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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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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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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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GT Seatbelts

There are differences in seatbelt mountings between the various GT years.

Early GT's ('68 through early '70) had the shoulder belt mount down low, behind the "B" pillar, just below the vent window (which of course weren't "vents" in those years). The lap belt was separate, and mounted to the inner rocker panel down beside the seat. Not a good place to mount a retractor, and the shoulder mount also doesn't lend itself to a three point inertia belt.

Later '70's through '72 had the shoulder mount in a good location, up on the B pillar, but the lap belt still mounts to the rocker. You need to fabricate a new mount for the retractor, as I have shown in the attached photo, which doesn't show the mounting bracket. There needs to be a plate, at least four inches square, with a nut welded behind it for the retractor to mount to. But once that is done, they work great.

As I understand it, only the '73 had a shoulder belt retractor located in the normal location. And they still used a separate lap belt, so they are hardly user-friendly. But aftermarket three point inertia belts (and '86/'87 Hyundai Pony belts such as I supplied and Jimsky ended up with via James Coronato) bolt right up.

HTH
 

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And you Yanks should be grateful. It was Canada's gift to the U.S.A., by being the only N.A. recipient of these cars from 1984 to 1987. It was a TERRIBLE car! But that meant the PYP yard was FULL of them, and more seemed to show up every week or so. But the seat belts were made in Japan, and are of excellent quality. And the only years that work in the GT are the '86/'87 Pony. FYI, the first Hyundai imported into the States was the Excel, in 1988 I believe, which was only marginally better.

Two years ago, when I was doing the "Career Hiatus" thing, I found these belts at the local Pick Your Part. Since they were only sold in Canada, I made a hobby out of it, and sold 15 sets around the country. But my days at PYP are done (for now, excepting today being Remembrance Day, aka Veterans Day in America, unless I can arrange another career break).

Kat McCoy had picked up the business when I went back to work, but she is now in Keizer Oregon, so no Pony's there. Perhaps a Canadian with more time on his or her hands could pick up the torch? Although I read a thread on this site that mentioned buying brand new aftermarket belts for $30, which is barely more than the cost of shipping from Canada.
 

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Sounds good. Are pop rivets enough? Do you happen to have a better picture?
If the plate is located behind the inner panel and is big enough to cover the sheet metal and the hole from the factory, it just needs to be held in place, so pop rivets should be fine. Unfortunately my GT has gone backward and is currently sitting on a body rotisserie waiting on a media blast to bare metal. I didn't attach the backing plate yet
 

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Hmm, when I get back home from Jamaica next week I'll have to look at the spacing. I was envisioning a plate that was about three inches tall, and about six inches wide, so it extends back across the panel opening. I was going to fit it in place and then mark where the hole needs to be, then drill the hole, weld the nut on, and tack weld the plate in place. But my plans are still in my head, not in metal yet...
 

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Almost two years since my last post in this thread, I finally got around to taking photos of the retractor mounting plates I installed last year.

I bought some 1/8" scrap plate, and cut it to fit the space in the inner fender behind the seats, approximately 4 inches wide and six inches tall, and shaped to fit. Before I welded them in place, I drilled the mounting holes (and the pilot hole for the locating pin) and welded 7/16 inch x 20 NF nuts in behind.

This is EXACTLY the same size and thread as the stock GT and Pony bolts, which I believe is actually metric (11 mm x1.25) but don't exist in the real world. I suspect that the 7/16 inch x 20 NF hardware is some kind of world wide standard for seatbelt mounting as I have seen the same size in many imported and domestic seatbelt applications.

My original plan was to use the hole for the inner panel for the bolt hole, but upon more careful measurement, the retractor would have been too low and interfered with the luggage floor. So I raised the mount up an inch and a half before I welded the plate in place. It is behind the inner sheet metal, tight up against the door jam, and MIG welded to the sheet metal along the opening, as can be seen in the photos below.

Pardon for the photo of the welded plate, as I thought (I was CERTAIN) that I had taken some photos of the plates before I had mounted them and of the welding detail, but I couldn't find them, so these are after they are welded in and I had covered the welds with some grey urethane seam sealer.

HTH

HTH
 

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Looks like your idea is simple enough and plenty strong. I don't believe I've ever seen a seat belt attaching bracket quite like the one under the door sill. Was it something special because of the mounting location in the Pony?
Harold
The long attaching bracket for the lap belt portion on the Hyundai mounts to the same bolt as the retractor, but in the GT, it works better to use the OEM mounting point. The bracket has a spacer-washer that allows it to swivel, so that it swings up and a bit out of the way when the belt is disconnected, allowing better access to the luggage area
 
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