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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the cruise control lever on my 380SE, just ordered a good used one from Ebay, but I'm worried that the replacement job may be beyond my expertise. I'm ok with minor DIY projects, but this one has me dealing with an item that could literally blow up in my face if done wrong.
Should I attempt to do this, or just forget replacing the part until I win the lottery,and can afford to let the MB folks do the work?
 

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If you're worried about the airbag just disconnect the battery and wait 1/2 an hour before you remove it from the steering wheel.
 

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DO not follow the previous advice. There is no way to tell if the reserve capacitor has discharged. True, it takes quite a jolt to the controller to fire but remember in a bad crash the battery may be compromised BEFORE the bag needs to be triggered (side impact before frontal) so they specifically designed it to work WITHOUT a battery. Just do it they way MB says, disconnect the red connector under the passenger's footrest. That disconnects the capacitor from the controller. Now the controller can't fire.
 

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You have an 85 380se With an airbag?? Mine had no airbag on it's original wheel.. Is it a Euro car?
 

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Well, I am glad I have no airbag! Made my AMG wheel swap a snap!
 

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I need to replace the cruise control lever on my 380SE, just ordered a good used one from Ebay, but I'm worried that the replacement job may be beyond my expertise. I'm ok with minor DIY projects, but this one has me dealing with an item that could literally blow up in my face if done wrong.
Should I attempt to do this, or just forget replacing the part until I win the lottery,and can afford to let the MB folks do the work?
Welcome, to take advantage of all the forum features, please re visit the 'Welcome to the Forum' tutorial sticky on top of the W126 page, as well as the two DIY stickies.
It will show how to search the forum, and even has a link to the Russian MB site where you can run a VIN#. The forum archive has a wealth of information write up's re your topic.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll have to research that connector. Got the MB manuals on CD, but only one of my computers (the slowest one) even sees these disks when inserted.
 

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There are plenty of warnings about airbags. They are not as sensitive as everyone worries. Certainly you have to be careful. I'm not certain about the MB, but most older airbag systems utilized glass encased mercury switches. These had a tiny glass barrier in them which breaks under the weight of the mercury in the event of a crash. Sitting still, they require a pretty hefty jolt (read: hammer) in order to cause a deployment. Banging around in the front of the car with the key on is 100X more likely to cause an airbag deployment than removing the steering wheel, and you'll almost never hear of that happening.

If MB suggests disconnecting a connector to disable the airbag, then by all means, do it. That's the correct way. But the only way to cuase a deployment in the steering wheel area is to actually supply voltage to the airbag. The sensor switches that cause deployment are mounted in the front of the vehicle, where a crash is going to occur, far away from you. You need to take precautions, and follow the correct instructions if they are availble. But you should not fear removing the steering wheel to do any needed service. It's been a common procedure on vehicles for nearly 20 years now. Don't be afraid :)

Aaron-
 

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I took the extra precaution of disconnecting the cable from the srs + battery then stayed way the hell out of the way when unscrewing the bolts from the back.
 

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Perfect. :thumbsup:
 

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The sensor switches that cause deployment are mounted in the front of the vehicle, where a crash is going to occur, far away from you.
Aaron-[/QUOTE]

Actually the bomb controller is located in the central console under the radio. It does use a mercury contact but there is nothing to break. It uses a vertical dogleg channel. Therefore to reset the system all you do is replace the bomb and the pretensioners (mini-bombs).
 

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I thought the only airbag sensor on the 80s MB cars was just forward of the ashtray on the trans tunnel? They have sensors in the front also?
 

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I thought the only airbag sensor on the 80s MB cars was just forward of the ashtray on the trans tunnel? They have sensors in the front also?
No - previous poster was just guessing based on some other car. W126's have one bomb controller under the radio - or forward of the ashtray if you prefer.
 
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