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Old 02-17-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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Cannot get seat belts to lock

I have a 2006 chevy passenger van that I had Sportsmobile convert for me five years ago. I had them pop the top and add a fold down bench seat in the back. Unfortunately I have discovered that I cannot get the seat belts to lock on the shoulder belts for the bench seat. I pull them as hard as I can and they don't lock. I called Sportsmobile and they went out and tried it in a few of their vans and could not get them to lock either. Then one of the guys got it to lock it they pulled it in exactly the right way. They just told me that it should lock in an accident and not to worry about it. Then they gave me the number of the seat belt company that provides the belts. I asked him if it worried him that the belts don't lock and he said that it wasn't really their problem, they just install the product as per the instructions from the manufacturer. I have a little kid that is just getting big enough to use those belts so I am obviously concerned. Any ideas? I haven't called the seat belt manufacturer yet.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

I suspect they are functioning normally, and they will lock when they get a sudden impact - not so much when pulling on the belt. I'm not going to suggest you run into something to test them.

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Old 02-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

I am assuming by "locking" you mean the extra travel within the belt itself as opposed to the actual latch mechanism.

The belt system uses an inertial spring (like a pendulum) assembly that "grabs" the belt during a collision or very sudden stop. This motion is very hard, if not impossible, to mimic as a test on the belt system.

As a firefighter for over three decades, I have yet to see, or even hear of a seatbelt failure in a car involved in a crash.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firetrux
I am assuming by "locking" you mean the extra travel within the belt itself as opposed to the actual latch mechanism.

The belt system uses an inertial spring (like a pendulum) assembly that "grabs" the belt during a collision or very sudden stop. This motion is very hard, if not impossible, to mimic as a test on the belt system.

As a firefighter for over three decades, I have yet to see, or even hear of a seatbelt failure in a car involved in a crash.
I agree with this ^^^^ I have had several vehicles I could get to lock and several I could not. Just when you are trying really hard to reach forward for something (as a passenger) and the driver hits the brakes, they lock. On a modern vehicle I really wouldn't worry about it as long as they all have the same habits. In other words, if you can't get one to lock but the others will I would suspect a problem, or vice versa.

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

Ford seatbelts have two completely separate locking mechanisms. The primary one is the pendulum which will lock under sudden deceleration (all my seat-belts will lock under hard braking or cornering even). The 2nd mechanism is the centripetal lock, which is what locks when you pull the belt real fast. It also doubles as the "child mode" (ratcheting mode when you pull it out all the way). I don't think all other vehicles have this. I don't think our Camry does. I had to disable the 2nd mode on one of my van's seatbelt, because it was hanging up for some reason and wouldn't let the seatbelt out unless you pulled REAL slow. It still locks up from deceleration though.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

I'll send my wife over. She can get any seatbelt to lock at will.

I wish I could figure out how she does it and make it stop so I could stop hearing about "this damn seat belt".
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:05 PM   #7
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

You could try having someone test the belt while you drive down a rough road and do a panic stop.

I usually have the opposite problem with seat belts - they ratchet me back in the seat too hard while driving down a smooth highway.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

i removed the rear seatbelts and then re-installed them when i built the back end of my van. The poster that said they have a pendulum mechanism is correct. If you want to test it, you can remove the floor mount and simply tilt it forward....you'll see that they do lock when the pendulum weight has swung foreward.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:45 PM   #9
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

Replying to an older post but this so timely!

I recently purchased an '06 from my wife's uncle and am having the exact problem Jeremyh wrote about. My issues is that I'm trying to put a child seat for my little one in the rear and the seat belt issues is prohibiting that.

Got off the phone with SMB this afternoon and they again repeated what they told Jeremyh last year and offered no solution to the child seat issue (other to put in a 3rd captain's chair in). To say I'm frustrated is an understatement.

This all being said, anyone have thoughts about how to put a child seat on the rear gaucho in an RB50?? Or, how to address the seat belt issue?

Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:21 AM   #10
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Re: Cannot get seat belts to lock

We used an infant seat and now a child seat for I think up to 65 lbs. We strap them both in the same way on the rear bench of the "50" using the shoulder belt closest to the window on passenger side. I did find it necessary to wrap the receiver end of the belt around the base frame under the bench seat to take up some of the extra slack, otherwise that receiver end was too long and prevented me from properly tightening the belt to secure the seat. Hope that helps.....
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