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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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  #1  
Old 01-19-2014, 01:19 AM
Dudster Dudster is offline
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Location: Norway
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 Roadster 1,8
Airbag system explained

I have swapped the seats many years ago in my 1996 Z3 from non M to M style.
In my ignorance I didn't care about the airbag system and never bothered to make new connections for the different plugs in the the non M and M seats.

Having grown older and wiser I realize that I do want the airbag system to work, but now I am at a loss as to how it all goes together.

1. Where are the airbag sensors in the Z3?
2. What role does the seat occupancy mat play in this, apart from not releasing the passenger airbag if there is nobody in the seat.
3. How does the pyro's in the seat belt tensioners come into play.

My car does not have side airbags.

I plan to take out the M seats this week and will post some pictures of both the underside of the M and the non M seats, as well as the cables in the car for the seats.

Hope anybody can help me out.

:-)

RgDs from Norway, where the winter is upon us.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2014, 03:53 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,290
Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
It sounds like you already have a good working knowledge of the system. You will want to buy an SRS code reader plus reset tool, usually available on ebay. I bought one from a UK seller that works quite well.

Your 1996 had a simpler system than later models. You probably just need to connect the seat sensors and seat belt tensioners and reset the system.

To answer your questions the best I know:
1. The airbag sensor is behind the front bumper. There is a good description of the system in the "BMW Z3 Electrical Troubleshooting Manual" readily available in PDF form on the internet. Just search on that title.
2. The seat occupancy sensor does just what it sounds like. For that reason, there is not one in the driver's seat.
3. The Seat Belt Tensioner just removes slack from the seat belt and is fired at the same time the air bag is fired.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2014, 05:10 AM
Dudster Dudster is offline
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Location: Norway
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 Roadster 1,8
Funniest thing.

I see that car is fitted for the following:

Passenger's side:

Orange socket for the pyroelectric seat belt actuator.
Black 4 pole connector for the seat heating.
White 2 pole connector for the two seat motors and limit switches.
Small white 3 pole connector for the seat occupancy sensor.

Driver's side:

Yellow socket for the pyroelectric seat belt actuator.
Black 4 pole connector for the seat heating.
White 2 pole connector for the two seat motors and limit switches.

In addition my passenger's side seat base has a cable coming from the seat belt lock. It seems to be a cable that tells if the passenger's seat belt is engaged. There is no opposing socket in the car though. After browsing the net I found the electric schematics for the car and surely enough, on the 1997 Z3 (mine is a 1996) it states that this feature was not used.
The driver's side seat base does not come with this feature in my car.

The funny thing is that I could swear that I had an alarm in my car if the seatbelt wasn't engaged before, but I can't remember if that applied either the passenger or the driver.

I am trying to fit some M-seats to my car and I have not totally worked them out yet, as the sockets are a little different than my original seats. Will post some pictures later.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2014, 12:57 AM
Dudster Dudster is offline
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Location: Norway
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 Roadster 1,8
I made some snaps of the seat bases.
As you see, the passneger's side has one red plug and one black plug.
The red plug is for the pyro, while the black plug is for the seatbelt engaged thingty.

One the driver's side there is only a yellow plug for the pyro.

I was expecting the seat security to be on the driver's side, not the passenger's side. Has anybody else seen this? And the car has no mating plug on either the driver's or passenger's side to mate with this black plug...

Weird...
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2014, 05:21 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Location: Springfield, Ohio, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
That looks like my car, although I don't remember the connector colors being different. Maybe they were. Only the passenger seat gets the occupancy sensor. Both seats get the tensioner, and of course both seats get power for the adjustment motors.
I'm sure you also found the seat-back-stop switch installed on the seat backs, the long yellow thing. That just stops the front/back motor when it hits the hump behind the seat. By the way, to remove those, you push the center pins into the seat and retrieve them later.
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