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How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade?
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Radrick123
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

I have a '76 T2 Westfalia and took it on myself to redo the rear seat belts for my kids. I was a little hesitant to use the shoulder belt upgrade that goes through the side of the bus and I think my solution is a little more robust. Please tell me what you think.

For my six year old I was able to install a new belt with a shoulder harness on the right side. The '76 has a bolt point right behind the rear seat and below shoulder level but her booster brings it up over the shoulder. Safe? Unsafe?

For my four year old - On the left side I bought a new 5-point carseat that can hold a kid up to 110 lbs. It has a latch system. I put anchors rated at 800lbs each into the slots of the stock seatbelt mounts. I also installed a new seatbelt sandwiched between the anchors and the bus frame. The Latch system for the carseat clamps right into the anchors. I suppose I can also use the new lap belt threaded through the carseat for redundancy? What do you think?

This is just the anchor (rated at 800lbs)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is the anchor with the Latch attached.

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jtauxe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

i think the weak point in that system is the shackle. Shackles are not made to be pulled on in that orientation. But that could be fixed or added to.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

the hole in the threaded part is to safety wire the shackle.

safety wire it at the least.
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Ride_On
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Some may cringe at my solution, but hey...

I too don't think your shackle is at a safe angle. My solution was to buy nylon climbing webbing and tie a loop on each side where you have attached the shackle, with the nylon through the shackle. With a proper knot, it's solid. I check (more than annually) for wear on the webbing - 2yrs and no sign of any wear or slippage. The webbing loop lets the shackle self-correct its angle upon tightening.

We haven't quite got beyond the car seat years. Next year possibly. If we use the lap belt that is mounted now, it'll be without a booster. With a booster if we upgrade to a 3 point harness. I'm leaning towards lap belt as the seat back isn't that high. I suppose we could rig up a head rest too.
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Radrick123
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

I guess I don't fully understand why the pin would be weak. It should also be rated to withstand the pull of an 800lb load, no?

I like your idea about the climbing mesh. Do you have a link?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

That looks like a fake stainless shackle from a hardware store. Get rid of it and replace it with real steel. About half of those SS shackles are magnetic.
It's a little hard to size but I think you will need to go up one size for the loads anticipated.

You can buy real hardware from McMaster Carr. If it's made in China, the chances are it's mystery metal, not suitable for a seat belt.
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Ride_On
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

From what I understand, shackles are meant for a straight-on load. If you reversed the shackle by putting the rounded end through the seat belt clamp, perhaps that would be better. Side loads and the impact position(s) of the clamp on the shackle are not a good thing.

For the webbing, you can check any outdoors store for climbing webbing. I chose 1" tubular webbing from MEC (equivalent to REI).

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5020-829/1%22%2825mm%29-Nylon-Tubular-Climbing-Webbing

https://www.rei.com/product/737298/bluewater-1-climb-spec-tubular-webbing

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

IIRC they are 7/16" bolts. Take one out and measure it.
Seat belt eye bolts
https://www.google.com/search?q=racing+seat+belt+e...xp7o_koRVY
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

I'd run it like that.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Glad to see folks including their family our the trails, but one question I have...

This is just the anchor (rated at 800lbs) Whatcha feeding that little one?!?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Radrick123 wrote:
I guess I don't fully understand why the pin would be weak. It should also be rated to withstand the pull of an 800lb load, no?


The shackle and pin loads are not the concern, its when you apply a force that tends to pull the shackle arms apart.. that is the weak spot.

A quick google search to verify some stuff I've read in the past:
http://www.car-safety.org/latch.html

LATCH tethers are not safer than seatbelts although they are easier to work with. I had read at one point the system has a deficiency in design that makes it less safe in an accident, but I cannot find it to verify.

your setup looks ok, but I have to say I'm always cautious about alterations or upgrades with seat belts - especially when it's for kids. There are so many violently powerful forces in a car accident that none of us outside of first responders really grasp, and I always find myself second guessing how much I "know" about it all.

Heck I've even been thinking about whether it's a good idea or not to use the weld-in repair panels for seat belt nuts.


EDIT also those are grade 5 bolts, not acceptable for your safety belt application. Use at least grade 8 or equivalent
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

I installed a retractable belt for my 3 yr old's seat. Other than convenience (as mentioned by scrivyscriv) I didn't see much point in making the latch system work. I do wonder if I should do something for the tether.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:45 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Can you not flip that anchor around, or use a bigger anchor so the car seat can attach directly to the anchor with no intermediate device?

But I like the climbing gear comment. I think my locking carabiner is rated to 24 kN of force closed, and weighs like three grams. Cool

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:45 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

SamboSamba22 wrote:
Glad to see folks including their family our the trails, but one question I have...

This is just the anchor (rated at 800lbs) Whatcha feeding that little one?!?


F= ma, deleting the vector designations and assuming constant rest mass

Your 40 lb bundle of joy exerts 800 lbs in a 20 g event.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

tommu wrote:
I installed a retractable belt for my 3 yr old's seat. Other than convenience (as mentioned by scrivyscriv) I didn't see much point in making the latch system work. I do wonder if I should do something for the tether.


I upgraded the lapbelt to a new one from amazon (non-retracting)... Added in the tether too though, its required by law here, and makes it feel safer.

PO had a large access hole for fuel tank, so I drilled down through the support beam in the tank area near the access hatch (76 bus). Seems to be sufficient... Hope I don't have to find out the hard way.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
Can you not flip that anchor around, or use a bigger anchor so the car seat can attach directly to the anchor with no intermediate device?

But I like the climbing gear comment. I think my locking carabiner is rated to 24 kN of force closed, and weighs like three grams. Cool

Robbie


24 kN is about 5000 lbs SWAG - but you don't experience over 1g when you climb - or more accurately, fall.

I would say thats light for this application.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

It's amazing to see the changes in safety concerns over the generations...

When I was young, lap belts were starting to become common in new cars, and their use was recommended but not mandatory. (I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about child safety seats back then.)

When I was 8, my father (going thru a mid-life crisis and denial of being burdened by a family) bought a '67 Mustang. Since I was the youngest of 3 boys, I got the privilege of sitting in the center of the back seat, which only had two seats and two lap belts. Sitting on the raised section of the seat over the drive train, with one foot on each side it, we drove from Portland to Seattle and down to San Jose.

For safety purposes, I was told to put my hands against the back of the front seats in case of accident. In reality, I would have become a missile thru the front windshield in a head-on. So it is refreshing to read about the thought and work going into retrofitting an old bus to meet modern safety standards.

In retrospect, it's mind boggling how any of us lived thru our youth in th 50's and 60's. Laughingn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

I got thrown off (almost, a bit of hyperbole) our local social network when I posted that safety seats don't go bad after 5 years because of plastic degradation - to be fair, about half the locals saw it as pure marketing ploy by the seat mfg...but logic, facts, reasoning, testimony of first responders who say they never see failures of material....just didn't matter.

People cling to opinions based on five major factors - recognising which one is in play can save you a lot of time..

Herd mentality
Social Pressure
Facts
Psychology/Religion
Investment
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
Can you not flip that anchor around, or use a bigger anchor so the car seat can attach directly to the anchor with no intermediate device?

But I like the climbing gear comment. I think my locking carabiner is rated to 24 kN of force closed, and weighs like three grams. Cool

Robbie


24 kN is about 5000 lbs SWAG - but you don't experience over 1g when you climb - or more accurately, fall.

I would say thats light for this application.


Hypothetical discussion, but when you go 10 feet between gear placements, you have a 20 foot fall to look out for. Some metric calculators online, plus google unit conversions tell me that a 20-foot fall is about the same as a head on at 35mph. (And yes, a head-on at 35 is the same as hitting an immovable concrete wall at 35.) My bus maxes out around 68-70, so maybe get two carabiners and some expensive rope? Question On second thought, isn't there an entire industry dedicated to car-seat tie downs? Why aren't we pulling parts off other cars that were, uhh, designed for this?

Robbie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: How would you rate my child seatbelt upgrade? Reply with quote

Why aren't we installing used parts from other cars? Mainly a) they're bespoke, b) there are far easier ways. There is at least one thread on thesamba discussing child seats that discussed retrofitting LATCH hardware.

For us, we wanted to install car seats and could have simply used the lap belts, but they're old enough that they slip a bit. Using the LATCH attachment points makes for pretty quick installation and removal, and they don't budge. Perfect? Heck no! Better? I like to think so. Our top tether strap could be safer though - my F-in-law attached 2 U bolts to the board on the back of the rear seatback.

My wife's family had a few buses growing up. She's one of 3 girls... one of them got to sit on the milk crate somehow tied to the back of the passenger seat. It's okay though - it had a cushion on top Smile We often joke about that...

Oh, and locking carabiners are a non-starter, at least with our Britax Marathon car seats - too broad to fit into the LATCH clips. I got the highest rated screw shut oval ring thingies I could get at the local fastener shop.
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