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Shoulder Belts

LIRacer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2001
Messages
248
Location
New York
Corvette
65 with ZZ502
I just bought a 65 coupe. I know the '66 had shoulder belts. Is there an easy retro fit for this in a '65?
 
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TomKat

Guest
I just bought a 65 coupe. I know the '66 had shoulder belts. Is there an easy retro fit for this in a '65?


I recently installed Eckler's 3-point Retractable Seat/Shoulder Belt Harness Retrofit kit & headrests (Belts-See Eckler's Catalog page 36-w/Color installation photos provided on their Web page and included with the order [URL="http://www.Ecklers.com"]www.Ecklers.com[/URL]), in my '65 Vert and have been very pleased with them.

I wouldn't say it's easy, but it isn't too difficult if you are somewhat handy & good at following instructions. The hardest part is drilling the hole in the wheel wells for the mounting plate support for the retractors. You will re-use the existing floor lap bolt holes after removing your existing lap belts.

Keep in mind that these are aftermarket buckles and do not quite fit into your existing console tongue retainers, so if are going to have the car judged, you might reconsider....but, if safety is your main concern, then I think you will be a helluva lot safer in a minor accident. I also put in headrests for that same reason-and likewise love their look-and peace of mind.

"Safety first, then all the other stuff."

Good Luck!
[IMG]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q227/Tomkat_album/BeltonKearney2006129Small-1.jpg
 

paul67

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
1,113
Location
Ontario, Canada
Corvette
1974 convertible
Tom,
You are here too! The C2 world is small.

The Eckler's belts can be modified to accept GM tongues and buckles. These are "GM" buckles from a supplier. Not correct "Bowtie" for 1967 but I can live with that. They fit into console receptacles. The generic chrome push/pull buckles do not. The retractors also have enough length to get back to 1966-67 GM bracket locations.

seatbelts007.jpg


If you wish to go GM original you can do this.

seatbracket2.jpg


headrestB.jpg


Dr. Rebuild has the parts.
 
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TomKat

Guest
Hey Paul!
Yes, I found this site a few weeks ago. And thanks for the heads up on the GM Parts Mall-with the reasonably priced posters, accessories, etc.

One more thing about the installation of my shoulder belts.... If I could do it over again, I would raise the retractor portion a little bit higher if possible. Because I think they are maybe mounted a little too low on the wheel wells, causing the belts to feel pretty snug---I think a little higher retractor mount might relieve some of the "pull" or tightness of the tension across the shoulders.

BeltonKearney2006135Small-2.jpg
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
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Messages
7,333
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Tom,

My '67 coupe didn't have shoulder belts but it did have headrests from the factory. I feel that a conversion is a worthwhile investment.

Welcome to the CAC.

Tom
 

LIRacer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2001
Messages
248
Location
New York
Corvette
65 with ZZ502
Allthough I cant help you with your shoulder belt question ,I did want to wish you the "Best of luck with your new car".

Thanks ... I used to own a 72 LT-1 then got rid of it for a Viper GTS. I missed owning a Vette.
 

bluestripe67

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
61
Location
Chevy Chase, MD.
Corvette
'67 Conv. White w/Bluestripe
TomKat, I like the installation and the safety it provides. I have often thought about the possible impact with a wood wheel. How much higher would you suggest raising the retractor, and when you fold your top down does it interfear with the retractor. Thanks, Dennis :beer
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
C-1 and shoulder belts

I am happy that others are also concerned about the greater safety of shoulder belts. I am having my 1961 re-restored and am going to modify the interior per Charles' excellent website and how he modified 84 seats to fit Carol's 1962. I will, of course, keep the original seats for the next owner. Anyway, I really want the added security of shoulder belts and was told it's not possible. I see from the Eckler's website that they offer black belts for $260. I really want a fawn beige or similar light color and may see if good old JC Whitney offers an acceptable color in their non retractable 3 point belts-far cheaper than $260. and built to similar quality from my observation. Yes, this will mean a hole in each fender well, but isn't safety worth some slight body modification? If others have done this retrofitting, would love to learn from their experience,etc. thanks, Harland
 
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TomKat

Guest
TomKat, I like the installation and the safety it provides. I have often thought about the possible impact with a wood wheel. How much higher would you suggest raising the retractor, and when you fold your top down does it interfear with the retractor. Thanks, Dennis :beer

Dennis,

I would think raising the retractor mounting plate inside the wheel well an inch or so if possible might help relieve some of the tightness or tension of the belt across the shoulder. However, I'm no design engineer; but I think raising it could possibly create a little less "grab" or support? So check carefully the location before drilling any holes-if possible get another person or put a crash test dummy in the seat! (See my photo above, & also Eckler's provides good DIY installation photos). But yes, I do feel and added sense of security with a shoulder belt on....

No real problem with interference from the Vert top, it rests pretty much above the wheel well--- just lower it carefully.
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
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Messages
7,333
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
There is a lot of room in the C1 even with the top down but none on the inner side panel where the C2 belts attach. I have been thinking about a hoop bent to follow the rear bow shape welded to brackets on the top arm mountings. There may be simpler places to mount a retractor with proper reinforcement also. A roll bar attachment would be simplest but roll bars just don't have any place to go when your C1 has the convertible top installed.

The problem I see with this is that most of us are taller than children and with the convertible top lid closed it would not be possible to get proper tension on the shoulder belt. It would hold the belt down in an uncomfortable position. Your safety would depend on how much the top panel would deflect on an impact.

I guess that back when seat belts were optional if available at all, even in race cars, nobody even gave any thought to shoulder restraints. The thing about driving a C1 that concerns me even more is the steering shaft. If you were around during the 40s, 50s and 60s you know that people being killed by the steering shaft being pushed back through he front seat was as common as people being thrown from their cars in an accident. It is a solid steel shaft that runs from the left front cross member area to a few inches in front of your chest. The last time I heard of one of us being killed while driving his C1 was just a year or 2 ago. He was skewered by the steering shaft when he was hit nearly head on by someone that turned in front of him. When you consider that most accidents involve the left front of a car this is a concern.

I have been thinking about how to employ a collapsible feature into an original steering column that would be in the area under the instrument panel. That way it would have about 6 inches of collapse and be out of sight to retain the original look of the car. Both the shaft and the jacket would have to telescope.

To me this is a far greater concern than a shoulder belt as long as you have proper lap belts, but anything we can do to make driving our old cars safer is time and money well spent.

Tom
 

richscorvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Messages
400
Location
Connecticut
Corvette
1963 & 2007 Z06 Coupes
Bruce,

We are installing three point belts in a 63 coupe. I bought the belts from Juliano's Hot Rod Shop. We're not at the point of having it installed yet as it will be a while before the interior is finsihed. But we have made the mounts in the B pillar and those at the bottom. The B pillar has a depression which worked great to weld in the upper mount and it was just the right height to make the shoulder belt comfortable. Once we're done I'll have pictures and a description of how we did it. If you're not too pressed for time just send me an e-mail and I can send the pictures when I have them.

Rich Lagasse
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
C-1 sholder belts

Hi Tom, thanks for the insight. I was considering some non retractable shoulder belts from good old JC Whitney, but haven't studied where to attach the upper point bracket without it being uncomfortable,etc. The fixed steering column is one more concern that I hadn't really considered. I am sure it was a most remote fear for the poor guy who was impaled in the accident you cited! I don't know if the fixed shoulder belt would have kept him from this heinous injury or not. If you figure out how to modify the column-even if using an after market one and then saving the original for the purist next owner-please share this info!
I am going to copy Charles's updated C-4 seats for my C-1 for great comfort, and maybe I will keep the headrests if they don't look too dorky--headrests are pretty valuable in a crash situation, as remote as that may be. thanks,Harland
 
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TomKat

Guest
I have been thinking about how to employ a collapsible feature into an original steering column that would be in the area under the instrument panel. That way it would have about 6 inches of collapse and be out of sight to retain the original look of the car. Both the shaft and the jacket would have to telescope.

To me this is a far greater concern than a shoulder belt as long as you have proper lap belts, but anything we can do to make driving our old cars safer is time and money well spent.

Tom[/quote]


Tom, I couldn't agree with you more about the need for an affordable collapsible steering column and the risk involved with the present steering condition.

The thought of being hit severely hard in a fiberglass car from any angle is indeed terrifying, and probably no amount of restraint is going to matter much at such a point.

However, going from virtually no original factory crash built-in safety features & the risk of internal, facial, or neck injuries caused by a lap belt only; my money is on the side of at least some minor extra protection in a moderate crash with a shoulder belt securely buckled in place and a somewhat elevated head restraint.
 

LIRacer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2001
Messages
248
Location
New York
Corvette
65 with ZZ502
Aside for the shoulder harness I am going to install C3 seats for head restraint. Will they be a direct bolt in?
 

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