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Hi Guy's,

I am in the process of purchasing a UK V8 and i was particually after a car with the air bag option but they seem very hard to find. How hard is it (or is it possible) to retro fit an air bag? I was a benz mechanic in a former life so i am capable of all the mechanical side of things.

Thank you, Nick

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

going to do it im sorry.......(im sure it a logical reason)

why?

p.s. the airbag steering wheels are REALLY ugly iirc

and as its your first post WELCOME, a deloreon owner aswell (respect)

Edited by karluk29

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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I had a horror crash a few years back (wrong place wrong time type of thing) and an air bag saved my life so i am always wary about buying a car without one if at all possible, but granted the air bag wheels aren't the best looking!

Nick

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Hi Nick - As far as I'm aware, the airbag assembly is considered to be an explosive so I think you'll struggle to get hold of one unless you've got thousands of certificates saying that you're trained to fit them/handle them etc.


88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I've taken mine on and off a few times, you can buy them cheap on ebay every now and then. As far as retrofitting, if the car never had an airbag to begin with I doubt it's possible - you'd need all the sensors, wiring, sir ecu etc ... As long as you handle the airbag per manufacturers guidelines, it isn't as dangerous as urban legend would have you believe, still with that said be careful!


Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

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can agree to paul's comment! Is not a problem to handle an Airbag -especially for a mechanic. But what i wounder is : how would you get the "derm-module" the sensors and all that stuff?! Possibly from an crash car, but that means the derm needs reprogramming/delete of all old data and you surely will change the steering wheel with the optional Raid Airbag aftermarket version ...


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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hello Nick;

My job is to integrate passive safety components in Renault cars developpment. So I know very well the request you are asking for.

If the Esprit you want buy has never had an airbag; it is not possible to retro fit one.

Indeed;I think that ,as in France; you won't be allowed to buy all the components from Lotus company ( wheel with airbag; electronic calculator and wires ).

This precaution has been taken by all car manufactures because this operation could very dangerous ( suddenly airbag explosion due to wrong installation or bad calibration of calculator).

Bye

JRT

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as I understand it, it's complicated to get the components - the only available thing is still this Raid wheel with an airbag... .


*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Thanks for the replys. I expected as much but was hoping for an 'easy' solution.

That said is there any UK owners out there with a V8 air bagged car that wishes to sell?

Thanks again, Nick

G

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I'm not sure but think the hardware may be from the Calibra. The wheel appears similar too.


DanR

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Even if the hardware is similar; the software is absolutely different.

the programming of the software is based on several specifiq dimensions of the car ( weight of the car; stiffness and torsion of the frame ;localisation of the calculator..)

Nick ;

I'm very sorry to appear so pessimistic; but what you try to install by yourself could have a bad issue for you.

It is clear that the airbag itself can't kill you ( just a lot of noise and a huge punch in your face..) but if the airbag explosed during car ignition ( at 7.30AM when you go at your job) or worse when you are driving...

The result will be the opposit of what you want.

icon8.gif

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G

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Esprits have a fairly good passive safety record. They tend to be an ok car to have a crash in as the grp lends itself well to absorbing crash energy.

I appreciate your concerns and if you really are set on getting an air bag equipped car then keep an eye out for ex factory (management) or press cars. Most of these were built with an air bag.

It's very rare to find a privately purchased UK car with an air bag - probably less than 1 in 10.

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Hi Nick,

Welcome to the forum!

To get a definative answer, why not ask the factory. Not sure about the car you're looking at this weekend but the car we have been talking about was registered on 13th Dec 2002, so it may have some wiring etc already fitted to car. It may just need sensor, control module and air bag sterring wheel?

On the other hand, only L/H drive cars may have been fitted with them so not sure on this one.

Dave

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Talking to one of the owners of the very last UK cars last night I believe it was an option he could have had fitted (didn't as they are hideous wheels).

However that could mean that the wiring is in the loom possibly.

As mentioned aove a quick call or email to the factory might answer your question better.

HTH

Cheers


Alan Croft

2000 V8 GT

87 Turbo Esprit HC

2000 Elise Sport 160

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just look into the wiring, SIR wiring is coded *yellow all in all* .. .

But he needs sensors, one[two] Airbags, Derm-calculator module/computer and programming! So it would not be cheap to refit it all.


*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Maybe a full harness will give you the equivalent or better safety you'd like and easier to install. Air bags were originally designed for those who refused to wear any type of seat belt. And the greater load area of the extra belt reduces the shock trauma to the body.


DanR

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good point in "belts" -the Esprit with SIR has also a switch at the safety belt locks. I guess it is to identify that the passenger seat is also in use, or not... .

Or is that not related to the derm-control module?


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Nick,

I think you have your feet more to worry about in a shunt.....talking first hand from my own experience. Though of course, I hit a lamp post spinning sideways.... The pedal box is not a safe place for your feet due to the close proximity of the wheel wells.

Result of this accident was a fractured right thumb needing a arm cast, and a left ankle sprain that after a year is still not back to normal

First advice on Esprit ownership. Find somewhere where you can drive the car hard and lose control safely. YOU need to know how the car reacts at the limit and what to expect past the limit of adhesion.

Here are some pics to convince you of what I am talking about. Hit the post at probably about 25-40 mph:

http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/5412/lotus003id7.jpg

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/6031/lotuswreck039ln4.jpg

http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/8746/lotuswreck037xo3.jpg

The front of the car tended to dissipate the energy of the crash by splintering and sending the force throughout the car. The front nose literally broke all the way across, and likely broke away from the frame. The front driver wheel actually came through into the pedal box. The pedal box was half the size of normal after the shunt.

If you got into a front shunt that was bad enough to the point of smashing the car all the way forward to the passenger cell, I don't think an airbag will help much. Fiberglass reacts very differently to sheet metal steel.

Edited by Paul93Lotus

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Thanks for all the responces and the pictures Paul. I wish i had some pictures in Digital format of my crash so you can see why i asked the air bag question origionally.

I was in an MGF when i was hit from the side and pushed head on into the oncoming traffic that was doing at least 60mph.

Not a pretty result but the accident investigator determined that the saftey factors and the air bags of a 'new' car was the only reason i lived. The hit was that hard (and by a few cars) the radio and all dash instruments broke their mountings, the engine and gear box went 100m down the road and the front suspention with wheels still attached landed on my windscreen! I esentially walked out of it with very bad whiplash and a sore knee cap were the ingition key went through it!

Thanks again, it has been very informative, Nick

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Remenber that the frame of Esprit is a (very) old design; based on low weight and hight stiffness ; without any care of crash absorbtion.

although front airbag option improve safety comportment; it should be wrong to consider that Esprit is becoming a secure car with such a passive safety equipement. The steeringwheel airbag can only protect your head and thorax in a frontal accident. In any case it can save your leggs ;Knees and ankles .

The best thing you can don to improve your security onboard Esprit ;is to drive slowly.

Regarding EuroNCAP; i don't think that Esprit could win stars.

I don't know if this famous crash-test has ever been done with GT cars ( ferrari, porsche; Aston...)

JRT

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Hi Nick welcome to the forum, sorry I am a bit slow on responding to your thread. Have you pretty much got a deal on this car? My best mate is moving to OZ next month - gutted! But he might be selling his concourse condition Red 96V8 with airbag. If your interested drop me a line in my profile hes based out at Bucklands Beach in Auckland.


350.gifNo.23

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We had a chat at a meet a coupe of years ago by Geoff Davison who has recently retired from Lotus where he used to work with Brian Angus on the Esprit. Geoff was involved in crash testing the Esprit and had some funny anecdotes and some serious ones. He said that in his time of crashing cars (erm, to order!) the Esprit was one of the safest cars he's seen in most impacts and he's seen thousands of cars being totalled in tests.

Nick, your experience sounds horrific and I winced reading it but I hope there is some assurance in the words of a man who crashed literally hundreds of Esprits in the name of science (well, type approval!).


88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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He said that in his time of crashing cars (erm, to order!) the Esprit was one of the safest cars he's seen in most impacts and he's seen thousands of cars being totalled in tests.

Nick, your experience sounds horrific and I winced reading it but I hope there is some assurance in the words of a man who crashed literally hundreds of Esprits in the name of science (well, type approval!).

I'm working on passive security equipement for cars.

In the past I had to work for a famous Italian Sports car Fabric. The italian Firm had crashed only 3 GT .One for the homologation ; and the others to check the airbag comportment ( in order to confirm programming).

Regarding confidentiality; I can't tell you more.

So I think you are a little optimistic regarding the hundreds Esprit tested in crash condition

Regarding Esprit production ; this number is really big ( very heavy costs for lotus engineering).

If Esprit was "one of the safest cars" it should have been probably compared with others GT ; as Ferrari . Regarding Paul's images; the Esprit Frame has a very bad comportment , a failure in the upper structure ( just above the door ) shows that the underbody of the car had a bad comportment. Pedals intrusion is bad too ( very bad for ankles and knees..)

Front Bumper and side panels are in pretty good conditions.So the crash of paul was probably at a quite low speed. Of course I'm not mr Columbo so I can't guess the real speed. I imagine that Paul was "scared "enought during is crash that he didn't watched the speed impact..

I'm a Esprit V8 owner because this car is beautiful and Powerfull. But I know that I have to drive carefully because things can go wrong in crash condition.

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