Airbag ComputerLocation W124

We've had a diagnosis of a dead airbag computer in our 1995 E320 Wagon.
I've located a "replacement" from a "recycler" at 1/10th the dealer
cost. (P/N 0008207226)
I've read that these sensors are located beneath the radio on some models - and am looking for confirmation on my car!
Does anyone have any words of wisdom for getting this job done?
Thanks.
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Yes, it's below the radio/ashtray area. It's mounted directly to the transmission tunnel.

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Is there any reason that a semi-handy person couldn't do this themselves in some manner like this?
Disconnect battery. Wait 30 mintues. Disassemble trim to get to device. Disconnect cables. Remove device. Replace device. Connect cables. Reach under Steering wheel from outside the car and turn on key. Smile or Frown (as indicated by SRS light or spontaneously setting off the bag.) Reattach trim as needed.
Thanks in advance. (I've got the part and the tools and some of the knowledge - looking for the rest!)
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Hopefully, the car it came out of did not set fault code 10. If it did, you wasted your money. Fault code 10 means the crash sensor has gone past the first threshold and is not erasable. Crash sensors and used brake parts, i.e. master cylinders, are NOT where you cheap out to save bucks.

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Thank you for your concern. I realize that you didn't have the whole story...
Our computer died on a very, very cold winter's day. No deployement, just death - I don't know the cause. There is "no one home" in the computer - no communications at all.
The dealer estimate was over $2400. They recognize that it is expensive and advised: "Don't bother having it fixed. You can still drive the car. There are a lot of older Mercedes out there with SRS lights on. If you should get hit, you've got the full Mercedes structural design, and are only missing the airbag..." Then they offered to have us trade the car in.
We like the car and wanted to pursue having it made whole again.
I contacted several "recylers" and was told that this OEM piece was from a rear ended 1995 E320 in which nothing triggered. He only buys cars that were rear ended and does a lot of parting out of the front end. I have a 30 day guarantee that the part is ok. The seller seems pretty honest. I, too, hope that we don't get in the situation where the part is bad and there is no recourse.
This recycled piece was a whole lot less expensive than the dealer price. I'll have the diagnostics done after the install. If it works, it will cost me about $350 including labor to have airbag protection. If it fails the diagnostic, I can try it again, being more specific with the seller. and still save about $2000.
Some may call it "cheaping out". I suspect that a dealership repair tech and an owner might disagree on where to buy the part as each is trying optimize different aspects of time, resources and money. An independed service tech, might be somewhere in between.
As an owner, I view the approach of trying a recycled part to be a "calculated financial risk" with an upside of $2000 and downside of a few hundred - and feel that it is worth making the effort.
If I were an independent repair tech, I would explain the upside and downside, but would not be averse to helping my clients save a few $$ - especially if the customer did the legwork to find the part. I'd realize that the customer would consider this to be "good service" and would appreciate the effort.
Thank you for your concern.
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I bet it'll work. The one time I bought a recycled part that didn't work, the recycler overnighted me a replacement (pgauto.com)
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I'm very surprised your MB dealer told you your car is safe to drive. Here in the UK, Dealers were advised to take cars with SRS faults off the road! As the SRS light indicates a malfunction with the control unit it IS possible that the air bags could go off without any impact. Not what you want when doing 80mph! The system could be made safe by disconnecting all the air bag/seatbelt connectors.

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Not only did they suggest that we could continue to drive this car, it's the second time they've done so..
The first time occurred when the dealer replaced a defective turn signal/headlight/wiper control level, broke the clockspring in the process, didn't call, but just put the car back together with the new control lever. When my wife picked up the car, she asked why the SRS light was on and they explained that the clockspring had broken, that it was pretty common to have that happen, but not to worry about it. The car was still driveable.
I blew up over that one as I consider the airbag system to be an integral part of safety in the vehicle. I did a quick bit of research, called around and got a handle on the situation. I learned about PerformanceProducts.com as well. The dealership offered to pay for the labor to replace the clockspring as they had never told me that it was a possible/likely outcome, they never called when it did happen and they never gave me an option. Then they told me that the part was something like $350. I told them that I felt that they were gouging me for the part because it was available new from Performance Products for about $90. They agreed to charge me that fee, with shipping and tax.
I now have found what seems to be a very competent shop that deals with several different European cars and will have them do the airbag work. If this works out, I may never go back to that dealer again...
Yes, I'm a little miffed about the dealer treatment. I'm not sure I agree with the UK approach of taking the car off the road, but I do believe that the insurance company should be notified that the system is defective so that they are insuring against the proper level of risk...
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I think it's MB's way of protecting themselves from expensive law suits.

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Agreed. Although I have none of Karl's vast mercedes experience, my first though on reading this thread was that I wouldn't use a crash sensor from a wrecking yard, and believe me I love the wrecking yard.
Marty
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just make sure you do it exactly in that order, airbags are leathal if set off accidently and your in the wrong position at the wrong time.
they explode with enough force to remove your head from your body and fire it through the rear window.

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