Seat Belt Install

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Rich in Colorado
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Seat Belt Install

Post by Rich in Colorado » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:11 pm

All,
New to the "T" world. But I bought a 1922 Center Door and I would like seat belts. I bought a set, then looked at how I was going to install them. Backwards I know. Lots of wood on the floor but not a lot of stout metal to hook up to.

I know someone out there has solved this problem. Could anyone share with me the way they fastened down seat belts?

Thanks in advance!

Rich
Rich in Colorado
1922 Model T Center Door
1928 Model A Tudor
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood


Russ T Fender
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Russ T Fender » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:40 pm

I am a big advocate of seat belts and wear them religiously in my modern cars but after a lot of analysis I have concluded that seat belts in a Model T are not a good idea. You could span between the frame rails with angle iron to provide a location for anchoring seat belts but doing that has at least 2 drawbacks. The model T frame is very light and flexible so drilling extra holes in or reinforcing it in spots is not a good as it causes stress fractures but the biggest concern for me is that the body itself is likely to separate from the frame in an accident and occupants in seat belts attached to the frame become the anchor for the body. That is just my opinion but if I thought I could do it effectively I would do so in a heart beat as not having seatbelts makes it impossible for me to enjoy my T's with my grandkids under most state laws.


rickg
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by rickg » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:59 pm

Use large fender washers they will keep the brackets tight, I have closed cars and use them every time I get in the car, I would be leary of seat belts in a touring or roadster, if it makes you feel better install them, I don't think with six body to frame bolts the body will come off if yo get hit that hard you are dead already. :shock:

Rick


Dellpound
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Dellpound » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:06 pm

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DHort
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by DHort » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:22 pm

Model T's are grandfathered. They do not require seat belts. I would never want to be restrained in a seat belt in a car that has not been tested to determine if seat belts are better. A Model T will crumple. Better to be thrown out.

All of my grandchildren have been in my cars. They need to sit still or they cannot ride. The thought of restraining them in a car seat attached to a seat belt would scare me. Might as well put them in a bubble inside a hospital.

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Will_Vanderburg
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:29 pm

I "borrowed" a picture I found on the net while researching the rear seat box for a 1922 Center Door. It shows seat belts having been installed in it. I do not know who's car it is, so I cannot give proper credit. It isn't mine.
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William L Vanderburg

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HPetrino
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by HPetrino » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:36 pm

I'm with Russ and David on this. Seat belts in a T are a bad idea. There are a million variables, but let it suffice to say that a T does not behave like a modern car in a collision or roll-over.


Erik Johnson
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:44 pm

The purpose of seat belts is to avoid what is called the "secondary collision" of the occupants inside or outside of the vehicle. That is, upon the vehicle's impact, the occupants inside the vehicle remain in motion until they themselves hit another object - inside the automobile or if they are ejected, outside the automobile.

An example of a secondary collision within the vehicle would be an occupant being slammed into the windshield. An example outside the vehicle would be an ejected occupant hitting the pavement.

Seat belts are most effective if there is "room to live" in the passenger compartment after the collision.

This can be done in two ways:

1) the vehicle is so heavy and well constructed that it doesn't get damaged when hit by another vehicle and the passenger compartment remains intact. Automobiles are not designed this way.

or

2) the vehicle is designed with crumple zones that absorb the impact and end up damaged leaving the passenger compartment relatively intact with room to live. This is how modern vehicles are designed.

Antique automobiles are not designed like modern vehicles. While seat belts may eliminate ejection from the vehicle, that doesn't do any good if the passenger compartment is crushed.

When you drive an antique car, you are taking a gamble. If you want protection, you are probably better off wearing motorcycle armor and a helmet rather than installing seat belts.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Mark Gregush » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:30 pm

In that photo above I see the belts bolted into a piece of wood. If that is the only mounting, what the "H" good is that? :shock:
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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RajoRacer
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:42 pm

I recently installed one lap belt in the middle of our '14 Touring rear seat for my 5 y.o. granddaughter's car seat - state law - I bet she doesn't weigh in at 35 lbs. that way she can see where we're going.

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RajoRacer
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:44 pm

On our private road, she rides up front with me.
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RajoRacer
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:45 pm

I used 1/2" bolts with 1/4" thick fender washers - I don't see them "ripping" out !


v10pdownunder
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by v10pdownunder » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:40 am

Surely you would use "period" belts ?? If you recall watching "Green Acres" back in the 60s [ or was it the 70s ?] "Mr Hainey" had safety belts fitted to his TT. That kind of restraint is as much as most "T" bodies can withstand. I recall they were of woven or platted baling twine, securely hooked onto a small "cup hook"


Jeff Hood
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Jeff Hood » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:51 am

Model T's have rolled over and people have died whether they were strapped in or thrown out. Others have survived whether they were strapped in or thrown out. In a crash at 70 mph a 200 pound object (body) can generate over 10,000 pounds of force against the restraints. This can easily tear out most any anchor you can devise for a Model T body, however at 30 mph, the forces may be much less, and in a minor incident, say 10 mph or less, if you can't stop quick enough, etc. they can keep the driver in their seat and in control of the car, and possibly save their life. There are multiple videos of people being ejected from their open Model T after hitting another car or object at very low speed. If the driver were to be ejected into a lane of oncoming traffic he could be killed or seriously injured. There are also many many pictures of Model T wrecks, and they don't show Model T bodies separated from the frame, even when being struck by a train.

We are careful when driving our cars, especially when our children and grand children are along, and a seat belt will keep them in their seat and in the car! Look at the picture above and think how easily that little girl could be launched from her seat in a fast stop, or even out of the car on a quick turn or maneuver, or even a big bump!

A seat belt may or may not lead to your death in a bad wreck or rollover, but I think there is a far greater chance of it preventing injury or even death, especially of the little ones, in regular driving and touring.

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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Jem » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:32 am

I'm with Jeff on this. Belts are going to help with heavy braking, swerves or minor fender-benders. In a major accident nothing is going to help you much in an antique car, especially a lightweight T, but I think I would rather be restrained from being thrown through the windshield.

One suggestion that has come up before is the 'airbag' jackets that horse riders wear, but you'd need to figure out a decelerometer to trigger it. On a horse, it's hooked to the saddle so triggers when you fall off.

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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Kaiser » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:15 am

For adults seatbelts may or may not guard against injury or worse, there's no way to tell, but for little kids it might be a good idea, not so much to prevent injury in an accident but more to keep them from standing up while driving and/or from falling out while in traffic, while put-putting on your private road or in a stop-and-creep parade i don't think it is needed but for the smallest of grandkids.
just my 2c.
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Mark Osterman
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:58 am

I’ll never install seat belts in a T. Here is my roll over in 2001. Thank God I wasn’t strapped in.
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Charlie B in N.J.
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:29 am

Arguments for belts seem to go both ways. There's simply nothing safe about T. You take a ride and you take your chances either way. It's a large part of the reason I stopped taking passengers for rides any where except within the development I live in. And honestly not very often there either.
Forget everything you thought you knew.


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Rich in Colorado
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Rich in Colorado » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:51 am

Interesting discussion. I will find a way to install the seatbelts. I believe staying in the car is safer than ejecting. There are circumstances where that won't be true, but by enlarge staying put would be better, IMHO. I am also replacing all glass with safety glass.

I installed seatbelts in all of my cars, since High school in the 60's. Even when the cars I was buying didn't come with them. And it wasn't cool.

Once I find a way, I'll update this post.

Thanks for the responses.

Rich
Rich in Colorado
1922 Model T Center Door
1928 Model A Tudor
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood


Mark Osterman
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:04 pm

Now safety glass is something I would never drive without. I cut glass as a regular part of my day job. The idea of getting into an accident with thousands of razor sharp pieces coming towards me is really scary.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:17 pm

Another point to think about; you(driver) are sitting on a gas can with non latching seat back and a flip forward seat that does not latch down on the passenger side. Installing in the back seat might be one thing, but in the front, lap belts are not going to prevent a face plant into the dash or steering wheel. In an accident, non factory/professional installed seat belts could be a liability on your part if installed wrong. I installed lap belts in my 48 F2, not for accidents but in case the doors came open. Same reason most install in Model A's, in case the doors come open (and they do sometimes).
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Allan
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Allan » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:06 pm

I do not have seat belts in any of my T's. However, in their wisdom, state governments in Australia have decreed that child restraint seats must be fitted to carry children under 7 years old in any old car. To comply with this direction, my son and I developed the following solution. The seats are restrained by their own seat belt through the base of the seat. In a modern car, each end is fitted to a loop under the back seat. We mad a cross bar of 2" x 1/4" angle iron and welded loops to it. At this stage my son suggested two sets of loops, for two seats. It was a good job we did! This cross bar was screwed to the wooden frame under the rear seat cushion, the same screws picking up the vertical riser under that frame, so it's pretty solid. With the seat cushion back in place, none of this is seen. The seats also have a restraint at the top to stop the seat moving forward. This strap goes between the top and the outside of the body down to the spare tyre carrier frame. It is attached to a fitting from a modern car used for this purpose.

My son has a mate who formerly worked as an engineer with one of the car manufacturers in Adelaide, so he ran the idea past him. He suggested it sounded fine but just don't tell anyone he said so. He rang back a couple of days later, having had time to think about it. As there are likely to be others wanting to get their kids involved in the old car movement, he could see the benefit of what we had achieved. His only extra suggestion was that the timbers to which we had fixed the bar be connected with steelwork directly to the frame under the car. In his words, if that fails you are already in deep trouble.

The real bonus is knowing that we can take our grandson out in the car, he really enjoys the ride, and we have him restrained in such a way that he can see all that is going on around him.

Allan from down under.


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Rich in Colorado
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Re: Seat Belt Install

Post by Rich in Colorado » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:23 am

Allan,
Thanks for your post. I have been thinking about angle iron to the frame setup as a solution. Good to hear you had some success with that setup.

Rich
Rich in Colorado
1922 Model T Center Door
1928 Model A Tudor
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood

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