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Thread: Seat belts

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Seat belts

    I know this is not very smart, but the only LBC that has seat belts is the 1970 MGB and I installed retractable 3 point belts in it. The Bugeye and TR4A have nothing and the more I drive the more uncomfortable I get. The TR4A came with 2 point belts and the Bugeye with nothing, so 3 point would be the safest. Any suggestions on installing 3 point belts in a Bugeye?
    Thanks, Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    Rut. Got them in Bugsy. I drilled floor and used large fender washers to spread the load. Drilled wheel well from underneath IIRC. Comfy, feel as safe as you can in a BE. Since everything is out I could post pics of hole locations. Got to keep you safe guy. Steering column is awfully close to my chest. Heavy over to paint primer on bonnet right now. Dash is done. Glue I used 3M90 Adhesive has a scatter gun type glue applicator and set up too fast. Got some spots where glue did not adhere or cured too fast. Once instruments are installed will probably be just fine.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    Jim,
    Thanks for the help and glad to hear you’re making progress!
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Seat belts

    I upgraded my '69 Sprite to 3-point non-retractable belts, and then later 3 point retractable belts. Like you, I just feel uncomfortable in a car without seat belts. My daughter kept slipping out from the non-retractable belt, so that's why I went to retractable units.

    I plan on recycling the 2-point and 3-point non-retractable belts that I replaced on the Sprite for use in my '53 Plymouth project, which is completely devoid of any seat belts.

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    Jedi Knight apbos's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    https://gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/SeatBeltWS.htm From Gerards Garage. The factory installation instructions for the Bugeye.
    Regards
    Paul
    1949 TR 2000 roadster
    1960 MG MGA
    1-1959 AN5L/9477 AH Bugeye Sprite
    1- 1958 Triumph TR3 TS 28115

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    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    I've got 3-point belts in the Morris and MGB, using the factory mounting points. Not sure what I'll do in the Bugeye. I'll at least do lap belts, not all the way convinced on shoulder belts given the low mounting points for the shoulder belts. We'll see.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxMan View Post
    I upgraded my '69 Sprite to 3-point non-retractable belts, and then later 3 point retractable belts. Like you, I just feel uncomfortable in a car without seat belts. My daughter kept slipping out from the non-retractable belt, so that's why I went to retractable units.

    I plan on recycling the 2-point and 3-point non-retractable belts that I replaced on the Sprite for use in my '53 Plymouth project, which is completely devoid of any seat belts.
    Retractables don't do you any good unless they lock with accelerometers as in a collision, they will extend out and you slip out, Been my experience anyway.

    On using your old ones on the 53 Plymouth.....better czech length and waist size first.

    When I put lap belts in my 50 Ford Tudor, lord, 45 years ago, got some out of a 67 Galaxie, retractable, non-adjustable, and the seat is taller, bigger, barely connected. Then 45 years of waist expansion, I'm there. They still work, but just.
    My guess is, OTTOMH, the seats being much lower and smaller in the LBC, you may not have enough belt to extend out. Better to czech first than drill and fit and find out you can't even belt in a rolled up newspaper.

    My Jag has front three-points, lap and single shoulder...to adjust, get out of the car, on yer knees in the pouring rain, and work the belt through the adjustment buckle near the floor mount.
    I have driver's side set, passenger we just move the seat back and forth to set.

  8. #8
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Seat belts

    Quote Originally Posted by TOC View Post
    Retractables don't do you any good unless they lock with accelerometers as in a collision, they will extend out and you slip out, Been my experience anyway.

    On using your old ones on the 53 Plymouth.....better czech length and waist size first.
    The retractables from VB seem to work reasonably well. Sometimes a little too well as once they lock, I've had to do some serious fiddling with the adjusters to get them going again.

    Yes, I'd definitely will take some measurements before I start drilling holes and installing belts. I'm not overly concerned about an expanding waistline, riding a bike 3 times per week seems to have held that in check.

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Seat belts

    DSC_3482 (002).jpg

    I've mentioned trying to develop a 'roll bar' for our bugeye (not for protection against rollover, but against pickup trucks running red lights) and here is where we are at the moment. The intention is to have:
    - something that will fit under the 'hood', so it follows the outlines of the hood support
    - the horizontal bar is to provide additional lateral strength for the mythical pick-up truck
    - it also provides an anchor point for four point seat belts, which was my original plan but my concern is that other drivers might consider them too finicky and just go with a lap belt, so we're going to go with three point belts initially
    - we'll be using the later split hood supports, as the original BE won't fit with the roll bar in place
    Dunno when we're going to get the car finished up and on the road (the 84 year old chap building the engine has been at it for two years...!!!, but the body isn't ready just yet) but when the body/rollbar etc. is complete and we've had a chance to drive it (hopefully the existing engine will be capable), then I'll ask the shop to build another one for our Yellow Bugeye, and to document what it would cost to bend/cut/trim all the metal pieces but not weld them, and we'll see if anyone else wants one.
    Rut - if you're interested, phone me 403 890-7143 cell and I can give you additional pictures. And I could also provide somewhat imprecise measurements if you wanted to try dummying one up yourself, and save you some of the development costs that have gone into this. Our first fitting was based on bending/cutting/tack welding a prototype out of electrical conduit, and you may want to consider the same. Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Yoda
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    Re: Seat belts

    Well, I'm a great one to talk since I'm running two Spridgets with just lap belts and one with no belts but wanted to mention that Bill M made a great point to me years ago. The earlier Spridgets that I drive do not have a collapsible steering column and though mine have decent brakes many do not. In a front end collision the only protection we could get from that steering column would be with 3 point belts. I remember seeing cars that had been in a front end collision from "in the day" where the driver had hit the steering wheel. Not pretty!

    Just mentioning it.

    The wife insists the one with no belts gets some. Might as well go 3 point.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: Seat belts

    I will definitely go for 3 point on mine before it hits the road.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
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