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I read a post on here several weeks ago that had a discussion regarding aftermarket seat belt with shoulder restraints. The discussion was mainly around installing them in a convertible, and also had a link to a web page where a couple high school kids installed a set in a Mustang.

I need some seat belts for my Camaro. I am installing a set of 98 Camaro buckets, and want restraints similar to newer cars. I want to use the original mounting points if possible, and want the retracting type like newer cars have. The ones in that post looked like they would be great, but I don't recall where they bought them from, can't find the link through an archive post, and have not had good luck searching the internet for solutions.

Can anyone offer advise/sources for belts?
Mark
 

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I got a set of belts out of a 93 or 94 Jimmy and had a guys at a metal shop to bend a pace of flat iron(about 1.5 in wide and about3.5 to 4.5 in height) had him weld the the case of the belt to one end and bolted the other in place it set there like it was made to go there, then at the top for the shoulder part with some washers and some bolts there an area that makes it fit just right for me and my family.The other side is just right( I think I had to take the right to the left and the left to the right) I got the ideal while working on my truck's belts. My 2-cent. God bless. James NC

[This message has been edited by 2-69dovewhites (edited 07-26-2002).]
 

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Where did you anchor the bolt for the shoulder belt? Do you have any pictures, I'd be interested to see your install.

-Andy
 

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Andy, I don't have any pic of that set-up and I'm a little new at putting photo on the net. If you look at the top of the car on the in side, the center rail going across the car, about 4 in. back you'll see a hole in the out side rail, I put a bolt with a washer at the head of the bolt then though the opening, then a washer, then a nut. I can't remember the length of the bolt, then put the hinger of the belt then a lock nut. This is how it looks now and it works well. But I'm thinking about having a nut welded into the hole and then using a bolt to hing the belt. I'm using this car has a daily driver right now. Just playing around with it, right now. Hope this help. God bless all.
James NC
 

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Just a couple of words of caution about installing shoulder harnesses in older cars. There is a lot of engineering that goes into the placement and attachment of seat belts into a car. They are not just installed wherever it looks good (face it alot of them don't look good) but where it is necessary to minimize additional injuries caused by the belts themselves.

Belts anchored to low can cause severe neck and back injuries. Belts not properly anchored to the structure of a car will not survive any kind of accident which you might really need them.

The rear shoulder harnesses in first generation Camaros (all of about 200 of them over three years) are really a joke. They are anchored to a little plate attached to the package tray in a coupe, and to the back of the seat support in a convertible. The convertible one is probably stronger than the coupe due to the direction the forces would be applied to the bolts, but still they are kind of flimsy.

While all of us would like to be safer or have a safer car in which kids can ride in, sometimes the modifications we make in trying to attain that goal can do more harm than good.

That's not to say there isn't some design out there (key word being DESIGN) that will do what you want, please don't ask a bunch of people you don't know how you should go about installing a life safety device. Yes I know there are tons of engineers and other professionals that frequent this site, myself included but I bet no one on this has designed a seat belt system for a car.

Just my .02 cents worth on this subject.

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Mark Canning
1969 Indy Pace Car
350/300HP RPO Z11
My 69 L48 - 350/300HP Engine
 

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Mark, I agree with you which is why I asked for clarifiaction in my earlier question.
My '68 has the mounting points for the factory shoulder belts and I intend to install retractable belts using the factory mounting points. I know full well not to bolt them to anywhere I fancy. The reason for my curiosity was simple: convertibles and coupes mount the shoulder belts in different locations. Modern convertibles mount the shoulder harness low and behind the shoulder, somewhere in the rear seat inner panel. I'm curious as to whether a low, convertible setup could work and be safe in a Coupe as it would keep the belts low and unobtrusive.The lack of a B pillar in the coupe makes an acceptable mounting position harder to achieve. I found this diagram and set of mounting info at a seatbelt vendor site months ago. http://www.andoauto.com/instruction4.htm
It was the acceptable mounting angle diagram that made me start to look at convertibles instead of just at other coupes.
 

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The convertibles mount the front shoulder harness the the structure that supports the roof inside the side trim panel. There is a picture of the mounting point in a 67 on the CRG site (although it is hard to find). This places the anchor point about 5 inches below the drivers shoulder and outboard of his shoulder about 2". This setup isn't to bad, but there is no equivalent structure in the sail panel area on a coupe. It's the rear sets that are really little more than window dressing since they use the package tray as the enchor point.


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Mark Canning
1969 Indy Pace Car
350/300HP RPO Z11
My 69 L48 - 350/300HP Engine
 

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Hmm, the sail panel area in a coupe doesn't look too sturdy at all to me. My car doesn't have rear belts so I didn't know where they were anchored but the package tray looks none too sturdy either. Could you explain to me what you mean by the CRG site? I don't know what you mean and I'd like to check out the pic of the '67 you mentioned.
 

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Mark,

I couldn't agree with you more. Haphazardly applying new technology without thinking about it can get us in trouble.

I remember seeing a picture of a retractable seatbelt system where the reel mechanism mounted in the rear side panel. The upper sail panel factory shoulder harness mounting point was used to guide the belt forward to the occupant. What this did is cause double the amount of load. In this arrangement there is the load from the occupant + the load from the reel reacting on the mounting point. The original design did not account for such loadings.

The aftermarket shoulder harnesses are better than nothing but I would not bet my life on them.

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The Red Beast http://www.geocities.com/casanoc

[This message has been edited by CarlC (edited 08-09-2002).]
 

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I posted the link on the Mustang coupe install of the inertia reel belts.

Since then I located the company, formerly Pony Car Concepts. They were purchased by Custom Autosound and their name is Custom Accessories Manufacturing.

Here is my experience with them: I tried to buy the shoulder harness set for my 68 convertible, blue interior. They sent me the wrong color and wrong hardware. After many phone calls back and forth, they don't have my stock interior color, even though in the Super Chevy mag they said they could get all GM colors.

I found that Ssnake Oyl has the right fabric, so I'm trying to get Custom Accessories to build the set with the right color for me (they're all DOT approved per the company). They mount to the factory locations except for one hole that needs drilled in the door jamb on each side for the fronts.

So where I'm at is once again awaiting a phone call from Custom Accessories. I am not optimistic that they'll be able to deliver and their customer service is lacking.

There you have it. I'm not confident in the functionality/reliability of any aftermarket belts for our cars. Even though the original design wasn't pretty and the belts lay all over the place--they probably worked well sans the comfort.

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68 Camaro ragtop, original 327, angle plug Camel humps, 202's, Performer, Holley 650 double pumper, Doug Thorley headers, 3-speed Saginaw, 3.08 posi, subframe connectors, Addco sway bar

http://hobbystage.net/camaro/cjkaram/
 
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