Update on seatbelts - fixing retraction problems
This is my first full post after lurking for a while. I have seen a few threads about retracting issues. I noticed that there were a few fixes. I have incorporated a number of those fixes and decided it was time to tell all about the fixes that worked for me.
My car is a 2004 GU3 Patrol ST-L, The drivers seat was the worst, it would not retract and if you leaned forward it would sit there and have heaps of slack. My driver's belt was quite stiff and in the worst shape.
Buy some nylon trim tools for a about $20.
- Firstly, remove the tread plates, use the widest tool to lever up the plate and once you have one end lifted up, give a firm upward tug. Do this to both the front and back door plates for the target seatbelt.
- Remove door seal, grasp the end that was covered by the tread and slowly pull it out towards the middle of the door until it is past the trim line under the seat belt. pulling in this manner stops kinks and is gentler on the seal.
- Move the seat fully forward unbolt the seatbelt bolt near the floor, next move the trim that covers the seatbelt mechanism and discover where the clips are roughly 2 at the top and about 3 in the middle and 2 at the base.
- Grasp the trim as the top and give a slight tug to release the first 2. using a trim tool you release the the middle clips. for the bottom, one clip is the normal round type but the other is square and requires a flat head screw driver to lever it out.
Fixing the seatbelts and mechanism
- Remove the rest of the seatbelt mechanism and I usually put the bolts back in place to remember where they go. Only real gotcha is if you have adjustable sealtbelt height, you will need to remove the trim piece, To do this squeeze the adjuster with one hand so both buttons are depressed and pull the trim straight out.
Cleaning the seatbelt.
- Holding the mechanism upright, pull out all the belt and use as many pegs needed to keep the belt out. Move all the attached clips, buckles etc up near the mechanism and using wool wash and quite warm water soak the belt for a 5 -10 minutes. work the belt in the water to dissolve the impregnated dirt and oils. you may need to do this 3-4 times. On the final wash use clean water to rinse. Hang on the line to allow to drip dry for 24 hrs.
For some the next part may be controversial, and you will need a second pair of hands.
Add extra belt tension
- Take the belt off the line and while the belt is out, have one pair of hands hold the reel whilst someone picks out the stopper for the seatbelt. remove the steel stopper in the loop and remove the seatbelt.. ENSURE YOU DO NOT LET IT GO AS IT IS NOW FREE. wind the reel a further 2 full turns to add extra tension to the reel.
- To pull the belt back through, I used a piece of wire to loop through the belt to help pull it back through the slot.
-Once the belt is in the slot, put the steel pin back and seat the stopper home.
- If you are unsure about how to pull the seatbelt stopper out after reading this, do a google search for "increase seat belt tension" and look at a few videos.
-Essentially we are just winding the spring tighter.
Cleaning the surfaces the seatbelt runs on
- For the head of the belt at the top of the B pillar; using thin wire, pass it through the part the seatbelt runs through and use the wire to scrape the surface clean. It may be full of accumulated gunk.
- Do the same for the buckle that actually clicks you into the seat.
- Lastly, moisten a cloth with 'spray n wipe' and clean all surfaces of grime.
Replacement is the reverse of the above.
Benefits noticed post fix
- Seatbelt is now flexible and clean
Yes, the clean may have fixed the retraction issue but the tension on the belt for retracting and keeping tight to the body is now just right.
No, there is no ABS tensioning charges in the seatbelts so this does not affect the ABS pre-tensioning charges.
Time taken about 2 hrs for the work and 24 hrs for drying.
Hope this helps.
2004 3.0L DI ST with full NADS:
3" exhaust, Tillix/needle, EGR blanked, gauges and catchcan.... phew !!!
I'm only a beach driver with a caravan
Last edited by Squalo; 01-05-2015 at 12:48 PM.