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JLPurcell

Retractable Seat Belt Restoration for my 1972

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Edited by JLPurcell

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Next I removed the inertia locking assembly. This is easily completed by pushing down on the tension spring and them sliding the metal bar toward out of the metal cradle through the warning switch side of the cradle.

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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.

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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.

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Nice Job Jerry! Glad my belt assemblies are old school series 1. Look foreward to seeing the end product.

Dan

Original Owner 1971 hls30-20419

Gold Medallion (Definitely Made My Day)

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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.

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JLP, so what exactly do you need SSnake Oyl for? You seem to be a very capable. $750 is an awful lot of money for new webbing. Just saying.

As I dropped off the cradle for blast and powder coat today I was asking myself the same question. As I said earlier I was a little surprised at the original estimate but it was worth it to me for a "restoration". But just polishing up the buckles and replacing the labels and webbing $782.00 is beginning to seem a little pricey. But I have already authorized the work so I will follow through at this point.

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OK, I have two sets apart at this time. I have had the cradles blasted and powder coated (gloss black).;) They look great! (photos in a day or two) I am having rubber stamps made to match the R & L stamped on the black cradles (can you say anal-retentive). I started getting the zinc plated parts ready for plating, wire brushing corrosion and old plating off.

So I call the company which is going to plate the parts for my seat belt project to get an estimate of cost:paranoid:. He made the following statement.... :ermm: "if you bring me 8 parts or a 5 gallon bucket of parts it is going to be the same cost".:tapemouth Needless to say in dismantling numerous Z's over the years I have lost of nuts, bolts, pins, brackets, screws, covers washers... you get the picture. The problem is that I have now spent over 8 hours wire brushing all of the pieces getting them ready for plating and I am not even close to done. When I get the yellow zinc plating done I get to start on the parts for clear zinc plating. This is why all of my projects seem to drag out!:rolleyes:

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Jerry,

Here's my process:

1) Estimate project time

2) Multiply by 1.5

3) Add 15% and I'm pretty close.

Of course, thats for projects where I don't run in to "big" problems... :)

Julio

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OK, The cradles are back from media blast and powder coat and ready for the little detail of stamping R (right) & L (left) on them. The part number stamped in the metal contains an L and R on the reverse side but is covered when the boot is installed. I am guessing that the white stamp was an afterthought for production purposes. The white stamped R & L cannot be seen once installed but for restoration purposes I wanted to re-produce this detail. I first tried to cut my own stamp but was not happy with the results:ermm: so for less than twenty bucks I had a set of stamps made at a local shop. I purposefully used a slow drying white enamel to give me time to work with the stamp. I evenly rolled out the paint on a plate of glass and stamped the glass then the cradle. Overall I am happy with the results they look very close to the original stamping.;) Now waiting for the zinc plating of the re-tractor parts.

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Took a drive to Muncie, IN today to drop off parts for zinc plating. It took a while to get thins ready to go due to the fact that the plating company had a minimum charge so I prepped hundreds of nuts and bolts etc... wire brush all parts then wired all small parts together with small gauge wire all very time consuming. They are now there and the company has promised a 5 day turn around. Did a little driving in Muncie to check out some places I remember from my days in college there. This is also where we lived when I purchase the Z.

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Picked up my parts today from the plater, I did not get my clear or black zinc parts ready in time to drop them off so I will have to make another trip to Muncie in the near future.:ermm: I am very happy with the work.:) The company is a large production company and only does “car guys” parts as a favor. Good People! I have attached photos of the seat belt parts, where this plating project began,:rolleyes: but I have also attached photos of the parts in total. I took some pictures of the small parts which I daisy chained together prior to taking them loose. They came back in a tangled ball but the process worked out well. I had been told that the outcome of the process would be equal to the prep-work. This process was labor intense but well worth the outcome. I believe that I will start a thread dealing with plating beginning with the prep-work in the near future if members are interested.:paranoid: I know that it has been a learning experience for me. The two pulleys are part of a set of an early Datsun Comp ¼” belt drive system.

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Jerry, what car is all of this hardware for?

For the most part extra parts. I am now looking for another parts car. I want to take another Z apart and photo and categorize fastener / finish / location for all fasteners in the car then replate all of them to have a complete set. I believe that the lock washer were integrated into the fasteners in 72 prior to that the washers and lock washers were loose. Anyone weigh in on that? JLP

Edited by JLPurcell

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Jerry

I really like the fact that you are doing some of the stuff that we go through on most of these jobs and the zinc plating is one of those thankless jobs that take a long time and many trips and ways of cleaning to get something usable. There have been multiple ways to try and get the zinc done right and I have to say I am envious of those who say well I just took it in all rusted and dirty and greasey and they gave it back to me all clean and perfect for almost nothing. Not here where I am and not anytime recently for sure. Your parts came out great looking and it sounds like you are getting to know what I go through to try and do this. All the best and great story. By the way be really careful with the super thin springs that make the retractors work when trying to fix the last couple sets your included they will keep snapping off as you try to coil them to tighten them up.

Les

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Jerry

I really like the fact that you are doing some of the stuff that we go through on most of these jobs and the zinc plating is one of those thankless jobs that take a long time and many trips and ways of cleaning to get something usable. There have been multiple ways to try and get the zinc done right and I have to say I am envious of those who say well I just took it in all rusted and dirty and greasey and they gave it back to me all clean and perfect for almost nothing. Not here where I am and not anytime recently for sure. Your parts came out great looking and it sounds like you are getting to know what I go through to try and do this. All the best and great story. By the way be really careful with the super thin springs that make the retractors work when trying to fix the last couple sets your included they will keep snapping off as you try to coil them to tighten them up.

Les

Les,

I am actually enjoying this process. I am getting ready to go out to the garage after this post and wire brush another batch of parts for future plating. I still have not gone through all of my boxes of parts from past parts car strips. I thought I understood how tough it was when you said you were wire brushing parts and every nut and bolt for plating but to think about how tough it is and do actually do it is like calling a pit bull spirited then being attacked by one. But as I am anal-retentive seeing the end product makes it fun. Thanks again Les for all of your hard work on my car, you are truly an artist. I will give you a call in the next few days so we can catch up. JLP

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