3- Point Seat Belts w/o neck rash!

EBSTANG

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Well, after obsessing over the 3-point seat belt question on and off for a few weeks, I have arrived at THE easiest and best solution.

My research on the topic taught me that we are searching for what is called a drop link. The Drop Link is a very useful accessory and is employed when the vehicle does not have a pillar which extends to the roof. This is the case most commonly with coupe or fastback style vehicles. While the drop link is mounted up onto the underside of the roof, the drop of webbing brings the loop link down thereby ensuring that the sash part of the belt goes across the occupant from shoulder to opposing hip and not across the neck. Refer to the below diagrams.

dr-post-retractable-seat-belt[1].gif

no-dr-post-retractable-seat-belt[1].gif

Drop Link System.PNG

030bccee6698fd3f30f387166d8caffc[1].jpg

The problem is much more apparent when the "vertically challenged" come for a ride in our cars...whether it be the wife, the kids, or maybe even yourself, if you're not really pushing the 6 foot figures.

safety-belt-retract[1].gif

I have read other posts on this site where somewhat "taller" type guys are also experiencing the problem. This is why our new cars have height adjustment at the attachment point on the pillar. Here's a few pics, of 2 beautiful cars, from this site, which show the problem with the link being bolted all the way up at the ceiling...

!1[1].jpg

!4[1].jpg

and here...

IMG_0401[1].JPG

IMG_0402[1] - Copy.JPG

The link, by dropping the pivot point will change the angle across the chest to here...(marked in red)

IMG_0401[1] - Copy.JPG

So, get some new universal belts, which will work in our cars, then find and buy a drop link and use it in place of the existing link which attaches at the ceiling...NOT SO EASY! I searched and searched and searched...this is when flirting with the inherent OCD tendencies that I sometimes possess comes in handy. I literally searched the friggin' world over, only to find you cannot purchase a drop link in the USA., you must go down under, to AustinVert land, Australia.

So I contacted my good buddy Greg (AustinVert) and he and I planned on having him ship me a drop link. Greg is the best!!!

I told him to sit on this idea for a little bit and let me ponder any other possible alternatives...

About a week later, I'm arriving at my son's basketball game and I just parked my car. While walking through the parking lot something caught my eye...the visiting teams full sized ford van, with large side windows...you know the kind W/O ANY PILLARS along the side of the 3 rear rows of REAR seats! (with 6 drop links, one at each rear seating position) Yes, it hit me like a ton a bricks too. You cannot buy a drop link separately, but you can buy a seatbelt which has a drop link on it from the same exact manufacturer that supplies the one you would buy for your Mustang. It fits perfectly, with one easy-to-make bracket extension. It has the vintage metal Starburst buckle. It looks perfect and it has a higher quality retractor!

Here's the pic of my new belts in my 73 Mach one. The angle across the chest is perfect. The loop is at my shoulder height and I'm 6'-2". Works great for me and my 5'-1" wife. The retractor pulls the slack completely out of the belt when you guide it back to it's resting position.

My belts with the drop link - Copy.jpg

I got them here:

http://wescoperformance.stores.yahoo.net/long-sash-seat-belt-starburst.html

My belts with the drop link.jpg

 
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nickstewartroc

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Nice! Now if only there was a way to do this with a 'vert

 

Austin Vert

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Hi Eric,

Thanks for a great post and the good rap, and hey, that seems to have solved your seat belt problem really well. It's great when you build a better mouse trap to help yourself and other folks too. Well done Sir!::thumb::

Greg.:)

 
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EBSTANG,

Great information here! Are these the seat belt drop links that you were speaking with Austin Vert?

http://www.pentastarparts.com.au/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=268

fwhvtx.jpg


mustang7173 :bravo:

 

Flatback72

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I love my droplink (that's mine in the fourth image on your post). Weird that they seem to be readily available here in Australia and not in the rest of the world though; I would have thought they'd be used everywhere in the US with the amount of different hardtops built in the US over the years. When I first bought my car it was the first thing I noticed that the original seat belt was cutting into my neck and I remember thinking surely they wouldn't have come out of the factory this way?? I had to change the seat belts to Australian Design Rules approved though, so made sure the new belts I got had a droplink in them.

MGFnJKs.jpg


 
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EBSTANG

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EBSTANG,

Great information here! Are these the seat belt drop links that you were speaking with Austin Vert?

http://www.pentastarparts.com.au/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=268

fwhvtx.jpg


mustang7173 :bravo:
I did see those but I was ready to pull the trigger on these:

These 150mm drop links (±6") would have been installed on my driver seat position, as I am 6'-2" tall.

https://www.autobarn.com.au/apv-s-apv-droplink-150mm-k7099s

150 mm.PNG

These 250mm drop links (±10") would have been installed on my passenger seat position, as my wife is 5'-1" tall.

https://www.autobarn.com.au/apv-s-apv-droplink-250mm-k7099

250 mm.PNG

Greg was going to buy them for me and ship them to the USA. This would have cost $40.± and with the cost of the 2 links being around $100.± I was willing to pay the price to have them the way I wanted but I still needed to buy the seat belts themselves, in addition to these links. Various venders sell them for around $200.± (now I'm in @ $350 total) You can see, when I figured out that a 3 point seat belt, designed for a van, would work perfectly and cost $171.68 (to my doorstep!), I was done this investigation.

It's all about the "sash" angle, ultimately, you should have the link height set as low as you can (for comfort) without going below the height of the wearer's shoulder. Once the level goes below the level of the shoulder, the forces involved in a head on collision would tend to create more of a downward compressive force on the shoulder than if it was above the shoulder. The higher you go, however, you can just imagine the force exerted across the base/side of the neck. Nothing to freak out over but when you do it, do it right. (or more right than the alternative) Kinda makes you think about that adjustable height/slide mechanism in many of todays newer cars. (you probably should adjust it)

Eric



I love my droplink (that's mine in the fourth image on your post). Weird that they seem to be readily available here in Australia and not in the rest of the world though; I would have thought they'd be used everywhere in the US with the amount of different hardtops built in the US over the years. When I first bought my car it was the first thing I noticed that the original seat belt was cutting into my neck and I remember thinking surely they wouldn't have come out of the factory this way?? I had to change the seat belt to Australian Design Rules approved though, so made sure the new belts I got had a droplink in them.

MGFnJKs.jpg
I was perplexed, to say the least, regarding that exact thought Brett. Couldn't believe that something you could purchase in other parts of the world, couldn't be purchased in the good 'ole USA!

My best guess is liability concerns and the possible implications of potentially having to deal with greedy American lawyers! How many could you sell?(how many Americans are actually modifying their seatbelt systems)...cost/benefit

 
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EBSTANG

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I made my own with a spring shackle side plate.
Yeah Jeff, I had read that in one of your posts, in my "research" phase. :chin:

Post a pic, maybe I understood you incorrectly, I was thinking that would potentially give my kid a nice scrape on his head while climbing in the back!...so I moved on. I think you said, in your comments on the tire sizing thread, that nobody really ever rides in your back seat anyway. I was on your idea for a while, even thinking of substituting a section of 8-10 links of 5/16"± chain to keep it flexible. Since I needed to get new belts altogether, I went a different direction. But, as always (usually :-/) I like your thinking.

 

EBSTANG

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I only did the driver side and my seat is a fixed back racing seat, so I don't have the same concerns. It's not much work to round all the edges and plastidip the part for a light protective coating.
Nice....! ::thumb:: You never cease to amaze!

No fun without PICS!!! where's the pics!!! ;)

 
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Nice find. I looked into this sometime ago and I found this alternative in the USA for $15/ea.:

http://www.andoauto.com/hardware.htm

Look towards the bottom of the page for "Shoulder Harness 8" DPE"

I have not purchased it so I don't know if it works. It will also require some unstitching and restitching of the belt so it can go through.

 

EBSTANG

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Nice find. I looked into this sometime ago and I found this alternative in the USA for $15/ea.:

http://www.andoauto.com/hardware.htm

Look towards the bottom of the page for "Shoulder Harness 8" DPE"

I have not purchased it so I don't know if it works. It will also require some unstitching and restitching of the belt so it can go through.

Thanks Tony but the website link doesn't seem to work for me. A drop link available in the states would be a good option for someone who's willing to cut and sew their existing belts, to put on the drop link.

 
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Nice find. I looked into this sometime ago and I found this alternative in the USA for $15/ea.:

http://www.andoauto.com/hardware.htm

Look towards the bottom of the page for "Shoulder Harness 8" DPE"

I have not purchased it so I don't know if it works. It will also require some unstitching and restitching of the belt so it can go through.

Thanks Tony but the link doesn't seem to work for me. A link in the states would be a good option for someone who's willing to cut and sew their existing belts, to put on the drop link.
Strange, it works for me.

Try going to the home page, http://www.andoauto.com/

Does that work?

If the home page opens for you then click on the 5th "Click Here For" link from the bottom up.

An issue I am concerned with is sewing the belts. I am assuming that can be sourced out. Any ideas where?

 
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EBSTANG

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Nice find. I looked into this sometime ago and I found this alternative in the USA for $15/ea.:

http://www.andoauto.com/hardware.htm

Look towards the bottom of the page for "Shoulder Harness 8" DPE"

I have not purchased it so I don't know if it works. It will also require some unstitching and restitching of the belt so it can go through.

Thanks Tony but the link doesn't seem to work for me. A link in the states would be a good option for someone who's willing to cut and sew their existing belts, to put on the drop link.
Strange, it works for me.

Try going to the home page, http://www.andoauto.com/

Does that work?

If the home page opens for you then click on the 5th "Click Here For" link from the bottom up.

An issue I am concerned with is sewing the belts. I am assuming that can be sourced out. Any ideas where?
I bet you could bring it to a shoe repair guy and they'd fix you right up! I've had them sew a leather holster for my 357 magnum before.

 

EBSTANG

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Well, after obsessing over the 3-point seat belt question on and off for a few weeks, I have arrived at THE easiest and best solution.

My research on the topic taught me that we are searching for what is called a drop link. The Drop Link is a very useful accessory and is employed when the vehicle does not have a pillar which extends to the roof. This is the case most commonly with coupe or fastback style vehicles. While the drop link is mounted up onto the underside of the roof, the drop of webbing brings the loop link down thereby ensuring that the sash part of the belt goes across the occupant from shoulder to opposing hip and not across the neck. Refer to the below diagrams.

The problem is much more apparent when the "vertically challenged" come for a ride in our cars...whether it be the wife, the kids, or maybe even yourself, if you're not really pushing the 6 foot figures.

I have read other posts on this site where somewhat "taller" type guys are also experiencing the problem. This is why our new cars have height adjustment at the attachment point on the pillar. Here's a few pics, of 2 beautiful cars, from this site, which show the problem with the link being bolted all the way up at the ceiling...

and here...

The link, by dropping the pivot point will change the angle across the chest to here...(marked in red)

So, get some new universal belts, which will work in our cars, then find and buy a drop link and use it in place of the existing link which attaches at the ceiling...NOT SO EASY! I searched and searched and searched...this is when flirting with the inherent OCD tendencies that I sometimes possess comes in handy. I literally searched the friggin' world over, only to find you cannot purchase a drop link in the USA., you must go down under, to AustinVert land, Australia.

So I contacted my good buddy Greg (AustinVert) and he and I planned on having him ship me a drop link. Greg is the best!!!

I told him to sit on this idea for a little bit and let me ponder any other possible alternatives...

About a week later, I'm arriving at my son's basketball game and I just parked my car. While walking through the parking lot something caught my eye...the visiting teams full sized ford van, with large side windows...you know the kind W/O ANY PILLARS along the side of the 3 rear rows of REAR seats! (with 6 drop links, one at each rear seating position) Yes, it hit me like a ton a bricks too. You cannot buy a drop link separately, but you can buy a seatbelt which has a drop link on it from the same exact manufacturer that supplies the one you would buy for your Mustang. It fits perfectly, with one easy-to-make bracket extension. It has the vintage metal Starburst buckle. It looks perfect and it has a higher quality retractor!

Here's the pic of my new belts in my 73 Mach one. The angle across the chest is perfect. The loop is at my shoulder height and I'm 6'-2". Works great for me and my 5'-1" wife. The retractor pulls the slack completely out of the belt when you guide it back to it's resting position.

I got them here:

http://wescoperformance.stores.yahoo.net/long-sash-seat-belt-starburst.html
OK, before you start asking, I've taken the time to upload 17 pics which show my seat belt side-by-side with a replacement aftermarket 3-point seatbelt you'd buy from a mustang supplier. I've taken this time to head off your questions about what to do with the bracket included on the end of my "van" seat belt and that it doesn't seem like you could mount it to the same sill bolt that the retractor mounts to. The universal "mustang" belt has a log slotted bracket at the end of it's belt and mine has a short bracket with a slight bend to it. The pics show that you will need to make a bracket out of flat bar 3-4" long (not rocket science) to off set the connection of the small bracket that comes with the "van" belt. These pics show this very clearly. I had a few old chrome brackets which I flattened out, in a vise, to accomplish the task. You could easily use two pieces of 3/16" x 1" x 4" pieces of mild steel. You'd drill a 1/2" hole at each end and then paint it, done. Look at the pics, It's very simple, don't overcomplicate it. Pics show a mock up, on my table, with a 1/2" x 1" hex bolt. When assembled in the car, I used a 1/2" x 3/4" carriage bolt, with the square under the carriage bolt head ground away and a fender washer under the cap nut. The carriage bolt head is thinner and fit tighter up against the sill. Again, a 1 on the 1-5 difficulty scale for the novice guys...

1sb.jpg

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4sb.jpg

5sb.jpg

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10sb.jpg

11sb (2).jpg

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17sb.jpg

 
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Mister 4x4

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Personally, I like the look of the style Brett used in his car (that can be had from AutoBarn, AndoAuto, or Pentastarparts) - the others shown have the obnoxious-looking plastic sheaths that just look cheap to me.

How does one put a longer droplink into an existing set of 3-points, anyway (without taking something apart and requiring someone to professionally put it back together)? I bought a set of 3-points from NPD and they're installed & working fine. I'm not seeing a way to remove the existing short upper link and replacing with any of the droplink products mentioned thus far. If someone could explain how that works, that would be great.

Jeff's idea is probably the best, in my opinion, simply because it's straightforward and you can pretty much get the exact look you want, without a cheese-mo plastic sheath on display through the quarter windows - especially, when they're rolled down. That, and you don't have to take anything apart to make it work. Since I already have the belts showing through the windows, the products not having the full-length plastic sheaths would be more visually appealing - looks pretty much the same as the belts I already have, in other words.

This is all great information - had I known about these before I got my belts from NPD, I might've gotten them from Wesco Performance and not thought twice about it.

 

EBSTANG

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Personally, I like the look of the style Brett used in his car (that can be had from AutoBarn, AndoAuto, or Pentastarparts) - the others shown have the obnoxious-looking plastic sheaths that just look cheap to me.

How does one put a longer droplink into an existing set of 3-points, anyway (without taking something apart and requiring someone to professionally put it back together)? I bought a set of 3-points from NPD and they're installed & working fine. I'm not seeing a way to remove the existing short upper link and replacing with any of the droplink products mentioned thus far. If someone could explain how that works, that would be great.

Jeff's idea is probably the best, in my opinion, simply because it's straightforward and you can pretty much get the exact look you want, without a cheese-mo plastic sheath on display through the quarter windows - especially, when they're rolled down. That, and you don't have to take anything apart to make it work. Since I already have the belts showing through the windows, the products not having the full-length plastic sheaths would be more visually appealing - looks pretty much the same as the belts I already have, in other words.

This is all great information - had I known about these before I got my belts from NPD, I might've gotten them from Wesco Performance and not thought twice about it.
In my, not-so-humble opinion, I don't agree with your not-so-humble opinion...:p My car has power, tinted windows, which rarely ever get put down because of my Classic Auto Air...I have rear passengers often (kids) which a metal drop link isn't the way to go for me. (If I had a fixed racing seat, like Jeff's, and already had the 3-point belts, I'd would've considered it more. (the metal link)

It's just chocolate and vanilla

 

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