Replacing seatbelts

Replacing seatbelts

Postby Arrow99 [OP] » January 21st 2021, 4:57am

Hi, I just got an Astro Van. It's a 2001 RWD Regency Conversion, so the seats are different, the second row has two seats and the third row turns into a bed. Will try to upload pictures, but if you google it, it's like red ones that appear. Although it is in pretty good condition I recently noticed that the seatbelts don't work. I pull hard and they don't engage, they don't do what they are supposed to do. I asked some mechanics and they all said to get the OEM parts and didn't seem to like the idea of getting the universal models. I think it makes more sense to install newly manufactired seatbelts, instead of used parts. They sell universal seatbelts on seatbeltsplus.com. I would like to know if universal seatbelts can be installed, and which model is the right one. I want to make sure I can purchase seatbelts thank can be installed easily with no special modifications, a job that any mechanic can do. Thank you very much for your help!
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby Rod's Trucks » January 21st 2021, 5:44am

For a conversion van, it is sometimes not factory seat belt assemblies.
I would take several pictures of the mounts as they are currently set up, and the latches.
Then contact the source you are considering. They might be able to match them up with something that is new, and will fit the current mounting configuration.
Alternatively, post pictures here. There are several conversion van owners present, and some might be able to give you some first had experience, and/or recognize what you have.
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby copperhead » January 21st 2021, 11:57pm

So the belts are OEM but don't work?. The front belts in my Safari were frayed pretty bad, so I used one of those re-belting companies. They did refurbishing of the mechanisms and re-webbed them. You have to pull the belts and mail them out, but turn around was a couple of days. Think it was about 80 a belt IIRC. Decided to bite the bullet instead of trying to hunt down used or aftermarket ones.
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby dcsleeper » January 22nd 2021, 12:11am

How do you know they don't work?
If they have inertia tighteners you won't feel any locking until the Gs of an accident activate them.
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby Arrow99 [OP] » January 22nd 2021, 5:29am

Hi, the belts don't work, they don't lock when I pull hard on them. The belts in the back rows do lock when pulled, as well as the belts in the last car I owned, as the belts of every car. I don't think you need the the G's of an accident for them to lock. As I said the seatbelts from the back rows do lock when pulled hard.
I'm posting pictures just in case these belts and the way they are installed are different from the non-conversion Astro vans and have anything.
I'm sure someone has replaced seatbelts before and has run into a similar situation. I don't have another astro to compare and I'm not finding anything convincing here or on the internet.
The universal belts make the most sense to me, rather than getting them for a junkyard (which can be 20 years old). I just want to know which ones can be installed with ease by any mechanic. I would do it myself if I knew that a certain model will for sure be able to be installed in a simple way.
Thanks again for you comments, it's really helpful!
J
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby copperhead » January 22nd 2021, 1:38pm

I don't see anything that looks like aftermarket. There are companies that can repair your existing belts.

https://www.safetyrestore.com/seat-belt ... gJNE_D_BwE

Removing the belt mechanisms isn't a big deal. Usually nothing more than 1 large hex bolt on each end. Heck, the hardest part is removing the trim pieces.
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby gavio » January 22nd 2021, 3:43pm

As I recall, the locking mechanism in the factory belts uses a pendulum that swings forward when the vehicle slows suddenly... It's a simple and almost bulletproof system as long as no parts are actually broken...

The way to test them is to take out the main belt reel... then if you hold it in the vertical position like it's installed, the belt should pull in and out freely.... tip it forward so the pendulum swings forward and the belt should lock....

I did this to test some seatbelts a few years ago, and I'm almost positive it was the front belts on the Safari, but it's possible I'm mixing it up with something else.... Someone correct me if I'm wrong...
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby sixsixsixsix is online! » January 23rd 2021, 3:00am

Those are the most Beautiful Seat Belt photos.
Very nice Lighting, composition & DOF.

:shock:
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby icebrrg3rd » February 4th 2021, 2:37am

I agree, I've pulled some mid 90's GM belts, and they had the pendulum. Try rolling forwards, then hit the brakes and pull on the belt and see if it locks up (obviously not in traffic).

Altho your van looks clean, it is possible that the parts are dirty, and don't move freely. Spilled soda, a sucker or two, decades of dust and dirt, the outside gets cleaned but not the insides. Another thing to look at.

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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby astroracer » February 6th 2021, 9:22pm

The retractors are in the boxes at floor level. Pull the boxes off and look for coins , combs, action figures , hot wheels cars, etc., etc. that may have been stuffed in there by a kid. Those are factory installed belts and there is very little to wear out or break in them. My best guess is a foreign object monkeying up the works... :)
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby sixsixsixsix is online! » February 6th 2021, 9:29pm

You got 'action figures'... ?
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Re: Replacing seatbelts

Postby astroracer » February 6th 2021, 9:46pm

sixsix wrote:You got 'action figures'... ?

You wouldn't believe the stuff I've found while stripping one of these vans. Crack pipes, a stack of baseball cards, food, OMG... The crack pipes were stuffed up above an overhead console and fell out when I took the screws out. One van had a small tool box jammed into the jack storage space. Full of wrenches and sockets. :banana:
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