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Thread: Any airbag retro fits done by DMC?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    I'm genuinely interested to hear opinions though if anyone thinks this is actually a good idea.
    Nah.

    I liked the rest of your comment though, interesting stuff!

  2. #22
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Just be thankful the airbags never made it into production. By now they'd surely be going off in your face while you're innocently driving down the road, like some Volvo 780 Bertone airbags do (due to sitting & water intrusion - does that sound familiar?).
    -----Dan B.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    My first reaction to this thread was first to ask "why?" and then to laugh out loud given DMCH's spotty history with bringing new products to market. I can't hate on them too much because it's not like they have a dedicated engineering department at their disposal to actually design much. They seem to rely heavily on the vendors who manufacture their reproduction parts to carry the design burden. After the production work is completed it's not like they have an advanced quality control department either to verify what they are receiving meets the required specs.

    That being said, a few years back I did some design work related to frontal and side impact crash testing. Essentially we were trying to use a developed air bag system from one vehicle and adapt it to fit another vehicle without having to create a completely new program/profile for the truck. The ECU that controls the air bags is specific to each vehicle and determines the timing and deployment rate for the air bags during a collision. Initial impact speed and deceleration rate at set intervals during the impact are what typically determine the profile and if the airbags will fire or not.

    We were adapting an existing system I think we did half a dozen actual crash tests for this one vehicle at three different impact speeds. This was for a heavy duty truck and not a passenger vehicle but the relative complexity of the system was about the same. Had we started from scratch to develop a crash profile it would have meant between 10-15 impact tests. Most of the instrumentation and impact testing was contracted out to a specialized company that we worked along side as we made modifications to the vehicle design so it would match the existing crash profile. The development time took about a year and the bill at the end was high six figures, approaching seven.

    SO, if DMCH or anyone else were to attempt anything like this they would be looking and destructive testing on a handful of cars as well as an enormous bill at the end. Given that there is no law or regulation requiring airbags, what would be the point? I'm not sure I understand how airbags would "enhance the brand" or the "desire to own one". I'm genuinely interested to hear opinions though if anyone thinks this is actually a good idea.
    My point exactly but in addition DMC would have to have Product Liability insurance to cover any problems. That one thing, never mind all of the testing required, is a killer. In today's litigious world insurance can be ruinous. A person who would have died but for the airbag, and gets some non-life threatening injuries, will sue for millions. It is usually cheaper when they die. In the early days of airbags people got terrible leg injuries in crashes that previously would have killed them. Automakers had to redesign the cars to prevent those injuries. Another case of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Wait till you see self driving cars. Less people will die but it won't prevent every death. The lawyers will reap huge benefits though.
    David Teitelbaum

  4. #24
    My friends think I'm nuts jawn101's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I just ran across these pics. It looks like someone may have already taken the initiative on this project. The fit and finish... leaves something to be desired... but the branding is on point and I have no doubts at all that the safety of the implementation is top-rate.

    Check it out - dual front and even side airbags! Sign me up





    Jon
    1981 DMC-12 #02100. July 1981. 5-speed, black, grooved w/flap.
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  5. #25
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    The actual installation of the hardware is not the problem. As has been pointed out, it is the software and how and when the airbags get deployed that is the crux of the problem. Without a LOT of design engineering and testing to validate it you could be adversely affecting safety, not improving it. Inside the airbag is is essentially a rocket motor and the exhaust is contained by the bag. If it was to go off inadvertently it can cause injuries, not prevent them. For those who are safety conscious the diligent use of seat belts is your best bet for survival in a crash even if the car has airbags. If the airbags go off and you are not restrained into position the airbag can kill you or you could be ejected from the car cutting your chances of survival greatly. Airbags are not a substitute for seatbelts, only an enhancement to help reduce injuries. If you won't drive in a car without airbags then you should probably sell your Delorean.
    David Teitelbaum

  6. #26
    Senior Member DavidProehl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawn101 View Post
    Hey guys, I just ran across these pics. It looks like someone may have already taken the initiative on this project. The fit and finish... leaves something to be desired... but the branding is on point and I have no doubts at all that the safety of the implementation is top-rate.

    Check it out - dual front and even side airbags! Sign me up





    Great find! Maybe if you can track down the owner of that car they would build out some kits for us. There is a thumbs up in the first photo so it must be safe enough right?
    David Proehl

  7. #27
    My friends think I'm nuts jawn101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidProehl View Post
    Great find! Maybe if you can track down the owner of that car they would build out some kits for us. There is a thumbs up in the first photo so it must be safe enough right?
    The most important question is whether the kits can be made with grey electrical tape for grey interior cars.
    Jon
    1981 DMC-12 #02100. July 1981. 5-speed, black, grooved w/flap.
    restoration log, April 2012 to present
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  8. #28
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    That looks very scary to me.
    -----Dan B.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawn101 View Post
    The most important question is whether the kits can be made with grey electrical tape for grey interior cars.
    Nice pranging, Jon & David P.!
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  10. #30
    My friends think I'm nuts jawn101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Nice pranging, Jon & David P.!
    I have no idea what you’re talking about
    Jon
    1981 DMC-12 #02100. July 1981. 5-speed, black, grooved w/flap.
    restoration log, April 2012 to present
    restoration log, March 2011 to April 2012
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