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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
patdosa
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Side Airbag connector broken - Can't reset SRS light!!!!

Help!

While replacing my window regulator, I broke the locking tab portion from the main body of a 2-piece squib connector which connects to the side airbag on the front driver's side door. Now I have the SRS light, and I can't reset it because there is no airbag connection. (Already tried several times at my local indie shop) Here's a pic of the broken locking tab (this is actually from username "adaseb" from another thread, but it looks exactly like my broken tab):

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to save some much needed cash, I just want to buy the 2-piece squib connecter and replace the broken one by cut/splice. The entire door wiring harness (which the airbag connector is a part of) is listed over $70 on realoem.com. http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...90&hg=61&fg=05

Anyone know where I might buy just this 2-piece squib connector? preferably from an online retailer? Better yet, all I need is this top locking tab shown above. You can also see the locking tab on the Tyco Electronics website:

http://www.tycoelectronics.com/catal...450,161451&N=3 (btw check out the 3D pdf on that link... WAY COOLL!!!!!)

Anyone else have this problem? thanks!!!!

Last edited by patdosa; 06-05-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
patdosa
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Just an update on my broken locking tab for the airbag squib connector.

I looked up the patent on this airbag squib connector to understand how it operates and learn how to fix it. Well, it turns out that the locking tab (when engaged) is used to disconnect a short circuiting clip from the two (+ , - ) pins of the airbag module. This is a built in safety feature to prevent the airbag from discharging accidentally.

When the locking tab is removed (in order to remove the connector from the airbag), the short circuiting clip engages the two (+, -) pins so that the airbag cannot be accidentally discharged. See Figure 1.

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And when the locking tab is inserted to lock the connector, it pushes between the short circuiting clip and the two (+, -) pins to remove the short circuit, and thereby connect the airbag module to the power supply, and ready for discharge... (make airbag go BOOM ). See Figure 2.

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So the key to fixing my locking tab is to rebuild the two broken "prongs" which look like two big saber-tooths. This is what the locking tab is supposed to look like:

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And this is how mine looks like, see the broken "teeth"?

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The plan is to build a replacement set of plastic "crowns" (no I'm not a dentist...) and glue them to what's left of the broken prongs/teeth. This is not a high load part so super glue should be sufficient. Also will have to drill out the main body of the connector to receive the new "crowns".

Will provide updates on how this goes.

Last edited by patdosa; 06-08-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
myster325
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What error code were you getting for this broken connector?
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
patdosa
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i had my local indie shop read the code. so I don't have it. but i was told the error codes indicated that the side airbag in driverside door was disconnected.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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myster325,
I see (from another thread) you are getting error code table 10, code 06, which is the "firing circuit" problem.

A broken locking tab will cause a problem with the firing circuit. As I mentioned before, a broken locking tab cannot disengage the short circuiting bar/pin. So the SRS controller will only see this short circuit and produce the error code.

lemme ask you. Did you remove the airbag connector yourself? In the process did you separate the locking tab from the main body of the connecter? If so, you probably broke the two prongs, just like I did. The locking tab is to be pulled upwards (but not detached) to remove the connector. I broke my locking tab because I thought they were supposed to be separated..

live and learn...
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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I did separate it but I'll check later if any of the prongs were broken. Hope this is the problem. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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Looks like all my pins are intact and I'm able to separate the 2 parts. My car is an '01 so maybe ours are a little different. Are those shorter pins supposed to be the same length as the longer ones and mine are broken? From the diagram they look longer but from the other pic you have above they look as short as mine.
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Last edited by myster325; 06-08-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
patdosa
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Originally Posted by myster325 View Post
Looks like all my pins are intact and I'm able to separate the 2 parts. My car is an '01 so maybe ours are a little different. Are those shorter pins supposed to be the same length as the longer ones and mine are broken? From the diagram they look longer but from the other pic you have above they look as short as mine.
Yeah, yours looks different. can't tell you which is supposed to be longer or not. but can you tell by looking at the airbag socket where the "teeth"/prongs/pins are supposed to go? if you look in the socket, there should be two metal pins, which should be the +, - terminals. There should also be a metal bar or clip that touchs those two terminals which is providing the short circuit.

Then look at your locking tab and the "teeth"/prongs/pins and see if they will reach sufficiently deep enough into the socket (when seated) to disengage the contact between the short circuiting metal clip and the two +, - pins. If not, then a part of the locking tab may be broken. But first, I would look really closely at the locking tab for any signs of breakage.

You are right. In the graphic illustration of the locking tab, the two "teeth" in the middle are longer. Mine broke about halfway down the teeth, see where the teeth get skinnier? that's where it broke, so in my photo, what you see are two short stubs.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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You know what, that's exactly what is causing the problem. My pins aren't short, they're broken so they don't make contact with the + , - terminals. Ok so can I just buy a new connector now? How's the "dental surgery" coming along on yours?
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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You know what, that's exactly what is causing the problem. My pins aren't short, they're broken so they don't make contact with the + , - terminals. Ok so can I just buy a new connector now? How's the "dental surgery" coming along on yours?
I've looked everywhere and researched this to death. The answer is, you can't just buy a replacement connector, at least for my car anyway. For my car, you have to buy the whole damn door wiring harness. They don't even sell a repair cable to do a splice job. The cheapest i found was from a BMW recycler selling a used door wiring harness for $75.

Haven't started the dental work yet. Just completed my ATF fluid change yesterday. will work on the "teeth" in next several day. will keep updates posted here.

Also you might try looking on this forum for people "parting" their cars, i.e. selling off parts. One guy said he was able to get the connector and 6 inches of wire from another guy for $10. I'd rather do that than dental work any day.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #11
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The reason you can't jus buy a single connector for an airbag system is cause it's against most state laws to repair an airbag connector. You have to replace the harness it is a part of and that's all you can do legally. If you want to be 100% posative that airbag will fire you need to replace it. And if you ever see a body shop or your insurance company attempty to repair a harness like that demand they replace it
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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bimmer07, I know it is illegal to disable or remove your airbags altogether. But are you sure it is illegal to repair a broken airbag connector? Can you cite the source for this law, or a website describing this in detail?

curious minds want to know...
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #13
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Is this the correct part for the complete door wiring harness? I think it's the same link as your patdosa.

01 WIRING CO-DRIVERS SIDE 1 03/2001 61116913080 $74.77

Last edited by myster325; 06-09-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #14
patdosa
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Is this the correct part for the complete door wiring harness? I think it's the same link as your patdosa.

01 WIRING CO-DRIVERS SIDE 1 03/2001 61116913080 $74.77
I'm not sure if it's the same part number for my car, but based on the illustration, that's the door wiring harness I was talking about. You can't see what type of connectors are at the ends, however, so I would go to dealer and do a visual check to see that it will work.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:28 PM   #15
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Would it be safe to just splice in the new connector or should I use the new harness? Just wondering how difficult it is to remove the old harness and replace it compared to splicing.

Also, the harness contains wiring for the speakers, windows, and other things right? It's not only just for the airbag?
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:33 PM   #16
patdosa
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Would it be safe to just splice in the new connector or should I use the new harness? Just wondering how difficult it is to remove the old harness and replace it compared to splicing.

Also, the harness contains wiring for the speakers, windows, and other things right? It's not only just for the airbag?
Of course the safest way is to replace the whole harness. And yes it includes all the connectors for the speakers, windows, etc. But I never checked to see how the harness is connected at the door hinge end; don't know if the connection is in the door, or in the body of the car. Otherwise, i don't think harness replacement should be too difficult.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the info man! I still have some work to do but I don't mind. Beats getting robbed at the dealership anyday.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:39 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the info man! I still have some work to do but I don't mind. Beats getting robbed at the dealership anyday.


keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:08 AM   #19
patdosa
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Originally Posted by myster325 View Post
Looks like all my pins are intact and I'm able to separate the 2 parts. My car is an '01 so maybe ours are a little different. Are those shorter pins supposed to be the same length as the longer ones and mine are broken? From the diagram they look longer but from the other pic you have above they look as short as mine.
hey myster325,
I guess I've been having an extended senior moment, because all this time I've been seeing your photo in reverse contrast..... meaning I thought it was a blue-colored part, with a black outline. I just realized it is a black part on a blue background (piece of paper?)...

Anyway, as you've already realized, your locking tab is exactly the same as mine, and yes, the 2 prongs/teeth are broken... just like mine..
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:02 PM   #20
patdosa
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It works!!!!!!!!!!

Just an update on my home-made fix...(aka the "dental work" I performed to add "crowns" to the "teeth" of the broken locking tab). I was successfully able to rebuild the broken locking tab and squib connector for the side airbag... WITH AN OLD PLASTIC CREDIT/REWARDS CARD!!!!!!!!

And now that the locking tab is working as it should to disengage the short circuit when inserted, I was able to successfully reset the SRS light on my dash. What s relief!!!!!!!!!!! Just saved myself some big bucks on a new door harness. (Also saved some money on the Peake SRS reset tool, by going to my local indie shop that reset it for free... those guys are the best).

Will post pics later.

*disclaimer* - Keep in mind, that proper airbag connection is necessary for operation, and the safest way is to replace the door harness. I am not suggesting anyone do as I did. Just reporting what worked for me. You bear all risks for your actions...
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