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rturbo 930

Weld in roll bar with stock seat belts. Help?

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Okay, I'm currently in the planning stage, trying to make sure everything will work together. This is where I'm having an issue. I have a 76 280z, so it has retractable seat belts that mount in the pocket on the floor, and to the strut tower. I want to do a 4pt roll bar, partly for chassis stiffness, partly for safety. I also want to maintain the stock seat belts for street use. The problem is that, as far as I can tell, the main hoop needs to land right where the floor pocket is. I don't see how it could go anywhere else.

 

Does anyone have a creative solution? I really can't think of anything, at least not anything that uses the factory 280Z belts. If there's a different 3pt retractable belt that doesn't need the inertia reel mounted in the floor pocket, that could work, but it would also need to mount to the strut tower, not the roof pillar like the earlier cars. The shoulder portion of the stock belt is connected to the lap portion by a rivet(?) that could be removed, so if a franken-seat belt could be done safely, I would consider that, but personally I think that seems sketchy.

 

Ideas?

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Posted (edited)

Nope, doesn't do anything for stiffness. Not a fan of it being mounted on the wheel wells either. From what I've read, the chassis flexes at the front and rear bulkheads. That would be the firewall on the front (hence why a triangulated strut brace is recommended), and roughly where the dogleg/rear floor seam is at the rear. Apparently the solution to stiffening the rear is a welded roll bar. My plan is to attach it to the chassis just in front of the wheel wells, the strut towers, and gusset the main hoop to the roof.

 

Also, I should mention that I want to have a harness installed too, but only for off-street use.

 

Edit: I've been doing some research. I found this thread on classiczcars where member dorodox made his own seat belt, although he works at a seat belt company and has access to these things. However it got me thinking that this could be the best route. The stock belts, which are now 41 years old, use two retractors, one on the strut tower, one on the floor. It needs to because the buckle doesn't move on the belt like newer ones do. So I'm thinking If I can get a new seat belt made that has a retractor mounted on the strut tower, and a fixed mount that bolts to the stock location on the rocker - which is how it is mounted in a 240z with non-retracting belts - that would most likely get the job done. I think I've got this all straight. Just need to find a reputable place that can make it.

 

I'm also thinking maybe I could use the rear seat belts out of a newer car. Reason being, it seems like all the front seat belts have the retractor mounted at the bottom of the door pillar, which likely wouldn't work for my case, whereas the rear belts in a sedan usually have the retractor located in the parcel shelf. In theory, that would make it an easy swap. Much easier to do than custom seat belts.

Edited by rturbo 930

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I bought a universal set of retractable belts from Juliano's and bolted the retractable housing just in front of the rear shock tower. I bolted it to a 1/4" thick bar, 1" wide and about 6" long that I placed under the floor, accessed via inside the tool storage boxes. This was to provide an area to spread any force that might occur in the event of a front end collision. Seems to work fine.

 

Mike Mileski

Tucson, AZ

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I bought a universal set of retractable belts from Juliano's and bolted the retractable housing just in front of the rear shock tower. I bolted it to a 1/4" thick bar, 1" wide and about 6" long that I placed under the floor, accessed via inside the tool storage boxes. This was to provide an area to spread any force that might occur in the event of a front end collision. Seems to work fine.

 

Mike Mileski

Tucson, AZ

 

Do you like those belts? Are they reasonably comfortable?

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