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Seat Belt Installation Help Needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lost_N_Austin, May 26, 2008.

  1. Lost_N_Austin
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 123

    from Some Beach

    My T-Bucket was built in 1975 and has been in storage for 32 years. It is now almost ready for the street again but it has never had seat belts installed. Does anybody have any advice on how to attach seat belts that are legal, safe and functional? My Body is of course fiberglass reinforced plywood and is mounted with four bolts through the floor into the frame.

    </o>The body mount location is a little bit inboard of where I think the outside seat belt anchor should go. I’m at a loss on how to mount the center seat belts securely Has anybody else solved this problem that can give me some advise?

  2. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,265

    from texas

    You could tie them to the metal seat frame if it is tied to the metal of the frame. welder Series shows how they did this. Other wise run some channel across from left to right and tie to that.
  3. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,494

    from covina CA

    usually they mount where the seat bolts to the floor
  4. terrarodder
    Joined: Sep 9, 2005
    Posts: 1,101

    from EASTERN PA

    I was told ,never mount them to the frame, the body comes loose could cut into you pretty bad. A channel from side to side under the floor seems like a good idea.
    sport fury likes this.
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  5. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    This would be where I would bolt them up, but I would also add 4" square plates under the bolts under the floors. Use grage 8 bolts too. Gene
  6. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    Most kits I've seen basically just give you some grade 8 bolts and a big round washer and mount to the floor. I bought the first one on the left from ebay, I like the round edges , maybe less likely to rip out of the floor.

    Now that I'm about to mount them though, I don't know where I can mount them that would make me feel safe.

  7. zapp69
    Joined: Sep 30, 2007
    Posts: 342


    I find it interesting to be considering safety when the Bucket is timber re-inforced Fiberglass. Id be inclined to run RHS from one side to the other and bolt through this to the Chassis also.
  8. It was mentioned earlier,,in the event of an accident and the belt is attached to the human body is also attached to the frame,,,

    Mount the belts to the floor,,,large square metal plates under the floor. HRP
  9. Boyd Who
    Joined: Nov 9, 2001
    Posts: 2,196

    Boyd Who

    I never had seat belts in my old t-bucket. I was always worried about what would happen in a roll over if I was belted in. I wear 'em religiously in my daily drivers, but I don't think they're a good idea in a car like that. Kinda like being strapped to a motorcycle. Just my 2 cents.
  10. Double edged sword I guess,,but not all accidents are roll overs. HRP
    nochop likes this.
  11. Doesn't the NHRA and SCTA rulebook show the seat belt lap belt anchors attached to the frame?

    I have a dedicated crossmember in both my 31 on 32 rails roadster and 32 roadster that has welded/stepped thread bungs in it.
    This crossmember is used for seat belt mounting and the roll bar lateral.

    I've not seen any hot rod wrecks - pictures or otherwise - that show the body separated from the frame.

    Strikes me that the comment about bolting the seat belts to the body in case it comes off is an Old Wives Tale.
  12. Lost_N_Austin
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 123

    from Some Beach

    Thanks for the responses. Much appreciated. You've given me a few new things to think about. My first concern is the new Click-It of Ticket campaign which I belive has started in about every State - at least it has in Texas. $200.00 fine if you don't have your seat belt on and they don't have to stop you on something else to give you a ticket. Second concideration is passing inspection. Next question is do I want to be strapped in the Body if it comes off in a wreck? My body is attached with four bolts the screw into Nut-Jerts. That has me rethinking everything. Do I want to build a new cross member just for the belts in which I would basically be the "Flesh Washer" strapped into a frame mounted seat belt?

    Things were a lot easier when I was young and foolish. I'm going to attempt to contact Performance-T and see what they are recommending. I saw an article in the new Street Rodder where a young Lady is building a T-Bucket. The first of the series was in this months issue. She hasn't gotten to mounting the body just yet. Thanks again for the advice. Mike
  13. If the body came off in a wreck seems like the steering column and wheel as well as the shifter could be very damaging to the human body as it shreds and mangles the glass or steel during the separation.

    My 32s glass Wescott body is bolted down with ten 3/8" bolts with big washers.
    The 31'steel body, also ten 3/8" bolts and regular washers.
    I don't think either one of these cars will have a frame/body separation and if they did I'm pretty sure I will be beyond caring anyway.

    Aside from discussing body/frame separations one thing you may want to think about is adding a third seat belt setup.
    I have a third one in my 32 and when not in use it tucks down out of sight between the seat cushion bottom and back.

    Granted, perhaps not needed in a T-bucket due to their smaller cockpits, but it's been handy in my 32.
    Especially so for the kids who want a ride.

    And even the not so small kids.
    18 year old grandson, his pal ad myself fit into the 32 just fine.
    They're slim and I'm not so slim, but spending the day in the 32, hitting the CHRR at Famoso was not a problem.

    In the fwiw dept, I've had three 6' 200# guys in it, a bit crowded and one guy is the designated shifter, but it worked ok.

    Might think about a roll bar as well.
    I like the 4-pointer in my 32.
    Kinda nice having somewhere to hide if it goes over.


    If done right, perhaps Fuel Altered style, a roll bar could look very good in a T-bucket.
  14. Rockit53
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 115


    i dont know how it is where you are, but from what I understand in illinois (the peoples republic) if your car didnt come from the factory with belts, than you don't need them. Even if your car is a kit, as long as it's registered as the car is copies, you're ok.
  15. <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">I think you are correct and it may be the law in most states, but try explaining that to the overzealous cop who just left a roll call where his C.O. has told him to go out and write up anyone not wearing a seatbelt.</TD></TR><TR UNSELECTABLE="on" hb_tag="1"><TD style="FONT-SIZE: 1pt" height=1 UNSELECTABLE="on">
  16. Aman
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,522

    from Texas

    I think C9 has the answer for this. The lap belts and the roll bar. You could attach a shoulder belt to it if need be. C9 that 32 is bitchin...I can't decide which one I like the best the A or the 32.:D

  17. Thanks.

    A lot depends on the weather.
    Roadster days, I'm glad I have the 32.
    Not so-roadster days, I like staying in and working on the 31.

    Today, a two-fer . . . used the 32 to chase down some perforated metal and visit my pals shop.
    Using the opened up engine in the 31 to make a goody for the 32's engine.
    Sorta woke up the other day and realized I could make what I wanted and use the 31's 455 Buick engine for a pattern then spend an afternoon installing it in the 32's 462" engine instead of having the 32 down for a week.

    Anyhoo, some thoughts about seat belts.

    I never have agreed with the NHRAs 2 year limitation on seat belt use.
    The FAA doesn't require a date mandated replacement.
    Just an inspection and if they're ok, no prob.

    Since our hot rods and especially the drag race and dry lake cars are hangar queens for the most part, it's hard to believe the belts go bad in that period of time.

    Regardless, I don't make the rules.

    Since there is a date mandated rule, check with some of your buds who race.
    More than likely they'll have an out of date set sitting on the shelf and will sell it dirt cheap or give it to you.

    I have a like new pair of outdated racing belts that were given to me.
    Not as convenient to use as lap belts, but they're quality items and will work fine in the 31.
    Nice part is, with the seat I'm using the shoulder belt part can get flipped over the seat into the trunk for in-town running around.

    If you keep your eyes open at the junkyard, you can find seatbelts that are in excellent shape and will work fine in a hot rod.

    Take note of the pic.

    This is a ChryCo mid 90's soccer mom vans genuine two passenger seat.
    The middle belts go to the seat frame.
    It won't be difficult to add a steel strap if necessary to help strengthen the seat belt mounting points between seat center and the dedicated crossmember.

    A little thinking will show you what to do vis a vis mounting the outside belts.
  18. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 762

    Alliance Vendor

  19. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,909

    Deuce Daddy Don

    The one most important thing to remember is: keeping your body INSIDE an open car until all the crisis is over, THEN unbuckle & get out best way!!
    I would strongly recommend 2X3X.140 wall Rec. tube from frame rail to frame rail, & NOT worry about car body separating from frame.-------------Don
  20. Tom Boutelle
    Joined: May 24, 2019
    Posts: 4

    Tom Boutelle

    looking for inexpensive, SAFE, means of anchoring the shoulder point of a 3 point seatbelt in an A and C fiberglass body of 1941 Willys Americar coup
  21. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,170

    from Oregon

    Don't think you are ever going to feel safe in a T. Your up shits Creek in one of you get t-boned.
  22. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,686


    Many new cars use the seat frame to mount seat belts. This includes some shoulder belts, but the seat back has to be higher then the person's shoulder.
    When you mount a seat belt in a ride that does not have a specific seat belt mounting location, the concept is to have the seat belt mounting area as reinforced so it spreads the load over as large of an area as you can.

    If you look at modern seat belt anchor locations, most are pretty simple. The center belt location is a 2" square 1/8" plate with rounded corners and a nut welded to the bottom. That 2" square plate is spot welded to the trans tunnel with 4 spot welds (basically to keep the plate located until the bolt is tightened). In an accident, that plate would have to pull completely through the floor before it becomes ineffective. Most shoulder mounts are boxed sheet metal spot welded into the roof pillars, with the nut welded on the opposite side of where the seat belt bolts up. Again the concept is that nut the seat belt is bolted to has to pull through all that sheet metal before it becomes ineffective.
    Structural wood frame work in glass cars is probably sufficient enough to be used as seat belt anchors as long as the bolt the belt connects to would have to pull through the wood and glass structure, I would be nervous about an anchor bolt that can be pulled out of a piece of wood, there is a significant difference between something pulling loose or out of something and something pulling through something.
    Another point that should be made is the belt souldn't be expected to go around something (other then a person), and have the bolts in such a way the belt doesn't try to bend a bolt in a crash.

    If your considering doing seat belt mounts, I suggest you look at how the mounting points are in modern cars & trucks, and copy the process.

    One thing that seems to escape most people is that even if a seat belt anchor partially pulled loose and seriously altered where it was mounted, the end results are probably much better then if there would have been no belts in the first place. Gene
  23. I'm sure he got his answer by now. This was posted 11 years ago lol.
    Just Gary likes this.
  24. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 739

    from Florida

    No, refer to post #20

  25. #20 guy hijacked the thread. He Should have started a new thread. Plus he's a new guy with one post. He should have introduced himself first. imo
  26. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 739

    from Florida

  27. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,686


    New guy asks a question I can help with on a topic that may be old, but is reverent to what he needs to know, Its time to quit being such a snob and help out the new guys a bit. Gene
  28. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,029


    New guy/old guy............we all need help from time to time. New guy SHOULDA started a new post but......he didn't.(big deal).
    My answer would be........."think about this problem....If you get smacked hard enough to rip a seat belt bolt out of a 3/4" plywood floor....or hard enough to tear the body off the frame??!!......come on guys!!!
    I would go with a grade 8 bolt thru a good size fender washer and watch out for the texting-idiots!"
  29. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,124

    from red oak

    Fine threaded grade 8 bolts. With a lock washer and a good sized thick fender washer. And not purchased at a hardware store or a big box store. Usually they are low grade and cheaply made.

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