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#Manual Seat Belt Conversion (Finished)

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 Post subject: Manual Seat Belt Conversion (Finished)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:35 pm 
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This is a continuation of this post.
viewtopic.php?t=37515

I started tearing into things yesterday. I feel confident I have come up with a solution for using the automatic seat belt A and upper B pillar trim piece. I have removed and separated the rail portion of the belts with the motor/cable assembly. My plan is to cut off the rail just as it makes the turn upwards. This will allow clearance for the upper mounting for the manual belts, and will still be secure by the three other forward bolts. This will allow the front A pillar trim piece to be secured.

The problem I need to work out is the upper B pillar trim piece. It is much thicker than the non automatic belt piece. I am going to look and see if I can find a bolt that is longer with the same collar as the stock piece. I don't have high hopes for this, but I'll look and see what I can find. If I find something I will need a deeper collar as well.

If that idea doesn't work, I'll probably see if I can find a threaded collar that I can use a stud in one side and then bolt up the seat belt bolt on the other side. My concern with this is that I've added a longer moment arm which decreases the amount of force needed to bend or cause a failure of the bolt or even the mount point when compared to the original design.

If I could get a 1" or 1-1/2" diameter 1" thick piece of hardened steel that was tapped down the center, I could use a stud to secure that to the chassis, and then use the stock bolt. That would probably be the best solution, but I need to do a little more homework before I proceed that route.

If anyone has any other ideas, by all means, let me know.

Here are the pictures.

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... seatbelts/

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
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Last edited by Legacy777 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:06 am 
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Quote:
My concern with this is that I've added a longer moment arm which decreases the amount of force needed to bend or cause a failure of the bolt or even the mount point when compared to the original design.


That's the part I was worried about.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:53 am 
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Yeah......I think if I get a spacer that is wide enough and can spread the load more evenly it may be ok.

I'll probably try and do some calcs on the loads and see what it changes for the bending moment forces.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Been doing a little homework on this. I found out something interesting yesterday. The seatbelt bolt that mounts the upper part to the B-pillar is not metric. It's a 7/16" bolt with fine thread 20.

I still think the best option is to use a spacer. I'm going to take some measurements this weekend, and hopefully get things figured out so I can either buy the material or get something made.

On a side note....I found out from the bolt guy that early Ford model T's actual had six metric bolts on the engine.....

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:26 pm 
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Got an update. I spent last weekend fitting the upper seat belt mount. I fabbed up a spacer and determined I needed 1.3" to move the seat belt mounting position out so that it fit correctly with the auto seat belt trim. Here's pictures from last weekend.

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... atbelts/01


Now onto this past weekend. I was talking to a friend and he does metal fab work on restoration car projects, and has done lots of track prep for miata's. Was talking to him about my seat belt project and he said he something that would probably work. Apparently the stock seat belt mount position for the miata is recessed. Because of this, it requires a spacer and a longer bolt. This seat belt bolt has the collar on it for the belt. The collar is slightly smaller than the Subaru bolt, but it works fine. The bolt is the perfect length.

I used this spacer from the miata and one of the spacers on the lower part of the manual belts. Any subaru seat belt would have this spacer. Combined they are damn near exactly 1.3". The only thing better would be a single piece of bar stock machined to 1.3" depth.

So I've decided to go with the longer bolt. I believe I have the upper mount completely figured out.

The lower mount.....I did not expect it to be quite as big of a pain in the butt, however it presented some additional problems.

I had originally wanted to create a tutorial on how to swap over to the manual belts and keep everything relatively plug & play. However I don't that will be the case. Upon further inspection, the chassis between the manual & auto seat belt cars is different. The auto seat belt cars have a little pocket for the lap belt, the manual cars do not. Also, a hole needs to be drilled into the chassis for the manual belt lower mounting position.

Last issue was with the trim piece. There's a big hole at the lower mount point. The plastic cover for the auto belt snaps & screws into the lower lap belt bracket. Due to fitment of the manual belt mount point and lower lap belt, I decided to cut the bracket up and mount lap belt bracket so the back portion of the plastic piece snaps into the bracket. I had to cut off the recessed mount hole on the plastic trim piece in order for it to fit flush. With the belt and metal piece pulled through the plastic piece, it stays put mostly. I would like to figure something out that will keep the plastic piece in place when the belt is jostled around.

I don't have the best pics of the plastic piece. I will take some better pics once I get everything figured out.

Also, for the seat belt buckle, the auto seat bolt must be reused as the manual bolt is too short.

I'm down to resolving some of the final issues. But it looks promising, and I should be able to get everything fitted.

Here's pics from this past weekend.
http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... atbelts/02

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surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:48 pm 
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For some reason I didn't even think to drill the hole out for this piece. I just busted off that piece on both sides. Problem solved.

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... G_0942.JPG



When I first looked at the pictures in your first link from last weekend I thought you were actually going to use a wooden spacer. :shock: Now I see the other link and the metal spacer so that's good.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:33 am 
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I really need to resize my pictures....hehe.


Yeah, I felt & looked behind to make sure there was no structural type piece, and then drilled a hole for the tab to go. It keeps the bracket positioned correctly.

The wooden spacers were solely for gauging the correct depth. It's a lot easier to mock up things in wood and then transfer to metal :)

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:43 pm 
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Ran into another issue, the buckle. The manual buckle is much longer and bolts to the chassis. Apparently the manual belts seats are different, which accomodate this.

With how the seat bracket is formed, I can't really mount it at the stock location on the chassis. I've got the buckles & brackets for the WRX seats and will be looking at a way to use the Legacy buckle with the WRX buckle bracket. As for how to do that.....still working on that.

Those of you that have swapped to the manual seat belts.....how did you guys do it?

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:17 am 
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Yeah that part pissed me off. I have WRX seats and wanted to be able to bolt it to the seat like the WRX buckles do but it wouldn't work. So I bolted them below the seat and it was a bitch and a real tight fit.

Is it possible to just get the WRX manual belts and use them in our cars?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Any chance you can take a picture of what you did? The bolt hole that the buckle is supposed to bolt into is where the seat bolts to the chassis. The other bolt is a smaller bolt, and probably would work, but it most likely weaker than the original design.

The wrx manual belts are a little wider. The mechanism has a pretensioner firing device in it. I am going to try and see if it fits. If they fit, I'll probably just use them. It'll piss me off though because I bought new tan belts to fit in the car.

I'm going to hopefully try the WRX belts this evening. I'll report back on what I find out.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Checked the WRX belts last night, and they're a no go. They're completely different.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Got an update on the conversion. I pulled the WRX brackets from the belts, and have bolted in the Legacy buckle mechanism to the bracket.

The bolt is a grade 8 bolt with those locking nuts that are crimped at the top. I had to grind down the top of the bolt so it would provide enough clearance to snap the two pieces together. There about 1/8" clearance on the back side of the plastic piece. I shaved a little bit of the plastic from the inside as well.

They turned out very well and should provide the best fitment of the belts. I believe I have all the issues worked out, and it's just a matter of finishing everything up.

Here's the pictures.
http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... atbelts/03
http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... atbelts/04

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surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:33 am 
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I'm confused. What did you end up doing with the female belt reciever? Did you bolt it to the body of the car or the seat itself so it moves with the seat like the WRX ones do?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:44 am 
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I took the metal bracket from the WRX seat belt receiver and bolted it to female legacy belt receiver, and then bolt that to the WRX seat.

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... G_1038.JPG

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:23 am 
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I wonder how hard that would be to do with the seats in the car. That's a pretty tight spot. I need to do that on mine though. Thanks for the idea. I think I was contemplating something like that when I put mine in.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:38 am 
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Do what in the car? Bolt up the bracket to the seat? It can be in the car.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Yeah switch the seat belt recievers and bolt it back to the seat. Mine is bolted to the bolt that holds the seat railing in place to the body. So it doesn't move with the seat.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Yeah you should be able to swap them around. Otherwise, it's not hard to pull the seat.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:35 am 
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Well, I'm mostly finished with the conversion.

Here's all the updated pictures.

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... tbelts/05/
http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... tbelts/06/
http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... tbelts/07/

Couple comments:

I found that one of the spring brakets is busted on the driver's side WRX seat. Going to see if it can be welded back on. Kind of sucks.

On the automatic seat belt rails. I cut 4-1/4" off the end to give clearance for the the manual seat belt bolt. I only cut off that much so that the rail was there to provide a "black" back drop rather than a hole when looking into the trim opening.

Also from previous post I believe, I cut the brackets on the lower lap belt so I can snap in the plastic cover at the base. I covered the hole with duct tape. I think I may have left a spacer in there somewhere as I didn't have an even number when I cleaned up today :lol: As long as I don't hear anything rolling around I'll live.

The passenger side is a major pain in the ass when it comes to removing and installing the automatic seat belt rail. There is a metal bracket for the "oh shit" handle, and it makes things sooo much harder. I did the driver's side in a matter a minutes, and cursed and yelled for quite a bit of time on the passenger side. It sucked.

The lower B pillar trim, I notched out the bottom so it fits the trim piece at the base a little better like the automatic pieces.

Had a quick question on the dome light. Is this how it should be oriented? Switch on the driver's side?

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... G_1228.JPG

Lastly, I've got to figure something out about the automatic seat belt computer. It controls the key chime when the key is in the ignition. I don't think I can trick the automatic computer. I tried playing with it for a short amount of time this afternoon. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and it was working fine without light blinking, but then it went back to blinking.

I'm probably going to have to get a key chime control unit from the canadian cars. I'll have to pickup a diode, but I think I can get it to work.

I'm very happy with how everything turned out. It looks for the most part stock, which is what I was aiming for. I managed to keep all the plastic pieces in tact throughout the entire process, and then today I didn't get the back piece snapped in correctly on the upper B pillar. Then when I went to remove it, I snapped a bit off. I couldn't find it, or I would have glued it back on. Oh well...

http://main.experiencetherave.com/subar ... G_1218.JPG

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Josh, that is the cleanest legacy interior I've ever seen. Amazing. I don't know how you found one so flawless and I admire that you keep it clean like that. I will try to do so with my car although my interior is not quite so nice as yours. It's not bad but yours is perfect. Even the ceiling has no holes in it and that's rare!

Good to see you've finished your seat belt conversion. Mine was finished, I thought. Until you showed me that you can use the WRX recievers to make a frankenbuckle and now I have to do it to mine as well.

I believe that's the way that light is supposed to face. Last time I worked on my car I installed the headliner and when I was popping that cover back on I cracked it in half. lol

I don't know what you can do about the key chime situation as I don't have a battery to test mine out yet.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Thanks for the compliments on the car. The car was actually my grandfather's. It was in good shape, however did require some cleaning. I've had the car since 95 and take good care of it.

If I can't find a canadian key chime controller, I'll have to see how I can trick the US one.

Worst comes to worse, I'll snip the wire for the seat belt blinky light :lol:

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:44 am 
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So what happens if I don't do anything with the seat belt timer/blinky thing? What if I just leave it unplugged under the seat?

It's not going to make noise at me is it? Because I hate that. I'll do whatever it takes to disable said noise. Except I want the dome light to turn on when I open the door. That damn feature somehow always gets destroyed on every car I've had and I am always in the dark! GRRR

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:50 pm 
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The connector under the seat only controls the initial blinking beep (4-6 sec) and is only related to the seat belt.

The beeping from the key being in the ignition and not in the ON position is solely related to the control unit. To stop that noise, you can simply unplug the computer in the trunk.

There's a blurb in section 6-2 that explains how the computer/control logic works. I'll see if I can scan that.

I need to do some testing this evening, but I think I can trick the US seat belt computer to just think the belts are always in the open or closed position, and act normally. I'll report on what I find.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Legacy777 wrote:
To stop that noise, you can simply unplug the computer in the trunk.



This comes up alot. I really think the best method is to just unplug the 2 pin connector at the column. I'll have to get a pic of it one of these days but its the only small connector coming down with the main harness from the cylinder.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:14 am 
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Wait, didn't you say you wanted the noise so you don't lock your keys in your car? Doesn't your car have the locks that won't lock unless you have the keys to lock them from the outside?

I know my driver side door won't stay locked unless you lock it with the key. To keep you from locking them in the car. You can lock it and hold the door handle open when you shut it and I think that'll work but you wouldn't normally do that without thinking about where your keys are.

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