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No seat belts???

J

jlyddan

Guest
I have a '68 convertible and there are no seat belts. It concerns me to drive the car without belts. I've had the car for several years and understand that the seat belts were optional on this car that hear. I would like to install both lap and shoulder belts taht are original to the year or series. First does anyone know the history of seat belts in this car and can I retrofit belts AND keep the car as original as possible? Where can I get the "original" belts are belts as close to original as possible? Are the moutning points there already or will I have to create the mounting points? Thanks in advance for your help. Jeff
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
First of all, welcome the the :CAC!

Some clarification please - by "no seat belts" do you mean none whatsoever or just no shoulder belts? All 68 Vettes did indeed have lap belts and all coupes had shoulder belts as well. Shoulder belts were an option on ragtops and only 1700 actually had them.

All of the parts necessary to restore them are available through most of the major Vette Resto shops (ZIP, Ecklers, Corvette America) so price it around because they are not cheap. In addition to the belts themselves, you will have to purchase underbody mounting hardware which includes a flimsy cable that connects each seatbelt to the rear frame crossmember.
 
J

jlyddan

Guest
Thanks Eric for the quick reply. My car is missing all belts, no lap or shoulder. Likely the prior owner(s) simply took out the lap belts. Are the mounting points and body reinforcements in place for the lap AND shoulder belts so the option just included the belts? The lap belt anchors should be there for sure, but as for the shoulder ones will I have to drill through the body and reinforce the mouting holes? Does the should belt also have the 'tether' or wire that goes to the rear cross member? I guess you need to anchor the belts to some substantional structure and that explains the tether. Thanks again. I' check out the supply houses. It is important enough to me to pay what it costs to feel safer in the car and return it to is original condition. Thanks again. Jeff
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
Once you find the right belts...

jlyddan,

Once you find the right or correct set of belts, even if the web material or hardware is in disrepair, you can have them repaired at a fraction of what a new OEM set could cost you.

My seat belt assembly was in disrepair for the shoulder portion of it (1981 Vette), and the web material had gotten caught-up on the lock stud at the door too many times. The spring was un-wound, and the belt did not retract or locked as designed.

I was told that Ssnake-Oyl Products could help me ( 1-800-284-7777; Ssnake Oyl Products ). My seat belt assembly returned in like-new condition and function, and I paid $146.45 for this service. I am very happy with the results. That price included an expedite fee of $15.00 and $10.00 for the re-stiching of the original belt label onto the new web material. The shipping charge was $14.95.

I don't know about you, but something as critical as OEM Safety Equipment should be left to proffessionals, and I am very satisfied with the results. A replacement seat belt assembly for my vehicle, if found, would have cost me as much as $450.00... and I get to have the peace of mind that if my wife were to use my car, then the safety equipment will perform as expected in the event of a collision in an accident.

just trying to help...
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Jeff,

The shoulder belts actually mount to the upper post, which is the same structure that the door latches to. There is a piece of trim behind your seat on the door side; remove it and you will see the structure I am referring to. If your car is a 'vert, it is near where the top bolts to the post. Since the shoulder belt mounts there, it doesn't have the tether. Also, for pre-74 'verts, some of the shoulder belt pieces are no longer available but you can fudge it with later parts and coupe parts.

Does your car have the original 68 seats or updated seats? If it has 70+ seats, the shoulder belt will run through the hole in the seat itself.

If you have a ZIP catalog, the parts are on 191. One other catalog has a good drawing of the whole shebang but I can't recall which.

- Eric:w
 

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