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Seatbelt failure!



Last week my driver-side seatbelt utterly failed me! It would come unclasped whenever I leaned forward to make a change to the radio or took a deep breath. It came unclasped a total of 16 times during a 40 mile drive.
After trying lubricants that supplied only a short-lived fix, Kenny placed the passenger side connector onto the driver-side, but today, at the GM dealership where I went to inquire about belts, it wouldn't accept the seatbelt connector! It finally did after about 10 tries.

GM dealership stated they order all of their older parts from Corvette Central, Ecklers and MidAmerica. This evening I pulled out my catalogs, and this is what I found:

CC only offers, for my year vette, a 'replacement' lap belt only. No shoulder belt.
MA offers the same 'replacement' lap belt, and the entire seatbelt system for several 100 $s.
E does offer the individual parts (#28394), and the seatbelt connector/buckle is $98.99/ea.

The $100 price tag is high, but I need to be seated safely in the 78!

Sounds like you just need the right side buckle correct? I'll look about ( I might have it...)
What color


Check and see if something got jammed into the belt clasp. I got a piece of Kleenex stuffed in my '72 belt once and it refused to latch. It was almost impossible to see it, and a pain to get it out. Once I dug it out it fixed the problem. Otherwise.... sounds like a Carlisle trip to me. :D Worth a look.

........... Nut
In a 23-year old car, I'd just replace the belts---both sides, lap and shoulder.

Automotive seat belts are very similar in design and materials to the lap belts used on commercial airliners. The FAA requires all seat belts in airliners to be periodically replaced.

I replace OE type seat belts when they show the slightest sign of fraying on the edges, any sign of buckle malfunction or every 10 years.
78 Silv-
The above reply about something stuck in there is good advise! This happened to me yrs ago, forgot about it.
I wanted to show you a site to check out that restores/repairs seat belts. I've personally never dealt with them, but I've heard good things of their work and am considering having my belts redone by them too. They can beat the price of 'new' belts.
Ssnake-oyl Products: www.ssnake-oyl.com
Best of Luck -Dave-
Good suggestion by Dave


I think they can do anything to your belts from re webbing to total restoration of buckles and all to NCRS specs.

Thanks for the advice

Yes, I do need only the clasp. Certainly driver's side, and I'd like to see about replacing pass. side, too.
My interior is oyster, with the light gray belts.
My only problem with sending out work is that this is my only transportation, unless I leave Kenny car-less!

ps, I'll have Kenny look into this 'tissue' / foreign body thing. I haven't been able to see or feel anything inside the belt clasp.
I'd just buy a three-point lap belt from one of the many hot rod suppliers. This will hurt originality of course, but it could be used as a temporary or permanent fix. You could use them while your originals were being redone and they run $90 per side. Check out Juliano's 3-point Belts and Southern Rods & Parts, which run for $45 per side. I don't know why the discrepancy in prices between the two. It's an option to consider. --Bullitt
The temporary replacement may be the ticket. Look in a bone yard for a GM buckle side that fitsand is the right length or close. Shouldn't cost much.

59Tom said:
The temporary replacement may be the ticket. Look in a bone yard for a GM buckle side that fitsand is the right length or close. Shouldn't cost much.


Heidi, Tom is dead-on, it only cost me the $5 yard minimum for an entire seat belt assy out of an old caprice in a bone yard. Just don't tell them it's for a Vette ro the price is automatically tripled :eek.

- Eric
Heidi, Did you get my email about the belts? Just a thought.

Hi Guy, I did.

Still contemplating my options, and looking for some time to scrounge some wrecking yards.

I was very determined the other day, and I went at the (passenger) seatbelt connector that is hooked up to the driver's side belt system with WD-40. I don't know what happened, but it is working fine, now. I still need to have two working belts connectors, and have the proper ones attached to their proper sides.

I think I will consider sending out the true driver's side belt connector to be fixed. Re-install it when it returns and then send out the passenger side.
I think I need to check out Ssnake Oyl. (however it's spelled!)
Heidi, Looks like a couple of people want those belts. I'll bet the bidding gets pretty high near the end.


WD-40 is ok for some things, but it is truely not a very good penatrent for freeing things up. If you got one belt latch working with it maybe the other is just a little more stubborn. The best penatrent that I have found that is available at the parts store or Walmart is PB Blaster. We have been using in the power plant in place of the harder to find Kroil which is also an excellent penatrent. You might want to try some before you give up on the belt latch.
Another excellent product is GM part number 1050422 Heat Valve Lubricant and General Purpose Penetrant. It's the best I have used.

I found the belt

But you don't want it... it's trashed

Hey Mike,

Thanks for looking, anyway!
I think we're going to try some of these penetrating lubricants to see if we can get the belt operational on our own. If we are unsuccessful, we will ship them out one belt at a time for repair, and I will be unable to carry a passenger until they return.

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