Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-28-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,288
New Chevy (and Transit) airbags. Help a brutha out!

A good friend of mine recently bought a 2015 Chevy passenger van to slowly convert to an overland rig. It's Ultralite here and on Expo. I've been helping him with some planning etc. and we've run into a big issue. NO ONE will touch his rig to do a top of any kind due to the upper curtain airbags. On the newer Chevy AND TRANSIT passenger vans, per Van Specialties, they run throughout the length of both sides of the vans on the passenger models and can't be worked around safely for top cutting/modification.

Thoughts/input/advice needed here on whether or not there is a work around. Of course there are liability issues anyone must accept to try to work around airbags but is it possible? Can they just be removed with the rest intact? Any other issues besides a light? It seems with modern vehicles anything is possible electronics wise but it also seems like the safety systems would be pretty tamper proof.

We've talked to SMB and Van Specialties and he may've called others by now but no info yet.

I'm hoping a lot of the perspective Transit or Chevy buyers who are thinking of a new passenger van as a base will see this before they buy. He didn't know about this unfortunately.

TIA

__________________

__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,943
Wow, that's an unwelcome surprise, and also makes me wonder how other converters are going to deal with this.


Herb
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 04:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
WhitH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 830
I'd guess they'll likely have to just go with putting roofs on the cargo versions? No passenger vans. Kind of a bummer for me as I was considering doing a roof on mine in the next year.
__________________
2015 Chevy Express 3500 Duramax
w/ Quigley 4x4 & Agile Fox shocks
Sold 2005 E350 Chateau
Quigley with Agile RIP, 6.0 PSD
WhitH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newberg, OR
Posts: 948
Configure the van (electronically) as a cargo with windows?

As an example, on my van I used to have a gas engine and RSC but I replaced the ABS module with a base model ABS and the Instrument cluster with a diesel version. I reprogrammed the affected modules with the configuration of the base model diesel van.

I'll have to deal with this side curtain air bag problem on my Transit when I put a pop top on it but I was going to take a similar approach to the Transit that I did the E-series. Somewhere there is a VIN# with the configuration that will work...
mgmetalworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,288
Great info Michael, but who can or will do this? I don't have the ability nor does he. He's in Atlanta, though, so it seems it should be possible to find someone.

__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 169
You can get simulators to put in place of the airbags from Airbag Systems.
They are commonly used in race cars.
TeleSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 08:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,310
I can understand the restriction with full tops, since they require a bigger opening, which would interfere with the airbag mounting. Plus, why would you not just buy a high-roof Transit if you want more headroom?

For a pop-top, I think they'll just have to keep the opening smaller to keep it inboard of the airbags. Basically, just don't larger that the vertical parts of the roof headliner.

And yes, you can configure an all-window cargo-van with all the amenities. This is how Winebago starts the new Paseo camper van.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017, 07:12 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
I can understand the restriction with full tops, since they require a bigger opening, which would interfere with the airbag mounting. Plus, why would you not just buy a high-roof Transit if you want more headroom?

For a pop-top, I think they'll just have to keep the opening smaller to keep it inboard of the airbags. Basically, just don't larger that the vertical parts of the roof headliner.
It has to do with how the airbags deploy, not really anything to do with how they are mounted. They are designed to deploy a certain way within the space designed around them and that's why no one wants to alter that space, even well inboard of it.
__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017, 08:37 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 34
Eric, thanks for posting for me while I straightened out my password issue.

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I do hope soon to be van buyers find this in their research. I had bought this van a year old with very low mileage so I was initially excited about it. I bought a 2500 RB as I planned to haul our travel trailer (the wife and daughter camper). Use it as a road trip limo, which we've done and it's great. And the trifecta was going to be putting a SMB top on it as my son and I camp just the 2 of us, a lot.

I've been on the Sportsmobile website hundreds of times considering what I might build but knowing I'd do a simple, a la carte build. Perhaps in the excitement I overlooked the warning to not bring a passenger van due to these head curtains. I still haven't seen anything like that on their site.

Oh well, live and learn. It won't be the first vehicle mistake I've made.
__________________

Ultralite is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×