Strappin' In: C3 Corvette Seatbelt Replacement

We replace the moldy, dirty seat seat belts in Project Homewrecker withsome modern webbing.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please put your tray tables and seats in theirupright positions, and fasten your seat belt as we approach for landing.How many times have you heard this phrase? For those who spend more timein the air than on the ground, this may have become one of thoseannoying phrases you hear in your sleep. For those who have never beenon a plane, this is the final announcement made before an aircraft islanded.

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Our first step was to remove the shoulder harness cover, which residesatop the rear wheel well.

Unfortunately while cruising around in your super Chevy, accidents dohappen. There are no lines of communication with anyone outside of yourdomain, no announcement to tell you, "You are about to get in anaccident--better fasten your seatbelt." While wearing a seat belt hasbecome the law in most states across the nation, people still refuse tobuckle-up.

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Next we removed the single fastener that holds the shoulder harnessretractor unit in place.

Try this on for size. While at the drag strip or local roundy-roundtrack, racers strap in with certified harnesses pulled tight - ensuringthat if an accident occurs they will greatly reduce the chances ofinjury. Thinking it over, it is far more probable that you willencounter an accident and possible injury on the streets of Your Town,USA.

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Picture here is the difference between the old unit and the new. Whilethese are not period correct units (which would have cost upwards of$500 for a set), they will offer a clean look, coupled with safety. Thenew shoulder harness was installed by reversal of the aforementionedsteps.

For those who have been following along, we've taken Editor JimCampisano's 1972 Corvette LT-1 from an ugly brownish color to abeautiful Targa Blue, courtesy of Motor City Auto Body. We've alsoinstalled a ton of exterior and interior hardware from Mid AmericaMotorworks. While we can't wait to take the first drive in new trim, thesubject of seat belt condition came to surface. After inspection of thelap belts and harnesses, which were faded, moldy, and not in the bestworking order, we called Mid America Motorworks for a new set of lap andshoulder restraints.

A seat belt is comprised of four main components, a buckle, D-ring,webbing, and fastening hardware. Fastening hardware can be comprised ofa simple eyelet or an inertia type-clutch retractor. Corvette puristsmay want to refurbish their date-coded, matching numbers belts, but thatwasn't a priority here. Keeping the editor's face off the windshieldwas. (It's not much, but it's the only one he has.) The belts fromMid-America Motorworks are not factory-correct--the company doesn't carrythem for our model year, but it does have those for many other modelyears.

Let's begin the installation.

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