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Unread 01-03-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
Mean Max
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Basic Maintenance - Seat belt reel service

Okay, so your seat belt "locks" while you're trying to extend it to put it on or lean forward, then it fails to retract when you remove it to get out of the Jeep.

So then you priced new belts & fell over from sticker shock.

RELAX! There is a simple fix that you can do to prevent the frequent locking & restore the enthusiasm in the retraction spring.

I fixed mine today, so I'll walk you through it.



Start with a quality Torx T-50 driver. I used a 1/2" drive bit that easily removed the rusty bolt that attached the reel to the body.


The attaching bolt can be located at the bottom of the seat belt reel.


Remove the bolt & then hold the reel perfectly upright and fully extend the belt. Hold the reel assembly in a fashion that will prevent the belt from retracting.


Once the belt is held in the fully extended position, turn the assembly over and you'll see part of the ratchet mechanism that locks the belt.


I use a spray lubricant that has a penetrating quality, and then also leaves a fair amount of lubricant after the solvent ingredient evaporates.
I found this Tri-Flow at my local Ace Hardware store. This is the first time I've used it and it seems okay.


Liberally spray the entire assembly.


Use the straw on the spray tip to get the lubricant inside of the assembly. The old adage of "MORE IS BETTER" is the perfect strategy here.




Grab your trusty container of "Anti-Seize" and liberally coat the attaching bolt threads and then reattach the reel to the body.




Now your old seat belts will work just like new!

For those that may be completely removing the reels & belts in order to Herculiner the tub or swap roll bars or whatever, DO NOT mix up the belts from left to right. They are different part numbers and are "side-specific" and they will not perform properly mounted on the wrong sides.

Max

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Last edited by Mean Max; 01-04-2010 at 12:38 AM..
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Unread 01-03-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
YJake
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Nice one Max!

I may try this later in the week on the driver's side seatbelt.

Jake
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Unread 01-03-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
sebastian22
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Great write up Max! I need to do this to my driver side seat belt ASAP.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
OtsiderCherokee
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Does anyone know where I can find a write up on how to do the same to the passenger side front belt on my 1999 XJ?

This is a nicely written piece!
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Does anyone know where I can find a write up on how to do the same to the passenger side front belt on my 1999 XJ?
It should be a fairly similar job, other than removing the interior trim panels that cover the pillar posts. If I can get my hands on an XJ, I'll pull the trim panel off & snap a few pics for you.

This is a nicely written piece!
Thank you.
Max
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No one here knows what they are talking about. You should try Pirate 4x4 they will be happy to help you.

There is no situation that cannot be improved with a small but well-placed explosive.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
jbolty
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I have always been told to never lubicate seat belt retractors because it would attract dirt to stick in the mechanism.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
Mean Max
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I have always been told to never lubicate seat belt retractors because it would attract dirt to stick in the mechanism.
I think that may be an old wives' tale. New belt retractors are lubricated at the time of assembly, so I can't see any reason not to lube them later on as the lube dries up & dissipates. The lubes that I use when doing this are never heavy or greasy, so the ability for the lube to hold any debris is much less than a heavier grease based lube would have.

I have done this a few times over the past few years and haven't had any negative issues. My Jeep runs without any top (okay, I use a mesh bikini top ) mostly year 'round. Because of this, the rain dries out a lot of the parts (seat belt reels, ignition lock cylinder, etc) and I stay busy re-lubing items that may need little or no attention in most "conventional" vehicle interiors.

Hope this helps!

Max
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benderff View Post
No one here knows what they are talking about. You should try Pirate 4x4 they will be happy to help you.

There is no situation that cannot be improved with a small but well-placed explosive.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
jbolty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
I think that may be an old wives' tale. New belt retractors are lubricated at the time of assembly, so I can't see any reason not to lube them later on as the lube dries up & dissipates. The lubes that I use when doing this are never heavy or greasy, so the ability for the lube to hold any debris is much less than a heavier grease based lube would have.

I have done this a few times over the past few years and haven't had any negative issues. My Jeep runs without any top (okay, I use a mesh bikini top ) mostly year 'round. Because of this, the rain dries out a lot of the parts (seat belt reels, ignition lock cylinder, etc) and I stay busy re-lubing items that may need little or no attention in most "conventional" vehicle interiors.

Hope this helps!

Max
Old wives are sometimes wrong.

On the other hand here on this end of the country we have fine desert dust that is like talc. It get everywhere. I have to change my air filter and oil about every 200 miles.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:46 PM   #10
Mean Max
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbolty View Post
Old wives are sometimes wrong.

On the other hand here on this end of the country we have fine desert dust that is like talc. It get everywhere. I have to change my air filter and oil about every 200 miles.
Well I used to live in SD County (North County, Oceanside) so I know what you mean about the talc style dust!

If I had a build-up of that kind of material, I would probably use a evaporative type cleaner (Brakekleen comes to mind) on the mechanism first, and then use a very light lube afterward.

Mine definitely need some attention periodically, having the belt hanging outside the Jeep after exiting, and not being able to lean forward enough to release the parking brake was getting old!

Max
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Quote:
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Quote:
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No one here knows what they are talking about. You should try Pirate 4x4 they will be happy to help you.

There is no situation that cannot be improved with a small but well-placed explosive.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 05:59 PM   #11
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Another GREAT write up MAX!
Mine has been doing this for a while and was wonderin what the heck was wrong...thanks again
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Unread 01-04-2010, 06:11 PM   #12
Floppy
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Good write up Max... My seat belts are brand new and I already have to do this.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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Thank you Max, now it just has to warm up enough for me to want to get out and work on it!
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Unread 01-04-2010, 06:26 PM   #14
YJake
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Screw it, I'm doing this now. Cold weather and all.

My passenger side belt needs replaced, but I can still fix my driver's side one for the time being. I hate shutting it in the door because it doesn't retract fast enough (or at all).

Time to bust out the PB!

Jake
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The 4banger only whines because it wants more!
Quote:
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3 Things to know about the forum: Always PB blaster, Always check the FAQ, Always do a search, and if none of that works, ask Mean Max.
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Unread 01-22-2010, 04:18 PM   #15
BallerJeep
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hey, I need some help. What if I let is slip back in? Now it won't feed me any belt. Is this some sort of thing to prevent people from taking it off? Do I have to buy a new belt? Help needed fast, thanks.
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