94 Dodge Caravan RHD conversion problem


#1

I am interested in purchasing a RHD Dodge Caravan from a junkyard. They took the vehicle over to a local garage to get it inspected to see if it would pass local safety inspection and all it needs are 2 new tires, wiperblades, and the airbag light is on which in my area (northern Virginia) auto-fails any vehicle if the idiot gauge lights are on for any reason. It is a RHD conversion so it still has its instrument panel, steering wheel, and pedals on the left with a new wheel and pedals on the right. I am buying this van for postal delivery. The question is anyone have an idea as to why the airbag light might be on and how to fix it? I have an idea but at the moment I dont have complete access to the vehicle to “tinker” to see how to turn it off either by the fuse or by cross-wireing so the light does not stay on. The previous owner apparently took the plexiglass off and put some (oh so Click & Clack) black electrical tape over the light and whoever in the past has been doing the inspections either didnt care or didnt notice. My thought is that since there is no drivers-side seat anylonger something in the computer is not sensing a driver. I have a more modern car (Ford Taurus) and if I put my mail trays on the passenger seat w/out the seatbelt on there is a light that says “passenger airbag off”. I was wondering if anyone had an idea if its something like that since there isnt a seat there anylonger. Any help would be great. Thanks


#2

check for codes.


#3

check for codes? I can take the vehicle into another garage (its back at the junkyard) to get it hooked up to the computer to let it tell me what is going on with it but I either have it towed to the garage (bout $80 round trip) or buy and register the vehicle in Virginia and then drive it to a garage that will probably charge me another $80 to do the diagnostic on the Caravan


#4

thats all I can suggest,at this time I do not rec,cross wiring of any sort on the SRS system.


#5
My guess you will not be able to get that light fixed, assuming they want to see it come on when you start the care to assure you did not black tape it.

Since things have been moved around and you now have two steering wheels, I would guess it is going to have a difficult time verifying that the drivers side air bag is functional.

#6

ok Thanks. Do you think that not having the drivers seat installed any longer could be the problem? apparently the previous owner had this problem for some time since they went out of the way to go cover the light with tape (or something) to hide the airbag light being on.


#7

well, the drivers side steering wheel is still there. Is there some way to test the wheel itself or is the test done on the airbag system itself?


#8

is the seat belt buckle assy,still on the drivers side…this could be as simple as having a code for a voltage loss,thats why best bet is to pull codes,anything short of that is the SHOTGUN method,and gets costly and why waste cash,when the start of the fix is see what the puter sees first.


#9

How about pulling out the gauge cluster, and removing the ABS warning light bulb? I doubt any salvaged junkyard car or van is worth the expense of an airbag problem diagnosis and repair.


#10

any idea how hard that is? Im a bit dumb when it comes to taking apart the dash or doing anything electrical…have a hard time connecting the DVD to the TV as it is


#11

It should be simple. There is a trim piece around the gauge cluster that should be held by a few screws. These can be tricky, because some may be hidden behind other trim pieces. With this trim out of the way, the gauge cluster is held by a few screws or bolts. With these removed, just disconnect the wire harnesses and the speedo cable if this van uses one. Then, you can get to all the bulbs that light up the warning lights and the backlights for night driving.


#12

thanks. have to check into that Monday. The yard closes before I get off work tomorrow