Lotus Elan

Stiff seatbelts

PostPost by: mbell » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:48 pm

RichardHawkins wrote:Cleaning old seat belts seems a bit risky to me.


Same here, no way to know the effect on the old material.

JonB wrote:Pretty sure the seatbelt will be the least of my problems in a crash.


SJ Sportscar list replacement belts at 40.90GBP and new plates at 15.80GBP. While I agree that new seat belts won't make the car magically safe I think the seat belts still offer some valuable protection in some crash types, e.g. frontal impacts. At the price point we're talking about it seems a very wise investment to me.

If you think about the time effort it will take to remove, strip, clean and rebuild your current belts, you'll be spending a lot of effort for not much saving versus just fitting replacement belts.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: alanr » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:30 am

I decided I didn't want to fit the seatbelts that Matty/SJS sell because they have a stalk for the inner locking part of the belt next to the centre tunnel console and only the later 130S/5's it seems have a cutout recess in the console to accomodate this stalk.
i have also looked at a couple of cars with these stalks sticking up and although they are a cost effective solution they don't look right to me not being of the original variety hence my decision to retain the seatbelt look with the chrome buckles etc and the Lotus badge.
Also some of the Anchor plates being sold are very flimsy to my way of thinking and not of the original plate thickness. The Anchors are two part, the bit under the arch and the bit inside the car to make up the sandwich. I got mine from Spyder Cars and they are as per the originals.
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'71 +2 S130/4
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:39 am

We'll see what we'll see when the trim comes out. It looks like my seat belts aren't original anyway, and the sides do not match.

Regarding the stalk for the buckle, I think it is beneficial as it holds the thing up when the seat is moved for rear passenger access (happens fairly often in my car). I've seen the recess in pictures but my car doesn't have it despite being a pretty late model (1973). I do wonder if the recess is in the trim moulding or simply the foam cut away under the vinyl, then the vinyl glued direct to the moulding; after all, I doubt very much that the chassis is altered. Maybe the insulation is cut back and there really is a step in the moulding?

I do have a concern with the stalk based buckles - the location of the buckle might put it in the wrong place - right over the hip bone - which could cause quite a bit of harm in a crash. I think you need it lower.

To that end, I wonder if a replacement seat with buckle attached, combined with a strengthened runner frame, bolted to the chassis, might be a better solution to the safety question. I fitted just such a seat to a kit car I built and it passed SVA with no comment, and have also seen pictures of a similar runner design on a racing Plus 2 (Foxie's, I think). This is a whole different kettle of bratwurst in terms of cost, though!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:43 am

+1 For new webbing or belts. The embedded grit or dirt in old webbing can wear away and the fibres. Then there's UV, and who knows what else it has been exposed to over its life. New webbing is cheep insurance.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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