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1st Generation Seatbelt Retractor


XframeFX
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With winter underway. I'd like to do some refinements to my '63.

Aftermarket seatbelts were installed in the rear but I don't find them acceptable for the front. So I re-installed original black "General Tube" lapbelts in my fresh Red Interior, for now.

So, looking for a pair of '65 Riviera Lapbelts with Retractors. Preferably "Black" incase I can't get them re-webbed in Red. The retractor covers can be easily changed to Red.

I will check with Snake Oyl, but not sure if the Retractors are '65 Riviera only? Covers, '65 Riviera only? Sample pictured.

TX

SeatBelt_Retractor_1965_Riviera.png

Edited by XframeFX (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, psychostang said:

Good luck dude!  I've been looking for almost 2 years.  I still haven't foud a set of  65 front retradtor seat belts.  The most important  part, is the lower bracket and cover.  I think you'll have a better chance of being hit by lightning!  :D

Still on the look out for you! 👍

Tom

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Sounds like 2 other sagas (among many issues that are not sagas). 1) Power panel on the driver's door with Power vent switch and 2) That elusive '65 Riviera Shifter.

The latter has been resolved with a purchase here in Canada just 2-weeks ago. I now have 2 Dynaflow Shifters and 3 Shifters for 1965 Riviera. The first two  '65 shifters being absolute junk.

So, the retractor lower bracket and cover, '65 Riviera only? I've had several late '60s GM products with these retractors but never dealt with them.

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22 minutes ago, XframeFX said:

Sounds like 2 other sagas (among many issues that are not sagas). 1) Power panel on the driver's door with Power vent switch and 2) That elusive '65 Riviera Shifter.

The latter has been resolved with a purchase here in Canada just 2-weeks ago. I now have 2 Dynaflow Shifters and 3 Shifters for 1965 Riviera. The first two  '65 shifters being absolute junk.

So, the retractor lower bracket and cover, '65 Riviera only? I've had several late '60s GM products with these retractors but never dealt with them.

That is correct John, the `65 floor mounted retractors have a separate base which has a "hook" which indexes into a hole in the top side of the rocker panel area. Not quite sure about the `66 floor mounted retractor but I dont think it has the hook. I`m sure you know the `63, as far as being factory correct, should have a belt mounted retractor if a retractor is present.

Tom Mooney

Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)
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Yes, belt mounted seat retractors for the '63. I believe they were an option. I only have the original Black Lapbelts w/o retractors  which are pretty crusty with age.

I wanted the '65 arrangement for a cleaner look and hide the anchor bolt. Don't care if I have retractors or not. But you reminded me of aftermarket belt mounted retractors I have with new aftermarket lapbelts I don't like. Too long. Also, it uses an ugly grade-5 7/16" bolt. To use the original anchor bolt, I have to drill out the holes in those aftermarket lapbelts. However, I do have them so I might as well go that route.

A final option would be to have Snake Oyl re-web the original lapbelts in Red. But then, the chrome tabs are rusty.

So, '63s will not have that indexing hole?

Thank-You

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I managed to come across a set from a ‘65 Riviera. They will go in my wife’s ‘63 Riviera. The floor has the spot already. 

Here are pictures of the belt assembly. There’s a stamped metal piece that the retractor assembly is mounted to. I would think , that piece could be duplicated. So should the plastic cover piece that goes over it. The retractor is the same as used in all the rest of GM models of this era. The covers for the retractor are already reproduced. As far as that goes, the deluxe seat belts are reproduced and available from aftermarket sources. 

Loren

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A78F57E8-6379-4840-A9DE-488B2CCFB3D2.jpeg

519FC20B-540F-4564-A0BB-C83A2317DA91.jpeg

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Morning Loren,

  So did you find the welded, floor mounted anchor nut for the bolt or did you find the hole which the hook indexes into? Or both?

  You mentioned the custom belts being available in the aftermarket? Are the retractor style belts available or the bolt down version without retractors?

  If it matters at all the markings on the repro covers are not the same as the originals. I`m sure it doesnt matter to most but to the purists it may matter.

Tom

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Thanks Loren, pictures too. I now know more. I've had them before but never paid close attention until now.
That adapter plate appears to have a cover as well. So, a standard upper and a specific lower cover?

Your Adapter needs to be separated from the retractor, blasted and painted.

I had to repair my Driver's outboard anchor because the square nut ripped away from the tack welds. Aftermarket was useful this time with a large plate below the under belly in the original hole.

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11 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Morning Loren,

  So did you find the welded, floor mounted anchor nut for the bolt or did you find the hole which the hook indexes into? Or both?

  You mentioned the custom belts being available in the aftermarket? Are the retractor style belts available or the bolt down version without retractors?

  If it matters at all the markings on the repro covers are not the same as the originals. I`m sure it doesnt matter to most but to the purists it may matter.

Tom

I found both, the nut and the slot. Both retractor and bolt down belts  are available. I think they are only available in red and black  The Parts Place has both styles.  I guess there is one small advantage to restoring Skylarks, I occasionally stumble across similarities to help with the Riviera.

 I will take a much closer look at the aftermarket covers. I don't recall there being any differences.

2 hours ago, XframeFX said:

Thanks Loren, pictures too. I now know more. I've had them before but never paid close attention until now.
That adapter plate appears to have a cover as well. So, a standard upper and a specific lower cover?

Your Adapter needs to be separated from the retractor, blasted and painted.

I had to repair my Driver's outboard anchor because the square nut ripped away from the tack welds. Aftermarket was useful this time with a large plate below the under belly in the original hole.

Yes the adaptor plate does have a separate cover.  You are very correct that I will need to restore the adaptor plate as was the belts themselves. 

Those anchor plates you mentioned for your repair are available in different styles . One of those is identical to the plates welded at factory for rear seat belt mounting.

 

  Loren

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11 hours ago, Loren@65GS.com said:

I found both, the nut and the slot. Both retractor and bolt down belts  are available. I think they are only available in red and black  The Parts Place has both styles.  I guess there is one small advantage to restoring Skylarks, I occasionally stumble across similarities to help with the Riviera.

 I will take a much closer look at the aftermarket covers. I don't recall there being any differences.

Yes the adaptor plate does have a separate cover.  You are very correct that I will need to restore the adaptor plate as was the belts themselves. 

Those anchor plates you mentioned for your repair are available in different styles . One of those is identical to the plates welded at factory for rear seat belt mounting.

 

  Loren

Thanks Loren, good to know, I wasnt sure about the hole for the "hook".

I was aware of the bolt down reproductions but didnt know about the retractor type version, thanks again.

The repro covers versus original have different company names/logos and the molded model numbers are different.

Tom

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On 11/23/2020 at 9:14 PM, Loren@65GS.com said:

I found both, the nut and the slot. Both retractor and bolt down belts  are available. I think they are only available in red and black  The Parts Place has both styles.  I guess there is one small advantage to restoring Skylarks, I occasionally stumble across similarities to help with the Riviera.

 I will take a much closer look at the aftermarket covers. I don't recall there being any differences.

Yes the adaptor plate does have a separate cover.  You are very correct that I will need to restore the adaptor plate as was the belts themselves. 

Those anchor plates you mentioned for your repair are available in different styles . One of those is identical to the plates welded at factory for rear seat belt mounting.

 

  Loren

Loren, thanks again for steering me to the parts place. "Red or Black Only". Red suits me fine! But whoa, that's $500 my dollar! I guess no 4-Note Horn if I splurge for this.

Not sure what is meant by "Bolt Down Belts"? I think below includes just the top part (retractor). I'll still require the bottom (blue circle)? Type of bolt used, same as inboard?

So, would my early '63 have the slot as well?

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Hi John,

  By "bolt down" belt I was referring to the standard type belt which has a metal end which bolts directly to the floor. If you look at the pic you posted above, the end of the belt in the retractor is sewn in a loop so the barrel of the retractor accepts the end.

  I doubt the repro retractor has the Riviera only base but I have notheld one in my hand. Considering this seller I wonder how the quality compares to the originals, especially the female buckle ends.

  Generally the bolt which holds down the retractor base is not chrome, but anodized or zinc chromate plated and does not have a pronounced shank, or unthreaded section, below the bolt head because it is designed to bolt solidly to the floor. The inboard positions with bolt down ends will have a section below the bolt head which is not threaded so the metal belt ends can pivot on the bolt after the bolt is tightend into the floor.

  The attachment is from an NOS seat belt set.

  Hope this helps,

Tom

seat belt bolts Fisher Body.jpg

Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)
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Tom, many thanks. Becoming clearer now. If I encountered an actual '65 Riviera, I wouldn't have all these questions!

I have the same assumption as you on those repro lapbelt sets with retractors. Tempting as Red is, no Riviera base. Not likely to find that base in anything else than a '65 Riviera. I encountered a '68 Riviera on Friday and it has a vertical anchor bolt where those repro sets would bolt right in.

Thanks for that anchor bolt info, a big help!

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On 11/21/2020 at 3:29 PM, XframeFX said:

With winter underway. I'd like to do some refinements to my '63.

Aftermarket seatbelts were installed in the rear but I don't find them acceptable for the front. So I re-installed original black "General Tube" lapbelts in my fresh Red Interior, for now.

So, looking for a pair of '65 Riviera Lapbelts with Retractors. Preferably "Black" incase I can't get them re-webbed in Red. The retractor covers can be easily changed to Red.

I will check with Snake Oyl, but not sure if the Retractors are '65 Riviera only? Covers, '65 Riviera only? Sample pictured.

TX

SeatBelt_Retractor_1965_Riviera.png

Hi XFrameXF - Deja vu... or is that a photo of my interior!?!  Darn sure looks like it.  I'll take it as a compliment. :)

 

Anyhow, just so you know, the seat belt retractor housings pictured aren't the original ones - those cracked a long time ago.  Esp. the passenger one.  I could never get my wife to gently retract the belt into the housing by hand.  Most times she would just let go of the belt and 'WHACK" it would rap against the housing.  Sure enough this slowly destroyed the retractor cover, already brittle with age.  So, about a dozen years ago I found repro ones that looked almost identical from a place that sold Chevelle parts.  I think similar plastic housings were used across several GM lines back in the '60's.  They came molded in black and I painted them to match my Verde Green interior.

 

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On 11/24/2020 at 10:46 AM, 1965rivgs said:

I was aware of the bolt down reproductions but didn't know about the detractor type version, thanks again.

The repro covers versus original have different company names/logos and the molded model numbers are different.

 

Far from just a Riviera issue—why can't folks show the attention to detail to make good reproductions? Are we the few who care?

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Many of us restore used or do fabrication because of no reproduced parts especially if the part is not visible. If the part is reproduced, one should do research and demand images showing details. The reproduced parts must live up to expectations or why bother going to great lengths to get it to your door?

For images. I am perplexed on why vendors think its OK to show seatbelt sets LATCHED and no scale along side a part made in different sizes!

In this case, it was eventually made obvious that the repro retractor set in Red above does NOT include the Bases for the '65 Riviera application. The Vendor never replied to my e-mail. So, I'm not proceeding with a purchase.

Research, research. Post, post. Share, share!

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