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      12-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #1
gixxer_kidd
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Safety questions: Recaro, Roll bar, Air bags, etc

I tried searching but nothing answered my specific questions so I created this thread. First a little background. I recently purchased an AE performance bolt in roll bar and Recaro Profi SPG seats for my m3. I plan on doing more hpde/auto-x events next year so my car will serve as both my daily driver and weekend track car. I know some of you will suggest to keep the interior stock or get a cheap track car, but I already have the parts and a second car is not an option for me at the moment. So here are a few configurations I'm thinking about and need your input on safety especially for my passenger:

Daily setup:

1) Driver side recaro, stock passenger, oc3 (disable the driver airbag/seat belt fault), stock seat belts (both sides) From my research it seems some are against running a folding stock seat with a roll bar in case of a collision the seat might fold backwards. Reason for keeping in the stock seat is because it retains the passenger front air bag and it's easier to get in and out for the passenger.

2) Driver and passenger recaro, oc3 (disable passenger front airbag), stock seat belts With the fixed back seats on the passenger side and OC3 seat occupancy sensor you lose the front air bag. From a safety standpoint is this safer for the passenger than option 1?

Which setup do you think is safer? Or should I not consider either setup for the street?

Track:

Driver and passenger recaro, oc3 (disable both airbags), 6pt harness for both sides No doubt this is the way to go for the track. Perhaps too much for the street, but should this be the only option for street and track?

Another option is to remove the Recaros and Roll bar in between events but 1) it's a pain and 2) I don't want to strip the bolts that hold the seats in by swapping the seats in and out often. I've searched to see if there was a way to retain the passenger front air bag but since BMW integrated the seat cushion and seat occupancy sensor it doesn't seem possible for our cars.

Has anyone successfully modifed the seat occupany sensor from the e46 to work in the e9x like the one in the link below?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-M3-...nsor/ES183150/

How does Porsche implement a roll bar and fixed back seats in street legal cars like the GT3 and still keep them safe?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by gixxer_kidd; 12-22-2011 at 04:10 PM.
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      12-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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Good thread. Subscribed.

Why is it necessary to disable the driver front airbag during street use? I would assume there is no occupancy sensor for the driver's seat in stock configuration, since as long as the car is being driven, someone must be in the driver's seat and therefore that airbag would always need to be operational, unlike the passenger's.
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      12-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Good thread. Subscribed.

Why is it necessary to disable the driver front airbag during street use? I would assume there is no occupancy sensor for the driver's seat in stock configuration, since as long as the car is being driven, someone must be in the driver's seat and therefore that airbag would always need to be operational, unlike the passenger's.
I went back and checked the EAS OC3 thread.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=273704

I was under the impression that the OC3 would disable both airbags but what you're saying makes sense. I don't believe the driver seat has an occupancy sensor, so you're right. That's one less concern.
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      12-22-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
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Custom coding can also fix the airbag issues...

That is what I did in my car.
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      12-22-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
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Custom coding can also fix the airbag issues...

That is what I did in my car.
Can you please elaborate a little more. By "fix" did they code out the seatbelt and error light from the dash and idrive (which still disables the passenger airbag like the OC3) or did they figure out a way to keep the passenger air bag?
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      12-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
Can you please elaborate a little more. By "fix" did they code out the seatbelt and error light from the dash and idrive (which still disables the passenger airbag like the OC3) or did they figure out a way to keep the passenger air bag?
Well honestly I am not 100% sure that the airbag will work as I have not been in any accidents. But the light is coded out and the airbag is suppose to work.

But hard to say for sure if I have not seen it deploy.

I have a x2 driver/passenger recaro pole positions (fixed back) 6 point schroth harnesses and a roll bar.
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      12-22-2011, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
Can you please elaborate a little more. By "fix" did they code out the seatbelt and error light from the dash and idrive (which still disables the passenger airbag like the OC3) or did they figure out a way to keep the passenger air bag?
There is a coding option on the M3's that is for recaros. The option is there for the M3 gts. It will delete the air bag code for the seats. the arm extenders for the seat belt, and the passenger seat occupancy sensor.

Last edited by VSmotorsports; 12-22-2011 at 06:03 PM.
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      12-22-2011, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stega View Post
Well honestly I am not 100% sure that the airbag will work as I have not been in any accidents. But the light is coded out and the airbag is suppose to work.

But hard to say for sure if I have not seen it deploy.

I have a x2 driver/passenger recaro pole positions (fixed back) 6 point schroth harnesses and a roll bar.
hey thanks. sounds like they did what VS is talking about above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VSmotorsports View Post
There is a coding option on the M3's that is for recaros. The option is there for the M3 gts. It will delete the air bag code for the seats. the arm extenders for the seat belt, and the passenger seat occupancy sensor.
Do you know if the passenger airbag functions as normal when coded? I was wondering what BMW did for the GTS too. I basically have the same seats.
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      12-23-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Benvo View Post

For your racing seats you will require coding, not programming. If you install the seats without the coding, you will have multiple airbag faults stored in the Airbag Module. You will have the airbag light in your instrument cluster, as well as the multiple restraint errors on your iDrive, etc. Chances are that one or more than one airbags will be disabled due to this.

With my coding, all of the errors will be gone, and the car will be programmed correctly as if it came from the factory with racing seats .

Each race seat coding is specific to the application (coupe/sedan/vert) and specific to the seats installed and any changes to wiring/connections (some people use different seatbelt receptacles, tensioners, etc..). Whatever the setup is, I can code it properly the way it's supposed to be. No multiple restraint errors stored, on the dash, or in the cluster.

It's a common occurence for the passenger airbag to be completely disabled when the passenger seat is changed with a racing seat. After my coding, all airbags will come back online and will function as designed, even with racing seats. I have done this to about twenty cars so far without any issue. I think I can safely say that I am an expert when it comes to coding different configurations for racing seats. I have even done many of these setups remotely, and have yet to have one issue brought to my attention.

Looks like this is what I need to get done. And I ordered the OC3 yesterday too :

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...&postcount=208
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      12-23-2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
Has anyone successfully modifed the seat occupany sensor from the e46 to work in the e9x like the one in the link below?
e9X OC3 systems are much more complex than e46, using an e46 occupancy mat will not work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
I went back and checked the EAS OC3 thread.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=273704

I was under the impression that the OC3 would disable both airbags but what you're saying makes sense. I don't believe the driver seat has an occupancy sensor, so you're right. That's one less concern.
The Macht Schnell OC3 module will only disable the passenger dashboard airbag. This is meant for a race environment, as a deploying airbag while not properly belted in place can be very dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VSmotorsports View Post
There is a coding option on the M3's that is for recaros. The option is there for the M3 gts. It will delete the air bag code for the seats. the arm extenders for the seat belt, and the passenger seat occupancy sensor.
Correct, these are added to the HO-WORT and stored as part of the Vehicle Order (VO). This option is available for locals looking to be coded.
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      12-25-2011, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
I don't believe the driver seat has an occupancy sensor, so you're right. That's one less concern.

I've never seen our cars driven from the passenger seat which is why I would suspect that the driver's seat has no occupancy sensor while the pass seat has one.



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      12-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #12
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      01-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quick update: I decided to install both driver and passenger Recaros and found someone local who coded my car for me. This is what he did:

- disable passenger and driver seat airbag
- disable passenger occupancy sensor

After coding all seatbelt/airbag errors went away. Thanks for everyone's input. Now I need to decide on which harness to go with.
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      01-05-2012, 10:46 PM   #14
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Thanks for the update.
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      02-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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Did you get the passenger and driver seat airbags disabled or the just the error lights?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer_kidd View Post
Quick update: I decided to install both driver and passenger Recaros and found someone local who coded my car for me. This is what he did:

- disable passenger and driver seat airbag
- disable passenger occupancy sensor

After coding all seatbelt/airbag errors went away. Thanks for everyone's input. Now I need to decide on which harness to go with.
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      02-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Did you get the passenger and driver seat airbags disabled or the just the error lights?
Seat airbags disabled since the Recaro's don't have airbags.
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      02-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #17
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Just want to make sure I understand what you did. Your coding disabled driver and passenger seat side airbags, which makes sense, because your new Recaros don't have side airbags, and the coding disabled the passenger occupancy sensor.

So with your current setup and coding:

Your driver and passenger front airbags (steering wheel and dash) are operational. In the event of an accident, the steering wheel airbag and front passenger dash airbag would deploy, even if the passenger seat was empty, since the passenger occupancy sensor is gone and disabled.

Side curtain airbags on both sides are operational. In fact, all airbags are functional and work as intended, except for the driver and passenger seat-side units.

You have no error messages on the dash or in iDrive.
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      02-06-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
Your driver and passenger front airbags (steering wheel and dash) are operational. In the event of an accident, the steering wheel airbag and front passenger dash airbag would deploy, even if the passenger seat was empty, since the passenger occupancy sensor is gone and disabled.

Side curtain airbags on both sides are operational. In fact, all airbags are functional and work as intended, except for the driver and passenger seat-side units.

You have no error messages on the dash or in iDrive.
From what I understand all airbags are still functional. As you mentioned, passenger dash airbag will deploy even if there isn't a passenger (I guess that's the only downside).

No errors, in the iDrive.
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