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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today, I had a minor accident- basically hit another taco and crunched my front bumper on an icy hill. Basically, the front bumper was the only casualty. I plan on fabbing a custom front bumper over the next week or so to replace it. While thinking about designs, I started wondering about airbag compatibility.

Fortunately, the air bag didn't go off in my incident; it was pretty slow. However, if I had a more rigid bumper, would that have transferred more shock to the air bag sensor and made it go off? I know that airbag compatibility is something that has been dealt with in bumper design before (ie. ARB Tacoma bumper is airbag safe, Prado bumper is supposedly not as happy with the Tacoma airbag system iirc).

Is there anything special I need to take into account when designing a bumper? Has anyone ever heard of an air bag going off as a result of rough offroading (barring collisions)?

EDIT: This thread is recommended below: http://ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46235
 

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I read a post a couple months ago that answered all my air bag questions. it will answer yours too. Im too lazy to find it. search airbag and it should come up.
 

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since the bumper will absorb less impact it will decelerate you faster thus increasing probability of air bag deployment. i have seen a deployed bag on the trail before but that was more like a crash and it did its job. if its a trail only rig id say disable it and get a good harness system. if its driven on the highway don't mess with the air bags.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
At this point, from what I've read it seems like adding a stiffer bumper has a fairly small (but significant) effect on the airbag deployment. I have pretty much ceased to be concerned about this.
 

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I am looking at getting an aftermarket bumper too. The crappy OEM bumper is starting to rust where the paint has been flaking off for the last couple of years.

One big concern I have with home-brew bumpers is that they could actually be more dangerous in a highway crash than the regular plastic bumper, since the engineered crumple zone is completely altered. I am looking into the TJM and ARB - I think both are designed to give at a certain amount of energy.
 

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Companies that say their bumpers are airbag compliant use it as a marketing tool. I'm sure a big company like ARB has the resources to test their product. Bottom line: any aftermarket bumber will affect the airbag deployment. Also the airbag has nothing to do with the bumper, it uses force sensors that when coupled with the ECM determine the airbag deployment. The bumper only changes the time it takes for these forces to reach the sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
shovelracer said:
...Also the airbag has nothing to do with the bumper, it uses force sensors that when coupled with the ECM determine the airbag deployment. The bumper only changes the time it takes for these forces to reach the sensors.
After more thought, I have really come to the conclusion that the airbag reacts to the same forces that would be applied to a person in a crash. So really, the airbags should deploy only in the exact same situations (forcewise) as on a stock vehicle. The change is really that those situations are more likely to occur as an aftermarket/homebrew (stiffer) bumper transfers shock/impact to the passenger/vehicle cabin more effectively. So, these shock/impact conditions that set off the airbag are more likely to occur in a wider variety of impact situations.
 

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That is one effect, the other is the timing of the impact. If an aftermarket bumper causes the crumple zones to change and the forces are applied earlier to the driver, the driver could be thrown forward a milisecond sooner than intended and the airbag could deploy and injure the occupants cause of being too close to the bag.
 

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That's gotta be ugly... You get slammed into the steering wheel then the airbag deploys and blows you back... two for one... eh... just a little more excitement is all... LOL

I have an All-Pro... and they fold up purdy easily (due to the mounting style and the tubing... HREW :rolleyes: ) ... as will most bolt on type (Plated style may actually give less depending on its thickness and bracket strength) ... Hardly much delay I'm betting though... Now a weld up unit thats got upper supports running back to the frame... Yeah that may have a little more impact/delay issue and could be a little more detrimental...

Another thread in the wrong folder :rolleyes:
 

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I just dropped my truck 5-6feet right on its' nose, and the bumper held, and to boot, the airbag did not go off.
 
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