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Child seat restraint


Ted Davenport
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Really?!?!?!?<P>With my 88, you CAN NOT install a child seat beacuse of the seat belt system. The seat belt itself does not lock. Only in the event of a collision. A new seat belt has to be ordered from GM. Plus, the seat back does not lock. Atleast mine doesn't. You can not install a child seat in a position where the seat back will come forward.<P>I'm beginning to be like a broken record with this child seat issue, but I LOVE my car. As of now, I can not take my daughter anywhere in it. <P>Good Luck!!! If you come up with anything, please post it!!!!!!!

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This question has come up over the last three years and there were several legitimate suggestions.<P>First the seat back can be locked in the up or back position by attaching a strap from the cargo strap tie down (in front of the storage compartment) to the post of the headrest.<P>The child seat can be then strapped to the seat using luggage or cargo straps purchased from the local home center.

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Barney, I've thought of trying your suggestion, but decided it wasn't safe. Also, its illegal (in Canada, not sure about the US). <P>I guess the Reatta just wasn't designed as a "family" car. Can you blame them? There are plenty of family sedans, but only a dozen or so 2 seater sport luxury automobiles.

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Guest spikey

I had a seperate seat belt installed in my reatta 8 years ago specifically to hold the car seat in place. It is bolted to the floor and by moving the seat all the way back, connecting the seat belt then moving the seat foreward I get a very snug fit. Each of my kids rode shotgun with me during their pre-school years (I enrolled them in a pre-school near my work place, so they commuted in the am and pm with me)and it was priceless. <P>I didn't have any problems with the seat back - I used a full bucket type car seat and the seat back could NOT move foreward. So I was comfortable with the set up. <P>I remember that when I was taking with the dealership describing what I wanted them to do seat-belt wise, they suggested just sitting the car seat on the back shelf .. go figure that one ! But the real bottomline is...if you are concerned about the safety, then by all means, save the reatta for adults only. <P>Spikey

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I think that what Spikey is describing is very similar to what is in my '90 manual. It looks like a separate belt. I have tried calling around, and Buick has no idea what I'm talking about. Maybe I should bring in the manual, and show it to the parts guy...

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Guest spikey

Ted?,<P>I had a lot of problems getting the dealership to understand what I wanted. I finally had my brother-in-law who worked a parts counter order the part for me, then I took it to the dealership and had them install it. I was very happy with the results.<P>Do you have the part number or would you like me to go thru my paperwork and see if I can find it ?<P>Spikey

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Guest spikey

Ted, Canadian Girl:<P>Sorry it took so long to get back to you...but I have the info !<P>The invoice reads:<P>VE PART DES GRP LIST<BR>*S 012340752 HDWE/53008 21.65<BR>*S 012340286 bELT 53007 15.20<P>My note on the invoice says 'parts catalog group 21-041B'<P>It cost me about 35.00 to have it installed at Congressional Oldsmobile, Rockville Md in 1995. <P>It is essentially a lap belt bolted to the floor that I thread thru the back of the car seat instead of using the lap/shoulder belt that comes standard in the car. It should work with any model year and is quite stable.<P>I hope this helps - let me know how it turns out !

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  • 9 months later...

After researching our state's laws regarding child seats, it seems a Reatta can be made legal, IF the correct seat belt is present (retractable mechanisms circumvented - no mention of seat tilting, although Barney's idea sounds like a good one).

I found the aux. child seat belt kit at a swap meet several years ago.

Unfortunately, there was not a "hardware kit" with it.

Can someone describe what is in the kit?

Bolts? Other hardware?

Also, does anyone have the installation instructions (mine were lost in a residence move)?

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Just from an engineering standpoint, I can see no reason why a child seat could not be mounted securely and safely behind the seats in a coupe.

First thought would be to buy an extra rear compartment cover and permanently mount the car seat to it so that the back is braced by the rear bulkhead then add a standard lap belt with re-enforcement plate through the bulkhead so that it fastens normally to the seat.

Only question is whether there would be adequate leg room for the child.

Do some seats have the child facing backwards ? (son is now 25 so has been a while...)

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padgett:

Thanks for your response.

Originally, when I bought the car in 1998, I thought that the "cargo clips" also might double as a child seat mounting system. If they are only plastic (I think they are), I'm not sure I'd trust them. If they are painted metal, then maybe, depending on the type of metal. Anyway, we found the aux. belt kit..... even if it does require some modifications to install..... now all we need is the hardware kit.

It is my understanding that infant seats face rearward (like the one we just bought) and then the later-year's booster seats face forward.

The only problems I would see with putting the child in the rear would be exposure, clearance, and legality.

The child would be exposed to the "greenhouse" rear window all of the time.... which could be very bright and possibly hot. The kid would have a great view though, but may need "infant sunglasses"?

The clearance required for the seat (rear to front as well as height) may not be enough. The seat we just bought has an infant carrier which locks in to a base which gets belted in. It uses every bit of the base of a bucket seat (and more) and actually required the front seat to be moved a bit forward for added clearance and also has the child raised rather high which may be too close to the greenhouse rear window. Also, if an accident were to occur and the rear window were to shatter...

There also may be a legality issue. Every legal document I've seen so far (for several states) all refer to "approved" systems. I probably could get fined (or worse if something happened). The government continues to make laws to protect us from ourselves... which is not always a bad thing.

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First, the intent of the law is for the child to be safe. Laws may vary but would expect an approved car seat, firmly mounted in its proper orientation in the car to meet that intent. In other words a LEO would really have to stetch to cite it.

Statistics show that children are always safer in a rear compartment than a front seat, in fact some states require it.

Greenhouse effect could be a problem but not if the window is tinted, even in Florida summers I do not notice any major difference in the rear.

Florida law simply says that:

- All children under the age of 18 must be buckled up while riding in any car, pickup truck, or van on Florida's roads, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle.

- All children under 5 years of age or younger must be properly restrained no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle.

- Children through age 3 must be secured in a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child safety seat.

- For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child safety seat, or a safety belt may be used. ( (FL Statute 316.613) ).

Makes you wonder what a "separate carrier" is.

I would interpret this to mean that a properly secured and oriented federally approved child seat located anywhere in the passenger compartment would meet this requirement since it does not say that the child seat must be located in a passenger seat. (IANL, YMMV)

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Point well taken.

PA laws seem to be more vague than other states I've looked at (DE, MD, and certainly FL from what you've provided).... which could be good since it would seem to allow more interpretation.

I would not be so worried about being pulled over and cited by a LEO for specifically the placement of the seat, since it is a secondary offense in PA to do so, but rather if something happened and harm came to the child. It was an uphill battle with my in-laws (obviously not knowledgeable about the subject) to prove a child seat was even "legal" in a 2 seater let alone have to deal with the repercussions of an incident related to an installation which was not officially "approved".

Another alternative would be to investigate the usage of "ring clips" or "ring hooks" (non-technical term). The carrier base we bought includes a short belt with spring loaded "clip" hooks at each end (similar to the type used on dog chains) which can be attached to (rear) bench seats with "rings" already in place for such usage. I didn't read up on this attachment since our Rendezvous doesn't have them, but these may work well on the Reatta's cargo rings (assuming they are strong enough). I'm not sure what orientation the child seat would need to be in though. mmmm.... I'll investigate this evening.

Thanks for the planting the idea.

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I would not consider using the cargo tiedowns for childseat retainers. The bottom ones are attached with two sheet metal screws each. The upper one is attached with two 3/16" bolts to a member that isn't strong enough to take much abuse. You would need a hardened bolt sandwiched to the sheet metal with large flat washers, to a crossmember if possible.

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A few more tidbits.....

The label on the box which my "swap meet" kit came in is partially torn away, but I can make out ...340752 which is the partial number of the hardware kit listed in this thread, so I believe I have at least part of what I need.

There are several components;

- a strap with 2 brackets #20722546 (label part # 2074144 (6 or 8) "date model: 0304 4 J05D"

- an adjustable extender belt labeled "INFANT/CHILD SEAT RESTRAINT BELT" #20713401 and is also labeled as a "GATEWAY". This may also double as a seat belt extender for "large" people.

- several latches and a buckle. I don't think I need all of the latches or the buckle.

- The original installation instructions for the INFANT SEAT adapter kit (actually a 5 page document and a 1 page summary) is part number 12396288 (5-pages) and the part number 12392249 (1-pager)(I believe these are the instruction sheet part numbers rather than the kit #s?). The 5-pager refers to using a bolt 20247145(?)(I can barely make it out).

- The '91 service manual (SM) (10-11-7) refers to part number 20688115 (tether anchor hardware kit) and the text and and illustrations are for a CHILD seat only, not an INFANT seat.

- The '91 owner's manual (OM) shows illustrations of the extender/restraint belt and is captioned as a "Infant/Child Seat Restraint Belt", but provides no part #s.

INFANT SEAT MOUNTING

It seems for an infant seat (according to the instructions and the OM), a strap with 2 brackets #20722546 gets mounted (with the longer bolt, not included?) to the passenger side retractor mounting (carpet and cover must be cut). The extender/gateway restraint belt #20713401, with 2 spring-clip hooks at each end, gets hooked to this and latched into the stock seat belt buckle at the console using one of the additional latches. The end result is a non-retractable ("legal and safe") lap belt.

CHILD SEAT MOUNTING

As for the SM, OM and the child seat instructions, the strap with 2 brackets #20722546 gets bolted to the upper-left "rear compartment access door" frame. The gateway/extender restraint belt #20713401 gets clipped to it and goes over the top of the passenger side seat and hooks to the top of the child seat. This arrangement would leave the lap and shoulder belt still "stock" retractable (which may not be legal or safe). An additional extender belt may need to be used and installed like the infant seat configuration above for the lap belt although there is no mention anywhere of needing two.

Hope this additional info. helps any future/current parents....

(thanks for the photos, Mike!)

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