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Thread: Seat Belts

  1. #1
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    Seat Belts

    Does anyone have any pictures of an original 1st Gen Sportvan rear bench seat with seat belts? I just installed the bench seat I kept from my 108 into the back and need to install at least basic lap belts before anyone rides there. I see these holes which appear to be for securing belts, the one on the rear driver side wheel well in particular. I included a photo of the underside of the wheel well. I didn't have any spare bolts laying around that fit (after blowing out copious amounts of dirt with a can of air). There are four total, one on the DS wheel well, three on the floor over the gas tank, so can't see what is underneath them.

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    Also, the 1st Gen does not have factory threaded roof rail holes for a three point system like a 2nd Gen. How have people hooked up three point systems, especially without wrecking the Sport van window moldings?

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    I do believe those are factory seat belt points. Seat belts were required by the govt. in all vehicles starting in 1966, so that is usually the first year you see signs of them in our old vans.



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    Seat Belts

    What year van?

    old eBay photo:

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    Gary
    1965 Display

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    I'm wondering if those rubber pieces are just plugs, I plan to dig one out and see. I'm thinking maybe vehicles were built to have seatbelts as options for a few years before they became mandatory? This van was sold new in late 1965, and is a 1966 model. It is titled as a 1965, maybe that was a later error after it sat at some point, who knows. I don't know any history on it other than I bought it in Santa Clarita in 2012, it was purchased new in a small CA town east of there.

    Also - if anyone has pics or advice on how to attach the upper portion of three points belts on a first gen I'd love to see them.

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    Seat Belts

    Well in 1965 belts were making an appearance; trucks had an option see below.:
    For the van, I would bet you would find them listed in the 1966 Custom Feature Accessories book.


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    Wikipedia stated "Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, which took effect on January 1, 1968, that required all vehicles (except buses) to be fitted with seat belts in all designated seating positions"
    Gary
    1965 Display

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanSandy View Post
    Also - if anyone has pics or advice on how to attach the upper portion of three points belts on a first gen I'd love to see them.
    Van Sandy
    IMHO, you would need to get creative to install an upper mount for a 3 point harness. That is, if you don't want to cut into that hard to find fiberglass. I do not advise cutting the fiberglass. While I have not measured it, you may be able to make an upside down U shaped mount that slips behind the fiberglass and then provides the third point on the harness. The fiberglass panels could be shimmed slightly at the top to accommodate the width of the mount. That may allow for little or no trimming of the fiberglass. The mounting point would likely include a plate behind the fiberglass and interior roof rail to spread out the load. If you are going to regularly carry passengers, it is a worthwhile investment of time and money.
    108VanGuy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108VanGuy View Post
    Van Sandy
    IMHO, you would need to get creative to install an upper mount for a 3 point harness. That is, if you don't want to cut into that hard to find fiberglass..
    Good point on the fiberglass as it is old and brittle. Your U shape bracket is giving me some ideas. I was definitely thinking of adding a plate to shore up the sheet metal, then weld on a nut to run a bolt into...

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    OK, so I dug out one of the plastic pieces and I was correct, they are plugs. Once I had all the dust out they take 7/16 fine thread bolts, just like some of the other factory holes in the floor that have been in use for various things - PO had rigged up strap rackets for Vespas.

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    3 Point Seat Belts Ideas

    VanSandy,
    By chance, have you developed this further since last fall??

    All,

    I would like to add 3 point seat belts to the front seats and would welcome suggestions on what belts to get and tips on mounting.

    We are a one kid family, so I'm considering a rear facing seat mounted behind the drivers seat for my son to buckle into. Then perhaps it can be done without impacting the precious fiberglass interior panels i recently purchased for the Sportvan 108. I don't have any rear bench seats and will likely build out the van for camping and road tripping applications in the back.

    I was thinking it would be nice to have the option for a bench seat for passengers in the back if we so chose. Are there any from more recent GM or other vans that may be widely available that folks have found work well, especially that have integrated seat belts already? I'm not worried about rare stock seats for this purpose, but want to consider this now before floor goes down.

    Thanks,
    Ry

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    How I did my 3 point seat belts in front

    I got my front seats and seat belts out of a 2000 Honda Civic 4DR. Took some ingenuity to rig up the seat belts. Also, they had to be installed before I put the paneling on the interior walls, so think that through as part of your solution. I used a smaller angle iron between wall ribs to help with mounting them securly, bottom of recoil piece mounted to body frame. Perhaps these pictures will help some (Sorry, no idea why some of these pictures load turned 90 degrees):

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    3 point seat belt kit

    Just saw this at Jonny Law Motors for $60. Using this would have been way easier than what I did in my van, especially because the retractor mechanism is surface mounted. From what I learned think about where you need to place it, far enough behind your seats, so the seat will still fit between the walls and doghouse.

    One advantage of my install was that the seats had the built in buckle/latch mechanism. So with the kit you will need to figure out how to mount/secure that

    https://www.johnnylawmotors.com/cata...serid=24776463


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    Thanks for the post and the link

    ShawnM,
    Thanks for sharing your method with the Honda seatbelts as well as the link you just posted. I've got a lot of homework yet to do on this topic! All advice and experience is helpful.

    Cheers,
    Ry

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    VCVC Member ShawnM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryleeji View Post
    ShawnM,
    Thanks for sharing your method with the Honda seatbelts as well as the link you just posted. I've got a lot of homework yet to do on this topic! All advice and experience is helpful.

    Cheers,
    Ry
    Keep it going! There's lots to think about. Its because of this site, and the help of many members when I asked, I found a lot of what I needed know, learn or even find to restore my van. There's a ton of knowledge here.

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