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  #1  
Old 07-23-2006, 07:58 PM
PJ PJ is offline
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Default Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

Hey, my father, my brother and I have bin restoring and fixing up our hardtop 1960 Thunderbird with a 352 engine. We have gotten all the windows to work and the car to run, but now we are pondering what to do about belts. We know that we are going to put lap belts in the back seat, but we are not sure what to do on the front. The guys of the family would be fine with just lap belts, but my mom wants us to put in shoulder belts in the front and try to add headrests too. The headrests wont be too hard to do, but we are unsure if we can keep the old style seats and get shoulder belts. Please post ideas if you have any.

Options so far:
1. Just lap belts
2. Add a loop through headliner and on the roof
3. Look for new seats, e.g. racing seats
4. Convertable seats, with shoulders


One more question, the dash... Is there any alternative to buying a $375 dollar dash?
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2006, 08:50 PM
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Alexander Alexander is offline
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Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

These cars were not designed for shoulder-belts. In my opinion, it will look terrible. I would just go with lap-belts. There are instructions for putting lap-belts on the car on this site.

http://www.andoauto.com/seat_belts3.htm sells seat-belts that look nice on these cars. They even have shoulder belt models if you really want them.

In terms of safety, these cars are ahead of their time - they have a deep padded dash, a collapsible steering wheel, secure door latches and double jointed rear view mirror. The rest of the car is over-engineered in construction. It is a really stiff car.

I was in a major highway accident with my 1959 many years ago. The truck and the other car in the accident were totalled. My car only had sheet-metal damage. I did not have seat-belts at the time, but suffered no injuries. Though I'd rather not even get my Squarebird scratched, I would rather be in a Squarebird in an accident than some modern cars with shoulder-belts and airbags.

My recommendation is lap-belts and defensive driving. No car is injury-proof or can be made injury-proof.

There is no substitute for getting the replacement dash-pad.

Alexander
1959 Hardtop
1960 Golde Top
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2006, 09:10 PM
PJ PJ is offline
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Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

Thanks for the post. It is true that the shoulder belts would ruin the looks and view.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2006, 09:18 PM
PJ PJ is offline
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PJ
Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

Another question for anyone. Would it be possible to add the shoulder using the metal frame of the Thunderbirds seat?
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2006, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

I think the seat height is too low to attach a shoulder-belt to it.

How are you planning to put headrests in it?

Alexander
1959 Hardtop
1960 Golde Top
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2006, 11:05 PM
PJ PJ is offline
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Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

Okay, I was thinking about getting a plate and welding it to the main frame of the seat and forming it to bend over the pipe like top frame. From here have it go out of the seat however high we need it. Then add some foam or a junkyard headrest and cover it with some old seatcover.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2006, 05:48 PM
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dgs dgs is offline
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Default RE: Seat Belts, Headrests, and a Dash.

Shoulder belts attached to the seats would be useless as the seat backs don't have latches. In a crash, the seat back, and the shoulder belt and you would fly forward as a result.
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