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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #1
Kov
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HOW TO GUIDE: Airbag Code #51 Fix w/ pics

Ok, I got so sick of the airbag light flashing and was set, bound, and determined to fix it. I scoured PT for hours trying to find a fix. Finally, I found the part number for the new fuse, but not a "how to" guide or anything, just a "solder it in and your good to go" With that in mind, I decided to take pics as I went through this fix and write up a how-to for the next person that needs this fix.

I have done this 4 times now, and each time it has been successful!

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any malfuntions that you cause while attempting to fix this. You are conducting this at your own risk!

*Be sure that before you do this fix, you check all your connections to and from your airbag computer. Check to see if any of the outside sensors have been tripped or wires snipped or grounding. If they are and you do this fix, the minute you plug it in and turn the car on, the fuse will blow. Make sure this is the only code you are getting!

If your airbag code is blinking, and you get 51, it means that your internal thermal fuse in your airbag computer is blown which is caused by an intermittant short to ground on one of the wires in the circuit. When the short to the ground is removed, code 51 flashes with the use of the airbag warning lamp, 5 flashes, pause, 1 flash, longer pause. According to the ford bible, this is a nonrepairable fix....until now!

Tools required:
- screwdriver
- low temp soldering iron
- de-soldering tip
- aluminum spring thing to take heat away from new thermal fuse
- new thermal fuse

ok, now you have all the parts probably except for the thermal fuse. YOU WILL NOT FIND THIS AT RAIDOSHACK! I searched and searched, no luck. Just google it and youll get an electronics parts store online who carries them. I picked up three fuses for a total of $6.00 shipped to my door in three days. Cant go wrong there! The fuse number your looking for is NTE8167C or just 167C

1.Now go underneath your steering column and locate the airbag computer. Its a blue box and looks like this
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0769.jpg
Using your screedriver, use to to pry it out of the three mounting tabs seen at the top.

2.Now that you got it out, take it out and go to the kitchen table
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0768.jpg

3.Using the screwdriver again, split the case
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0766.jpg

4.Next, search the airbag computer til you find this fuse
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0758.jpg

5.Here comes the fun technical part: Flip the board over, locate the pins for the old fuse, and desolder them
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0759.jpg
(what I did was count them, then with a sharpy, marked the two pins)

6.Your board should look like this
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0760.jpg

7.Now get your new fuse out. Here is a comparison of the fuses. Notice how much beefier the new one is, but dont worry, itll still work the same as the old one!
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0761.jpg

8.Now bend the ends of the new fuse to match the contouring of the old fuse. Snip the excess ends, and "drop" in the new fuse into the board.

**THE NEXT STEPS THE MOST CRUCIAL AND CRITICAL!**

Remeber before how I said you were going to need the aluminum spring thing. Well here is where it come in handy. The thermal fuse will POP/BLOW if you dont use it when you solder it in.

9.Now, make sure the new fuse rests on and touchs the resister. It WILL NOT work if it doesnt (trust me)
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0763.jpg

10.Now, with that aluminum spring thing, clamp the fuse to the resister
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0765.jpg

11.Flip the board and start soldering
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0764.jpg

12.Get one done, move the aluminum spring thing over to the other side, clamp it and solder

13.When both ends are soldered, your board should look like this
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c1...g/100_0767.jpg

14.Now place the board back into the case and snap the housing together.

15.Go to your car and plug it in and test. You should now have no more flashing/blinking airbag light (well code 51 at least, you may have other issues first)

16.REJOICE and have a beer!

*Side note, the casing that covers the fuse will NOT fit back on the new fuse. I will post a picture of what the fuse looks like as soon as I find the picture on my memory card and will update the post immediatly!

**I will host these pictures as long as I have my photobucket account!!!**
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Last edited by Kov; July 12th, 2009 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Grammer
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Old July 8th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Nice write up!
I wanted to do this for such a long time but got tired searching for fuses with similar temperatures. Are yours 167*C? Does it work well?
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:00 AM   #3
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Nice writeup for those who have limited access to junkyards. I picked up a used one and swapped it out. Only cost me $3 the first time and the last time it somehow found its way at the bottom of my toolbox. LoL But very cool write up and pics = awesome.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RigsPGT View Post
Nice write up!
I wanted to do this for such a long time but got tired searching for fuses with similar temperatures. Are yours 167*C? Does it work well?
Yes. the fuses I bought where the 167*C ones, which are the same exact temp as the OEM one. You wont find them local, you have to order them offline, but well worth it in the end to finally have this problem fixed and no more blinking light

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazRedGT View Post
Nice writeup for those who have limited access to junkyards. I picked up a used one and swapped it out. Only cost me $3 the first time and the last time it somehow found its way at the bottom of my toolbox. LoL But very cool write up and pics = awesome.
WEll thanks. The only thing that I d be worried about it all the j/y's around that i saw awlays had totalled out probes= their airbag computer would be blown too. Also, when I did this, I was severly strapped for cash, so for $6 or so, the part was shipped to my door, and all i had to do was spend about 1/2hr (with taking pictures and taking my time!) for the fix!
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Old July 9th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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will this stop the light from blinking if you have removed your airbags? like in adding an aftermarket steering wheel
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:04 AM   #6
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will this stop the light from blinking if you have removed your airbags? like in adding an aftermarket steering wheel
honestly i have no idea. you would have to read all your airbag codes, but i HIGHLY doubt it!
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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where is this fuse located?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #8
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where is this fuse located?
look at the pics bud. there pointed out there
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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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kov, can you post a better picture of how the replacement fuse sits, preferably from the top and maybe a side pic without so much flash saturation?

this is a GREAT thread. sticky.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #10
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I've got some pics of how the original one sits, maybe they might help:
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2017.jpg
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2019.jpg
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RigsPGT View Post
I've got some pics of how the original one sits, maybe they might help:
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2017.jpg
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2019.jpg
that helps. thanks.

i have a spare blue box floating around in my garage. this is what i was planning on using for this particular repair. all of the instructions are sound, so the only thing to do is get things together and give this a shot.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #12
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wow... very nice writeup! will attempt this next weekend! finally get rid of the airbag light.. i'm sick of the person sitting in the passengers seat asking "whats that flashing light?" and me saying " oh its just the airbag light.. dont worry it will still deploy if we crash"
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #13
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wow... very nice writeup! will attempt this next weekend! finally get rid of the airbag light.. i'm sick of the person sitting in the passengers seat asking "whats that flashing light?" and me saying " oh its just the airbag light.. dont worry it will still deploy if we crash"
haha, will it?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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^^ yep, mine was blinking about a half second before this
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File Type: jpg crash.JPG (77.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #15
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kov, can you post a better picture of how the replacement fuse sits, preferably from the top and maybe a side pic without so much flash saturation?

this is a GREAT thread. sticky.
Well thank you for the sticky. I m just glad that I can contrubuite back to the site. I have been on here so much since 05, but barely post (but i m changing that now). This site has helped me/save me so much and the members are great, so this is the least I can do.

If you need more pics, let me know. I ll dig through my memory card and pull them out for yah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RigsPGT View Post
I've got some pics of how the original one sits, maybe they might help:
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2017.jpg
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...T/IMG_2019.jpg
Wow, those look identical to the ones I have haha. If you dont mind, would it be alright if I steal your pics and edit the original post with them (that way I can also put them in my photobucket account with all the other pics so they will stay there forever!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoe View Post
^^ yep, mine was blinking about a half second before this
Hmmm, yup you may have more than a blown fuse there haha
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #16
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so its safe to say if you have your airbag sensors removed (unplugged) that you can't get rid of the light?

what if you just paint over the inside of the guage cluster?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #17
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so its safe to say if you have your airbag sensors removed (unplugged) that you can't get rid of the light?

what if you just paint over the inside of the guage cluster?
Well painting it would do the same effect that taking out the bulbs.

i cant say for sure about unplugging them if they would fix the light, but more than likely it wont because the airbag computer would think that they are blown.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #18
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yeah, if you take out the bulb the dash or something sets off a loud ass buzzing sound, i tried it already

the only thing left of my airbag system is the harness for the module, and the module itself. oh and also the airbag in the steering wheel
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #19
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If you dont mind, would it be alright if I steal your pics and edit the original post with them (that way I can also put them in my photobucket account with all the other pics so they will stay there forever!)
Absolutely, go ahead and get them
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #20
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Wow! I am very happy to know of this, I've had the 51 flashing for several years and learned to ignore it. Thanks!
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Old July 13th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #21
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wow, cant believe there are this many people that have airbag problems. I would be too paranoid to ride around with the light flashing
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Old August 4th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #22
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If you just want to make the light go out, pull the black connector out of the air bag ECU, and stick a 2 penny nail into the black connector, the cavity with a slot. That cavity has a shorting connector:
* when it is plugged into the ecu a rib on the ecu connector causes the short bar to open circuit, the lamp has no ground, therefore it is OFF;
* when it is unplugged from the ecu, the short bar closes the ground circuit and the lamp is ON.

Remember, you have no airbag at all in this condition, and no warning that the bag is inactive. I do not accept any consequences resulting from this information. Wear your seat belt, it is still the primary restrain system for occupant protection.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #23
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i put an after market wheel in my probe without a air bag and needles to say the light constantly blinks if i just disconnect the air bag ecu would that solve my problem?
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Old March 7th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #24
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Can anyone give me the text that's written on the replacement fuse? I just find it funny that you guys would actually pay 6 bucks for a 10 cent part you can get at digi-key or mouser.

I'd be happy to link you guys to the aforementioned website order pages once I have the tiny print written on the replacement fuse.

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Old March 7th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #25
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OrenG your in l.a., I fixed my air bag light by going to the j/y in L.A. and take the circuit boards of 3 probe srs modules.

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i put an after market wheel in my probe without a air bag and needles to say the light constantly blinks if i just disconnect the air bag ecu would that solve my problem?
BINGO! and if you disconnect the ecm you will also cure the flashing CEL light.
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