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Letting It All Hang Out

Letting It All Hang Out

With a title like this, you might expect some not-work-safe imagery. Not us. Nope. That’s not how we roll.

We’re actually referring to Dan’s soon-to-be-airbagged Hyundai Accent in the title of the post. You see, there are a good many parts of this build that will be “out there,” as in it won’t be hidden behind any sort of opaque covering. Let’s start with exactly the opposite; however. When it comes to an airbag installation like this, there are a number of air lines, power wires and ECU connections that need to snake around the car. The lines going to the front of the car will be exposed unless they’re tucked away, so we tucked them in the one place where Hyundai runs all their wires normally — underneath the door sill trim. You couldn’t even tell that there’s extra sets of wires here, could you? Good.

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Next, let’s discuss a part of the airbag setup that will be showing itself off every minute of the car’s existence. As we mentioned last time, we’re starting construction on the fake floor that will display the various electronic components of the airbag setup. As with every other fake floor we’ve made, or any piece that needs to contour to the shape of an already existing structure, we turn to our best friend for mockups — manila folders!

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Once we’ve determined the shape of the piece using the folders, we head over to our sheet aluminum and start cutting out the shape of the floor pieces. For Dan’s Accent, both sides of the fake floor (but not the center) will utilize this aluminum sheet.

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As we mentioned in the paragraph prior, we won’t be using aluminum for the center of the fake floor. Instead, we want everything underneath to hang out and be seen by everybody opening the trunk. Even though we could accomplish that by using nothing rather than something, we want Dan’s trunk to be able to carry groceries, golf clubs or whatever else he may want to toss back there. For that reason, we’re turning to our good friend that helped accomplish the same task with the RBM x FMU x MU CLK63 Black Series — plexiglass! We haven’t taken off the protective film and started fitting it yet, since we still have a few lines to run and a compressor to screw into place, but hey, it fits the title.

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With all the circuitry accounted for underneath the fake floor, there’s still the matter of figuring out where to mount the tank that will hold the compressed air for the bag system. Again, seeing as how we wanted Dan to be able to use his trunk for things that don’t involve showing off his super-sweet FMU custom airbag setup, we realized there was a novel way to get the tank out of the way but keep it visible. Thanks to Dan’s previous efforts in modding his Accent, he has a rear strut tower bar that spans the width of the trunk. All we needed to do was fabricate some mounts to hold the tank in place…which we did.

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And now the tank can hang out without swinging about (thanks in part to the hexagonal design of the strut bar), suspended high above the remaining components underneath the soon-plexiglassed floor. There are lots of stickers that say “Bags Are For Groceries,” but no, your trunk is for groceries, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that when installing bags.

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Finally, there’s one piece of the airbag setup that will need to “hang out,” so that Dan can access it when necessary. That piece is the AccuAir rocker switch assembly that will move his airbags between three levels of ride height: Cruise will reduce the car to 10% of total airbag inflation; the middle level will be his normal driving height; finally, there’s a 90% airbag-inflation level that will allow him to roll over speed bumps without taking 15 minutes and scraping half the weight off the car. We mounted it right next to his shifter, so it’s within the natural range of motion of his right arm as he drives.

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And that’s all she wrote for today’s blog post! Stick around for tomorrow’s blog post, when we release our final pictures of the Hell On (Two) Wheels Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic!

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