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Thread: Seat belt issues

  1. #1
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Seat belt issues

    When I built my car I bought a set of front 3-point seatbelts from Julianos and made them fit the car. I mounted the retractor inside the quarter panel and the loop near the middle of the b-pillar, anchored by a bolt. This is what they looked like installed.



    20140511_003.JPG

    I have been trying to get another pair ordered in charcoal, but I've run into a dilemma of sorts. There are five different kinds of latches but I'm only interested in the side button release type and the end button release.

    One problem I've run into is that I can only find ONE supplier that has color-matched plastic to match the charcoal webbing. The other two I've found either offer no charcoal webbing, or the plastic is black, which would work but not preferred. Also, Juliano's seatbelts now have an ugly long bracket at the anchor end instead of the small ltriangular shaped one like on my seatbelts.

    I installed one of the seatbelts in the pics above on the passenger side and it won't wind up all the way. It needs to be around a foot shorter when fully retracted to make the belt tight against the side panel, because the spool is full with around 60" of belt un-wound. Mine needs to be around 48" of webbing fully retracted. Most 3-point belts come 133" long but I haven't determined how long mine needs to be when extended. I need to do that.

    The other problem is that the latch on this type of belt doesn't slide freely on the webbing. So when you're in the seat and latch the belt, you have to pull the webbing through the latch. Then when you remove the seatbelt, the latch prevents the webbing from winding up on the retractor spool, and you end up with loose webbing hanging on the floor. New cars have free sliding latches with a button or sewn stop to locate the latch.

    The solution is shorter length of webbing (not offered by the supplier) and a freely sliding latch. Both my trucks and all of our cars have free-sliding latches and end release buckles. You can't mix and match latches and buckles with the different types.

    Next problem is the end release buckles are only available with cables on them, no sheath. That might look kinda stupid with a buckle hanging out there on the end of the cable. I found another supplier that has end release buckle sheaths, but only in black. I could possibly paint/dye it dark gray if it didn't match closely enough. Maybe all black plastic would make more sense but I didn't want to add yet another color to the interior.

    Have any of you installed 3-point belts in your cars? If so, how did you address the sliding latch problem?
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  2. #2
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Here's the different latches and buckles.....

    End release



    Side button release (3 different buttons offered)


    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    In looking at these pics again it just occurred to me that my old seatbelts have a different latch than the new ones I'm looking at. It's much more square. So perhaps the new type do slide freely on the webbing instead of having to pull it through. I'm going to call tomorrow to find out. If it does, that's one problem resolved. I'm also going to see if they can offer a shorter webbing retracted length. I think they build all of these to order so maybe they can.

    Here's the latch on my existing belts....

    20140511_005.jpg

    here's a free-sliding latch:

    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  4. #4
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    I got seat belts for my son's 59 Mercury from a different supplier but I can't think of their name off hand. Not sure if theirs would address all of your issues but I do remember they had different buckle styles and lengths for smaller cars like street rods. If I can find their website I will post it. I think they might be in CA.

  5. #5
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    www.wescoperformance.com/
    Wesco Performance is the place, They sell seat belts for about anything you can think of.
    Hope it helps.

  6. #6
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custer55 View Post
    www.wescoperformance.com/
    Wesco Performance is the place, They sell seat belts for about anything you can think of.
    Hope it helps.
    Thanks for mentioning them. I had looked at them before but for some reason didn't like what they had available. I just looked again, and they have 30 colors and all components supposedly match with their standard colors, which charcoal is one of them. They also have shorter webbing, at 125" or 120". I need to know if the latch slides freely on the webbing so I'll call and ask. Hope it works out...thanks again!
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  7. #7
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Santa Clarita, CA
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    The Julianos 3 pt belts I put in my Nomad do NOT slide freely (as you are mentioning). So when you release the belt latch, it winds up to the point of the upper latch hanging up on the b pillar mount. So there is slack to deal with. I have to reach up and manually adjust that upper latch on the belt to remove the slack. Not the best solution...

    And as far as the short cable on the buckle end, consider having your upholstery guys make up a leather sleeve to slide over it.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  8. #8
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Chevynut,
    Thanks for discussing your seatbelt issues. I have the same issue (and as described by WagonCrazy). I have to hand wind the slack seatbelt onto the tensioner, so it is ready to stop me in an accident (too long a belt on too small a tensioner). Your post reminds me to also do some looking to see if there is a different belt setup that would eliminate the issue.
    Thanks, Doug

  9. #9
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Paul mand Doug, that's exactly the issue I'm trying to avoid. I almost ordered new belts until I re-installed my old ones and recognized the problem. Actually, I first noticed that they were too long retracted. The driver's side (shown in the pics above) has a little shorter length of belt when retracted. I think 133" is too long for these belts. I didn't mount my upper loop as high on the b-pillar as sone do, because I wanted to keep the belt behind the door when retracted.

    As far as I can tell virtually all new vehicles have a free-sliding latch. Both my trucks, and both of our Infinitis have them. I wonder why these seatbelt companies don't make that standard on their seatbelts. If I can't get a free-sliding one I'm going to just buy a set of belts and disassemble them and replace the latch as long as it works in the buckle. I've searched and can't find a charcoal sliding latch, but both my trucks have that color. Then you have to put some kind of button or stopper on the belt to keep the latch from falling to the ground, but at least it will stow right.

    Here's the button I'm talking about....

    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  10. #10
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    These belts aren't that hard to take apart. I had to flip mine around because the retractor is sitting the opposite way as the latch. All you do is upen the cover on the retractor, pull all the webbing out, push the webbing through the slot, remove the retainer pin, and pull the webbing through the slot. Just don't let the spool go or you'll unwind the retractor and you'll have a mess.

    If I have to, I'll cut the webbing to get the new sliding latch on, then I'll have Larry sew the loop back together for the pin. Once there's a couple of winds of webbing over it, it will be safe.

    I'm going to install my seat today and use a rope to measure exactly how long of a belt I need.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

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