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Old 08-05-2018, 11:24 PM   #1
naikaidriver
 
Drives: 2010 Camaro 2SS/RS
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 240
How to Defeat the Airbag Computer After Installing Race Seats

Now that I have completed the install, it's time to share what I have learned since the information on how to do this is thinly spread around this forum and incomplete at best.

WHY WOULD I NEED TO DO THIS???
Installing racing seats is one of the best upgrades I have ever done to my Camaro! When you start really pushing hard in the corners, the stock seats just don't cut it anymore at 1g. Especially if they are leather!

Of course, you can easily buy whatever racing seat you want and to be honest, installing seats is pretty darn easy. Thanks to the wonderful engineers at GM though, you will get an awesome chime every single time you start your car telling you "Service Airbag" and your passenger-seat airbag will NEVER deploy.

If you don't have any friends, marriage is on the rocks or your car is a dedicated race car, it may or may not be important to you if your airbag doesn't deploy in a crash. If like the rest of us, you actually "use" your car for more commuter-type activities, you really want to have the passenger-side airbag to work!

The instructions below are only meant for people that have made the conscious decision to remove their airbag-equipped, stock seats for something else and would like to have the system retain most of it's original functionality and most importantly, get rid of that annoying chime and stupid red airbag light on the dash!

SEAT REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
I'm not going to go into too much detail on how to remove the stock seats since they really are pretty straightforward. That said, here are a few "tips" to make your life easier.

1. Do NOT use an impact wrench on your seat bolts!!!!! I can't stress this enough. Don't do it! The seat bolts come from the factory with a ton of thread lock on them and the captured nut under the floor is not very secure. Put too much torque to one of those bolts and you will spin your captured nut and if that happens, the only way to get the bolt out and repair the nut is to cut a hole in the floor of your car from the bottom. I have pictures to show how much is sucks. To repair mine, I ended up spot welding the nut to the floorboard.

2. If you moved your seat all the way forward to get the seat bolts, move it back to a "normal" position before unplugging the harness under the seat. The harness can be removed by sliding the outside clip and it come out very easily. The reason for this is if you plan on re-using the seat position sensor for your racing seats, you will want it in a more, neutral position.

3. I strongly recommend sourcing seats from a wrecking yard or ordering a full seat harness from eBay rather than butchering your stock seats. However, if you don't want to do that, the parts you will want to save from your stock seats are.
  1. Driver and passenger seat wiring harnesses
  2. Seat position sensor for both driver and passenger
  3. Occupancy sensor and ECU from the passenger seat.
  4. Driver and passenger seat belt receptacle.

DRIVER'S SIDE AIRBAG DEFEAT
!. You can either buy an airbag simulator for around $35 or you can build one by soldering 3, 1ohm resistors end to end which is what I did. I have read that you can use between 3-6ohms to simulate the airbag but I have not tested beyond 3.2ohms which worked perfectly. (See picture)

2. For the driver's side harness, the only wires you will need are the two for the seat position sensor and the two for the airbag. That's it. What I did was cut down the entire harness to around 16" long, and then re-soldered the factory plug for the seat position sensor to the harness. I then soldered on of my 3.2ohm resister packs to the end of the airbag wires. Coil the new harness up under the seat or you can secure it to the bottom of your racing seat.


PASSENGER-SIDE AIRBAG DEFEAT
1. Modifying the harness is similar to the driver's side but there is another plug you will need and that is the one to the airbag ECU. I strongly recommend NOT trimming the passenger-side harness like the driver's side since the occupancy sensor will need to be installed in the seat for passenger-side airbag to work. (See picture)

2. To remove the occupancy sensor from the passenger seat, you do not need to remove the whole seat cover. You will need to un-hinge the spring on the bottom of the seat towards the back and then cut two pins that secure the front of the sensor to the bottom of the seat. From there, carefully slide the sensor rearward from the seat taking care not to damage the plug that goes to the airbag ECU.

3. Install the occupancy sensor in your racing seat. For my Sparcos, it was easy. I just cut three hog rings in the front and was able to slide the occupancy sensor into the seat. Fit was pretty good. Just be sure that however you decide to install your occupancy sensor, make sure that the plug for the ECU is to the front of your new seat!

4. Zip tie your passenger-side airbag ECU somewhere to the bottom of the seat making sure it's clear of the seat rails. Then connect the rest of the harness, seat position sensor and hopefully your 3.2ohm resistor pack.

5. Install your passenger seat and connect your harness. Just make sure the harness is free to move if you have rails on your racing seats!

If everything is done correctly, you should be able to start your car, you may or may not get a chime the first time but there should be no "Service Airbag" message or red light on the dash.

Also, these instructions are meant for the 5th gen Camaro up to 2014. If it works beyond that or on a 6th gen, I don't know. Finally, please be safe everyone. There are always dangers when working with airbag systems so please be careful!

Scott
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