There is an issue with rescue teams doing a 3rd door conversion on a two-door Mini Cooper. It seems that the vehicle has a roof airbag on each side to protect the front row seat occupants as well as those in the back seat. The problem is that the roof airbag stored gas inflator is mounted to the side panel of the Mini right where we might be doing a 3rd door evolution. The only way to see it would be to strip away the interior trim panel.
I found this salvage vehicle Mini and took some photos to show you what I mean. Who would have ever thought that an airbag inflator unit would be right where you would be cutting down that sidewall. Something to think about...
This shot shows the passenger side and rear of the Mini as seen from the outside.
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10-06-2012, 06:20 PM #1
3rd Door Evolution with Stored Gas Inflator
10-06-2012, 06:23 PM #2
This view is of the passenger side rear quarter panel with the trim and the rear seats removed. The stored gas inflator for the roof airbag on the passenger side is clearly seen.
To the left is the passenger side door opening. To the right is the rear hatchback opening.
10-06-2012, 06:27 PM #3
This close-up view of the roof airbag stored gas inflator shows that it is attached to the inner side panel. The metal would have to be moved or removed if you were doing a 3rd door evolution.
So how do you work with this in your way? You can unplug the thin wires powering the inflator. That is a safety plug design that allows that to be done relatively safely. You could also detach the inflator module from the sidewall and work to remove the sidewall but leave the stored gas inflator dangling there. You could cut through the tubing part of the inflator and get the entire inflator out of the way as well.
10-08-2012, 04:37 PM #4
USAR TF Rescue Specialist
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