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Anyone ever refinish seat belt buckles?


ddezso

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Check out the pictures of my series 1 seat belt buckles. As you can see they are quite worn.

Luckily they function properly but I thought it might be fun to make them look better.

First - does anyone have pix of what a new one looks like and second - any tips on how to repaint or refinish? I've searched for threads and didnt see anything out there.

Thanks....

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I'd be concerned with the 35 y.o. seatbelt webbing first, then the buckles.

The webbing deteriorates from exposure to UV and is probably much weaker than it should be to save your life. Someone ( months ago) posted a link to a company that can recreate the webbing/stitching.

From the looks of the buckles, stripping the old paint and application of a modern, durable paint would really spiff them up.

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While in the process of taking some motorcycle parts to the powder coat shop, I decided to take apart my seatbelts and have buckles powder coated in black. I opted for a satin black finish as opposed to the original gloss black. I’m very happy with the way they came out, and also the fact they have a tougher finish than paint.

In addition, while I had the stuff apart, I decided to wash webbing and re-stitch all the original seat belt tags again. Even the driver’s side lap belt tag was pretty well preserved despite over 30 years of use. When everything was ready to be put back together, I took my seatbelts to a saddle shop in town to have them sewn.

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Good ideas. Does anyone know if these early Z buckles had any sort of stickers on them or were they just black? Was it a flat or glossy black? Both of the original belt tags are totally trashed also. I think I saw a thread somewhere about replacements. Is anyone making replacements?

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What you posted is what you get. They were finished to match the seats.

Do you have a Club Microfiche CD? Go to Section 124-1 get the correct part number there is more then one and order them from Nissan.

Bought my CD in 2001 never been sorry.

Jim

70 240z 6/70

HLS30-06160

Bought my Z at 21 with 34,000 miles thirty years and 157,000 miles ago.

Been driven in every state except Maine

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I was just about to post the Ssnake-Oyl link. Your type of early, lift-buckle style is unobtanium, ddezso. Parts for the buckles themselves are NLA, so be carefull with what you got. From what I can see of your photo, you still have the original finish. The center part was wrinkle black and the buckle body was satin black (semi-gloss). No emblems or labels - just plain. I agree with Montoya and from the looks of your picture, I would say your belts are no longer safe. Ssnake-Oyl will fix you right up. They refurbish everything.

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My experience was sending them what I had and discussing the issue on the phone with them including price after they had a chance to see what they were working with. Not all of my stuff was salvageable. I sent them four sets and got back three. Mine worked out to about $250 per set.

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I'm not sure $250 per set is in the cards for me any time soon considering what I have gotten away with spending so far. Let's put the safety issue aside for a second. Have any of you cleaned up and dyed the straps black? Any tips on that? I am assuming a powder coat on the buckles is the only way to get the black to stay put and look fresh? In other words, is there any paint that won't immediately chip off and look worse?

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Before you do anything to the nylon webbing (such as dying it), do some research. There is a real possibility that the dye could reduce the strength of the webbing even more than the effects of 30+ years. Most car and belt manufacturers specifically warn AGAINST dyes and cleaners other than mild soapy water.

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I'm not sure $250 per set is in the cards for me any time soon considering what I have gotten away with spending so far. Let's put the safety issue aside for a second. Have any of you cleaned up and dyed the straps black? Any tips on that? I am assuming a powder coat on the buckles is the only way to get the black to stay put and look fresh

Rather than putting safety aside and cleaning and dying the straps, wouldn't it be safer and less money to find some quality nylon webbing (as discussed earlier) and take it to a shoe or leather shop to have it sewn? Out in the rural west we have saddle/tack shops with the sewing machines needed to do the job. While the buckles are off the straps you could re-paint or take to the powder coaters. Just my dos centavos.

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I'm also interested and researching. All three of my current vehicles are equipped with the series I buckle latch, as pictured in the first post. My 70 roadster, 71 521 and Z all have these buckles. From what I've learned, the finish is blast-dulled chrome. I hope to be able to disassemble the buckle for plating. I had hopes of reproducing the label. Unfortunately, All three cars use a unique label from the others, So it would be 3 one-off reproductions!

Another tough item will be the plastic inserts in the adjusters. For that point, I don't even know where to start.

For the strapping itself, I'm planning to send the refinished hardware and reproduced labels to a co. like ssnakeoyl for professional assembly.

It sounds crazy, when you think you can buy modern belts, But, especially for the roadster, I will not tolerate any substitutions from original.

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Rather than putting safety aside and cleaning and dying the straps, wouldn't it be safer and less money to find some quality nylon webbing (as discussed earlier) and take it to a shoe or leather shop to have it sewn?

I'm afraid you might find that most places wouldn't do this kind of work for liability reasons. This is the sad result of a litigious society.

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Yes! I made repro seat belt labels. From this original. A photographer friend of mine had some material from a sample kit he got of papers and textile media that was printable. I scanned the label, photoshopped a 8-1/2x11 sheet of them and laser printed the file on to the one sample sheet I had. I tried to buy more material, but they wanted $300 for a roll of it big enough to wallpaper my shop. Thus endeth my million $ scheme to eBay repro seat belt labels. I probably have over $70 in that exercise!

CW-

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Got to admit, The andoauto aviator style, satin finish, is the most "Datsun Like" I've seen to date.
You know, when I posted those links, I could have sworn that the Aviator satin was available as a three point, but now all I see are lap belts. The three point belts are all chrome. :mad:
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