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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Front Shoulder Seat Belt (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=21333)

SirBB 02-27-2017 12:48 AM

Front Shoulder Seat Belt
I'm going to install front Shoulder Seat belts in a 1960 Hard Top, has anyone done this and have any information how it was done.

Joe Johnston 02-27-2017 08:47 AM

There is a lot of info on some of the Mustang forums. Procedure will be similar. Please be aware of the possibility of spinal compression as often add on shoulder belts are mounted far to low.

simplyconnected 02-27-2017 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by Joe Johnston (Post 106791)
There is a lot of info on some of the Mustang forums. Procedure will be similar. Please be aware of the possibility of spinal compression as often add on shoulder belts are mounted far to low.

It depends on the seat.

My Mustang convertible had a plastic belt loop on the back of the seats. The belt retract was in the rear sidelite box, below the top of the seat. It had to be because again, this is a convertible with low door pillars. - Dave

sidewalkman 02-27-2017 05:23 PM

It's up to you, but I can't see a way to install a shoulder belt that wouldn't both wreck your back in a rearender or facilitate having to drill holes in your headliner.

The stock buckets are too low for a mount on the corner of the seat, so you would have to route them above that, and since we have a hardtop there is no B pillar so now we're looking at the headliner.

Joe Johnston 02-27-2017 06:34 PM

As mentioned, do some Googling and read about spinal compression, then decide.

dad's58 02-27-2017 11:47 PM

I have a 58 Bird and installed front and rear shoulder harness with help from Juliano's and a guy in Australia, where front harness are required in 1960 and up cars. They require the install to be approved by an engineer . I have photos but need to dig them out and try to post, or private message me with email address.

YellowRose 02-28-2017 12:37 AM

Front Shoulder Seat Belt
David, if you have those pix, please do post them. As a Paid Member you can do so right here on the Forum. If you have any problems, call me and I can talk you through it. Or you can send them to me and I can post them for you. If you post them, make sure they are no larger than 800x600pixels. We might be able to put something together on how to do a shoulder strap installation properly. Especially since it appears that an engineer was involved in this to obtain proper clearance from an inspector...

simplyconnected 02-28-2017 09:33 AM

This is Rob Miller's 2005 Retro Bird. What do you see?

Joe Johnston 02-28-2017 11:34 AM

Expounding on what Simplyconnected and Sidewalkman posted below:

The top loop securing the shoulder belt at the top of the seat back (like pictured on this 2005) was something I extensively explored many years ago with my 56. This could easily be done as the seat back panels are removable, steel extended up to secure a holder of some sort.

The next issue was to make the seat back lock into position and not flip forward. I'm sure that would be possible too, but thought I would engineer that later. A mount for the belt at the floor would not be a problem.

The info I was finding all related to the distance of this retainer to the center of a persons ear. To be effective in holding a person back and not induce downward pressure the upper loop should be above the shoulder approximately at ear level for someone of average height.

I am 5' 11" and in my daily drivers this retainer is mounted on the "B" pillar at or just above the center of my ear. I would suspect the 2005 pictured has high seat backs placing this retainer near the driver's ear level.

On the 57 my ear is 10" above the seat back and 9" above on the 63. A loop mounted and looking like the 2005 on these old and low seat backs will induce downward pressure. I do not own a Squarebird but would guess the measurements to be similar for someone my height. It would be interesting to have an owner of a Retro bird sit in the seat and measure the vertical distance from the center of their ear to the loop.

I have also seen the shoulder belts added with retainers bolted through the roof, with a chrome cap visible on the outside. Effective, but not attractive and I would wonder if the bolt would tear out of the roof skin in an accident?

I am proof shoulder belts work and believe in them. I had a new Yukon for 3 weeks when a Grand Marquis pulled out in front of me. I hit him at about 45mph, totaled the Merc and I never hit the airbag! (Yukon had about $11,000 in damage) The shoulder belt stopped me and I was very slightly sprained but unhurt. I'm all for this modification, but more thought needs to be put in the project before just bolting something in.

Hope Dad's58 supplies us with pictures.

simplyconnected 02-28-2017 12:35 PM

Joe, I'm not disputing your hard work but...
I'm 6'4" and my head nearly touches the head liner of nearly every modern car I sit in, so I recline slightly. Now, I realize most folks aren't that tall but, I have to raise my headrests or they center on my neck.

My Mustang Convertible had a back seat so my front seats folded forward. With the window open, my arm felt comfortable 'hanging out' over the belt molding. The seat belts never came close to my ear.

I used to own a Tempo for getting groceries. That car had a retractable shoulder harness. The roof had a track where the shoulder belt attached. Close the door and the shoulder belt traversed rearward, then stopped via an electric motor. Open the door and it went all the way forward. (Don't open the door and hang your head out to back up or the shoulder belt would pull it back around your neck.) The track was not attached to the roof skin and neither would any shoulder belt. That's why all support attaches to structural inner-panels, not outer skins. - Dave

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