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Thread: MSA seatbelts wont fit

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    Formerly known as Koalia Reverend's Avatar
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    Default MSA seatbelts wont fit

    I recently purchased MSA seatbelts and now that i installed them i cant pull seat full back. Retractor is on the way. Also it barely retracts anything, that's not safe.

    I also got MSA carpets and those little carpets behind the seats wont fit in to place if the retractors are installed... I feel quite frustrated after waiting 4 weeks of this package to arrive and then i get this.

    Suggestions?
    -72 240Z "Goldie"

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    Registered User Travel'n Man's Avatar
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    I believe you will need to cut a hole into the carpet to finalize the seatbelt installation.
    Life's a journey; enjoy the ride!

    Mitchell
    L28 - N42 Block w/Flat tops - N42 Rebello Head & Cam - Triple 40 PHH Mikuni's - Headers - Recaro Seats -
    R180 3.9 Diff - Close Ratio 5 Speed - Toyota Vented Brake Upgrade w/ Porterfield High Performance Pads & Shoes

    1972 Datsun 240z
    HLS30-75040


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    Z Club of San Diego Montezuma's Avatar
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    Retro fitting stuff always takes a little massaging to make them work. Nothing fits or works as well as factory parts, but when they are no longer available or as safe to use, they you have to retro fit......compromise is necessary when doing this. I am sure it will work out fine for you.

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    Registered User Travel'n Man's Avatar
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    I installed my seatbelts from MSA last year - it is the best safty item I have installed to date along with Dave's light harnessness. The retractor does not get in the way of my seat positioning when driving. The seatbelt does ride up a little on my neck/shoulder area so I do have to pull that down occasionally to lower the chest belt off my neck area. Newer cars have a positioning adjustment that raises and lowers the area on your neck but not the MSA retrofit seat belt.
    Life's a journey; enjoy the ride!

    Mitchell
    L28 - N42 Block w/Flat tops - N42 Rebello Head & Cam - Triple 40 PHH Mikuni's - Headers - Recaro Seats -
    R180 3.9 Diff - Close Ratio 5 Speed - Toyota Vented Brake Upgrade w/ Porterfield High Performance Pads & Shoes

    1972 Datsun 240z
    HLS30-75040


  5. #5
    Formerly known as Koalia Reverend's Avatar
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    Ok, well here is the pic of current situation. Im quite tall and getting seat full back is important, but with this i cant. If i lean "normally" on seat, it twists the retractor and it wont retract..
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    -72 240Z "Goldie"

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    Chillin Inf's Avatar
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    Wow, you must be really tall. I have enough room back there for a little angled 16x9 speaker box on each side.
    -Andrew

    03/72 240Z HLS30-70xxx - R.I.P. 2011/01/04

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    Formerly known as Koalia Reverend's Avatar
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    Well yes, nearly 2meters (dont know how much in feets) Maybe there's something wrong with my seats then..?
    -72 240Z "Goldie"

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    That's about 6'5" to 6'6" for the metric challenged. Tall, yes. But I don't even think my car's seats go back that far.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Formerly known as Koalia Reverend's Avatar
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    Ok i gotta double check my seats then.
    -72 240Z "Goldie"

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    Okay, I have to chime in here. I have a 73 240Z and granted I have Corbeau seats, but mine do go that far back. I am 6' 4'', 1.9 m, and get questioned all the time on how I can fit into my car. For me at least, as long as the seat is all the way back, there is plenty of leg room. There is no less than in most cars and the ceiling clearance is about the same way.
    Looking at the picture you supplied, the retractors look as if they were never intended to have the seats all the way back. I would also question why on a new part there would not be that much tension to pull them back into place as you state. Just because they are new doesn't mean they can't be defective. I have gotten new defective parts before, and it can be very frustrating when you have waited for them to arrive in the first place.
    Do they both act the same? If so, could be that that is how they were designed. If not, it would be an indication of a potentially bad one. Either way I would inquire to MSA for what could potentially be wrong with them.
    Good luck!

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    Koalia,
    If you just CAN'T make the seatbelts work for you, I recommend going with the WESCO roadster belts that I described here. The retractor is up at the shoulder mounting point.
    I have installed both types of aftermarket belts, and I much prefer the roadster style. They are easier to use, and there is one less bolt to mount.
    Steve
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    I have the same exact issue with MSA belt. I can move the seat all the way back but it pushes then on the belt mechanism which at the end squeals each time I'm moving; very annoying!.
    I think bending the rod that attaches the mechanism to move it away and put it as flat as you can against the wall could help.
    I did not do it because I'd rather move the seat couple of centimeters forward than to have the rod bent that would get more stress in case of crash (it is maybe irrelevant, that's up to you ).

    One other alternative could also be to make a longer rod that would be more flexible and get the belt away for good from the seat.

    One way also to get more room would be to lower the back seat supports, there're washers below that could be removed to lean the seat more than stock position. I haven't tried it myself but by making some extra room, you could live with the belt the way it is (or make it even worst since seat might lean torwards the back....)
    Last edited by Lazeum; 06-02-2010 at 02:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
    Koalia,
    If you just CAN'T make the seatbelts work for you, I recommend going with the WESCO roadster belts that I described here. The retractor is up at the shoulder mounting point.
    I have installed both types of aftermarket belts, and I much prefer the roadster style. They are easier to use, and there is one less bolt to mount.
    Steve
    I ordered my belts for my 73 from WESCO and I love them. They are the best safety item that I have done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
    Koalia,
    If you just CAN'T make the seatbelts work for you, I recommend going with the WESCO roadster belts that I described here. The retractor is up at the shoulder mounting point.
    I have installed both types of aftermarket belts, and I much prefer the roadster style. They are easier to use, and there is one less bolt to mount.
    Steve
    Steve,
    I read your link several months ago when I was bound and determined to replace my fixed 3-point harness. I appreciate the fact that you didn't want to post photos (I often feel the same when folk ask for pics on really obvious mods/improvements/repairs).

    However, having typed that I saw the measurement listed on the WESCO site for the roadster belt retractor unit and it's *huge* compared to the mounting point. I mocked up a 4x4x3 wooden block to see how it would mount, and in every case it wouldn't clear my trim plastic.

    Anyway, if it all possible, you think you could snap a pic or two to show how the mounting looks on your car?

    R/
    Dustin

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    To get that MSA retractor out of the way - I would make two steel plates about 1/16" thick and 3" x 4" wide/tall.

    Then drill holes for small bolts at the corners in each pair. Then bolt them to each side of the bulkhead supporting the rear deck area... ie. the upright area behind the seats. You can put one inside the tool pocket and the other on the outside or even under the vinyl covering. Once you have them bolted in place - just drill a hole for the bolt that holds the retractor in place. That would put the retractor much higher up and provide a strong mounting point.

    FWIW,
    Carl B

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    Quote Originally Posted by konish View Post
    Steve,
    I read your link several months ago when I was bound and determined to replace my fixed 3-point harness. I appreciate the fact that you didn't want to post photos (I often feel the same when folk ask for pics on really obvious mods/improvements/repairs).

    However, having typed that I saw the measurement listed on the WESCO site for the roadster belt retractor unit and it's *huge* compared to the mounting point. I mocked up a 4x4x3 wooden block to see how it would mount, and in every case it wouldn't clear my trim plastic.

    Anyway, if it all possible, you think you could snap a pic or two to show how the mounting looks on your car?

    R/
    Dustin
    Here you go, Dustin. I didn't take pictures of the inboard side, but I did use WESCO's hardware that included a mounting bracket bent at a 90 degree angle. I haven't had any clearance problems.
    Steve
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    Last edited by SteveJ; 02-27-2011 at 11:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
    Here you go, Dustin. I didn't take pictures of the inboard side, but I did use WESCO's hardware that included a mounting bracket bent at a 90 degree angle. I haven't had any clearance problems.
    Steve
    I installed my WESCO's a little different and I am happy with my install as well. I showed my WESCO install to MSA a few years ago, they used my example to move forward with their set-up. I still would not go with MSA on this one but instead with WESCO, great customer service too.

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    I took your advice Steve and now have a set of the Wesco WELR-N belts. My trim panels are not in the car yet and I've been studying how to mount the retractors. I am considering cutting a pocket into the inner sail panel and welding in new mounting points, so I can reverse mount them. There should be only about an inch protruding into the cabin by doing so. Also they will be positioned lower, which will be better for me, I think. I need to study the retractor covers to see if they can be easily reversed also. When I get to the interior work I will take pics to show how it worked out.

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    Steve,
    Awesome, thank you very much. During my mock-up, I didn't think to hang the box off into the hatch area...duh. I think I'll go ahead with this as soon as I'm done moving (relocating to Okinawa from Yokosuka).

    My 3-points are old and I consider them a liability as cinching them up tight enough to protect does not allow me to lean forward enough to look into traffic or reach anything else inside the cabin which makes me have to unbuckle them at the most inopportune times. Also, they slip over time and are generally a PIA.

    Thanks again!

    R/
    Dustin

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    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    The retractor portion should go up above. The point at the buckle will act as a constriction, so if you mounted the retractor low, you wouldn't be able to lean forward.
    73 240Z
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    I tried putting in the MSA kit and ended up sending it back. There were just too many compromises - all those "adapters", huge bolts sticking out all over the place, can't use the carpets I just bought 2 years ago, and the retractor didn't work that well because the belt was always twisted no matter how I mounted it or turned it around. The dealbreaker was when I finally got one in and sat down and buckled up: the position of the buckled belt was just all wrong. The receiver piece was so long that when I got the belt nice and snug, where it buckled together was only about two inches below my solar plexus. A seatbelt should go straight across from hip to hip. If my kid was wearing one of these and I had to slam on the brakes, she probably would've slid out from underneath it. I sent them back. I'd rather pay to have new webbing in my original seatbelts with the non-retractable shoulder belt...
    1973 240Z Silver, 5 spd., 4.11 diff., 150,000+ miles
    2013 Subaru Impreza 5-door

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