Start Buttons for Everyone! Er… well… for Bucky

Bye bye airbag control, hello start button!

Bye bye airbag control, hello start button!

Yup, that’s an NB airbag control. Sharka is taking the week off from my blog. Today, Bucky gets the spotlight.

I don’t write much about Bucky, my 2001 NB2. He’s (yeah, he) been my wife’s primary car for 9 years. I only started using Bucky as my daily drive in the past 6 months. Now that we’ve got a tiny addition to the family, Sarah has been taking the car with the back seat, our Mazda3.

Anyways. Bucky has been my wife’s car. I’ve not tried to force any (well, many) mods on her or do anything to Bucky that Sarah didn’t want done. And an NB2 is an excellent car in mostly-stock form. So… Bucky doesn’t often get the spotlight. But the past few months have had me driving Miatas every day. And I can’t just leave things alone.

Integrated into the curved panel.

Integrated into the curved panel.

One thing that I’ve always hated with the NB2 was that damn airbag control. If it’s set to “OFF” there’s a big orange light proclaiming that fact. And whether it’s on or off, there’s a big lighted “PASSENGER AIRBAG” label at night. I hate that.

And I love start buttons.

I put the S2000 start button in Sharka back in 2001, a year before buying Bucky. I’ve loved it ever since. I’ve never gotten tired of pressing it. And I finally decided Bucky needed one too. So, I bought a spare airbag control and hacked it up. A little thin plastic, a little bondo, and the key hole transformed into a bigger hole for the start button.

Switches!

Switches!

Another thing that I’ve never liked – the power antenna on Bucky. It goes up whenever the head unit is on. It isn’t smart enough to only put the antenna up when the radio is selected, and I listen to MP3s most of the time anyway. I’ve wanted a switch to keep it down when desired for a while.

And while I was at it, I added a second switch to control one of the radiator fans on demand. Sharka has one of these. It’s very nice to help cool things down on an autocross grid between runs. And the panel wouldn’t have looked right with just one extra switch.

And a few labels to finish it off.

And a few labels to finish it off.

I cut out these little labels on my die cutter and stuck them on to finish the panel. I’m quite happy with how it turned out! And it sure took me long enough. I think I have 10 hours of work into this little start button panel.

Before anyone asks, I’ll not be making another one of these again. Ever.

Installed! View from the driver's seat.

Installed! View from the driver's seat.

View from the passenger seat.

View from the passenger seat.

And then I did some stuff and got it installed! If you wanna see that stuff, check out my NB Start Button Install. It’s the same highly detailed start button install that I wrote for the NA years ago, but with NB-specific information.

But what about that airbag control?

Hidden in the glove box.

Hidden in the glove box.

The wiring harness on this little guy is nice and long. It gives you more than enough room to relocate it from the factory location. I wanted it still available, but hidden away, so I stuck it in the glove box. Literally. It is held onto the roof of the glove box (which is actually the ductwork for the HVAC system) with double sided tape. Really really strong double sided tape. I thought this would be better than screwing it into the duct.

Bucky's interior, January 2012.

Bucky's interior, January 2012.

And that’s pretty much it! I’m quite pleased with Bucky’s latest mod. Starting the car with a button just feels right. It’s an enjoyable little ritual. And night driving without that stupid airbag control blasting me in the face is so much more pleasant.

Want an S2000 start button for your NB? Check out my install page. And if you see anything missing, leave a comment?

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  • Gregg says:

    Well, I picked up a turbo NB2 two months ago. It desparately needs this mod. 10 hours at standard shop rates ($100/hr) plus parts. So…would you do it again for $1200? 😉

    • revlimiter says:

      You can totally do it yourself. It was a lot of time, but it wasn’t difficult work. Just get some thin plastic to form the bottom semi-circle and some bondo to hold everything in place.

      I painted it with flat black Testors spray paint and then gave it a couple coats of Testors semi-gloss to match the interior sheen. Both are available at a hobby store.

    • Dude says:

      Damn, for $1200 Ill fly to whenever you live and do it for you. You only provide beer.

  • Steve says:

    I love that you resisted the urge to use chrome toggle switches. Those plastic jobs suit the OEM+ NB interior perfectly.

    And I wish I could get my vinyl cutter to do tiny lettering that clean. Haven’t had much practice at it, though since everything I cut is much, much larger.

    • revlimiter says:

      THANKS!!! I’m quite pleased with those nondescript little black switches. Took me quite a while to find something as OEM-looking as those.

      As for the letters, it took me a good dozen tries to get these. I still had to finish a couple letters with my Xacto.

  • Tyler says:

    Sorry to comment on such an old post, but how did you hide the wires for the airbag switch? Does the switch still work when it’s in the glove box?

  • John says:

    I’ve been searching in vain for info on how to install additional switches in an NA. I currently have a Cruise Control switch and dash panel light switch, plus a blank. I want to add both a fog light switch and an electric mirror switch. Four switches and three slots! What to do?

    Are there any cubbies that have been modified to take extra switches (plus a guage or analog clock)? Do you know of any other suitable locations to install a standard-sized switch? I guess I could try bondo, like you use for your install above.

    • revlimiter says:

      Anything you can imagine has already been modified on these little cars. =) I once saw a car from Japan that had extremely tiny toggle switches mounted in a blanking plate for the panel you’re describing. He had FOUR in a single blank.

      The limit is your imagination. Lots of places to put a switch.

  • Joe says:

    Adam, with your S2000 start button installs, IIRC you still need the key. I assume the button just takes the place of turning the key to the START position. Do you still need to turn the key to ACC?

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