95 TBird airbag light always on, most of the time.... - TCCoA Forums
 3Likes
  • 1 Post By 94badbird
  • 1 Post By steamer471
  • 1 Post By 94badbird
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
95 TBird airbag light always on, most of the time....

Been having some trouble with my airbag light for the past couple of years and it's gotten worse, when it first started out, the light would randomly "fade" on while driving, usually fading back off while I was still driving, or staying off after I restarted the bird for the rest of the day.
Now after about 30 seconds of turning the car on, the airbag light will fade on and almost always stays on for the rest of the day while driving. Never had a accident, hoping there's a quick fix so I can pass inspection, no beeps or noises. I'm looking at the shop manual and some older posts and seeing it might be a shorting bar or clock spring? Any experienced advice is appreciated.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 08:41 AM
4th Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 215
As I understand, the light will flash a number of times to indicate a trouble code for the technician to troubleshoot. Fading on and off sounds to me more like an electrical problem rather than an airbag system problem. Like bad grounding somewhere connected to the instrument pod. You could try taking that off, cleaning the contacts and reinstalling. Otherwise you should take it to the dealership and have them fix it right.
Jim3inVirginia is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 02:50 PM
5th Gear Poster
 
steamer471's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Charlotte N.C.
Age: 54
Posts: 404
Try replacing the blue airbag module behind the glove box. I would try to get one from a 94 or 95 though 96 97 may work. Sometimes just the connectors will corrode but usually you'll get a flashing code. Just the light fading sounds like some kind of bleeding circuit. I would also recommend disconnecting the battery before attempting any repair.

1997 Mark 8 LSC

Former owner:
1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
steamer471 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 11:34 PM
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 58
The airbag light will blink a code all day long while in "normal" mode. You don't have to trigger a test. I recommend disconnecting the battery as well and not just for safety reasons. If you work on the airbag system with the battery connected the system will know about it. I pulled the entire steering column from my 94 LX to fix a problem and forgot to pull the battery. It did not go off but I did pop a code. I don't think it helped that I dropped the bag and snapped a small piece of plastic off of it. I'm pretty sure I damaged the bag in my case but keeping the battery connected certainly didn't help.
scottjohnston is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 12:19 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

Moderator
 
Grog6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Harriman, TN
Age: 56
Posts: 10,035
Garage
I would recommend removing the airbag properly if you're going to do electrical work on those harnesses.

There's a procedure in the book, but disconnecting the battery is step 1.

If it's physically out, there is a shorting feature in the connector that protects it from inadvertent detonation.

If you accidentally short a wire to it while it's plugged in, you could kill yourself. Don't do that.

I've heard of a guy accidentally detting the drivers airbag while his head was beside it; They scrapped the car due to the damage.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
Grog6 is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Yeah, there are no flashing codes at all, if the car left off long enough it can take a minute for the airbag light to fade on. Where is the instrument pod you are talking about cleaning, and you don't think the clockspring or shorting bars in the column steering column could be a issue?
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 05:35 PM
4th Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 215
The instrument pod is the thing in which the speedometer, tachometer and other gauges are contained. Just some screws and clips that hold the thing that needs to be removed to remove the thing that contains the gauges. Believe all fasteners use a 7 mm socket, 10 mm socket, x-head screwdriver, or just pull out by hand. I'm not saying it's not a clockspring or other component to the air bag system, just that one should start with the easiest and least expensive options first. That's how it's supposed to work, right?
Jim3inVirginia is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Ah, ok, thanks, I always called it the instrument or gauge cluster and I was nodding off while replying so I got slightly confused. I thought the instrument cluster was pretty hard to remove? But I guess not according to what you are telling me, my odometer is also broke, so guess this will give me some practice for when I replace that. Thanks for giving me the socket sizes.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
I looked into removing the instrument cluster, it looks fairly involved, also a bad ground on the instrument panel I wouldn't think would cause the light to come on constantly? It would seem to simply deactivate the light altogether? The airbag light isn't the kind to stay on and it never blinked, I'm thinking of just removing the airbag module and disconnecting the wire for the airbag light until I have the money to get it looked at, I definitely don't have the money to have a dealer fix the airbag system, and mine is so old and has never been replaced, it's more likely having them deploy would in a accident would do more harm than good., me and everyone that rides in the car always wears their seatbelts, and these first gen airbags were more designed for people who don't wear their seatbelts, compared to the newer airbags that don't hit you like a prize fighter when they go off. And yes, I always unplug the battery when work on the car. Maybe I'll try the nearest junkyard for a new airbag module, I wonder how much they'll end up ripping me off.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 06:03 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: fantasy land
Posts: 575
Actually removing the cluster is fairly easy..just annoying bending under the steering wheel...its very strait forward..then if you can't find d the problem you can always at least just remove the bulb .
Tbird Bob likes this.
94badbird is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 07:18 PM
5th Gear Poster
 
steamer471's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Charlotte N.C.
Age: 54
Posts: 404
Removing the surround around the cluster is the hard part. I have actually been as anal as to removing the bolts on the bottom of the steering column to drop it down some. I've read studies on old air bags and they seem to hold up pretty well with age. By the way, no airbags were designed to be used without a seat belt. I have actually become so accustomed to them that I feel a little strange driving an older car without them. A #7 and #8 socket and a couple of screw drivers should be all you need to remove the cluster.

1997 Mark 8 LSC

Former owner:
1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
steamer471 is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 08:26 PM
2nd Gear Poster
 
iamcaper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: nova scotia
Posts: 77
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalHorizons View Post
Been having some trouble with my airbag light for the past couple of years and it's gotten worse, when it first started out, the light would randomly "fade" on while driving, usually fading back off while I was still driving, or staying off after I restarted the bird for the rest of the day.
Now after about 30 seconds of turning the car on, the airbag light will fade on and almost always stays on for the rest of the day while driving. Never had a accident, hoping there's a quick fix so I can pass inspection, no beeps or noises. I'm looking at the shop manual and some older posts and seeing it might be a shorting bar or clock spring? Any experienced advice is appreciated.
have you checked to see if this was recalled,or there might be a service bulletin on this!

drive fast!
iamcaper is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamer471 View Post
Removing the surround around the cluster is the hard part. I have actually been as anal as to removing the bolts on the bottom of the steering column to drop it down some. I've read studies on old air bags and they seem to hold up pretty well with age. By the way, no airbags were designed to be used without a seat belt. I have actually become so accustomed to them that I feel a little strange driving an older car without them. A #7 and #8 socket and a couple of screw drivers should be all you need to remove the cluster.
Can you tell me what bolts you removed from the steering column to let it drop down some? I removed the surround and ended up breaking some of the main bolt mounting tabs and some of the other locking tabs on the right side of the surround literally crumbled just from moving them, and the area of the surround right above the steering column started to split, it looks like they designed the surround to be installed on the car and THEN they installed the steering column (edited). Some of the damage looked like it was done years ago when I had a alarm system installed. It's definitely a severe pain in the ass to remove that surround. I'll probably need another one at some point. Removing the cluster wasn't a issue, just wish I replaced the lights for the speedo and temp gauges, but that's for another thread.

Last edited by DigitalHorizons; 09-11-2017 at 12:25 AM.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 07:08 AM
5th Gear Poster
 
steamer471's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Charlotte N.C.
Age: 54
Posts: 404
I think it's either two or four bolts on the bottom where the column bolts to the dash. You'll have to remove the cover (two bolts also) with the small vent on it. I believe they are either #13mm and or #14. Hate to hear you broke yours, I guess they are getting brittle in twenty+ years.
DigitalHorizons likes this.

1997 Mark 8 LSC

Former owner:
1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
steamer471 is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 09:48 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: fantasy land
Posts: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalHorizons View Post
Can you tell me what bolts you removed from the steering column to let it drop down some? I removed the surround and ended up breaking some of the main bolt mounting tabs and some of the other locking tabs on the right side of the surround literally crumbled just from moving them, and the area of the surround right above the steering column started to split, it looks like they designed the surround to be installed on the car and THEN they installed the surround. Some of the damage looked like it was done years ago when I had a alarm system installed. It's definitely a severe pain in the ass to remove that surround. I'll probably need another one at some point. Removing the cluster wasn't a issue, just wish I replaced the lights for the speedo and temp gauges, but that's for another thread.
Take your time !
There are 2 bolts under the colum you don't have to remove them just listen the bolts so the steering wheel can be lowered an inch and it really frees up a lot of room to remove the bezzle..
And anything you break junk yards have plenty of or I'm sure even a member on here will have what you need..but just take your time and it will come a pet pretty easy.
DigitalHorizons likes this.

Last edited by Rodeo Joe; 09-04-2017 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Fixed quote
94badbird is offline  
post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 07:53 PM
4th Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 215
Do yourself a favor and get the Service Manual. It has details and exploded diagrams, to include the Instrument Cluster Finish Panel and the Instrument Cluster. Even air bag code troubleshooting.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ServiceManual.jpg (142.9 KB, 2 views)
Jim3inVirginia is offline  
post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim3inVirginia View Post
Do yourself a favor and get the Service Manual. It has details and exploded diagrams, to include the Instrument Cluster Finish Panel and the Instrument Cluster. Even air bag code troubleshooting.
Hi Jim, yeah, i got the main manual and vacuum and electrical troubleshooting guide a few months back, I was too much in a hurry and didn't see step 4 on page 13-01-44 about lowering the steering column, lesson learned. Kinda mad the instrument panel circuitry is printed on flexible mylar, instead of something more sturdy like normal PCB. Hopefully a printed circuit issue is not the reason the left side of my dash doesn't light up (went dark years ago and came back on briefly when I hit the top of the dash, years ago). But that's for another thread.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 94badbird View Post
Take your time !
There are 2 bolts under the colum you don't have to remove them just listen the bolts so the steering wheel can be lowered an inch and it really frees up a lot of room to remove the bezzle..
And anything you break junk yards have plenty of or I'm sure even a member on here will have what you need..but just take your time and it will come a pet pretty easy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamer471 View Post
I think it's either two or four bolts on the bottom where the column bolts to the dash. You'll have to remove the cover (two bolts also) with the small vent on it. I believe they are either #13mm and or #14. Hate to hear you broke yours, I guess they are getting brittle in twenty+ years.
Thanks steamer471, 94badbird, I'll go to my local pick an pull, or u wrench it and see if they have any late 90s tbirds or cougars floating around.
DigitalHorizons is offline  
post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 07:03 PM
5th Gear Poster
 
steamer471's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Charlotte N.C.
Age: 54
Posts: 404
If you don't find one let me know I think I have a complete set of dash pieces.

1997 Mark 8 LSC

Former owner:
1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
steamer471 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TCCoA 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











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not 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 On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

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