Jump to content


Retractable Seat Belt Restoration for my 1972


Recommended Posts

Retractable Seat Belt Restoration for my 1972.:ermm:

I recently sent a set of seat belts to be restored to, due to recommendation on this site, I sent them to Ssnake Oyl products in Texas. We are at the point where they have disassembled my belts and given me an estimate. Ssnake Oyl in the estimate listed repair of a tear in one of the rubber covers on the male end of the seat belt. I am sure that the tear was not there when the parts were shipped but that is another story. I have since found another cover and will be sending it to them. Regardless the estimate was in the neighborhood of $780.00. Including new labels made at the price of $30.00 each. My first thought was that it was a little pricy but worth it to me. In reading the disclaimers in the estimate it was stated that they would not guarantee that the electric warning switches would work when finished.:disappoin I called and questioned this. They stated that they did not work on this part of the seat belt.:confused: I was a little puzzled but asked further and found that they basically do not restore the retractor mechanism. So I requested that they send the dissembled parts to me and that I would restore that part of the system so as to have them fully restored. That gets us to the basis of this thread. I am going to try and document the procedures as I restore the electrics and mechanism with photos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Set of retractable seat belts with boots in place. I started on the retractor mechanism side of the set. Removing the spring and cover. It is held in place by three nipples which fit tightly into holes in the metal seat belt frame. As you pop it carefully pop it loose using a flat object (I used a small flat blade screw driver) holding it so as to not let the spring tension take control. Once the plastic cover is lose you can unwind the spring (approximately 5.5 turns with the seat belt in the retracted position. Once unwound you can pull the cover off with spring remaining in the cover (you may have to coax the spring from the split in the seat belt retainer shaft).





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next I worked on removal of the boot. The boot is glued to the frame in one place, just in front of the retaining screw located furthest away from the chrome metal seat belt tongue. The glue is tenacious I used a rigid flat blade putty knife and heat gun. I heated the boot (to make it suppler, they are rigid due to age) and then the glue area as well as the putty knife. I worked around all sides of the glue slowly and cautiously until the boot was lose from the metal frame. Boot cannot be fully removed at this point due to the seat belt webbing and chrome tongue.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next I removed the electric warning system plastic cover on the reverse side of the spring. This cove snaps on to its plastic backing. You will need to pop the cover lose all around then carefully place a flat blade screw driver up and under the cover to the middle and pop the center button lose. The cover is not removed exposing the warning switch and mechanism. At this point I tested the switch to make sure it was in working order. The switch is a normally closed switch (contactors making continuity) and the circuit is broken when the switch is pressed. The test is made with a simple volt ohm meter.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dis-assembly of the belt mechanism from the metal cradle is the next step. The center retainer pin is removed by pushing the pin through the metal cradle pushing from the split end of the pin. I did this with a small socket taping with a hammer. The pin sits in nylon bushings so it is not hard to drive it through. The pin has a shoulder so it can only be removed from one direction. Once pin is removed the seat belt mechanism can be removed from the cradle and the seat belt webbing removed from the mechanism. At this point you can pull the webbing through the rubber boot separating the boot from the assembly. Be sure to note the order of assembly.









Edited by JLPurcell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The final step of dis-assembly of the retractor assembly is to remove the nylon bushing on the spring side and the warning switch plastic retainer. The nylon bushing on the spring side of the cradle can be easily removed. The plastic warning switch retainer is held in place by two metal rivets. I placed an awl through the retainer pin hole from the spring side into the back of the rivets and drove them out. Once the plastic piece has been removed the rivets can be removed. At this point the metal pieces are off to media blast. The cradle will be powder coated and the remaining pieces will be yellow cadmium plated.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Removal of the latch side of the belt assembly from the boot can be completed as follows. I once again heated the boot to make it more supple then slipped the tongue of the seat belt into the latch and pulled as I made sure the lower bolt retainer moved smoothly through the boot. All parts bagged and tagged. I will follow up with next step when the blasting, painting, and plating are complete. At this point it will probably be after the holidays. I hope that someone finds this information useful in the future.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice Post!

I dis-assembled my neighbor's broken assembly. Sadly, the nylon spring cover was cracked, and the spring broken and cracked in another location. I have no idea how, but it looked like water had gotten into the mechanism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.