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1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags
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NASkeet
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

FRONT & REAR, SEATBELT MOUNTING POINTS AND SEATBELT INSTALLATION, IN THE 1968~79 VW TYPE 2

Although provision of front-cab seatbelts is mandatory, for the 1968~79 VW Type 2, relatively few of the British specification campervans or minibuses, were equipped with rear seatbelts. However, in all but a few cases, dependent upon seat and/or furniture location, it is relatively straight forward, to retro-fit rear seatbelts to Microbus, Kombi & Deluxe Microbus based vehicles (VIN or chassis numbers, commencing with 22, 23 & 24 respectively), as shown on page 82-20 of the official 1968~79 VW Type 2 Replacement Parts Catalogue & Microfiche. To the best of my knowledge, the Kombi only has rear seatbelt mounting points, for seats immediately forward of the engine deck, whilst the Microbus & Deluxe Microbus, have an additional set, to cater for an intermediate row of seats, opposite the sliding door.

Sadly, the Delivery Van (VIN or chassis number, commencing with 21), upon which some campervans are based, makes no standard provision for rear seatbelts, but it would be possible to fabricate and fit, suitably reinforced mountings, similar to those found on the other models. The rearmost, outboard mountings, comprise curved-section, rectangular reinforcing plates with a captive threaded nut, positioned beneath the rear wheel-arches. It should be noted, that the rearmost, inboard, seatbelt mountings (as standard on the Microbus, Kombi & Deluxe Microbus ), beneath the seats, are reinforced by shaped plates, positioned within the fuel-tank compartment, but held by bolts (rather than spot welds) and metal securing-straps, beneath the body.

Recognising the vulnerability of rear-seat passengers, in our British specification, 1973 VW 1600 Type 2, Westfalia Continental campervan (based upon the Kombi), we bought and retro-fitted, a pair of Kangol, lap & diagonal, three-point, static seatbelts, not long after my father purchased the vehicle second-hand, in January 1975. Unfortunately, we discovered that the upper mounting, immediately below the rear, side window, was too low, causing the diagonal belt to slip off the shoulder.

Consequently, we remounted the seatbelts, to act purely as lap belts (two seatbelt mounting brackets, mounted to the same point, using a single bolt), which have proved to be satisfactory, but not as good as proper, well-fitting lap & diagonal seatbelts, would have been! A similar lap belt arrangement, was also later fitted for the middle seat position. Purpose-made lap belts, are made by companies such as Securon (part No. SEC210 - available by mail order, from Just Kampers).

However, having seen some photographs of Andreas Frahm's, modified and restored, German specification, 1972 VW "1600" Type 2 Microbus (see Neil Birkitt, "Moose On The Loose", VW Motoring, January 1998, pages 52 & 54), showing supplementary, raised upper seatbelt mountings, for the rearmost seats, it might be practical to revert to lap & diagonal, three-point, rear seatbelts, at sometime in the future.

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


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


In February 2000, I inspected a Swedish specification, 1978 VW 2000 Type 2 Microbus, belonging to Paul Butterworth, of Billericay, Essex, England, which was fitted with lap & diagonal, three-point, inertia-reel, retractable, rear seatbelts (compulsory in Sweden, even in those days!), whose configuration appeared similar to those of Andreas Frahm's and was consistent with that illustrated on page 82-20 of the official 1968~79 VW Type 2 Replacement Parts Catalogue & Microfiche.

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


In the case of campervans, such as the Westfalia Continental, the engine-deck cushion, which forms part of the full-width, main double bed, would need to be modified, to accommodate the seatbelt inertia reels, if the system as fitted to Andreas Frahm's & Paul Butterworth's VW type 2s, were to be used. If one wished to avoid modifying the cushion, it would be possible to adapt the standard, raised upper mounting, or fabricate some custom mountings, using the originals as a partial pattern. This would allow the inertia reels, to be positioned just below the window and hence above the level of the engine-deck cushion.

If practical to use in conjunction with supplementary, raised upper mountings, I would prefer to retro-fit, the more recent, Securon "All Ages" (part No. SEC274, is specifically for the VW Type 2 - available by mail order, from Just Kampers) or Kangol "Generation", lap & diagonal, three-point, inertia-reel, retractable, rear seatbelts, for which the upper position of the diagonal belt, may be adjusted to better suit children and adults of short stature.

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


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


These are after-market, 3-point, lap & diagonal seat belts, retro-fitted by Quickfit Safety Belt Service, in Middlesex, England, to Jeremy Gristwood's, 1968~79 VW Type 2 campervan, featured in a recent magazine as follows:

Safety First!, News & Products, Volkswagen Camper & Commercial, Issue 12, Autumn 2003, Page 20.

To learn more about this magazine, try the following link:

http://www.volkswagencamper.co.uk

The "All Ages" and "Generation" seat belts, probably do much to alleviate the problems of neck chafe, caused by conventional seatbelts, whose diagonal-strap's upper mounting, is higher than optimum, for occupants of short stature. However, they probably do little to combat the problems of discomfort, experienced by large-breasted women, whereby the diagonal-strap, cuts into their breasts, prompting a large proportion of women to risk injury, by either wearing the seatbelts incorrectly or omitting to wear them at all.

Sheila's Wheels, in Great Britain, who specialise in motoring insurance for women, commissioned consulting engineers to develop an accessory device, to resolve this problem. The result, was a simple S-shaped device, which clips to the seatbelt's straps, shifting its position; reviewed recently, in the British national press, as follows:

Liz Hull (e-mail: [email protected]), "For curvy drivers, a no-squeeze seatbelt", Daily Mail, 2nd February 2006, page 35.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sho...ge_id=1773

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


Sheila's Wheels press releases:

http://www.sheilaswheels.com/news_item.jsp?nId=18372

For several years, my father had complained, that when unfastened, the front seatbelts got twisted and/or caught in the cab door (mainly because he seldom hung them up properly!) and the seatbelt buckles fell onto the floor of the central aisle, between the seats, from where they were difficult to retrieve, especially if we were carrying the supplementary aisle seat cum storage box.

We also found that the buckles of the VW dealer-fitted, Britax lap & diagonal, three-point, static seatbelts, gradually slipped and periodically needed to be repositioned across the pelvis and retightened, to avoid abdominal injury and minimise the risk of "submarining", in the event of a collision. Additionally, we found that when wearing static seatbelts, it was awkward for the driver and front-seat passenger (i.e. navigator), to reach some of the dashboard controls, radio, glovebox and parcel shelves beneath the dashboard.

The simplest way to overcome all of these problems, was to substitute inertia-reel seatbelts, having extended buckles on long, stiff-wire stalks or shaped brackets, which would not fall down when unfastened. During the early-1990s, suitable extended buckles, did not seem to be available, with readily obtainable after-market, inertia-reel seatbelts, so I resorted to the local car breakers' yards, taking care to avoid seatbelts, whose webbing was frayed or sun bleached, plus vehicles with serious crash damage, whose seatbelt webbing, might already be stretched.

Ultimately, I used Kangol inertia-reel seatbelts (identical to those on my 1974 Triumph Toledo) from one car and obtained compatible extended buckles, on long wire stalks, from a Ford Transit van (the stalks on those fitted to cars, are usually too short), which had static seatbelts, of the one-handed fastening type, which had become obligatory in later years. These days, it is possible to buy new inertia-reel seatbelts, suitable for use in the 1968~79 VW Type 2 cab, such as those made by Securon (part No. SEC50045 - available by mail order, from Just Kampers).

It is 300 mm, from the mounting eye on the wire stalk, to the end of the buckle, but ideally 400 mm or 450 mm (dependent upon which mounting point is used, in our VW Type 2 cab aisle), would be the optimum length, with our higher than standard front cab-seats (ex Volvo 244GL). Having earlier noted that other owners' 1968~79 VW Type 2, front-cab, inertia-reel seatbelt installations, using adapter brackets, were not as tidy as I would wish, I bolted the inertia-reel units, in conjunction with home-made, 3 mm thick, shaped spacers, to the supplementary mounting points, on the forward facing, vertical bulkheads, behind the seats, which I had provided for this purpose.

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


Before deciding on this mounting position, I removed part of the Kangol inertia-reel unit's casing, to determine under what conditions it would function. Provided my Kangol inertia-reel units are mounted vertically (on either a side, forward facing or rearward facing surface; including the the vertical leg, of an L-shaped adapter bracket), the pendulum mechanism inside the units, will lock the ratchet on the spring-loaded, self-retracting, seatbelt reel, under conditions of high acceleration or deceleration.

It is the motion of the vehicle itself and hence the inertia of the pendulum, which is primarily responsible for causing the reel to lock, rather than the unspooling of the seatbelt webbing off the reel! Thus, an inertia-reel setbelt, may be used for either forward or rearward facing seats. If rearward facing seats are to be used whilst travelling, they must incorporate head restraints, properly fitted and adjusted, otherwise severe neck injuries (probably leading to quadraplegia, if not fatal) is likely to occur, even in the event of a moderately serious collision. If the vehicle is on a slope (facing either uphill, downhill, acrosswise or otherwise), the pendulum has less height through which to swing, so the reel will lock prematurely.

Note that other inertia-reel units from Kangol, Britax, Securon or other manufacturers, may be of a different design (e.g. ball-in-a-saucer design; as illustrated in: Heinz Heisler, "Vehicle & Engine Technology", Arnold, 2nd Edition, 1999, ISBN 0-340-69186-7), which might restrict the ways in which they may be mounted.

During refurbishment work on the campervan, it was found that the front wheel-arches, in the region of the seatbelt mounting points, were corroding, owing to ingress of moisture between the wheel-arches and the spot-welded reinforcement plates. It was Volkswagen's misguided use of spotwelds, to locate the reinforcement-plates beneath the wheel-arches (both front & rear), which renders the seatbelt mountings, particularly susceptible to corrosion damage!

The reinforcement plates were removed, by drilling out the spot-welds from inside the cab, using a special spot-weld cutter. After removing the rusted metal from the wheel-arches, home-made, replacement, 4 mm thick, steel reinforcement-plates, with captive threaded nuts, were seam-welded in place. The old spot-weld holes and corrosion-damaged areas of the wheel-arches, were then repaired by puddle-welding; resulting in seatbelt mountings, which are stronger and more durable than the originals. At sometime in the future, it will probably be necessary, to repeat these repair procedures, with the reinforcement-plates beneath the rear wheel-arches.

Whilst the front wheel-arch, seatbelt mounting points were being repaired, I opted to fit supplementary mounting points, to the vertical bulkheads, behind the front cab seats, for my previously acquired Kangol inertia-reel units, as mentioned earlier. For this task, I used the reclaimed reinforcement-plates, with captive threaded nuts, from the underside of the front wheel-arches, seam-welded to the rear faces of the vertical bulkheads and wheel-arches.
_________________
Regards.

Nigel A. Skeet

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Great post!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one

What about the airbags?
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fukengruvenoval
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bursch wrote:
Nice one

What about the airbags?


Maybe this is Nigel's airbag portion:
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

Bursch wrote:
Nice one

What about the airbags?


I shall get around to that, so just be patient! Smile


fukengruvenoval wrote:
Bursch wrote:
Nice one

What about the airbags?


Maybe this is Nigel's airbag portion:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Naughty boy! That wasn't what I meant at all! Laughing
_________________
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Nigel A. Skeet

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

IMPROVING SEATING COMFORT & SAFETY

By the late 1980s, my family and I, were finding the 1973 VW Type 2's, factory-fitted cab seats, to be rather uncomfortable, especially on long journeys of more than a few hours; particularly the passenger seat, which had only two possible positions and which could not be adjusted whilst sat upon. Even the driver's seat, offered only adjustment of fore & aft position, plus the rake angle of the back rest.

As a driver, I found that after more than half an hour's driving, my feet and lower legs became numb (they went to sleep, to use the vernacular!), especially on motorways, unless I deliberately exercised them (i.e. constantly fidgetted!), which would otherwise have severely inhibited, my ability to initiate emergengy braking, if it were required. In addition to the seating discomfort, there was also a further safety concern, about the seats' lack of head restraints (not head rests!).

During more than twenty years, of sporadically visiting car breakers' yards in my home region, I had seen fewer than ten in total, of 1968~79 VW Type 2s and 1983~92 VW Type 25s (i.e. Vanagons, in USA parlance) collectively, of which none had cab seats with head restraints anyway. Hence, I sought a donor car, whose front seats offered increased adjustability, improved comfort and proper head restraints, whose height were sufficient to reach the tops of our heads.

Knowing that Volvo seats featured a high degree of adjustment and tall, rigid head restraints, I bought for 30 (at that time, about US$55), a pair of black, leather upholstered, front seats, salvaged from a Volvo 244GL; both of which featured considerable adjustment of fore & aft position, backrest rake angle and lumbar support firmness. In addition, the driver's seat had front & rear, three-position height adjustment, plus electrically heated pads, in the seat-cushion on which one sits and the backrest.

Before the Volvo seats could be installed, the original, welded-on VW seat mountings & runners, required removal, followed by build-up weld repair, of the underlying wheel-arches, which had perforated in places, owing to a combination of damage caused by the spot-weld cutter and long-term corrosion. The corrosion probably resulted from moisture collecting under the foam-backed rubber mats and spot-welded fittings, arising from one or both of water-vapour condensation and wind-driven rain, entering the cab when the doors were opened.

Adapter mounting plates (with captive M8 screw studding, to secure the Volvo-seat runners), were fabricated in the engineering workshops, at the laboratories where I worked. Reinforcement-plates, with captive M8 threaded nuts, were seam-welded beneath the front wheel-arches, to which the outboard, adapter mounting plates, were to be bolted. It wasn't practical to weld inboard reinforcement-plates, to the passenger-seat, seat-well framework, adjacent to the central aisle, so a long reinforcement-plate, with several M6 threaded holes, was used instead.

Although durable, the Volvo 244GL seats' black leather covering, is a little slippery, so there is a tendency to slide (albeit constrained by the seatbelts) forward or sideways in the seat, under conditions of braking or cornering respectively. The Volvo seats, have given much greater comfort, eliminating any feelings of stiffness, even after a long journey and there is no longer any problem with lower-leg & foot numbness, but the seating position isn't yet quite perfect.

As a 179 metre (i.e. 5 feet 10 inches) tall, adult male, the raised front of the seat-cushion, is sufficiently high above the floor to support my legs, but the raised rear of the seat-cushion, results in my eye level being too high for optimum visibility through the front windscreen and my head comes close to touching the headlining. On level roads and downward gradients, this presents no inconvenience, but distant traffic cannot be seen, when approaching an uphill gradient. Sometimes, if I am not careful, my lower thighs, sometimes accidently activate the headlamp dip switch or windscreen-washer switch, when declutching or braking respectively.

Ideally, I would wish to slightly lower the front of the seat cushions, but substantially lower the rear, which would both improve forward visibility and reduce the tendency to slide forwards on the smooth leather covering. It should also reduce the risk to the driver, of inadvertently operating, the steering-column mounted stalk switches, when using the brake or clutch pedals.

Lower seat cushions, would also improve comfort, for people of short stature, such as my mother, who is 159 metres (i.e. 5 feet 2 inches) tall, whose feet do not comfortably reach the floor, despite the 25 mm (i.e. 1 inch) total thickness of high-density foam elastomer (discarded thermal conductivity test samples, I scrounged from the laboratories, where I worked!) and a remnant of carpet underlay, beneath the cab-floor rubber mat.

As shown in the following picture, reproduced from a recent motoring magazine editorial (Hilton Holloway, "Avoiding a pain in the neck: How manufacturers still need to wake up to whiplash injuries.", This Week, Autocar, 21st March 2007, p23), the top of the head restraint, should be no lower than eye & ear level and preferably level with the top of the head. Also, the neck should not need to flex noticeably, when the back of the head is positioned hard against the head restraint.

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


Despite the Volvo 244GL seats, dating from the late-1970s or early-1980s, the associated head restraints, largely satisfy these criteria, being virtually level with the top of my head and quite close behind, although in principle, they could be a little closer, without causing neck discomfort, but they are somewhat firmer than I would wish to rest the back of my head against.

Being about 25 mm (i.e. 1 inch) behind my usual head position, the head restraints benefitted from the addition of a home-made, 20 mm (i.e. inch) thick, supplementary head cushion, fabricated using high-density foam elastomer (more discarded thermal conductivity test samples!), whose additional shaped sections on the back, are a press-fit into the head restraints' twin holes (intended to give rearward vision, when reversing the Volvo, in which they were originally installed).

Nissan are reported to have found that 46% of all injury-casing accidents, are rear-end collisions, in contrast to frontal collisions which account for just 18% of the total. Whiplash is a major insurance expense, accounting for about 80% of all personal injury claims.

This topic was discussed, in the following magazine and newspaper features:

Todd Albert, MD, "Whiplash: A Common Neck Injury"

http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article1435.html

"Causes of Whiplash"

http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article4182.html

Whiplash Prevention and Relief

http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article4190.html

"Owning your car: Whiplash injuries", What Car?, February 2005, pp108~109.

http://www.whatcar.com

Ray Massey, "Warning on whiplash: one in four new cars 'can put drivers at risk of injury'", Daily Mail, 8th October 2002, p41.

How To Adjust Your Head Restraint, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

http://www.rospa.com/RoadSafety/advice/motorvehicles/adjust_head_restraint.htm

1997 onward Saab cars, with the SAHR (Saab Active Head Restraint) system and 1998 onward Volvos, with WHIPS system (Whiplash Protection System), performed best in minimising whiplash injury, so second-hand seats originating from these cars, might be good candidates for retro-fitting to our older Volkswagens!
_________________
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Nigel A. Skeet

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net


Last edited by NASkeet on Sun May 25, 2008 5:49 am; edited 4 times in total
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NASkeet
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:28 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

IMPROVING SEATING COMFORT & SAFETY - PART 2

After we acquired the second-hand, British specification, 1973 VW 1600 Type 2, Westfalia Continental campervan, in January 1975, it soon became apparent, that the full-width, rock & roll bed cum forward-facing bench seat, would be uncomfortable seating for both dining and travelling, owing to its very upright back rest and excessively large distance, between the front and rear of the seat cushion, upon which one sits.

To alleviate this discomfort, we used a loose-fitting, supplementay back-rest cushion, of identical height & width, to that of the forward-facing bench-seat back rest. The supplementary cushion (which is of similar design to the existing back-rest cushion, for the lower-level side-facing seat), comprises a removable, washable cloth cover and a pre-cut block of medium-density foam polymer, of triangular-wedge-shaped cross-section, tapering in thickness, from 100 mm at the base, to about 5 mm at the apex. This gently sloping cushion, is also used at night when sleeping, in conjuction with conventional pillows.

Head restraints (not head rests!) are an important safety feature, for all vehicle occupants, not just the driver and front-seat passenger. This is now well recognised by designers & manufacturers of modern vehicles, as is apparent from the almost universal adoption for the rear seats of most, if not all modern cars and minibuses, plus at least some campervans. I anticipate that if not already the case, head restraints will soon become obligatory, for all seating positions (those which may be used whilst travelling), in all newly manufactured vehicles.

Illustrated in one recent VW campervan book (i.e. David Eccles, "VW Camper - The Inside Story: A Guide to VW Camping Conversions and Interiors 1951~2005, The Crowood Press, 2005, ISBN 1-86126-763-0, page155), is a 1987 VW Westfalia Club Joker campervan, whose rear bench seat (I presume it to be, a rock & roll bed cum bench seat!) is shown to have "head rests" (I presume it was meant to say head restraints!), as factory-fitted, standard equipment. I have also seen illustrations of similar, factory-fitted rear head restraints, in 1992~2003 & 2003~ VW Transporter T4 & T5 (i.e. VW Eurovan Mks.1 & 2, in USA parlance) based campervans.

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


2005 VW Eurovan Mk. 2, Devon campervan, with retractable, inertia-reel, 3-point lap & diagonal rear seatbelt & rear head restraint.

Note that the seat belt has not been properly adjusted; webbing strap being loose and the lap belt is riding up over theabdomen, rather than being positioned across the pelvis.

Ideally, the upper seatbelt mounting, on the side of the cupboard (i.e. closet, in USA parlance), should have been somewhat lower, to avoid neck chafe.


Hence, it should be possible to find some head restraints, which can be retro-fitted, to existing campervan seating, in the rear passenger cabin, including the full-width, rock & roll bed cum bench seat, of my 1973 VW "1600" Type 2 Westfalia Continetal campervan, whose ultra-thick upholstery, will probably necessitate the pattern of rear-seat head restraints, which are fitted to through the rear parcel shelf of modern saloon (i.e. sedan, in USA parlance) cars, rather than those from estate cars (i.e. station wagons, in USA parlance) or hatchbacks, which fit through the top of the seat back.

For each of the three seating positions on the bench seat, I envisage fitting to the rear of the back-rest's, circa 21 1 mm thick, plywood backboard, a pair, of some form of custom guide tube & locking mechanism, to accommodate some suitable head restraints, salvaged from a scrapped, relatively modern vehicle. As with all other head restraints, it should be bourne in mind, when scavenging for these at the car breakers' yards, that the top of the head restraint, should be no lower than eye & ear level and preferably level with the top of the head, and also that the neck should not need to flex noticeably, when the back of the head is positioned hard against the head restraint.

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


Given the large forces which are generated during violent collisions, these guide-tube fittings, should be securely fastened to the plywood backboard, using bolts and reinforcement plates. To do this, will require temporary removal, of the foam polymer cushion and stapled fabric covering, which may either be refitted or one can take the opportunity to redesign both the seat-base & back-rest cushions, so that they can be readily removed for cleaning, or perhaps even used outside the vehicle for lounging.

It must be possible to readily remove & refit the head restraints, to increase rearward visibility, when the seating positions are unoccupied and to transform from seat to bed configuration. With the rock & roll bed cum bench seat in the bed position and both cushions removed, one would then have a large load platform, at engine-deck level, for the carriage of relatively heavy, bulky loads, which might otherwise damage the cushions. When in place, the cushions could be securely fastened, using velcro and/or press-studs.
_________________
Regards.

Nigel A. Skeet

Onetime member, plus former Technical Editor & Editor of Transporter Talk magazine
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club (Great Britain)

http://www.vwt2oc.net


Last edited by NASkeet on Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

THREE-POINT, LAP & DIAGONAL SEATBELT, WITH INTEGRAL AIRBAG

In early-2003, the following British national-newspaper article, featured a novel rear seatbelt, with built-in airbag, which is stitched into the part of the seatbelt (i.e. the lap belt), covering the lower abdomen and has about the same volume as a front airbag. In the event of a crash at speeds of around 20 mph (i.e. circa 30 km/h) and above, the airbag hidden inside the belt, expands in a fraction of a second, to give additional protection to passengers. It was scheduled to be introduced later that year, in Renault's Scenic and Megane models.

Ray Massey (Transport Editor - e-mail: [email protected]), "The rear seatbelt that comes with its own airbag", Daily Mail, Saturday 1st February 2003, page 47.

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


The airbag works in conjunction with sensors, which detect an impact. Its key sensor is placed at the front of the bonnet (i.e. hood, in USA parlance), because the device is designed to give the highest level of protection, in a frontal collision. In such an incident, the sensor sends a signal to a computer behind the dashboard, which assesses the nature and scale of the impact.

In a head-on crash, the computer sends an electronic signal to the driver and passenger airbags and also to the rear-seatbelt airbag. The signal, transmitted along wires woven into the seatbelt webbing, triggers a small explosive charge, which causes the rear airbag to inflate. It was claimed that the time between sensing the crash and 'instructing' the airbag to go off, was about 20 milliseconds (i.e. 20 thousandths of a second).

This built-in airbag, is said to reduce the load exerted by the seatbelt, thereby providing improved head, neck and thorax protection, in addition to preventing the heads of children, hitting their knees in an accident and adults heads, hitting the backs of front seats. The seatbelt can be worn by children from about the age of six, provided they are not in a child seat.

Bearing in mind the potential difficulties, of adapting most conventional airbag systems, originating from other vehicle marques and models, for use in the 1968~79 VW Type 2 or other elderly Volkswagens, the otherwise conventional, 3-point, lap & diagonal seatbelt, with integral airbag, would seem to be the most readily adaptable, to front and rear-seat positions, without needing to make major modifications, to steering wheels, dashboards or other fittings, furnishings and upholstery; at least as far as giving airbag protection, against frontal and rear-end collisions, is concerned.

This is an article about seatbelts with integral airbags, used in modern light aircraft, which shows a sequence of pictures, as the airbag inflates:

http://www.newplane.com/amd/amd/innovations/airbag.html

These are some more interesting articles:

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/company-news/autoliv-inc/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=37712

http://www.dtu.dk/inst/DTF/English/Publications/2003/seat%20belt.aspx

http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article835.html

http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2006/09/ford_works_on_hybrid_seatbeltairbag.html

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/general-discussion/9752-seatbelt-airbags-future.html

http://medgadget.com/archives/2006/09/new_hybrid_seat.html

http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/01/ford-demos-new-airbag-based-seatbelt-design/

http://www.aero-news.net/SpecialContent.cfm?Conten...amp;cat=16

http://www.nsc.org/airbag.htm

http://www.aero-news.net/SpecialContent.cfm?Conten...amp;cat=16
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

PADDING HARD-IMPACT SURFACES

One example, of beneficial padding, of which I read many moons ago, in an information source I cannot recall, was the compression-fracture injuries or severe bruising, to the feet and lower legs, caused by the rapid, upward buckling of the foot-wells, during a collision. Covering the floor, with a thick layer of resilient material, was said to considerably reduce the severity of such injuries, if not eliminating them completely. Having read this, I immediately congratulated myself, for my considerable foresight, in previously fitting the 25 mm (i.e. 1 inch) total thickness of high-density foam elastomer and a remnant of carpet underlay, beneath the cab-floor rubber mat, whose original purpose, was that of acoustic and thermal insulation, to reduce road noise and the tendency for my feet and calves, to become numb from cold in winter.

Regretably, the design of the 1968~79 VW Type 2, together with most vehicles of that vintage and even some modern ones, have many hard, unyielding surfaces and projections. Despite the fitment of safety equipment such as seatbelts, head restraints and airbags, there is still the potential for injury being caused, by impact with these or their transmission of large forces to human-body parts, already in contact with them, owing to collision-induced deformation, of the vehicle itself. Other areas which would probably benefit from some form of padding, are the dashboard, steering-wheel rim & spokes, projecting edges of parcel shelves, headlining, side-trim panels, door & window pillars and kick boards.

Although conventional padding is not a viable option, for the windscreen and side windows, which also present impact and laceration injury problems, the deployment of window airbags (stowed in the side of the roof), curtain airbags (suspended from the cant rail and extending the full length of the passenger cabin) or side airbags (stowed in the seat backrests), offer a possible solution. At present, the only alternative is for the driver and passengers, to wear some form of protective helmet, as commonly used in rally sport!
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

"SEAT BELTS" & OTHER RESTRAINTS FOR ANIMAL TRAVELLING COMPANIONS

In the following topic thread, entitled "Canine co-pilots Thread", it is apparent that many owners are unaware (or worse still, unconcerned!) about the dangers posed by unrestrained pets, in a motor vehicle.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=226878&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

The following 3 year old newspaper article, discusses this issue in some detail and outlined how pets showed be transported, to ensure both the safety of their pets, the driver and paasengers, plus the general public at large:

Tom Kelly, "Belt up, Bonzo! Owners warned to strap in their dogs on car journeys", Daily Mail, Monday 1st November 2004, page 25.

Dog owners are being urged to restrain their pet with a seatbelt during car journeys - because it will help save human lives.

The Government is backing a safety campaign to stop man's best friend from becoming a 'canine cannonball' in a crash. It warns that in an accident, a medium-sized dog such as a border collie would be thrown forward at 30 mph - enough to kill a driver or passenger.

Vets have also reported the dogs themselves suffering serious internal injuries after being hurled through the windscreen from the back seat. There have also been instances of dogs jumping out of the window of travelling vehicles, while nine in ten motorists who regularly travel with their pets report that they have proved a distraction.

The Department of Transport has funded an advisory leaflet written by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to highlight the dangers. It says special harnesses are the best method of restraining medium to large dogs. These fit around the chest, back and shoulders and have a loop or clip through which a seatbelt can be fastened.

The leaflet adds that smaller dogs, cats and other animals should be kept in a pet carrier secured by a normal seatbelt or jammed in the car footwell. The RAC (i.e. Royal Automobile Club) recently accredited a range of car harnesses created by the animal accessories firm Petbrands. They are sold at pet stores across the country, costing from 10 to 15 depending on the size of the dog.

A spokesman for RoSPA (i.e. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) said: "People have been shocked by television advertisements showing a teenager not wearing a seatbelt in a rear seat, being flung forwards and killing the driver. But they don't seem to realise that the consequences can be just as horrific if a dog is unrestrained in a car."

The advisory leaflet also warns that unrestrained pets can distract drivers and case accidents. After a crash they could escape from the car and be hit by passing vehicles or cause collisions. Frightened might also attack a stranger going to assist an injured driver. And one woman was killed when her cat became jammed under the brake pedal.

The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals charity estimates that upto a fifth of those it treats have been involved in road accidents, often when they were in the car. There is currently no law requiring pets to be secured in cars, although some vets have argued that legislation should be introduced.

Campaigners say it is just as necessary as the recently-introduced law, banning the use of hand-held phones in cars - another potential distraction. The Highway Code states that dogs or other animals must be 'suitably restrained' to prevent them distracting drivers or causing injury in an emergency stop, but in practice the rule is rarely enforced.


**************************************************************************************************************************

The Highway Code, Prepared by the Driving Standards Agency for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Her majesty's Stationery Office, New Expanded Edition, 1999, ISBN 0 11 551977 7.

Rules About Animals - Other Animals - Rule 43 on page 12:

When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you if you stop quickly.


This Code, between pages 5 and 69, is issued with the Authority of Parliament (laid before both Houses of Parliament June 1999) and appears in the law described as follows:

A failure on the part of a person to observe any provision of the Highway Code shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind, but any such failure may in any proceedings (whether civil or criminal and including proceedings for an offence under the Traffic Acts, the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 or sections 18 to 23 of the Transport Act 1985) be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negatitive any liability which is in question in those proceedings.

Road Traffic Act 1998.

In practical terms, this means that if you fail to follow the advice and recommendations in the Highway Code, you would severely weaken your case, in the event of criminal or civil proceeding, connected with your behaviour and use of the road.


**************************************************************************************************************************

Here is a more recent excerpt from the Safer Pets website

Safe Car Travel

When it comes to pet travel, driving is the No. 1 mode of transportation, according to the American Automobile Association.

Your dog, while in the vehicle, should be secured by either a canine-specific seatbelt, a barrier or in a crate. Keep in mind, the crate has to be large enough for the dog to move around in, and also be secured via a seatbelt.

Unsecured pets are not only a danger to the driver (try explaining the reason you got into the car accident was because your dog jumped into your lap) but also to themselves. When traveling only 30 mph, an unrestrained 50 lb dog would be thrown with a force equivalent to nine 12-stone men, according to femalefirst.co.uk.

If you happen to get into an accident, an unrestrained dog could also get out of the vehicle, run into traffic and be killed or even cause another accident. A dog could also become frightened and/or aggressive and cause difficulties for rescue workers to get at the people in the vehicle.

It is also preferred that all pets be restrained in the backseat as front seat airbags, if deployed, can cause serious injury to any pet.

No matter how much your dog loves to hang its head out the window while driving through town, never let your dog do it on the highway. Debris can hit the dog in the face, causing serious damage. And if something really gets your dog curious, it could jump out the window onto the highway.

When making stops, no matter how quick you plan to be, never leave your pet in the vehicle. This is most important when travelling in the summer. A car can quickly overheat, even if parked in the shade with the windows slightly opened. "Even leaving the windows open may not be enough. They would have to be open so far that the dog would be able to jump out anyway," according to petplanet.co.uk.

Another summer safety tip: adjust the air conditioning to prevent your animal from overheating. If necessary, use sunshades on the windows to help keep the animals out of direct sunlight.


Cat Travel

Like dogs, cats should be restrained when in the vehicle. Carriers are best, as cats are more likely to squirm out of any pet seat belt device. And like dogs, keep cats out of direct the sunlight, ensure it is healthy and its vaccinations are up-to-date.

Do not put food, water or litter in the carrier with the cat. The cat won't eat or drink while on the trip as it will be too stressed, and the litter will just take up unnecessary space and cause a mess in the carrier.


**************************************************************************************************************************

Refer to the following RoSPA (i.e. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) website link and click on the "Carrying Pets Safely" PDF file, in the In Car Safety - Seat Belts, Air Bags, and Head Restraints section

http://www.rospa.com/RoadSafety/advice/incarsafety/index.htm


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Car Travel Tips Top 10 Tips for Safe Car Travel With Your Pet

http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_cartraveltips


The Humane Society of the United States and other organisations, also give guidance on the safe transport of pets in cars as follows:

http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/caring_for_pets_when_you_travel/traveling_by_car.html


Arkansas Non-Kill Rescue Animal Pets-Haven

http://www.pets-haven.com/safe_travel_tips.htm


http://www.saferpets.co.uk/SafeCarTravelPets.html

http://www.saferpets.co.uk/SafePetCarriersAndCrates..html

http://ezinearticles.com/?Safe-Car-Travel-With-Your-Pets&id=1187685

http://www.drive.subaru.com/Winter08_pets.htm

http://www.trixieandpeanut.com/travel.shtml?OVRAW=...3071451021

http://www.dealtime.com/xGS-Travel_With_Pet~NS-1~linkin_id-8009530

http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Petbuckle_Travel_Kit_29633867

http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Midwest_Midwest_Better...Model_1248

http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Spot_Pet_Products_Travel_Gear_Carrier_Carrier_Small_Blue_Carrier

**************************************************************************************************************************

Here's an example of a dog, which appears to be restrained by an appropriate harness:

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


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



Although the owners of these dogs, probably have great affection for their pets and wish to allow them the greatest possible freedom, allowing them to travel in the front cab with the driver, is inviting potential disaster, which could easily result in the serious injury or deaths of the vehicle occupants and other road users.

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


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


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



The two pictures below, show dogs on the front passenger seats of stationary vehicles, but if they also travel in this fashion, then my earlier comments equally apply. Allowing a dog to travel with its head out of the window, can easily be injurous to its health.

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


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


Here's what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States and The Arkansas Non-Kill Rescue Animal Pets-Haven say about pets hanging their heads out of car windows:

Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. This can subject him to inner ear damage and lung infections, and he could be injured by flying objects.

Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or become ill from having cold air forced into their lungs.

Don't allow pets to ride with their heads outside the window as it subjects them to flying objects, inner ear damage and lung infections.



Here's a picture of tranquility and family unity, but there are all too many reported cases of a long-standing family pet running amok when it feels frightened or threatened, resulting in the savaging of babies and small children. Seated in this position, a large dog of this size, could easily be projected forwards, killing or seriously injuring the driver and/or front-seat passenger.

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



Here's a nice looking cat, sunning itself on top of the dashboard, whilst the vehicle is stationary, but I very much hope that it is transported in a proper pet carrier or similarly restrained, whilst travelling:

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


**************************************************************************************************************************

77orangecamper wrote:
A lot of people love their dogs maybe more than their kids. There are many harnesses available here in the great US of A

http://www.hunterk9.com/site/870877/page/343881

That was the first site in a google search lots of cheap ones. You guys get so worked up over this safety issue. I drove my bus with my friend's dog on the back seat and almost rear ended someone and that dog went flying forward and bashed its poor nose on back of passenger seat; blood everywhere, cut his nose and gums, poor doggy!

For a lousy $15 he would have been fine

Just trying to help those doggys out. They want to live too and its our job to keep them safe.

Simon

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
show just a few examples, of dogs in transit


I disagree.

Parked, or 'whilst stationary' as you say.

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


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

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airb Reply with quote

NASkeet wrote:


In the following topic thread, entitled "Canine co-pilots Thread", it is apparent that many owners are unaware (or worse still, unconcerned!) about the dangers posed by unrestrained pets, in a motor vehicle.


I take offense at that Nigel. Just because I disagree with you does not mean that I am unaware (or unconcerned!) about my dog's safety. I love my dog. I love my dog enough to want her to be happy each day and if that means letting her live it up in the bus, I am willing to take that risk. I have taken many road trips with her, covered many miles, and never once have I felt unsafe because she was not tied down. I think perhaps my values are just different. It is more valuable to me that she be happy no matter how long she is around, than to have her unhappy and around for a few years longer.
Y'know its probably also much safer for you to wear a helmet while (or whilst, as you say) driving your bus, or perhaps a full body suit of armor, or maybe a bullet proof vest just incase a stray bullet flies by from a shoot out, or maybe its just safer never to leave the house. We all draw the line somewhere.
I ask that you please remove the photo of my dog from your post. She is my companion, not grist for your mill.
many thanks,
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see only one of those vehicles in motion in the photos posted above.
Our dog (mini schnauzer if that matters?!) rides with us between the front seats, and I'm not worried about her there and IMHO neither should anyone.
I'm not sure how an anchor would work on a pet. Think about this a bit - in your seat you are right against the seat, (hopefully) strapped in snug by your seatbelt.
How can you secure a pet the same way, by strapping them down a-la Hannibal Lecter? Otherwise, a harness tethered in would snap-back with a force likely to injure/kill your pet.
*edit, our dog doesn't do the crate thing very well, so that's a no-go for us.
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put them in a crate, secure the crate. That easy. They cannot fly far and are less prone to injuries than loose.
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ya just gotta wonder if Der queen get blisters on her Air bags whilst, riding in the back of a VW..

I must admit after years of driving a truck,, I do learn towards those that the shoulder belt rides between the bags.

just build a full cage inside the bus,, use 5 point harness at every seat ,, strap in,, fill the bus with old inner tubes....

leave doggie home..
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems beta testing has already begun on alternate system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNX9xNEY61o
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great information, I will implement several of you suggestions as soon as possible :0)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: 1968~79 VW Type 2, seatbelts, head restraints & airbags Reply with quote

Here's an Internet link, to an interesting looking supplementary device, called the CG-Lock, for maintaining the tension in the lap belt of inertia-reel, 3-point, lap & diagonal seat belts, which was featured recently on Gizmag.com; an on-line Science, Engineering & Technology magazine:

"Seatbelt add-on enhances driver control", Automotive Section, Gizmag.com, 5th November 2008.

http://www.gizmag.com/cg-lock-seatbelt/10316/
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This dog is not strapped in...

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


it's a harness my dogs wear them too:

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


as you can see here, my bassett hound is wearing one too. it is to move the leash connection towards the back of the animal to better control them and not choke them when walking them. NOT A SAFETY HARNESS TO STRAP A DOG IN A SEAT, those look completely different:

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


this dog has the safety belt harness on
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just love that picture.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

We tried a dog seat belt harness for our boxer along time ago.
It would have worked great if a dog would sit all nice like that in the moving car.
She was much more of a problem with it on then with it off.
We had to stop every mile or so to get her untangeled from the sholder belt because see was trying to get loose and would crawl under it to try to get it off, what a waste of money.
Things don't always work in practice as they may seem in therory.
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