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Thread: Making Luggage straps

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    Default Making Luggage straps

    I'm not too happy with the original style luggage straps, especially since you can only get them used on eBay, so I'd like to make up a couple new ones, with metal buckles and longer, adjustable straps. Has anyone done this before?

    You can get metal or heavy plastic quick-release buckles at army surplus stores. Plastic buckles and straps are readily available at crafts, hardware, surplus, or sewing stores. The strap ends should probably be sewn by an upholsterer. The length you'd have to decide on the length yourself, but they would be adjustable anyway.

    Would plastic buckles work, as long as you use the straps to hold down "luggage?" You might even use buckles from seatbelts?

    You would attach them to the deck with 4 plates that resemble D-rings, after sewing the straps to them.

    thxZ
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  3. #3
    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    I like the cam-lock buckles. Can you get those somewhere? Another trip to the hardware store....

    Would you rather have permanently mounted cleats or something that's easily removed? You could make a plate with a keyhole slot for easy connection, or maybe something else. Either way, it should lay flat or be removable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    I like the cam-lock buckles.

    Would you rather have permanently mounted cleats or something that's easily removed? You could make a plate with a keyhole slot for easy connection, or maybe something else. Either way, it should lay flat or be removable.
    I've got a Z32 as well, and one of the things that I've always disliked on that car is the ability to pop the stap off at once without having to mess with the tightening buckle. I don't know if you use that feature on your 1G Z, but if it were me I would absolutely do the keyhole mount on the end.

    Also, just me, but I don't like the sound of cam-lock buckles back there. I very rarely use the cargo straps at all, and the top priority for me would be flat. Strength and ease of tightening is second order.

    Flat and quick release without having to unwind the whole strap to lift the platform below.

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    The S30s have a plate on each end with a slot the strap goes through, screwed to the deck, and a jam-type slider in the middle (like they use on PFDs.)
    A two-piece design would be good, like the kind with the quick-release buckle, that would attach in the middle. Otherwise, you'd have to double one end over to tighten the strap, which means a very long strap. The detachable mounting plate is the mystery part. the kind of clip like those used for suspenders comes to mind; they attach securely, and don't come off unless you detach them, but don't seem too strong.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 07-11-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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    This is in a different direction, but I think the seat belts on either of these links could be modified to work.
    http://wescoperformance.stores.yahoo.net/ll60.html
    http://wescoperformance.stores.yahoo.net/lb60.html - You can get these from 4 foot long to 9 foot long
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  7. #7
    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    I thought of using seat belt latches for attaching the ends to the deck. You can get them from a JY for much less than $20 each (pair) They are strong, accept straps easily, and come apart easily. You'd need to screw them to the deck somehow, and they are loose enough so you can get the tongue in, and you can aim them up, probably. All you would need is something to take up the excess for tension; some kind of slider plate.

    Which cars had narrow seat belts?
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    How tall would you say the average luggage or box/tub is? The deck (on a 280Z) is 42 inches from the front lip to the rear finisher, so you'll need to figure in that dimension. If you figure a 12 inch height then you need 42+24 or 66 inches of material, plus a little for the ends.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    I thought of using seat belt latches for attaching the ends to the deck. You can get them from a JY for much less than $20 each (pair) They are strong, accept straps easily, and come apart easily. You'd need to screw them to the deck somehow, and they are loose enough so you can get the tongue in, and you can aim them up, probably. All you would need is something to take up the excess for tension; some kind of slider plate.

    Which cars had narrow seat belts?
    Meh. Why put in old dried out belts that will break or be difficult to work with when for a few dollars more you can get brand new? IMHO that's penny wise and pound foolish. Plus, you don't have to spend the time looking around the junkyards, unless you just like roaming around for parts. I can understand that.
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    The ones I linked to above fit the original mounting points, are 15' long and 1" wide, have secure buckles and work great for me. I use them often to secure my tool bag with jumper cables, etc., lawn chairs, duffle bag when travelling, etc. Plus, they were inexpensive.

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    The local PullAPart is very cool. It's clean, the wall-to-wall gravel is nice & flat, and there are no rats or bees! There are a bunch of wheelbarrows you can just grab & go "shopping." The only thing they don't have is trees & flowers by the cars. They even have a sink so you can wash your hands before going in to pay for your stuff.

    Besides, the last time I was there, I made a profit! It's just $1 to get in, and I found $4 in change in the cars.

    As for the seat belts: You just have to find a car with nice new ones. As long as it's not 97+ degrees (BTDT), it's nice at the PullAPart. I took a list of stuff I wanted to look for, and got it all in one trip

    www.Pullapart.com
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 07-11-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datsun240Z71 View Post
    The ones I linked to above fit the original mounting points,
    You mean they fit through the slot of the factory mounting plates? Then you just loop each end over and cinch it up...

    I don't see why you couldn't get those at the local Auto parts store. All I've found so far are heavy Cargo Straps with heavy hooks and the ratcheting things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    You mean they fit through the slot of the factory mounting plates? Then you just loop each end over and cinch it up...

    I don't see why you couldn't get those at the local Auto parts store. All I've found so far are heavy Cargo Straps with heavy hooks and the ratcheting things.
    They do fit through, but they have very easy to use secure "buckles" that I could not source easily in several trips to local auto parts, hardware or outdoor stores. Plus the straps are black.

    They do a great job of securing things when we go to ZDAYZ at Tail of the Dragon (318 turns in 11 miles) for example.

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    I'll admit that it's been a long while since I really looked at the straps on my S30, but I remember the ability to very quickly completely uncouple the strap from the car. If (failing) memory serves, I would loosen up the strap up a little (just enough to lift the stuff in the rear) and then use that detachable mounting plate you mentioned to release the strap from the car.

    I loved that feature.

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    I have thought of some designs for anchor plates, or you could use something like those used on a Passat:

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    I think you hook the straps, cords, or "bungees" onto those, and the Passat is the only car I know of with a flush anchor that looks nice. I'll see if there are any (you'd need four total) at the JY, but they look like they are flush-mount, which means you might have to cut or shave the carpet for them to be truly "flush".

    Would you be willing to do that?

    The Passat anchor doesn't really look period correct (maybe you could Plasti-Dip it to give it a 'plastic look) but about the only other thing I can think of right now would look like a piece of 1 inch angle or a strap hinge; either with a keyhole slot.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 07-14-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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    Most hiking/camping outdoor stores carry webbing on spools that can be cut to length in 2", 1 1/2", 1" and 3/4". They also have climb-spec webbing (thicker and rated to hang your life on it). They also carry all sorts of buckles and fittings that you don't even have to sew anything. (I know because I own such a store) I did my straps years ago.
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    Wouldn't that a little much to hold down a few duffle bags or suitcaces?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    I have thought of some designs for anchor plates, or you could use something like those used on a Passat:
    I never knew they used flush anchors like that. I'll have to take a look at the JY next time I'm there.

    I'm actually thinking that I'm going to sell the Z32 soon, so I probably shouldn't even consider making changes like that right now!

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    I would have to support rocketdog's comments in this matter.

    A good supplier of outdoor and climbing equipment will have webbing and buckle options that are flexible, strong and versatile. It might be easy to think that the capabilities of the products used in climbing might far exceed any perception of what might be required for a car, but if you are involved in a collision you will want whatever is secured to a your rear luggage shelf to remain secured. Climbing gear is designed for that very task.

    Spend the minimal extra money and enjoy the sense of security it brings.

    I have harped on about this in previous threads, but I do have concerns about second hand safety gear of unknown history being used to restrain objects or humans in collisions. In the event of an accident, you will never regret having spent the money to preserve your personal safety.
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyblunda View Post
    I have harped on about this in previous threads, but I do have concerns about second hand safety gear of unknown history being used to restrain objects or humans in collisions. In the event of an accident, you will never regret having spent the money to preserve your personal safety.
    What's worse is that there is a good chance that not only has the second hand equipment in the junkyards has been used once already to protect occupants, those belts have been exposed to repeated cycles of rain, sun, hot, cold, etc. When I didn't know better, I was a fan of junkyard belts, but fortunately for me, with age came wisdom...at least a little wisdom.
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    In my earlier reply hiking/camping outdoor stores have different widths of typically black webbing used for daypack and backpack belts and straps. The 2" can actually be seat belt webbing. Climb-spec webbing, called tubular webbing, is way strong and typically comes only in 1" and 9/19" widths. It does come in colors though which your store may have a choice of if you wanted a bit of bling.
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    I just went out to the JY and grabbed a pair of the anchors from a '91 Passat. An older Golf I saw there didn't have them. I only needed a heavy Phillips bit instead of a Torx one. I also got a cargo net (20x40) from a Ford Explorer.

    I've never seen webbing available anywhere in my area. All we have here besides KMart/WalMart is D.ick's.

    As for the safety belts, I was only referring to the buckles.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 07-15-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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    Is the Passat the only vehicle with nice cargo anchors? You'd think that minivans or vehicles with large carpeted back areas might have the fancy anchors, but all I saw was rusty or zinc-galvanized rings bolted to the floor.

    So you can wait a few weeks for another luxury VW to get to the JY or buy some through eBay
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 07-15-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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    I was ble to find a cargo net of 30 x 40 inch size with heavy plastic hooks on the corners on eBay. After mounting the VW net rings to the deck of my car, we will find out how that idea works out. I also got a smaller cargo net from a Ford Explorer from the JY.
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    Pics when you're done?

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    If it comes out nicely, I'll try to take some photos. Be patient; school is tarting again.
    Last edited by TomoHawk; 08-18-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
    Pics when you're done?
    Yeah, pics or it didn't happen!!
    Last edited by bpilati; 08-22-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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    Reality s reality; with or without photographs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomoHawk View Post
    Reality s reality; with or without photographs.
    Nu uh.
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