Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

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dennissutera
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Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby dennissutera » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:07 pm

I’m keen to fit inertia reel seat belts to the front seats & lap seat belts at the rear, as they are seldom occupied.

I’ve reviewed the MMOC website, the Morris Minors Owners Co.UK, spoke to numerous owners of convertibles at MMOC shows, our SE Staffs branch, as well as contacting other branches & potential reputable suppliers of seat belts eg DMG, Moss, ESM, Securon, etc, plus my local MOT garage.

I’ve also read section R34 Seat Belt Anchorage Fitting Instructions in The Morris Minor Workshop Manual.

It appears that an inertia reel type seat belt whilst safer than the lap type, is prone to slip off the shoulder of the wearer, whatever size they are, due to the absence of the B-pillar! This is a safety concern, as well as a possible insurance & a potential future MOT problem.

Unless one of our learned membership has had a “Eureka” moment, it seems that my only way forward is to fit either an “harness” type seat belt, which may present other problems, may look unattractive & is more expensive than the inertia reel type, or a “lap” type seat belt reducing safety in the event of an accident!

Can any member please provide their thoughts/advice on this issue?

kevin s
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby kevin s » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:44 pm

The location of the upper seat belt mounting is far from ideal but certainly better than a lap only, If fitted and worn properly I can't see it is any more likely to fall off the shoulder than a B pillar mounted one , it will lead to more compression of the spine though. Inertia belts tend to be worse than properly adjusted fixed belts because you have slack in the system through loose clothing etc, a properly adjusted fixed belt will hold you tightly in the seat, the flip side of this is that most people find this uncomfortable or restrictive and have it adjusted so loose it is worse than an inertia belt.

A full harness is the safest option but this may not be compatible with the seat, makes it impossible to use the rear seat and is very restrictive.

A minor will never be as safe as a modern car, it's just a mater of deciding how much risk you want to take.

ManyMinors
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby ManyMinors » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:28 pm

I have a similar model which I have owned for many years. It had no belts at all when purchased - and no mountings either. I decided that the best compromise for us was to fit standard static non-retractable three point mounted (lap and diagonal) belts in the front which are mounted more or less replicating the later cars. In the rear I fitted modern inertia-reel belts with the reels out of the way in the boot - the webbing coming through slots cut in the rear shelf because I felt that if the reels were mounted on the shelf, they would interfere with the folded hood. I wouldn't personally want to fit lap belts.

This has worked well for us. The front belts can easily be adjusted for a different driver or when one is wearing a thick winter coat! They do have to be worn fairly tightly to be fully effective but I've never found this too uncomfortable even on long journeys.

moggiethouable
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby moggiethouable » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:22 pm

I dont know if it matters to everybody, but I fitted standard none inertia reel 3 point belts to the rear, pre tensioners were first introduced in Mercedes in 1981 I think.
They were not difficult to fit as existing holes took the mounts in the main.
It just felt more period.
Where angels fear to tread

dp
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby dp » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:50 pm

If roll-over hoops are still available, they could offer a better mounting point for the upper mounting of a an inertia reel seatbelt

dennissutera
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby dennissutera » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:02 pm

May I take this opportunity of sincerely thanking all members in their replies to this subject, which I will carefully consider. Regards Dennis

Biggles1957
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby Biggles1957 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:09 pm

Years ago I fitted inertia reels to my MGB and later to a Midget I rebuilt. they're specially designed for the reel to be mounted horizontally an the rear 'scuttle' if you know what I mean and I didn't have any issues with them slipping off of shoulders.

Biggles1957
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Re: Fitting seat belts in a factory built 1960 convertible

Postby Biggles1957 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:09 pm

Years ago I fitted inertia reels to my MGB and later to a Midget I rebuilt. they're specially designed for the reel to be mounted horizontally an the rear 'scuttle' if you know what I mean and I didn't have any issues with them slipping off of shoulders.


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