Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just finished my 300TE passenger airbag retrofit project! It was as simple as playing with Lego’s, only I had to move a whole lot of them around and it took a little more time than I expected it would. Still, it was just as fun.

I did the project “by the book.” That is, without splicing wires or modifying parts. Every replacement piece installed to do the job came from various donors with the passenger airbag as original equipment. The retrofit was actually an option that a dealer could add, so I figured, why not me?

I also took loads of pictures and will put them into a pictorial sooner or later with detailed instructions so anyone with enough of a desire can do so as well. In the mean time here are some samples:

To start with, no airbag as I recently bought the car:



Here is the donor harness and control module. Removing it for the donor car was a pain. There are connectors at the front seatbelts, front seats, each airbag, the underhood test port, the control module, the test plug, and at the instrument cluster SRS warning light. I did not want any splices, so getting it out meant no cuts. Just the same, I went over every last mm of wire checking for kinks, scraps, corrosion, etc. . .


To properly lay the harness you need to access the under carpet cable trays, which means removing the front seats. This picture was taken from the driver’s seat area looking towards the center console.


I went ahead and removed the carpet all the way so I coulds scrub the hell out of it.


I used up a lot of elbow grease but the result was well worth it.


I found about $3.00 in change.


Here is getting the driver’s seatbelt connector through the cable runs. Note the green tape on the cable; I put red tape on all the old connectors and green on the new before I started the switch-over. I did not want to waste anytime running the same connector twice.


Here is the old (right) and replacement (left) control modules. Note the number of pins is different.


Here is where the control module is buried away. Note again the red and green tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
One of the more difficult things to do was to replace the underdash support bracket that runs from the passenger door at the “A” pillar over to the ignition switch.



Getting to the four nuts by the ignition switch required lifting the front of the dash about an inch.


Here are the two bars side by side. The donor is on the top.


Here is the new airbag support hardware with rests on the under dash support bracket.


Here is the finished product!


How I can’t wait to test it - okay, not really. The test SRS warning light works okay though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
You are a pioneer

That is a great job, and even the photos you posted show a lot. It was also cool to see just how clean filthy palomino carpet can get. How many different cars did you get the parts from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Cool photos. However I don't see the point ni retrofitting the airbag... My 400E comes with passenger airbag from factory and I absolutely HATE it because there is no room to put stuff :( The armrest box doesn't really help... I'm going to rip it out some time soon.

Does anybody know if the driving whell airbag continues to work if I just remove the passenger airbag? I know the SRS light will be lit and I don't really care about that...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,361 Posts
Cool photos. However I don't see the point ni retrofitting the airbag... My 400E comes with passenger airbag from factory and I absolutely HATE it because there is no room to put stuff.
The point is he wanted to have one.

As far as needing more room to put "stuff", get a man purse.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,410 Posts
I believe you did a top notch job. I wouldnt think the dealership could have done any better and I am sure they wouldnt have been able to do it for the price it cost you for parts. Safety is paramount and now your passenger will be as safe as the driver in your car good going. thumbsup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
That is a great job, and even the photos you posted show a lot. It was also cool to see just how clean filthy palomino carpet can get. How many different cars did you get the parts from?
Thanks! I got the parts from about 5 donors, mostly because I did not realize I needed an additional part until I got in there. By the time I got back to the pick & pull yard the original donor may have been gone, or any other qualified donor would do.

The bottom of my SteamVac collection tank had about an inch of sludge in it when I finally got around to emptying it. Those are some really robust carpets - I threw a lot a scrubbing at them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,410 Posts
Any chance you could find some heated seat wiring for me out there in those donors? There is only 1 place in the state that has used parts here and they charge almost as new. When I was in Great Lakes IL I had a few roll through the regular yards every couple of months at least now I got nothing.
 

·
Cruise Control
Joined
·
52,233 Posts
Any chance you could find some heated seat wiring for me out there in those donors? There is only 1 place in the state that has used parts here and they charge almost as new. When I was in Great Lakes IL I had a few roll through the regular yards every couple of months at least now I got nothing.
You can try both Campbell Nelson and Aurora Auto for MB stuff in the Puget Sound area. A smattering of 124s occasionally come through my local Pick-A-Part here in Olympia. Having said that, I ended up buying the seat heater stuff from a listmember who lives up in Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
Heated seat upgrade

Any chance you could find some heated seat wiring for me out there in those donors? There is only 1 place in the state that has used parts here and they charge almost as new. When I was in Great Lakes IL I had a few roll through the regular yards every couple of months at least now I got nothing.
It's a lot of work to pull the heated seat wire harness... the entire interior has to be removed, including the front seats, main carpet, and center console. I eventually gave up and bought the two harnesses new, they'll run you about $175 or so. I got used parts for everything else (seats, relay, switches, etc). Photos are at this link, scroll near the bottom. Some more info is in this thread.

:cool:
 

·
Cruise Control
Joined
·
52,233 Posts
So, it sounds like if you're going to the trouble of adding seat heater hardware, then it's probably a fine opportunity to go ahead and install the second airbag, since most of the same stuff is removed already--very tempting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
So, it sounds like if you're going to the trouble of adding seat heater hardware, then it's probably a fine opportunity to go ahead and install the second airbag, since most of the same stuff is removed already--very tempting.
If you've got the interior gutted... it would kinda make sense. During the passenger airbag install, you're 40% of the way into the dash R&R anyway. So I would also consider pulling the dash and upgrading to the later style with the wood trim, and replacing ALL the vac pods for the HVAC system while the dash is off. A new style dash is fairly cheap - just make sure it's the right color (believe it or not, they are different colors!) And if you have any plans for a stereo system where there would be amplifiers in the rear, this is the time to at least run the wires, since you can put everything in the factory wire trays.

:sawzall:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Very nicely done, and it's nice to see yet another member of this forum dedicated to documenting what most would likely consider 'oddball' items so well.

While I initially truly missed, nigh, hated the lack of a proper glovebox in the 124, after having one in the 126, albeit a small one, I've since learned to put what doesn't fit in the console into the trunk. I have a cargo net which, strangely enough, is from a '94 Grand Cherokee I used to have. Traded it in, didn't realize the cargo net was in my wife's car, so it's stuck around. Been used in two other cars, since, and it hangs nicely between the spring attachment points. Valuables sit/ride back there when I'm not using them, because, locked separately, MB trunks of this era are about as secure as you're going to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,547 Posts
The point is he wanted to have one.

As far as needing more room to put "stuff", get a man purse.:D
For the added safety feature it's well worth it, since there are door storage areas and a huge Mobile Storage Unit called a trunk. :D

Since the center console storage is so simple to remove in the 400e I think fabricating or modifying an upgrade wouldn't be difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Cool photos. However I don't see the point ni retrofitting the airbag... My 400E comes with passenger airbag from factory and I absolutely HATE it because there is no room to put stuff :( The armrest box doesn't really help... I'm going to rip it out some time soon.

Does anybody know if the driving whell airbag continues to work if I just remove the passenger airbag? I know the SRS light will be lit and I don't really care about that...
I know this is old, but I thought I'd chime in. If the SRS light is on, it disables the airbag system because there is something wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
top job man, well done. i just did late twin electric mirros to early one electric one manual, am in process of doing infa red locks also.

in uk, but sellin passenger air bag, drivers airbag wheel and all wires etc, and heated seat wires and looms, also wood pack with burl gear shift?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Safety is paramount and now your passenger will be as safe as the driver in your car good going. thumbsup
By the way, I'm curious. My car has passenger side airbag and those were original airbags since we bought it in 1993. I heard that airbags would "expire" (no longer working) after couple of years later. Are these airbags still working (and how do I know or test it)? If NOT, is it easy to take it out and replace for a new one? Where could I buy new air bags (parts) for driver side and passenger side? Thanks!
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top