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4ZUA787
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just did a seatbelt upgrade i went the path of using the ford probe seatbelts as had been posted in the opel vault files. well at first i got the seatbelts and took them home and was like how in the heck did he do this. but i eventually got it figured out the best part is u only need one hole drilled everything else fits the thread sizes are the same for the bolts and the seat belt lenght is almost perfect in the end it turned out like they were there from the factory. if any one wants pictures i will be glad to post some.
 

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Bill,
I have a set of Hyundai Pony seatbelts that are pretty much exact fit for a GT plus Installation instructions that Keith Wilford put together. You can have them for 20 bucks plus shipping. I thought I was going to use them, but I've decided to stay stock.

Keith can fill you in on the details, but this is pretty much a direct bolt up.

If Bill doesn't want them,does anyone else? They're just taking up room in my garage & it's a shame to see them go to waste.

Thanks,
Marc
 

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Three Point Retractable Seat Belts for a GT

I almost hate to bring this up, but there is another easy and TERRIFIC option available for those folks that want to install decent quality inertia reel, three point retractable seat belts in their Opel GT for a LOT less than buying new units from Gil at OGTS. Or at least it's easy for Canadians. The front seat belts from a 1986 or 1987 Hyundai Pony work great. These were imported ONLY into Canada (NOT the US of A) before Hyundai brought out the Excel. But again, only in Canada.

I found these a year and a half ago when I was taking a short sabbatical from the "career" thing, while prowling the local Pick-Your-Part. The retractors are self-contained, and the belt assembly bolts right up to the stock GT mounting points, except for the retractor. Even the bolts are the same thread size and pitch (7/16 UNF-20, if you ever have reason to have to chase the mounting bolt threads). And it is a direct bolt up for the '73 GT (which came with a retractor on a separate shoulder belt). On earlier GT's, holes are simply drilled and a backing plate installed in the lower rear inner kick panel.

The belts came in three different colours: Blue, grey, and tan, and they are easily dyed to a nice black. The retractor and associated plastic hardware are already black. The belt assemblies are made in Japan rather than Korea, and are of a pretty high quality. At least higher than the REST of the Hyundai Pony, of which there are LOTS in the PYP due to their dubious reliability.

The earlier Hyundai Pony belts ('84 & '85) don't work as well, as they were mounted to the roof rather than the "B" pillar.

The reason I hesitate to bring them up is I was sort of vending these a year or so ago, and I sold over a dozen sets around the U.S.A. I called them "Inexpensive Korean Seat belts for German Cars With No Resale Value". But I just don't have the time to do that anymore, what with the career thing re-surfacing. Kathryn McCoy of Leduc sold a few sets after I had cleaned out the local Pony inventory, but I understand that she is moving back to the States, so I doubt that she is still "in the business".

Anyway, that's another option should you ever happen to come to Canada, or know someone (besides me) who lives here.

Here are some photos:
 

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The lower hole is just the existing hole for the "plug" for the panel, drilled out to 7/16 inch. The upper hole is for the locater stud on the retractor, which keeps it plumb. The retractor is a true "inertia" design, so you can still reach the dash controls, but it locks up on sudden deceleration. What isn't shown is a backing plate that needs to be made up for the retractor to bolt to. The Highway Safety Standards Act requires it to be 4 inches square for each mounting bolt. I am just going to tack weld a 7/16 inch UNF-20 nut (so I can use the stock bolt) on the back of a piece of 1 1/2 inch by 6 inch angle iron, and pop rivet it to the inside of the inner panel. Then the retractor will just bolt through the upholstered panel.
 

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Here is another view. The stock Pony set up has the lap belt mount to the same location as the retractor. In the GT, I used the original lap belt mount, and I turned the lap belt bracket over and twisted the belt over in the shoulder ring, so that the belt lies flat across the seat back.

And to show what a good deal Marc is offering, those seat belts were originally sold to James Coronato (N61WP on this list) for $43 including shipping. But James turned to X-Crossing and wanted a firm (not inertia) type belt.

HTH
 

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I'm one of those Americans that purchased a set of Hyundai Pony seatbelts from Keith. Direct bolt up in my '73 GT, works quite nicely. I've got custom blue cloth seats, so the blue belts I got worked just fine. SO much easier than fighting with those wacky GM 2 piece lap/shoulder belts. Those things were aweful! I will not drive without a 3 point belt buckled up, mine are used everytime I'm in the car. No they are not "original" but I think upgrading safety gear makes sense, unless you're doing an all out "correct" restoration.
 

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When I was " in the business" of selling Hyundai seat belts, I wrote up a set of installation instructions. Oh, I had so much time back then. For a while, my wife wondered if I would end up a street person, since selling used Korean seat belts on the Internet didn't seem too large a leap to the street, after being an senior executive and all. I even tracked the number and colour of the belts I collected at the PYP! Alas, my Dell ate it's memory boards, and in the many attempts to resolve the problem, I lost ALL my archived e-mails, including those instructions. And I wandered back into the high-rise set, too busy to contemplate the details of attaching a set of 18 year old seat belts to a 32 year old car. But thanks to Marc (who collects e-mails as well as old Korean car parts), here they are:


First, the inner buckle just mounts to the stock point, using the supplied Pony bolt. Only thing to do is to remove the factory plastic tubing covering the cable (at least on the drivers side because they are ALL worn on that side) and tape it up with a good quality electrical tape.

Next, the lap belt which normally mounts to the same bolt as the retractor in the Pony works better if it is bolted to the stock GT spot on the side. Except I found it works better to turn the belt over, which I will explain why later. Other than that, it's a simple bolt-up, and I used the Pony bolt from the retractor here.

Finally, the retractor itself. On the pre-'73 models (the '73 already had a shoulder retractor), you have to make a new mounting point. My solution was to lift up the inside rear panel by simply popping loose the clips and the door weather-strip that holds it (OK, mine was already out). You don't have to actually remove the upholstered panel, which is good since the upper edge is held in place by the side window moulding. The retractor needs a 7/16 inch hole and nut for a mounting bolt, and a 1/4 inch hole just above it for the locating pin. This pin keeps the retractor "plumb", otherwise the retractor inertia mechanism will lock up. The front lowest panel clip hole is in a perfect location directly below the shoulder loop bolt, and just needs to have the plastic plug popped out and the hole drilled out to 7/16". Then, drill a 1/4 inch hole EXACTLY above it (use the retractor to get the proper spacing). You shouldn't have to remove the luggage shelf, since the retractor will just sit in the small gap above and between the shelf and the upholstered panel. If the retractor has locked, simply place it level and gently tap it while pulling on the belt. This will release the inertial lock.

The most complicated part is that you have to fabricate a backing plate for the retractor with a 7/16 x 20 NF nut attached to the back of it. This plate has to be attached behind the inner metal panel (weld, pop rivet or glue, since it only needs to be kept in place behind the panel until the bolt is installed) and be at least 4 square inches in area (as per the U.S. government requirements of FMVSS 209, which I was told about by one of the list members). The nut has to be attached to the plate so that you can insert a bolt into it. I have just cut a piece of 1 1/2 inch by 1/8 angle iron, 5 inches long with a nut tack-welded to the back of a hole through it. I plan on then tack welding this angle inside the inner panel. If you don't have a welder, I think you could pop rivet the plate to the panel, and maybe even glue (epoxy?) the nut to the back of the plate. Finally, you need to drill a 7/16-inch hole through the upholstered panel as well as the 1/4 inch hole. Then, bolt the retractor with a 7/16-inch x 20 NF Grade 8 bolt and a lock washer.

Lastly, the shoulder loop is bolted to the stock hole on the "B" pillar. Because the GT seat back is so tall and wide, I found it worked best to "flip" the belt over as it exits the loop, which allows it to come past the seat back "flat" rather than "twisted". You'll see what I mean when you mount it. To do this "flip", just fold over the belt next to the loop and pull it through.

And this is why the lap belt mounting bracket has to be flipped over, to allow the belt to lay flat across your lap. It looks like you might have to bend the lap mounting bracket a bit so that it can swivel properly , but I didn't get that far during my test fit.

And if any of your stock seat belt mounting holes has poor threads, just "chase" them with a tapered tap that is also 7/16 inch x 20 NF. This is EXACTLY the same size and thread as the stock GT and Pony bolts, which are actually metric (11 mm x1.25) but this size is virtually impossible to find.

HTH
 

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Opeler
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It was mentioned that the seatbelts could be dyed. Are there any special techniques needed to make this work? Does the new dye bleed into ones clothes - especially in AZ where no AC equals "moist" riders?

Bill and the FrankenOPel
 

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4ZUA787
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
seatbelt dye

well u may have heard of fabric spray thats what i used on my probe seatbelts i installed they were blue my interior is black so i got black and fully extened the seatbelt over a piece of long cardboard and sprayed two coats on eace side of the seat belt it seems to not rub off on clothes although since im in cali were it gets warm also but i havent been out in it on a hot day yet so cant say if it rubs off when wet i doubt it would, i had to use brakklean spray to get some off of part of the seatbelt mechnism because i forgot to cover it up. well i will be posting the brand of spray i used since i dont have it handy right now. but i got it at auto zone and home depot so it shouldnt be hard to find.
 

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4ZUA787
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
seatbelt

i believe it was 88 or an 89 i no that the 1990 and newer used the electric seatbelts but i do believe it was an 88 or 89 probe.
very easy to remove the main unit and a good idea for the buckle is to steal the ones from the backseat of the probe which look better i think and mount to the floor the front seat buckles mounted to the seat it is also much safer if the seatbelt is mounted to the floor then the seat.
 

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Best $60 spent on an Opel

This weekend I did several things to improve the drivability of my Kadett, as it is now my only transportation. This afternoon one of those upgrades almost saved my life: Seatbelts!

I, like most of us, have never been particularly fond of the 2-piece seat belt arrangement in my Kadett. The lap belt never bothered me, but if the shoulder belt was tight enough that I thought it might do some good, I couldn't reach the radio comfortably. There have been some success stories adapting other belt systems to work, most notably the Hyundai Pony set-up, but I never really liked/ trusted any of them.

So, when I ordered new master cylinders for my car from Latest Rage, a company picked roughly at random out of Hot VW's, I ordered a set of retractable lap/ shoulder belts designed for a VW, new, for $30 each! The fit my Kadett, and looked to fit my GT, even better than stock, and the whole set-up worked perfectly. They are made by a company appropriatly named "Ass Vault" and are the type that locks on a fast pull, not on car inertia. Actually I had one gripe with the install, that the push-to-release button ended-up on the inside of the belt, but it was easy to swap around inside it's plastic guide sleeve.

I heartily recommend this upgrade. Use the opportunity to spend $60 for these, $20 for new H-4 Headlights, and $55 for a Pertronics unit when you place the order, and you'll end-up with a much better, safer car for not a lot of $.
 

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Stephen,

"...one of those upgrades almost saved my life: Seatbelts!"

So, it ALMOST saved your life? You mean it DIDN'T (as in you are now dead)?

Or you almost had an accident?

What happened??!!

And, as the "purveyor of fine Japanese three point retractable seatbelts that HAPPENED to have originally been installed in the worst car ever imported from Korea to Canada", I happen to believe that the Pony seatbelts are vastly superior to the stock GT belts, not only in construction, but also in the fact that that they are easily wearable. No matter how good a belt is, if they are not convenient to wear, they won't save you if they are left undone!

JM2CW
 

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Storytime

While blatently exceding the posted speed limit on a very curved road in the lead of a brand new Lancer this afternoon, I came-up on the back of several cars going much slower than the two of us. As I tipped-in on the brakes for a gradual stop, the last car in the line slammed on it's brakes for a left turn and I had to stop MUCH more quickly than I would have ever done in anything but an emergency. The seat belt locked-up solid and I stayed firmly in place, which allowed me to see the Lancer behind me.

Unfortunatly, the brakes on the new Lancer must not have been as good, or the driver not very good, because he locked-up his brakes and started sliding VERY fast towards the rear of my precious Kadett. With all the work I've done to the Kadett, I was not about to let some kid in a fart-can-exhaust, too-big-spoiler equipped Tri-Diamond wipe me out! I let off the brakes and the new tires let the Kadett do the coolest move it ever, ever perfomed: The car jumped sideways, onto the shoulder, past the stopped car, and back into the lane, just in time to hear and see the new Lancer tap the back of the turning car. No damage to either, but if the Kadett had been in between it would have been smooshed.

So, had there actually been an accident, the locked seat belt would certainly helped save my life. Luckily, the rest of the weekend's upgrades made it possible for the little Kadett-that-could to avoid the accident. You never know, though.....
 

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Stephen,
Can you post a web link for Latest Rage.
Thanks,
Marc
 

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no can do

Unfortunatly, they don't have a web address.. A lot of the VW suppliers are that way, for some reason. Take a look through a copy of Hot VW's, there are 5 or 6 equally viable alternatives. I've had good luck with Latest Rage, Pacific Customs Ulimited, Chirco, and So Cal Imports, and all of them have been around since at least the mid 80's.

The address for Latest Rage is as follows:

Latest Rage
821 Tavern Road
Alpine, CA 91901
Phone (619)-445-7553
Fax (619)-445-9767
 

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I got my seatbelts from a mid-80's Toyota pickup. Retractable modern one button click is nice. Toyota mounts them externally, that is, the retractor is in it's own plastic case. So the shoulder belt just bolts behind the door near the floor. Most cars have the retractor installed behind the interior panels. This is much better than the old factory belts.
 

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Just wanted to say that I decided to try out the belts Stephen refers to on my '73 GT, and that I'm really happy with them. There are a couple of issues with installing them, though. First, you have to reverse the latches in their plastic sleeves. Then, for me anyway, I had to cut away some of the carpet near where the latches bolt on because the latch mounts are reversed. I will post some pictures tomorrow showing what I mean by that.

The other thing that may be an issue for people is that the access to the rear compartment is a bit inhibited because of the routing of the belts (Stephen warned me about this, but I took a chance anyway ;) ). I don't use the back for anything but a fire extinguisher and a box of tools and selected parts, so it's not an issue for me. There are ways to make the belt hang out of the way, though, if you want to. Like I said, for me access to the back was secondary to the safety and convenience of these new belts. Again, I'll post pics tomorrow to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about (if you happen to see my post about my turn signal/flasher wiring problems, you'll know why I'm too tired right now to go out and take pictures).

I ordered mine from Latest Rage over the phone. They charged me $35 instead of the $30 Stephen paid. I'm guessing that if you find an ad of theirs you may be able to save $5 a piece. Or maybe they've just gone up suddenly. Not sure...

Anyway, just thought I'd let you guys know that for me and my '73 GT, these belts are great.

Scott
 
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