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Re-visiting 3 point seat belt conversions.


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I had a friend message me yesterday looking for info on a 3 point seat belt conversion for a 70 Mach 1 (yes, I said 70). I went back into search, but strangely could not find my own post on this subject. I know this has been discussed many times over the last few years.

So, to re-visit the subject, all the conversion sets appear to be pretty much the same, 65 -73. That as we know really doesn't say too much. The main problem I have (I want to replace mine as well next year) is the tunnel mount belt (side belt), the short one that is, is too short and for me, puts the buckle on the side of the seat. this would be the same either side with a shorter person. Also when I tried a set awhile back, there was a twist over the shoulder I did not like plus they were the older lift-latch style and returned them to NPD. Are they all the same with the twist? I saw that others had installed these and seemed happy with them. Opinions?

The only brand I see that has a longer adjustable side belt, is Scott Drake (unfortunately) so for me I might no have a choice. Has anyone installed SD belts and if so, what's the quality like.

For my friend, is anyone aware of any differences in mounting the belts compared to the 71-73's 

Pics, Buckle on side of seat. twist over the shoulder.

IMG_3384.JPG

IMG_3386.JPG

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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2 hours ago, Don C said:

Thanks Don, but the problem is all seem to have the way too short side belt thingy. That's a huge problem for a short ass!

I will check them out though, they may have options.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Check Wesco. They have many different options. They offer different side sleeve lengths. I use them for my custom rear seat conversion. For my fronts I got a set from Ohio Don. I don't think you can get away from the twist since the belt has to rotate at least 90 degrees.

https://www.wescoperformance.com/seatbelts.html

  • Fist Bump 1

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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6 hours ago, tony-muscle said:

Check Wesco. They have many different options. They offer different side sleeve lengths. I use them for my custom rear seat conversion. For my fronts I got a set from Ohio Don. I don't think you can get away from the twist since the belt has to rotate at least 90 degrees.

https://www.wescoperformance.com/seatbelts.html

Good link Tony Thanks. I'll pass that on and check them out for myself. 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I used the Wesco ones for my front seat belt conversion. Very simple to do and works great. I ordered their 3 point seat belt with sash guide. Lowers where the seat belt changes direction so it doesnt cut into your neck or anything while just driving. Im really happy. Only thing I would have changed is i likely would have put a sliding seat belt buckle instead of the adjustable style. Would just make it easier to retract.

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2 hours ago, MKSpeedlab said:

I used the Wesco ones for my front seat belt conversion. Very simple to do and works great. I ordered their 3 point seat belt with sash guide. Lowers where the seat belt changes direction so it doesnt cut into your neck or anything while just driving. Im really happy. Only thing I would have changed is i likely would have put a sliding seat belt buckle instead of the adjustable style. Would just make it easier to retract.

Good to hear that the sash guide works. I have been looking into adding one to avoid the belt cutting my neck. Unfortunately i need to send the belt to a specialized place to add it.

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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8 hours ago, MKSpeedlab said:

I used the Wesco ones for my front seat belt conversion. Very simple to do and works great. I ordered their 3 point seat belt with sash guide. Lowers where the seat belt changes direction so it doesnt cut into your neck or anything while just driving. Im really happy. Only thing I would have changed is i likely would have put a sliding seat belt buckle instead of the adjustable style. Would just make it easier to retract.

On that sash guide, how long is it?

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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Might not be the perfect solution but you could use part of rear seat belt or lap belt for the tunnel side to give you the extra length.   The only problem is that is will move the shoulder belt over to the left side of the body some making it less effective.  

https://www.seatbeltsplus.com/category/mustang-seat-belts.html#?Vehiclemake=Ford&Vehiclemodel=Mustang&search_return=all&Vehicleyear=1971

 

Edited by Kilgon

Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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Guys, thanks for your replies and input. I'm actually leaning towards the Wesco belts with the sash. I do need to do some more research, but they look like they will be a good, reliable compromise for the originals. I think most will fully understand that safety, such as it is in one of these cars, overrides originality. My car is no where near "concours", so I could care less. I just want to know that IF I ever have to do a panic stop (before hitting a lamp post) the belt won't just break and that's a real possibility with 50 year old belts. Besides it would stop the wife bi*ching every time she gets in the car.. 

It's a next year thing now, so lots of time to research and choose what is best for me.

 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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On 11/9/2020 at 12:25 PM, MKSpeedlab said:

I used the Wesco ones for my front seat belt conversion. Very simple to do and works great. I ordered their 3 point seat belt with sash guide. Lowers where the seat belt changes direction so it doesnt cut into your neck or anything while just driving. Im really happy. Only thing I would have changed is i likely would have put a sliding seat belt buckle instead of the adjustable style. Would just make it easier to retract.

 So, you have the set with the 7" sash guide. I just looked at my seat position, which is probably more forward than most and it appeared that the belt would still be just below the top of the seat back. Does that pose a problem? A taller person might not want the sash extension. What's your opinion?

 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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On 11/9/2020 at 10:57 PM, Kilgon said:

Might not be the perfect solution but you could use part of rear seat belt or lap belt for the tunnel side to give you the extra length.   The only problem is that is will move the shoulder belt over to the left side of the body some making it less effective.  

https://www.seatbeltsplus.com/category/mustang-seat-belts.html#?Vehiclemake=Ford&Vehiclemodel=Mustang&search_return=all&Vehicleyear=1971

 

I was looking closer at these products. They have one for the mustang that has a 5" soft sash, which I think would be better than the Wesco that has a 7" sash. They also offer a 20" buckle belt without the cover. Now I'm leaning more to the seatbeltsplus system. 

Thanks for the link.

Edited by Stanglover

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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38 minutes ago, Stanglover said:

 So, you have the set with the 7" sash guide. I just looked at my seat position, which is probably more forward than most and it appeared that the belt would still be just below the top of the seat back. Does that pose a problem? A taller person might not want the sash extension. What's your opinion?

 

Mine has the 8" sash guard and Im really happy with it. Im about 5'11"-6' and find the seat belts work great and are comfortable. My understanding is that the ideal spot for your seatbelt to cross over is at or likely just above shoulder height since it would be more effective. 

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15 minutes ago, MKSpeedlab said:

Mine has the 8" sash guard and Im really happy with it. Im about 5'11"-6' and find the seat belts work great and are comfortable. My understanding is that the ideal spot for your seatbelt to cross over is at or likely just above shoulder height since it would be more effective. 

 Thanks, that's interesting. I would have thought that for a taller person, a shorter sash extension would be better. I'm only 5'4" ish, so it's hard to know what would be best. I don't want to have to send back an order, so I need to get it right the first time. I'm in no rush of course, this is a next summer project.

Side note to my original post. I may have found out why the belts did not fit as expected. Provided NPD have NOT changed their numbering system for belts since 2015, they sold me belts for a convertible, not a fastback.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I talked to the guys at Seatbelt Planet about adding the sash. I used them to modify my rear seat belts. He suggested me to use this clip which is very popular among truckers:

https://www.seatbeltplanet.com/i-30498201-comfort-clip.html

I don't know if this is the solution but I may give it a try. It doesn't seem to lower the seatbelt but rather lower the tension. From the picture it is hard to tell how it works.

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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4 hours ago, tony-muscle said:

I talked to the guys at Seatbelt Planet about adding the sash. I used them to modify my rear seat belts. He suggested me to use this clip which is very popular among truckers:

https://www.seatbeltplanet.com/i-30498201-comfort-clip.html

I don't know if this is the solution but I may give it a try. It doesn't seem to lower the seatbelt but rather lower the tension. From the picture it is hard to tell how it works.

 Useful information Tony, thanks. I've seen a similar clip to hold the shoulder strap to the lap strap for comfort, but will break away in a crash or sudden stop. Maybe this is what this clip is. As you say, the pic says nothing.

 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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  • 3 months later...

Well, today I bit the bullet and ordered a set of Wesco 3 point front belts with the 8" drop sash and 11' tunnel buckle belt with star burst buckle.  My only concern is that, unlike other brands sold for our cars, the second end of the shoulder/lap belt has a tab to be bolted to the rocker. As a couple have already installed the Wesco belts, how did you handle this? Other "made to fit" brands have a short metal bar that is sewn to the lap belt and the bolts behind the retractor. I'm wondering if the tab can also be just bolted behind the retractor. Any thoughts as I really do NOT want to be drilling holes in the rockers. Besides the is no reinforcement there and none can be inserted.

I had contacted a couple of companies about custom altering to add a drop sash. None replied.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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46 minutes ago, Stanglover said:

Well, today I bit the bullet and ordered a set of Wesco 3 point front belts with the 8" drop sash and 11' tunnel buckle belt with star burst buckle.  My only concern is that, unlike other brands sold for our cars, the second end of the shoulder/lap belt has a tab to be bolted to the rocker. As a couple have already installed the Wesco belts, how did you handle this? Other "made to fit" brands have a short metal bar that is sewn to the lap belt and the bolts behind the retractor. I'm wondering if the tab can also be just bolted behind the retractor. Any thoughts as I really do NOT want to be drilling holes in the rockers. Besides the is no reinforcement there and none can be inserted.

I had contacted a couple of companies about custom altering to add a drop sash. None replied.

Mine has the 5" metal bar and bolts to the same hole in the rocker. The tab may work but depending on how long it is. I have been working with Seatbelt Planet and they will custom make anything for you. It really doesn't cost that much to modify them since they make them to order. Call Steve Pekrul at (405) 736-0088, explain what you want and go from there. He has helped me deal with customizing my setup. In a short note, I had him add a shoulder extension (sash) and cut the web shorter. Unfortunately, I ordered it cut too short and he is currently redoing it for me. The shoulder extension works really good though.

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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2 hours ago, tony-muscle said:

Mine has the 5" metal bar and bolts to the same hole in the rocker. The tab may work but depending on how long it is. I have been working with Seatbelt Planet and they will custom make anything for you. It really doesn't cost that much to modify them since they make them to order. Call Steve Pekrul at (405) 736-0088, explain what you want and go from there. He has helped me deal with customizing my setup. In a short note, I had him add a shoulder extension (sash) and cut the web shorter. Unfortunately, I ordered it cut too short and he is currently redoing it for me. The shoulder extension works really good though.

Thanks for that info Tony, but unfortunately a bit too late unless I can cancel the order as I just got an email from Wesco to say my order won't be shipped for 4-7 days. I'll look into your suggestion, but I may just have to work with what I've ordered now. On Wesco's website, one customer said he installed them in a 65 Mustang fastback and it all worked out. He didn't say if he modified the rocker.

If push come to shove, I can probably get a longer bar sewn in as I have access to someone with the equipment and knowledge to do it.

 

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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19 hours ago, Stanglover said:

Thanks for that info Tony, but unfortunately a bit too late unless I can cancel the order as I just got an email from Wesco to say my order won't be shipped for 4-7 days. I'll look into your suggestion, but I may just have to work with what I've ordered now. On Wesco's website, one customer said he installed them in a 65 Mustang fastback and it all worked out. He didn't say if he modified the rocker.

If push come to shove, I can probably get a longer bar sewn in as I have access to someone with the equipment and knowledge to do it.

 

 UPDATE: I contacted Wesco and they do indeed have a long "C" bar as it's called. This exactly what is needed to mount behind the retractor. They have changed my order, so it all should be good. To be honest, the problem with Wesco's ordering seems to be they don't use a numbering system. I missed seeing the type I was looking for and "clicked" on the wrong picture. Very confusing. 

I'll update later when I receive and install the belts.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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4 hours ago, Stanglover said:

 UPDATE: I contacted Wesco and they do indeed have a long "C" bar as it's called. This exactly what is needed to mount behind the retractor. They have changed my order, so it all should be good. To be honest, the problem with Wesco's ordering seems to be they don't use a numbering system. I missed seeing the type I was looking for and "clicked" on the wrong picture. Very confusing. 

I'll update later when I receive and install the belts.

Awesome. You will like how the shoulder extension fits.

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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3 hours ago, tony-muscle said:

Awesome. You will like how the shoulder extension fits.

That's my hope Tony. Thanks.

I contacted Wesco again to inquire about different lengths of sash.  However, they have no plans to make different lengths. It is what it is. I'm not worried at all about the looks so much as having better, safer belts........... and keeping the wife from whining about how hard it is to do up the factory lap and shoulder system.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I know some would frown on it but I am going to put at least a 6 point bar system in my 72 Q code vert and also full racing harness. If you have an engine like some of you have the insurance is not sold on paper it is in construction. Drive shaft loops also. A guy I worked with in the 60's had drive shaft on his circle track car break in front and I think he did 4 end over flips. He woke up in hospital but made it, bars and harness saved him but car was trash. Simple drive shaft loop would have cured all. I think I had said this before that most deaths in car crashes are 35 mph and under. Does not take much. If you are out there going 140 there is not way you will make it without a cage and race harness and maybe even race seat.
None of it is something that cannot be reversed in the future if you want pure stock but great insurance to keep you around.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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  • 3 weeks later...

Continuing from the discussion in "What did you do to your car today" page 275-276, I will take some more pictures, but for today, it's raining so I'll not be backing the car out of the garage. I don't have enough room in there to get the shots I want.

However, In answer to a question from Tony-muscle, I see why your sash with the cover, causes a 90 deg twist in your shoulder belt. Mine does not have that cover, so the "twist" is taken up within the sash, allowing the shoulder belt to be as it should, no twist. Apart from the sash looking a bit ugly due to the stitching facing outward, seen through the window, it gives a better result in the end. I'm happy with that part at least. As stated, the part I'm not so happy with is the buckle belt (tunnel) portion. However, without the sleeve, the buckle is not hard to locate and snap the tang into. Again it could be 2-3" longer, but these belts were made as a compromise anyway, not specifically for the 71-73 Mustang. More to follow.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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