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quakerj

Relay / Clicking in Passenger Door '96 GP

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quakerj

I took both front door panels off to install some speakers, and also troubleshoot some electrical gremlins.

I have a strange clicking noise coming from the passenger door, looks to be something to do with the seat belt mechanism-- there's two wire connectors, one to each selt belt tensioner thing and the clicking occurs whenever I plug them in and unplug them.  Also I noticed whenever the door is latched the relay (?) disengages and whenever the door is opened they are energized.  What the heck are these and does this sound like they are operating correctly?  The driver's side seatbelt mechanism have no wires going to them, only the passenger side, so I'm thoroughly puzzled as to what these are for and if this behavior is normal.

The pics show the passenger side (with wires) and the drivers side which has no wires.

drivers.jpg

pass.jpg

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digitaloutsider

We actually just discussed this in a different thread. Basically, this is related to how GM's concept of "automatic seatbelts" worked. When the W cars debuted in 1988, the federal government mandated that cars either had to have automatic seatbelts or an airbag. 

The idea was that you would leave the belts latched all of the time, and just.. somehow wrangle yourself into the seat without getting tangled up in the belt. To facilitate this, each front belt retractor has a relay/switch on the unit which enables and disables the inertia lock function. In normal, unenergized mode, the reels lock when they are pulled out quickly, just like any other seatbelt. But when the relay is energized, the reels do not lock so the door can be opened. Without it, the reels would lock if you opened a door quickly while they were latched. It was a stupid, complex way of getting around having to put in traditional automatic seatbelts. Obviously no one wore them the way GM intended and most people don't know why they were in the doors in the first place.

By 1996 the cars already had airbags and I'm not sure why they even bothered with the feature. Either the coupes or the sedans (I can't remember) ended up moving the seatbelts back to the B-pillar where they are traditionally located with the 1994 redesign (which included standard dual airbags). 

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jiggity76

Must be the sedans having the B pillar mounted seat belts.  I know the coupes still have the door mounted belts with the 94-96 dual airbag dash design.

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quakerj

Interesting stuff. I just unplugged the retractors on the passenger side (drivers side has no wires oddly enough).

 Found the electrical gremlin I was after which was causing the interior lights to never go off (when doors are closed.) Somebody screwed the drivers side seatbelt retractor on top of the wires to the door light. Insulation was barely broken, just enough to cause havoc but evidently not enough of a short to blow a fuse. All is well now, door lights work like they’re supposed to.

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