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HI I am looking at using a vw golf mk 4 3 spoke steering wheel on my 1994 t4 my question is how do remove the air bag from the wheel housing safely it appears to be bolted and riveted in from the back .

The safest method I can find means discharging the air bag from a safe distance with a 9 volt battery .

Any advice would be very helpful on this problem as i do not wish to damage the steering centre cover or drive around with an air bag in the steering which is of no use and may pose a safety problem thanku for reading. :)
 

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HI I am looking at using a vw golf mk 4 3 spoke steering wheel on my 1994 t4 my question is how do remove the air bag from the wheel housing safely it appears to be bolted and riveted in from the back .

The safest method I can find means discharging the air bag from a safe distance with a 9 volt battery .

Any advice would be very helpful on this problem as i do not wish to damage the steering centre cover or drive around with an air bag in the steering which is of no use and may pose a safety problem thanku for reading. :)
I’ve had one from a mk4 golf gttdi on my ‘95 t4, iirc, I undid the 4x nuts & drilled the 8x rivet-heads off then gently prised the ‘gas-generator’ from the Airbag housing. As to the airbag itself, you can in-clip the plastic ‘face’ / cover from the frame & remove the airbag itself - replacement is just re-clipping the cover to the frame & mounting on the steering wheelT:

Also, I used a mix-n-match of a mk3 golf horn ‘slip-ring’ and a home machined aluminium spacer to fill the gap between steering wheel & column-stalks for the horn to work correctly A:

Also, remember that there’s spline-adaptors available (free from mk3 golf’s etc. I: ) and that the t4’s steering lock. / column stalks assembly can be slid up & down the column slightly to help aligning the horn contacts - presume you’ll need a spacer aswell though :*


Rich.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
HI Rich thanku for your reply your advice is very helpful T: will take that on board when doing steering.
 

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IMO, if there is no electrical connection to the air bag, just leave it where it is.
It needs a "trigger" to fire it......
 

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HI I am looking at using a vw golf mk 4 3 spoke steering wheel on my 1994 t4 my question is how do remove the air bag from the wheel housing safely it appears to be bolted and riveted in from the back .

The safest method I can find means discharging the air bag from a safe distance with a 9 volt battery .

Any advice would be very helpful on this problem as i do not wish to damage the steering centre cover or drive around with an air bag in the steering which is of no use and may pose a safety problem thanku for reading. :)
The safe way to remove an airbag is whilst the steering wheel is still attached to the vehicle as you need to work away from the bag whilst your body and head are outside the vehicle.

The removal method for MK3 Golf is here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Volkswagen_Golf_GTI_Mk_IV/53-SUSPEN-Removing_Your_Steering_Wheel_and_Air_Bag/53-SUSPEN-Removing_Your_Steering_Wheel_and_Air_Bag.htm

Airbags are dangerous. The early mechanical ones are more dangerous as a a shock or knock can set them off when they are removed from the vehicle. The early ones also contain something called sodium azide which is more dangerous than cyanide.

The later electrically deployed ones as in the Golf can supposedly still be deployed by static from your hands. You need to wear an appropriate type of gloves when handling. When moving them hold them at arms' length with the facia side (badge) facing upwards. Airbags should also be stored in this way as well. They should be stored in a special cabinet with no exposed steel that is secured to a floor / wall. Obviously you won't have this so the safest option is to store badge upwards in the vehicle boot for short period. Do not drive the vehicle with the airbag in there!

Airbag disposal can only be carried out by a specialist licensed contractor. They cannot be thrown in the rubbish or taken to your local dump.

If you do wish to go down the route of deploying the bag then you need to be very careful. At work we deploy them from a rig placed in a workbench vice with approx 10 ft of wiring. If an airbag isn't secured properly when deployed it can launch several feet in the air - even higher for a passenger airbag.

Others may give you less stringent advice on dealing with airbags but all I can say that this is the safest way to minimise risk.
 

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If removing from a vehicle always disconnect the battery and wait 10-15 minutes before removal (unless you have the workshop manual giving you the correct time period):)
 

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So, you seem to be informed about these.....

What do you think about shorting the connections to the airbag together?
Both wires connected together, surely there could be no signal (even static) that could set the charge off.....:*


Not saying it's a "good" policy, but I've removed 4 or 5 bags WITH the battery connected.....but, BIG BUT, always made sure there is ZERO battery power before re-connecting.
 

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Gaz.

I'm no expert by any means but have had training at a reputable business that deals with all vehicle manufacturers. I also deal with airbags from an H&S risk assessment angle.

I can't say about shorting the two wires together as we are taught the safest way to do things and we are not to do it any other way as this is deemed unsafe and could cause major H&S issues.
 

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Aha....yeah, H&S....I remember that from my 15 years working in a hospital!
The "weight limit" was just stupid! (Something like 35kg maximum lifting weight!)
MY toolkit weighed about 50kg....and I carted it every where! (In one hand!)

There were 19" "old school" CRT monitors that weighed 65Kg each...mounted at head height in most clinical areas.
We were "told" we needed a 4 wheel lift to move them....that would take about 30 mins to get to the area, another 30 to move desks, etc to get access.....

Monitor on a shoulder, drop onto a trolley, and replace the "new" one similar way....
15 minute turn-around instead of the clinical area not being able to see emergency X-Rays for over an hour.

H&S....where do THEY stand when it comes to the "Health and Safety" of a clinically ill patient?!?!?!

I was told I would NOT be able to claim any injuries from doing this...but WTF..it was my job to ensure the doctors could see what they needed to see.?!?! :*

People who write the H&S papers should really have to do 5 years in the "real world" before they come out with the cr*p they do!
 

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But surely, there are hundreds of millions of airbags all over the globe. How often do you hear of one going off spontaneously?

I would just leave it where it is......just like drivers of all the post 1990 vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
HI thanku for all the replys all which have strong valid points , I think from a saftey point of view on my project the best way is to discharge the air bag in a safe manner from a long distance in a safe area , using a 9 volt battery then handle with gloves and mask to remove remaining parts then wash thoroughly . c:)
 

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Good call on this. Don't worry about the gloves and mask as any nasties like sodium azide are actually in the charge so once discharged there is no danger. Just be careful when you pick it up afterwards though as the metal body of the bag will be hot.

Gaz, I realise H&S has gone mad now and you've pointed out some great examples of this. Unfortunately I'm now in a position of accountability in my job where I must consider all angles. Obviously the OP was asking for advice and I was just giving the best advice I could to minimise the risk. T:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
HI thanku again the safest method is disarm it and treat it with the respect it needs T:
 

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I’ve had one from a mk4 golf gttdi on my ‘95 t4, iirc, I undid the 4x nuts & drilled the 8x rivet-heads off then gently prised the ‘gas-generator’ from the Airbag housing. As to the airbag itself, you can in-clip the plastic ‘face’ / cover from the frame & remove the airbag itself - replacement is just re-clipping the cover to the frame & mounting on the steering wheelT:

Also, I used a mix-n-match of a mk3 golf horn ‘slip-ring’ and a home machined aluminium spacer to fill the gap between steering wheel & column-stalks for the horn to work correctly A:

Also, remember that there’s spline-adaptors available (free from mk3 golf’s etc. I: ) and that the t4’s steering lock. / column stalks assembly can be slid up & down the column slightly to help aligning the horn contacts - presume you’ll need a spacer aswell though :*


Rich.
Fancy.

A bit of MDF painted black never hurt anyone!
 

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Fancy.

A bit of MDF painted black never hurt anyone!
Unless it was mounted onto the airbag.... LOL:

See where you're coming from though.....I "like" wood, even if it's MDF. (A niece piece of oak managed to stop a centre propshaft bearing on one of my old cars from vibrating loose....which it did often with the rubber mount!)
 
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