dbdave26

Seatbelts and old cars

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Hmmmm?

I also met and married a girl from Canada.

If this keeps up, one day we'll be sharing war stories over cocktails. 

ūüė≥

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On 2/13/2020 at 5:57 PM, dbdave26 said:

My wife and I are planning to go on the Glidden Tour  this fall. I was told she would feel much safer if I installed seatbelts in our 1931 Buick Sport coupe.  I have concerns with fastening them to the wood frame under the seat. There is not a good place on the frame to attach them. I have looked at lots of videos and it looks like most are just fastened to the floor pans with big washers in later cars. I am looking for thoughts for guidance, or if this is even a good idea.

Thanks Dave

My two cents:

I have an off-topic, 88 year old, open (Roadster) 2 passenger vintage (sports) car that I've driven tens of thousands of miles in past 30 years, including several multi-thousand mile road trips and use it couple of times a month for spirited drives on twisty mountain roads with speeds often exceeding 60-70 mph.

It does have 60+ years old, vintage aircraft style lap belts, but I'm fully aware of their potential ineffectiveness and tell anyone riding with me, that seatbelts in a vehicle of this kind, even if they were the most modern racing type will likely offer no safety benefits in case of a serious accident or crash.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)

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Thanks guys. I didn't mean to  stir up a hornet's nest. I had my own thoughts both ways, which is why I sought out other opinions. I'll have the boss read through this and we'll have our own discussion. I really enjoy this forum. Keep up the great work!!

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It might vary by state/province/country. Yes, you might have to do that to satisfy local laws or placate family members. Sometimes appearance matters. For instance, unless something has changed in recent times, you are required windshield wipers in Washington State. You are not required a windshield.

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I sometimes try to stay out of these discussions because they are so motivated by bad laws and passions not considering real science. 

However, I would no more want to put seat belts in many open antique automobiles, and most certainly NOT my open era racing car, than I would recommend them used on a motorcycle! In solid enclosed type body styles? There MAY be some arguments in favor of them. However, the added safety is negligible at best. there MAY be some benefit to restraining children these days that have not been taught to mind their parents or grandparents.

Open cars? Consider being belted onto a motorcycle flipping and tumbling along at fifty miles per hour before adding seat belts. Probably better to risk being thrown free?

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without intending any comment on the advisability, I do not believe any US state requires retrofitting safety equipment  that was not required at the car's date of manufacture.  Includes directionals, safety glass, seat belts.  Doesn't mean you can't decide it's a good idea.

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1 hour ago, bryankazmer said:

without intending any comment on the advisability, I do not believe any US state requires retrofitting safety equipment  that was not required at the car's date of manufacture.  Includes directionals, safety glass, seat belts.  Doesn't mean you can't decide it's a good idea.


I don’t know if the laws are still on the books, but at one point I believe KY Or TN required them to be added. I do not believe enforcement of this happened. I just recall the conversation on a tour. 

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9 hours ago, ted sweet said:

if law is followed in nys nobody under 18 is allowed in a vehiles while not using a seat belt

 

Only if the vehicle was so equipped from the factory.

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Many formula cars had no seatbelts because the cockpit was so tight there would be no way to fasten them, they were literally "cars you wore". And the reclining, arms out position was not for comfort, rather aerodynamics - minimal height and ares out meant no need to accommodate elbows.

 

Did have a belt snap once and was ejected. Good thing because the E-type was in a high speed roll. Still always wear seat belts.

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For many decades I owned and drove a 1931 Franklin with a Derham body. When I married and had a son we wanted him along and not just to put a car seat in the back seat and let it float at will! I put seat belts back there to strap the car seat in with. Yes, the Franklin had wood floor boards. What I did was take a 1/4 to 3/8 inch steel plate about 6 inches square and drill a hole at the center to let the bolt ( 3/4 inch or larger) ) to fit through. I sandwiched the steel plates on top and below the wood floor boards and then bolted the seat belts in. Sure I had a hole in the floor boards now but that was covered by carpet.

One can argue that sure the car had wood body framing, alloy sheet metal etc. but the chance of getting t boned or broadsided enough to roll the car over on its side or several times was the chance you have to take - even in a modern car! Never had an issue in thousands of miles.

Just an observation and solution I felt comfortable with  . If you intend to add seat belts ( lap belts) on a car with wood floor boards then use steel plates on both sides of the wood.

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I have always had cars wirh suicide doors and install seat belts in all of them.  I'm not a NASCAR racer, nor do I drive on super highways or speedways in my antique car.  I wear seat belts to keep me in the car.   (On the 1998 Glidden Tour at Mt. Washington NH,  we stopped for gas and on leaving the gas station, when I got to 50 MPH and the drivers door flew open.   Damaged the car, but not me;.) 

 55 ears ago I rode in a small car in a test of seat belts at my Air Force Base.  The car rolled down a ramp at 5 MPH and hit a stop.   Force was great enough at 5 MPH for me to always have seat belts in all my cars.

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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Here's my thoughts; Fastened to the wood body/ floor boards you are a passenger in the body as it flying from the frame not good   or you fastened to the frame you have the body flying off and it's trying to pull you off with it not good.   Mike 

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6 hours ago, ted sweet said:

thats not what nys says. no mention of an exemption for old cars

 

Refer to the 5th bullet below -- 1964 and older are exempt.

Highlights of New York State's occupant restraint law:

  • In the front seat, the driver and each passenger must wear a seat belt, one person per belt. The driver and front-seat passengers aged 16 or older can be fined up to $50 each for failure to buckle up.
  • Every occupant, regardless of age or seating position, of a motor vehicle being operated by the holder of a Class-DJ Learner Permit, a Limited Class-DJ, or Class-DJ Driver License must be restrained by a safety restraint.
  • Each passenger under age 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate child safety restraint system. The restraint system must comply with the child height and weight recommendations determined by the manufacturer. Depending on the size of the child, the restraint system may be a safety seat or a booster seat used in combination with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • The driver must make sure that each passenger under age 16 obeys the law. The driver can be fined $25 to $100 and receive three driver license penalty points for each violation.
  • Seat belt use is not required in emergency vehicles, 1964 or older vehicles, or by passengers in buses other than school buses (seat belt use may be required by the school district). Rural letter Carriers are also exempt while they are delivering mail.
  • Effective November 1, 2017, the driver and each front seat passenger aged 16 or older must wear a seat belt in taxi and livery vehicles.

 

https://dmv.ny.gov/brochure/new-york-states-occupant-restraint-law

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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The rules are different here:

Florida law requires the use of safety belts for all drivers and passengers in all motorized vehicles, except:

  • A person certified with a physician as having a medical condition that causes seat belt use to be inappropriate or dangerous. (Keep a copy of certification while driving/being driven).
  • Employee of a newspaper home delivery service while delivering newspapers.
  • School buses purchased new prior to December 31, 2000.
  • Buses used for transportation of persons for compensation.
  • Farm equipment.
  • Trucks of a net weight of more than 26,000 pounds.

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/vehicle-safety/buckle-up-florida-its-the-law/

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4 hours ago, padgett said:

The rules are different here:

Florida law requires the use of safety belts for all drivers and passengers in all motorized vehicles, except:

  • A person certified with a physician as having a medical condition that causes seat belt use to be inappropriate or dangerous. (Keep a copy of certification while driving/being driven).
  • Employee of a newspaper home delivery service while delivering newspapers.
  • School buses purchased new prior to December 31, 2000.
  • Buses used for transportation of persons for compensation.
  • Farm equipment.
  • Trucks of a net weight of more than 26,000 pounds.

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/vehicle-safety/buckle-up-florida-its-the-law/

 

While I read the link that Mr P provided I don't think that the State of Florida can make an owner install seat belts in a vehicle that did not have them when new, I think it was an oversight by the author..  In Florida for those who might not know there is no state inspection safety or emission. So if seat belt installation was mandatory there is no way for the state to police it. As a part time resident of Florida for the past 10 years I have seen some of the biggest pieces of junk on the road in the State of Florida. Vehicles that are just unsafe, and if there was just a safety inspection those vehicles would be off the road.

 

Going back to original topic, I am in the process now of looking into seat belts for my son's 53 Chevy to secure car seats. Modern car seats seem to require modern restraint systems  

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Yes, the seatbelt law is considered secondary here. If an officer makes a traffic stop and observes someone not wearing a belt, that will also be cited. Police and Highway Patrol are also responsible (and do) issue equipment violations.

 

Inspections were such a boondoggle here (hours long backup, only state inspection stations, that the public revolted and the inspections (which included comprehensive brake tests on dynos) was cancelled  and only a smog test in the 5 densest population counties  - Floida used to prefix the plate with a county number (1-68). 69 was for out-of-state registrations.

 

Now here is where my memory and the web remember different things. There it says the in depth inspections stopped in 1981, and smog only was revived in Dade, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Duval and Broward counties in 1991 and abolished in 2000. Keep in mind that most air reaching Florida comes over 3,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean first. We have nothing resembling the "Valley of Smoke".

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Trying to get this topic back on track again, has anyone else ran into the car seat problem as well?

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On 2/13/2020 at 5:57 PM, dbdave26 said:

 I was told she would feel much safer if I installed seatbelts in our 1931 Buick Sport coupe...

Thanks Dave

 

Dave-

It seems to me that most of the replies here are not addressing your costumers requirements.   

Your customer wants to 'feel' safer; this has nothing to do with 'being' safer.

Put a seat belt in the car and put the ends under the seat. 

Attach them with a tie-wrap or something similar.

Easy.  Customer feels safer. 

Done.

 

 

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Many of the historic races REQUIRE seat belts, thanks of course to the lawyers and insurance companies. SHHHH! Its a secret. I know of several people very active in those historic races that have the seat belts attached to wood by very short and small screws. They do not want to be tied to a flipping car any more than I would. Sometimes, it is the perception that is important. If someone wants to "feel" safer? No real harm in putting belts in. And if one really NEEDS that perception? Do a decent install, but be careful what you say. Don't make promises the car cannot keep.

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Just an observation but the last time I looked the Orlando phone book had more lawyers than doctors.

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On 2/15/2020 at 8:22 PM, dbdave26 said:

. I'll have the boss read through this and we'll have our own discussion.

 

Always best to seek adult supervision.

 

My two cents, you could get hurt installing with your own design. Just think about what happened right before you heard a person say "I thought".

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If it is a customer I would decline.

To much liability for a not so much profit job.

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