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  #1  
Old 11-21-2006, 07:18 AM
Coming back from burnout
 
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Post 85 300D Seatbelt buckle restoration question (Seatbelt Law applies)

In my quest to make my 85 300D look as brand new as possible, I found a couple of seatbelt buckles for my 1985 Mercedes 300D that are in virgin unbroken condition. Unfortunately to mount them I have to cut the stitching on the black webbed belt and resew it with Fishing Line.
However I have heard that this is illegal or unsafe. Would it be safe and/or legal to cut the webbing and resew at the stitched portion at the end of the belt to resinstall a new buckle?
As a matter of fact i have heard that somewhere there is a statute, law or rule that a seatbelt upon being used at some velocity loses its effectiveness and must be replaced because of the stress on the black webbing. I don't know if this is true.
Finally in the various W123 Benzes from 1982 to 1985 that I have encountered at yards, I see several different models/configurations of seatbelts. The most current up to date version has a 6 inch mast, just like a radio antenna mast, and an electric connector. What is the functionality of this mast and connector? Just wondering. Can it be replaced with an 1982 belt which is a simpler version?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:00 AM
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I'm not sure on the legality question, but I would not recommend fishing line. For the reason that it is designed to desintigrate with prolonged exposure to sunlight. That's because if some fool decides to strip his reel and leave it laying on the riverbank, it is not still there 5 years from now.

You are better off using the heaviest polyester thread you can find. Any of the Suzy-homemaker shops, such as Jo-anns, should carry some. An upholstery shop would be even more likely.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:05 AM
rrgrassi's Avatar
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Thread used for sewing leather shoes would be your strongest and best bet if you can't find the stuff used for seatbelts. Try a car interior resto shop. They may have ideas for you.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:10 AM
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Sam is right -- don't use fishing line.

I ended up building my own seat belts some years ago for a project car. I had an upholstery shop do the stitching. It worked well.

More recently, I had a buckle fail on the '89 Olds. I 'robbed' the never-used front center belt of its buckle and my wife sewed it on with her new-to-her industrial sewing machine. Works like a charm.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:20 AM
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the bracket isnt on the loop? all the seatbelts i removed from my last car for interior work had the bracket captured in the loop at the end..
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrameow View Post
In my quest to make my 85 300D look as brand new as possible, I found a couple of seatbelt buckles for my 1985 Mercedes 300D that are in virgin unbroken condition. Unfortunately to mount them I have to cut the stitching on the black webbed belt and resew it with Fishing Line.
However I have heard that this is illegal or unsafe. Would it be safe and/or legal to cut the webbing and resew at the stitched portion at the end of the belt to resinstall a new buckle?
As a matter of fact i have heard that somewhere there is a statute, law or rule that a seatbelt upon being used at some velocity loses its effectiveness and must be replaced because of the stress on the black webbing. I don't know if this is true.
Finally in the various W123 Benzes from 1982 to 1985 that I have encountered at yards, I see several different models/configurations of seatbelts. The most current up to date version has a 6 inch mast, just like a radio antenna mast, and an electric connector. What is the functionality of this mast and connector? Just wondering. Can it be replaced with an 1982 belt which is a simpler version?
Why can't you get the entire seat belt assemblies that have the good buckles on them and install them? I found old ones in a junkyard and pulled the webbing out until it was fully unwound and hand washed it. It turned out looking like new.

I have played with these seat belts and have a little insight. Look on the Russian EPC site for part numbers. They are on the seatbelts sewn into the webbing on little white cloth tags. I have 2 1985 W123 wagons and neither of them have an electrical connection going to them. I think the Euro cars with ABS had a different seat belt system.

Our dog chewed through the passenger side rear and third row seatbelts. I was able to get a passenger side rear seatbelt and grind the mounting plate so I could use it as a third row seatbelt.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2006, 01:16 PM
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I believe the mast and electrical connection you refer to is a pin that will fire through the spool to crank it up a few ratchets and then lock it in place in a frontal impact.

I wouldn't want to rely on a retrofited belt in a major head on accident. Risk vs savings doesnt pan out.
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85' 300d Turbodiesel 311K
99' E300 Turbodiesel 311.5K and counting NO MORE. (Totaled by Indie's liability Ins after a major oops)
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2006, 01:36 PM
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Will your insurance company cover you 5 years from now after you have sold your car and the next owner goes through the windshield because the seatbelt failed? Are you going to disclose that you "tampered" with the safety restraint device in your marketing materials?
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2006, 08:43 PM
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If you're looking for a new look, just buy new seat belts. Seat belts are one item where "rigging" is a no-no.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2006, 11:20 PM
Anders
 
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Carameow,

Call on your local sailmaker, they will be able to sew the parts together in their sail loft.

I had a seatbelt in my '81 300SD fixed that way.
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2005 Buick LeSabre (104K)
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1984 300D
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:20 PM
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