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3-point harnesses


FridgeFreezer
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Two questions in one here:

Firstly, I want to mount 3-point harnesses in the 109, but it's a CSW so has a rear row of seats which I'd quite like to keep (seems the standard instructions are "unbolt rear seat and bolt the rear mount to the rear seatbelt mount" :huh: ) I am currently planning on making a replacement for the grab-handle rail thing that used to be behind the front seats (near seat-top height) set back on a couple of plates that bolted where the top door hinge is on the B-pillar. Will this be enough? I'm not asking for it to pass a Euro NCAP safety test, just stop me from going through the windscreen if the worst happens.

Second, are 3-point harnesses OK for the MOT or not? Does it depend on the mountings, and if so, will my mounting rail be within the realms of acceptability?

I suppose a pertinent question is "are seatbelts a legal requirement for a 1978 vehicle" as that would save me a bit of time :rolleyes:

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I seem to remember reading somewhere that if seatbelts were not originally fitted to the vehicle when it was manufactured then there is no legal requirement to retrofit them, however if you do fit them then they have to meet the current MOT standards.

According to this front seatbelts had to be added to all new cars from 1967 onwards so your CSW would require seatbelts.

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FF, when I did mine I used the original mounting points on the inside of the seats, my own mounts on the outside of the seats (propperly plated) and down to the bulkhead for the 3rd point - not ideal but I never had problems. I guess a cage will be on the cards at some point and then you could tie something into a cross brace at that point. Until then I guess something to a bar between the B - pillars would be OK as that's where any innertia real would be mounting anyway...

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I replaced the webbing type seat belts on catflap, for inertia type that was originally fitted in a Pug. This meant that all mounting/anchor points were in a different place, and I used 'best guess' for strengthening these points. I told the MOT guy that the belts were different/reloctaed and he inspected the fixings. He just said that they were fine and gave me the ticket.

The fact that it's three point will have little or no difference, just the anchor points will have to look and be strong enough to do what they are intended for. I used 4" spreader plates either side of the alloy, and a DIY spool mounting. The belt catch went through the floor and was bolted to the middle crossmember under the seat. The only inspection of the seat belts at present, is the catch working, the locking mechanism locking when the belt is tugged, and any damage to the belt itself.

You quite often are unable to inspect anchor points anyway, and the tester isn't allowed to dismantle the vehicle to inspect any of it. If he can't see the anchor points, then he has to assume that it's ok.

Les.

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Hi

Not totally sure about the MOT but the SVA regs say that they should basically be bolted to something solid with the correct bolts, the harnesses must be 'E' marked, and that the shoulder straps should be anchored either at the same horizontal level as your shoulders/top of seat or above this level, this is just to stop you being squashed by the belts in a big front on...

Mike

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Another way to achive essentially the same thing is to anchor the rear strap(s) to the floor behind the seat and pass them over a horizontal bar at shoulder heat behind the seats. This mathod is commonly used in comp safari cars especially those with rear engines and solid rear bulkheads.

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Early in my apprenticeship I was placed with a Ford dealership for some time. When undertaking MOT's there the tester would plug the seatbelt into its latch then grasp both lap and shoulder belt and pull firmly, if there was no movement/deflection on the mounts then this was a pass. They also check for fray in the belts

Observing other testers at my favourite (read lenient) station it seems that the above is standard practice for testing seatbelts. Just work to that ;)

Surely there must be an MOT tester on the forum somewhere?

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Fridge,

When littlenay fitted the harnesses in the 110(ok a van body), we left the standard seatbelts in and fitted the 3 point harnesses, using the lower real mount, the 'clip' mount and a bar in the back.

Never was an issue having both at MOT time, and the MOT tester that did it is a right picky b.....d, bloke!!

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Problem with the MOT is its only a test of vehicle condition. The mot does not enter into the design of things.

Therefore if your belts are not frayed, and securely mounted (ie when the tester gives them a yank they dont come off in his hand) it'll pass. I've run 3 point harnesses for years, and the top mounts are mounted to the rollcage stays, and the tester has never given them a second look!

Jon

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I've got harnesses in a daily drive, and it's more of a pain than you'd expect or imagine as they're restrictive and don't adjust easily, to the point that most of the time I use them as a lap-belt only, which somewhat negates the point.

If you're dead-set on them, I use the cage as the top mount.

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John

My 90 had harnesses and I took the original belts out

The rear was a hole drilled in the floor with two big repair washer either side.

the side went into the original areas of the seat box.

that went through 7 or 8 MOT's fine even the clasp had lost its outer casing but as it still worked it passed

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