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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-18-2019 06:03 PM
258 only in a jeep cj,

How does one go about changing the preload springs? Mine are good material but slow drag/retract.
09-17-2019 08:11 PM
clarkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by only in a jeep cj View Post

i’ve gotten to the point where I try to stick with just OEM belt systems and I go for good used ones or you can retrofit ones out of a YJ.
Thanks for all the info. Do have pics of the “good” units that are shaped like an 8? Or the YJ units?

I would like to get some belts that work!
09-17-2019 01:17 PM
only in a jeep cj CJ seat belt knowledge via me.

There are two styles of belt retractors used in the later CJs for the 3 point sets. The late 80 to 83 (ish) used a smaller housing that used a steel ribbon spring with a high iron content. The larger housing used after these are shaped like the number “8” and contains a stainless steel ribbon spring. Both units use the same locking components on the other side. These consist of two devices that will engage the main lock plate on the belt wheel. There is a drag clutch that works off of speed. If the belt is pulled out very fast such as the person going forward in a sudden stop (impact), the clutch will overpower the small tension spring and engage the lock plate. You can test this feature by grabbing the belt off your chest and snatching it outward very fast. It should lock up at only a few inches off your chest.

The second lock up feature is a hanging pendulum made from a small lead weight. The pendulum will swing of it’s centerline, when the vehicle is suddenly stopped such as in an impact. It is these pendulums which will make the unit either left or right side specific. And the belts are not labeled clearly on the outside other than maybe an L or R sticker when they were new
I always lean them slightly as if they were positioned in the vehicle on the B pillar. When you pull out the belt, it will lock up easy if the lean is wrong ( indicating it’s the other side)

To confuse things, there are a few small changes threw the years. For example, 1984 used a smaller non serviceable latch system as opposed to the wider, metal GM style latches that were more common. There was also a year that the retractor was bolted to the bottom of the roll bar. It also faced in a different direction so I’m sure those were special for that year.

Based on the OP’s pictures, he has the early style of 3 point belts Bolted into a jeep that originally only had lap belts and that’s why the upper roll bar is drilled with a hole instead of a properly welded in bung. I’ve seen more failures with the steel spring then anything else. The spring actually fatigues and cracks and comes apart midway through the windings. The end result is a seatbelt that feels like it’s weak or has trouble retracting. Seatbelt mechanism going underwater is not a solution at all. Due to the steel spring and their tendency to break I don’t even try to fix these units. But the later ones with the stainless steel springs are serviceable if you know what you’re doing. I cannot recommend anyone to take apart their units or work on them themselves for obvious reasons. Special tools and procedures are needed. But I can tell you that I have had very good luck in refurbishing them provided the belt material is in good shape. When I encounter a belt that has too much drag or a slow to retract, I will change the preload from 8 spring windings to 12 and it’s like a new belt.

The aftermarket belts that I have encountered have been borderline garbage. Low-quality and highly sensitive. Almost impossible to pull the belt out without triggering the clutch lock up i’ve gotten to the point where I try to stick with just OEM belt systems and I go for good used ones or you can retrofit ones out of a YJ.
09-15-2019 08:04 PM
clarkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
That's not a factory setup for the 3rd mounting point, but homemade.
Interesting. You could be right, I don’t know. This is the first CJ I have owned with 3 point belts. I initially started this thread in an attempt to find a way to get my belts to retract a little better.

I think my best bet at this point is to replace them with new, if I can find some new ones that work without drilling more holes etc.

Any suggestions on replacements would be appreciated.

I bought some from Summit for my last Jeep, but they were so easy to lock up that it was difficult to pull them out to buckle up.
09-15-2019 07:18 PM
keith460 That's not a factory setup for the 3rd mounting point, but homemade.
09-15-2019 08:46 AM
clarkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkg View Post
Here is a picture of the one in my 1980 CJ7.

Would like to know if any of the replacements available are a direct fit.

There were roll bar changes made in mid/late 1979 for the Jeep CJ and I believe seat belt changed from two point to three point at the same time but not sure. I think there are one or two years of the new roll bar style from 1979-80 that did not have the 3rd mounting point on the roll bar itself. That would be the threaded boss on roll bars vertical tube of both driver and passenger side.

Don't recall ever seeing the front seatbelt retract mechanism bolted to the base of the roll bar either. It should be bolted to the 'B' pillar of late model CJ's with one 7/16-20 bolt and pin holding it in place.


Does your 3rd mounting point have the boss on the roll bar?
. I don’t think mine has a boss, it has a through bolt.

Fyi- my engine has a 12/20/79 date code. Is there a date code on the firewall tag? All I see there is the sequential number, mine is 719216. Although there is a label on the inside that says Jan 1980.
09-15-2019 07:12 AM
keith460
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkg View Post
Here is a picture of the one in my 1980 CJ7.

Would like to know if any of the replacements available are a direct fit.

There were roll bar changes made in mid/late 1979 for the Jeep CJ and I believe seat belt changed from two point to three point at the same time but not sure. I think there are one or two years of the new roll bar style from 1979-80 that did not have the 3rd mounting point on the roll bar itself. That would be the threaded boss on roll bars vertical tube of both driver and passenger side.

Don't recall ever seeing the front seatbelt retract mechanism bolted to the base of the roll bar either. It should be bolted to the 'B' pillar of late model CJ's with one 7/16-20 bolt and pin holding it in place.


Does your 3rd mounting point have the boss on the roll bar?
09-15-2019 06:52 AM
trailhead2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
I doubt that. Maybe complete seatbelt replacements but not parts. OSHA would be all over that. They wouldn't want you tinkering with a seatbelt mechanism only to have it fail in an accident.
DOT would be all over it.
09-15-2019 06:47 AM
keith460
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-h View Post
Spring may be bad. I remember encountering a website that specialized in seatbelt parts.

I doubt that. Maybe complete seatbelt replacements but not parts. OSHA would be all over that. They wouldn't want you tinkering with a seatbelt mechanism only to have it fail in an accident.
09-14-2019 08:01 PM
trailhead2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane4 View Post
Retractable seat belts??? What's that?
09-14-2019 06:47 PM
Hurricane4 Retractable seat belts??? What's that?
09-14-2019 04:00 PM
trailhead2004 Hey @clarkg , I’ve been doing some research. It is certainly not conclusive but shows that both your situation and mine could both be true.

What I’ve found is that Volvo hired an engineer in 1958 who designed what would eventually become the three point belt system. As early as 1968 it appears that some US automakers were offering three point belts as an option. Here’s where that starts getting fuzzy. I can’t find a solid year that shoulder belts became mandatory, though in the mid 2000’s (2007?) they were required for the center rear passenger seat.

Bottom line is that it appears that sometime by the late 80s most American manufacturers were putting three point belts in as a matter of course though it may not have been by government mandate.

Voila’! We may both be correct.
09-14-2019 09:14 AM
trailhead2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkg View Post
Here is a picture of the one in my 1980 CJ7.

Would like to know if any of the replacements available are a direct fit.
That may(?) be factory seatbelts but I know that neither of my 1980 CJs, a CJ5 and a CJ7, do not have shoulder belts. Likewise, they do not even have the mounting holes for them. It would be pretty easy to weld the mounting bosses into the sport bar though.
09-14-2019 08:18 AM
1984jeepjohn man you have the exact opposite problem as me. LOL Mine lock up just trying to put it on.
09-08-2019 10:06 AM
clarkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
FYI, the sportbar mounted seatbelt setup isn’t stock in a 1980.
Here is a picture of the one in my 1980 CJ7.

Would like to know if any of the replacements available are a direct fit.
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