Lotus Elan

S1 Seat Belts

PostPost by: Ianashdown57 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:42 pm

My S1 has no seat belts. I'm not sure if it would have been supplied with them (US spec) but there do appear to be horizontal mountings on each side just behind the seat for the lap straps. There is also a horizontal mounting in the rear bulkhead just below the top rim, just about central to each seat, is this the Shoulder Strap mount?

Can anyone with an S1 send or post a picture or two?

I'm just finding out that new seat belts are not readily available. Does anyone, who is perhaps competing with their Elan and using a full harness, have an orginal set of seat belts? Condition is not important and they can be refurbished.

Many thanks,

Ian
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:33 pm

Ian,

By the mid sixties, seat belts became mandatory in the US. I know this as my father bought a 63 Buick new and shortly afterwards had to have a set installed. He had it done at the dealer

Your S1 has the eyelets near the floor for those seat belts. At that period of time they were most likely just seat belts dealer installed with no shoulder harness. If there is a third eyelet behind the seats where the bolt goes into the rear uprights, that was most likely added later by a previous owner or by someone who was using the vehicle for competitive events.

A shoulder harness is better than no shoulder harness but you must be careful not to tighten the shoulder belts too tight. If tightened too much the shoulder belts will pull the seat belts up. The seat belts should fasten across your hips. If the belt gets pulled up too high, the belt will then be just under your ribs and in an accident can damage your diaphragm and other organs.

In a race car, this is alleviated by using a 4th or 5th belt between your legs call a submarine belt. This belt keeps the waist belt from being pulled too high when tightening the shoulder belts.

Original belts would have been just a waist belt with a chrome buckle. Many people if the era used an aircraft belt with leather under the metal quick release faster. Both of these styles are still available today from a number if different sources. Look on ebay or google seat belts. If i find some on the web I'll post the url's.

Street use belts on an S1 or an S2 can be a challenge but well worth the effort. That wooden steering wheel doesn't do your chest much good either!!!

Frank
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:48 pm

Ian,

I just took a quick glance on eBay under chrome seat belts. You can also search under just seat belts. There are hundreds, maybe thousands available.

Here is one example of a chrome buckled belt similar to what would have originally been installed on your S1. This is an eBay item number. Just enter it in the search field.


Item #: 251348623573


Frank
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:30 am

Ian,

The "horizontal mounting" behind each seat are the body mounts to the rear frame uprights. I definitely would NOT mount a conventional shoulder strap there as you'd likely injure yourself in a crash. If you are using a Y type racing shoulder harness, that would be another story and that bolt may be a suitable mount.

Later Elans had a bracket mounted to the rear uprights (rear shock tower, if you prefer) which provided a somewhat robust mounting point for conventional shoulder belts. I believe these mounts are still available, or if not shouldn't be too hard to fabricate. Here's a link to RD Enterprises' most excellent online parts diagram showing the bracket (item #2, p/n 036B0398

http://www.rdent.com/manuals/elan/chassis/AA.gif
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: Ianashdown57 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:45 pm

Hi,

It seems the best plan is to stael the belt from my 68 (Coup?) and have them refurbished by the Snake Oyl people. They seem to do a nice job. The 68 is a long way from needing belts and I will not be as picky about originality as I am with the 64 S1.

I have the mounts for the Lap Straps in the car, but there does not appear to have been anything built in to the chassis for the shoulder strap. I'm sure I can just weld a boss to the latice but I wonder if someone has a photograph of the location of the attachment point location in a roadster so I can try to be somewhat correct.

Many thanks,

Ian
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PostPost by: collii » Tue May 22, 2018 1:51 pm

Hi All,

I just bought a UK S1 Elan which came with seat belts, but I've no idea if they are lotus fit or aftermarket.
Can anybody help?

The clasp says Rj or Ri on them.
They have the BSI marking on the rear of the clasp.
Here is a photo.

Thanks,
Col.
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belts.jpg and
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