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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey tri-fivers,

I've spoken with a couple body shops about installing (welding) body mounts for 3-point seat belts on my 56 belair 4-door sedan. Both were reluctant without me providing some sort of liability waiver. Anyone else run into this? I see their point and I can draft something up, but I'm wondering if anyone else has something here.
 

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Seat belt liability

No, I never have heard anything like this, But anymore no one wants to lay claim to their work anymore. I guess cuz the world is sue happy.
Somone else will chime in here after awhile. Mike
 

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I can see thier point as it could be a liability issue, so you may have to install them yourself. Although adding seat belts is a far better option than not having any at all, it doesn't mean they will meet any safety regulation.
 

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I can see thier point as it could be a liability issue, so you may have to install them yourself. Although adding seat belts is a far better option than not having any at all, it doesn't mean they will meet any safety regulation.
I believe we have the correct answer, this country has too many lawyers.
 

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If I had a body shop and someone asked me I would never do this. Body shops don't have the knowledge to calculate all of the variables to verify that what they're doing is correct. They probably could make a pretty good "educated Guess" and it may work but I would never risk my business for a few bucks, and even if the customer signed a liability waiver who's to say their wife, children, or even a future owner of the car wouldn't come back and sue. I've seen too many people install their own belts in old cars with low quality fasteners, small OD washers that would pull through the un-reinforced sheet metal and poorly placed mounting points and think they're safe, good luck with that. Heck even race car drivers can't get it right and they're the ones that need it the most. Risk my lively hood... no thank you!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I had a body shop and someone asked me I would never do this. Body shops don't have the knowledge to calculate all of the variables to verify that what they're doing is correct. They probably could make a pretty good "educated Guess" and it may work but I would never risk my business for a few bucks, and even if the customer signed a liability waiver who's to say their wife, children, or even a future owner of the car wouldn't come back and sue. I've seen too many people install their own belts in old cars with low quality fasteners, small OD washers that would pull through the un-reinforced sheet metal and poorly placed mounting points and think they're safe, good luck with that. Heck even race car drivers can't get it right and they're the ones that need it the most. Risk my lively hood... no thank you!!!!
You're right, Troy. I don't begrudge them at all, I wouldn't want to put my company at risk either. I'm just looking for a way to get this done. I'm not a welder so I need some help with those pillar anchors. I'm confident that I can do as well as anyone on the rest of the install. I guess I'll just keep asking around town. Someone will do it that has good workmanship. Just have to find them.

Any other suggestions about what I need to look for are welcome.
 

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To me the issue is not the installation Quality, but rather the ability of the body to take the added stress that would be put on it, if it, were involved in a hard crash. I seriously doubt that it would. I have been working on these cars for 40 years and although they are stronger then many built today, the place the anchors would go, will give way easily.

Just my 1.5 cents

Mikey
 

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That doesn't give them an excuse for poor workmanship for which they should be held accountable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As ZBAD55 says, it's far better than having nothing which is what I have now. I'm not looking for a 5 star crash rating, just something to keep me from smashing my teeth out on the steering wheel in a 20 MPH rear ender. Anyway, the point is not the quality of installation or positioning of the anchors or any of those things. It's how can I get my seat belt situation from a 0 on a scale of 1 to 10 to, say a 5 or 6 by installing these 3-point seat belts as prescribed by the manufacturer of the seat belts. My barrier to entry is finding someone to weld in the anchors precisely where the seat belt manufacturer says to. I'm fully aware it ain't gonna be anywhere near the protection in a 2014 Volvo, but it will be a LOT better than nothing.
 

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To me the issue is not the installation Quality, but rather the ability of the body to take the added stress that would be put on it, if it, were involved in a hard crash. I seriously doubt that it would. I have been working on these cars for 40 years and although they are stronger then many built today, the place the anchors would go, will give way easily.

Just my 1.5 cents

Mikey
Yes that is correct, as I posted in another thread on this issue there is a test that is run that we call a seat pull test. This has to meet FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards). As I posted before the belts we buy may be certifed but that doesn't account for the install. The only way to get these to pass the regulation is by crashing the car and looking at the results of the belt and occupant and I'm sure no one is going to do that.

But as I stated having belts is by far safer than not, and I did put lap belts in my car, with a large (soap dish) reinforcement plate on the sheet metal that came with the kit I bought. But I'm sure that they would not pass a safety regulation.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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I can see the shops point, but most shops install steering columns, brakes and other non stock parts that are not safety certified, that could fail and cause a accident, without thinking about the liability. Why pick on seat belts.

If a wavier is what they want, draft or find one on the internet and give it to them. We sign waviers when we go to most a car shows.

If you take a seat belt retractor apart, you will find a tiny pin that holds a pawl in the retractor ratchet that is all that keeps you from going through the windshield on any modern car. The mounts that we use are much larger than the tiny mechanism, in the retractor, that keeps the belt from extending to it's full length. I'm sure it passed all the safety tests though.
 

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If you have a 2 door sedan or wagon, you don't really even need good welding to install the parts necessary to mount a 3 point system.

First I use Julianos hardware, as it's as good as I've seen.

For the top (shoulder) mount, rather than weld it to the exposed surface of the B pillar (putting the welds in tension in a crash), I welded a couple of pieces of square stock (forget the size, probably 3/4") to the Julianos mount, either side of the welded nut. Then the whole assembly is inserted inside the B pillar and plug welded in place. The square stock fits fairly close inside the channel shape of the inner B pillar. The weld only keeps the mount in position until you can get the mounting bolt in it. In a crash, for the mount to fail it has to either pull the mounting bolt out of the Julianos mount, or pull the whole fitting through the pillar.

On the bottom inner belt mount, I welded a nut to a 1/4" plate. The plate is welded to the full width floor brace. The bolt goes through the floor, brace, and plate. For that to fail, the mount would have to pull through the floor brace, or break the bolt.

On the bottom outer belt mount, I used the Julianos plate and welded it inside the inner quarter panel close to the door and close to the floor. Putting it close to those gives it the maximum strength.

This method is by no means certified or official, but I think it's as good as you get in one of these cars.
 

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I think here in Australia you are suppose to get and "engineers report" when fitting seat belts to make sure they meet ADRs (Australian Design Rules), but the issue with doing this it that an engineers report doesnt just cover the changes you are doing it covers the whole car and costs start at around $1500.....

So i am fitting seatbelts myself so we can fit a couple of carseats for my kids, doing this with the help of a friend in the business but has said if anyone asks i have done all the work myslef which i am happy to do, so just having 100mmx100mm (4"x4") backing plate in about 4mm thickness for the seatbelt mounts on the floors using the correct fitting bolts and nyloc nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the tips, Rick. I'm buying Juliano's products as well and will use your advice when I take this on. I'm still going to have to find someone to do it. If I have to, I'm sure I can draft a waiver from various other waivers I've signed along the way.

Thanks again to everyone for the input.
 

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putting a 3 point system in a tri 5 may look good and make you feel better but don't count on it in a crash situation. The structure is not there on old cars especially a hard top. Every seat belt install I have looked at including my 55 bird and 55 chevy simply mount to the floor pan. Typical modern cars require a pull out force of 3000 pounds.
 

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I get their point, just being cautious I guess. I had a shop, not a body shop, put mine in since it required welding them in the post and I did not have the ability to do that, they never blinked an eye about doing it.
 

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In the end, that little piece of paper you would sign wouldn't hold much, if any, water in court if something were to happen. Depends on circumstances too of course.

I get their point; in the end, if you're in a crash bad enough you're not going to be doing very well, 3 point or 2 point. Like stated, there just isn't any structure n place. I've got the floor belts and probably that's about all it'll get, hopefully I never need them...
 

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I ran in to this alot with off road roll cages etc when I was installing them.

Signed liability waivers are actually not effective because you can't waive negligence. The waivers are good for if the apparatus breaks when the end user alters it (say its welded after they installed it and it breaks, with a signed waiver they would not be liable for the break because the user altered there work). But if they negligently install it (for instance they forget to put some bolts in or lay down oblivious faulty welds) and it causes injury they could be liable even with a signed waiver. Make sense? Basically its not worth the paper its written on.

But if that's what the want easy to make something up. And get our seat belts installed.
 

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Several years ago, a company called Malibu Aerospace developed a self-contained air bag seat belt for the type of airplane I owned. The "firing"mechanism was in a box that got mounted under the seat, and the bag came out of the belt. Since it had to be FAA certified, it was expensive ($2500), but it worked.

I wonder what it would cost to develop on for classic cars? Anyone heard of a company doing this? Probably not economically feasible.
 
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