Air Bag(s) for 1982 300 TDT

I fell asleep at the wheel of my 1982 300 TDT on Sept. 28. I woke up in intensive care in Salt Lake City at the University Hospital on October 3. After a few weeks in the hospital to recover from my
injuries and surgery to repair my broken shoulders some friends drove out from California, where I live, to pick me up and take me home.
We drove 5-1/2 hours south from Salt Lake to Loa, UT to pick up my car. (Yeah, that must have been a long ambulance ride) The only damage to the car was to the driver's side black rubber wrap around on the bumper and to the back-up light lenses. The steering was not knocked out of alignment.
But I was pretty badly injured.
If I had had an air bag I probably would have walked away with about the same amount of injury the car sustained when I swerved off the road into the soft sand of the dry arroyo where I was found.
Is it possible to retro fit a 1982 300 TDT with an air bag?
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Why are you going for second's
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Oh my gosh Heav.... I am sorry to hear of your accident. As for your answer, as a simple retrofit, the answer is no. I know MB actually made airbag an option on european model 1985 but that was a W126 that I heard of.
I don't think anyone with a W123 has an airbag installed but I can be wrong. Maybe Juergen would know as he is the expert on the W123.
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Sorry to hear that. You must feel better now since you are online and typing.
Tiger is right. I am not aware of any airbag on W123, at least not in US. I would expect it will be a big project to retrofit if it is ever possible. The steering wheel (or even the column), circuit, impact sensor, just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy.
Tiger wrote:

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Tiger schrieb:

I hope you will recover soon and wish you all the best!

that I heard of.

But of course you are right, forget retrofitting.
The details: On later W123 airbag (driver airbag) was an option, at least here in Europe, start was January 1982 (MB code 44/2). Price then was 1.570,70 German Mark, at that time a basic (no power steering, no power windows, no sunroof, no aircondition, no radio - nothing!) European W123 (200 gas) started at 24.408 German Mark, so it was expensive and *very*! seldom ordered (ABS was 2.599 German Mark).
In 1984 the W123 got front passenger seatbelt tensioners, these got their info from a crash sensor box, which also was used for the optional airbag. So in a W123 from before 1984 one would have to retrofit the crash sensor box plus the airbag - theoretically possible, but where to get the parts from? (and at which price?)
Ok, parts suppliers were Petri AG, Aschaffenburg, Germany (now Takata-Petri AG) and Bayern Chemie, Aschau, Germany (now TRW airbag systems), but I seriously doubt they can help...
Also there was a front passenger airbag available - besides one single photo I saw I don't know much about that, only that it was no regular option, but available by special customer order only.
Take in mind airbags do age - there have been successful tests with 20 year old MBs with airbags, but in reality you would have to get *new* produced parts...
So yes, theoretically possible - practically not really.
As much as I am a really big fan of the W123 series (from 25 years of driving), one has to face that it is NOT a safe car by today's standards, today we have seat belt tensioners, ABS, ESP, and at least 6 airbags, that's *worlds* better than any W123 - these were safe, very safe cars for their time, but one has to take in mind that the W123 series was presented ages ago in 1976.
heav, were you wearing the seat belt?? The seat belts are life saver #1!!!!
In case you did and you want to keep your W123 DO change the driver's seat belt - get a new one from MB!!!
All the other systems are supplemental only, that's why the airbags are labeled as "SRS", "Supplemental Restraint System" - SUPPLEMENTAL!
Besides that always make sure the seat belt has no loose but is tight over the clothing and also adjust the headrest accordingly, means top of headrest in a line with the top of the head.
In case you will change your car, have a look at later MB models.
W123 successor W124 was available with one and with two airbags: Driver airbag an option from the beginning (MB code 442) and standard from somewhere in 1992 on, additional passenger airbag an option (MB code 291), standard from somewhen in 1995 (or 1994?) on.
Next successor was W210, started in 1995. Driver and front passenger airbags standard from the beginning, side airbags front option (MB code 292), but standard from 1996 (June?) on.
Current E-Class W211 strted in 2003 has 6 airbags as standard, driver airbag, front passenger airbag, front side airbags and side window airbags, rear sidebags are an option (MB code 293).
And next E-Class W212 from 2009 will have even more airbags (knee airbags)...
Juergen
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Typo, W211 started in 2002
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Hey Juergen... Wow! That was alot of info!
I think for Heav, his next step is to get a diesel W124 wagon. I don't think there is a diesel wagon of W210 in USA or for late model at all.
I do agree... it should be time for Heav to upgrade to later model for more protection.
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Wow! heave, I'm also really sorry to hear about your crash -- and curious to know if you were wearing your belt. That's because I drive the same wagon as you! Scary stuff. I always think of these cars as being so safe, because as Juergen and Tiger pointed out, for their time they were. Very sobering.
I wish you a very speedy recovery and the same for your venerable Benz.
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Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes.
I was wearing my shoulder harness/seat belt. I am sure it prevented further injury. I love my 123 TDT, and the engine has only about 15,000 miles on it. I get 33 mpg with the new engine.
The car was practically undamaged in the accident.
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