32 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Stevew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Carson City, NV Class Champion Reno SCCA 2018
Posts: 1,019
More Airbag 411

This was a popular topic a few months ago and today I came upon this informative article in my inbox:

https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/techno...mistry-airbags
msiert and brownie93 like this.

Steve Waclo Carson City, NV; '87 Spider QV, ES Champion, 2018 Reno SCCA (125k);'93 Honda Nighthawk 750 (105k);'03 GMC Sierra SLE 2500HD Turbo Diesel (155k);'08 Altima Coupe 3.5SE, 6sp (125k)
Stevew is offline  
post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:18 PM
Registered User
 
msiert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
This was a popular topic a few months ago and today I came upon this informative article in my inbox:

https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/techno...mistry-airbags
Glad I have it out of the car! I agree that better safety belts would be the way to go.

Darkside Member
msiert is offline  
post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 07:59 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Jack Straw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Posts: 271
Just about the first thing I did after buying my 28 year old S4 was the removal of that horrendous air bag steering wheel and all of it's attendant garbage.

Bill

1991 S4 Spider "Gabriela", 2017 VW Golf R, 2018 VW GTI,

Previous obsessions; 2006 Mustang GT, 2006 BMW Z4M, 5 other Bimmers, Capri V6, Renault 5, Lotus Cortina, Sunbeam Alpine, Ducati Diana Mk 3, Norton Commando
Jack Straw is offline  
post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 11:59 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Too **** hot, Florida
Posts: 103
Yes! Drop the poor looking wheel, and get a NARDI> Looks great, and is definitely an ALFA thing.....

Don "BOO" Epstein
Boobea is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anybody have the old posting on reseting the airbag light in the spider? sagaponack Spider - 105 & 115 Series (1966-1994) 56 10-09-2016 08:54 AM
Side lights not working sunbeam alpine Spider - 105 & 115 Series (1966-1994) 0 06-29-2010 02:39 PM
Spider S4 Speedo stopped working sunbeam alpine Spider - 105 & 115 Series (1966-1994) 6 06-16-2010 01:34 PM
reverse light not working! ALFA33boxer Boxer Engined Alfa Romeos 1 10-03-2008 05:19 PM
Airbag Woes smytsa 164 & 168 (1991-1995) 2 08-16-2006 03:15 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome