Monday, 12 November 2012

Fitting new retractible securon seat belts

For me, classic cars must be usable cars. I can understand people collecting very important pieces, but wont understand why they store them as they where a piece of art and never use them.

That said, you all know khow I appreciate to keep cars in a very original way with period accessories and so one, but sadly, its not always possible.

My car had the original Kangool Magnet seat belts in a very good condition, lets say 8 over 10. Webbing was perfect and chrome just showed some light pitting. Therefore they could be used with no problem.

Bad news was they are old seat belts with manual adjustment making them a pain for daily use, specially if many different people are going to use the car, as each one would need to adjust it. Also when using a child seat of course....

So I took the arguable decision to change them for a pair of modern retractable set. And I say arguable, because yes, many people will say I am stupid. Not only because I change them, but because I would sell them. As I am on a budget I sold them to get some "financial support" to buy the new ones.

Any way, here is how I made it......

The new seat belts had to be from Securon, a UK based company, well known for making universal seatbelts specially for classic cars. They are EU approved of course. The correct ones for the spridgets are  pn 514/30, available through most classic car retailers and ebay. This time, I opted to buy from WelshMG, which has a huge stock of second hand parts, so I could buy some things at the same time. Price was one of the best I could find, and customer service was great.

Spridgets have had 2 ways of attaching original seat belts:
-early spridgets: 2 thinner bolts on the wheel arch
-later spridgets: 1 thicker bolt on the wheel arch

Securon seatbelts come with brackets for the later ones, that will use a single bolt to attach it, so my instructions are referred to the early ones with the 2 thinner bolts. Of course, if your car is a very very early car an has original seat belts (as they where an extra), or even no holes, then you will need to guess your own way to fit them. But as far as I know, all chassis should come with holes already drilled.

As original seat belt had 2 holes on the wheel arch, I had to make a plate with 3 holes. A 3mm steel sheet would be strong . The shape was cut with a small angle grinder and a cutting disk. Two holes of 9mm for the smaller screws and one hole of about 11mm for the big one.

It is necessary to bend slightly the plate, to clear the space for the big screw. Just a few degrees, about 5º.

A coat of black paint finished the job. But I was thinking that I will send them to chrome in the near future, that should make a good finish.

Installation was easy on the drivers side, but the clamp position needs to be changed as it comes facing the inside. The way to change it is easy, just twist the webbing 180º and slide the clamp, don’t be afraid.

Now came the problem.... securon seat belts are not handed, and once installed, the copilots side seat belt has an off set, therefore the plate I made could not be used as the hole need to be about 2,5cm off.  So I had to make a new plate for this side.

Finally, all it rest was to lock the mechanism. Securon seat belts are universal, and can be used with any angle. On my spridget, the mechanism would lay in an horizontal position. To make the retractable system work correctly, you just need to turn the side knobs and make the arrow point to a vertical position. A little of fiddling would make the job.

Please beware that you are dealing with safety equipment and you always have to think twice before making any change. These instructions are the way I made it..... my way.

Hope my experience helps others, as all the information I could find to fit securon seatbelts on the internet, always reffers to the later spridgets with one thick bolt. On early ones, ALWAYS use both bolts. If the engineers had though one thin screw was strong enough, whey would have used it. If they decided to use two, then it's necessary.


  1. Excellent article and good photos,your site is very helpful to others going through the same work and is just fun to follow.

  2. De gran ayuda ahora que acabo de abrir la caja y sostengo el chisme sin saber qué hacer. Gracias por colgarlo.