Now seat belts. This project turned out to be really quick and easy; much to my surprise after thinking about it and reading other tales and how to's on seat belt installs.
First I removed the seats and seat frame which revealed a very broken mount on the drivers side and some broken spot welds on the seat frame. PICTURE 2
cracket seat mount
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture after, but imagine that as a spider web of welds and a bit of new metal.
Center seat brace was much easier, drill out failed spot welds and plug weld to repair. PICTURE 3
seat brace before PICTURE 4
seat brace after
These are the belts I ordered pictured complete with invoice and part numbers. They all worked out fine however I'd get the fixed end longer next time though 20" does work OK (you'll see why later). PICTURE 5
seat belts and invoice
Where to mount them in the center?
I sat in the seat and measured/estimated that my hip was 5" from center as I'd normally sit/drive. So I installed the center anchors 10" apart and centered in the cab. They're as close to the riser as the hardware allows, 5/8". PICTURE 6
center seat belt anchor holes
This is the only tricky part where a little head scratching comes in. If you now pass those seat belt straps up through the seat they have to take a pretty circuitous rout to get out between the cushions. Ideally the seat belt straps are straight from anchor to your lap however this is not possible in an AD truck without modification.
Here's the modification, two slots in the seat frame back for them to exit from. PICTURE 7
belt slot layout PICTURE 8
belt slot cutting PICTURE 9
belt slot deburing/rounding
As you can see again 10" on center. Slots are 2.5" wide, 1/2" tall and centered about 5/8" down on the seat frame. Real easy to cut by first drilling the end holes and connect with jigsaw.
Did a good job softening the edges with file, deburing tool, and flossing with sand paper. I'll look into using a length of very small rubber hose split and fit over the sheetmetal to make a sort of grommet to further soften the edge. PICTURE 10
center belts installed.
The outside anchors for the retractors turned out to be exceptionally easy. I would use these same locations (or nearly so) and method for plain non retractable lap belts and also for shoulder belts. Figured this out by just holding the retractor about where it made good sense, allowed straight line to hips, and where it fit and where anchor plate/nut under the cab would fit.
These ended up being 3-5/8" back from the seat riser and at that point about 2-1/8" in from the radius edge of the cab floor. Drilled a small pilot hole from the top and then under the cab to drill/enlarge to full size, 7/16". PICTURE 11
outside belt hole locations PICTURE 12
approx. angle/assembly of retractor and angle bracket. PICTURE 13
Installed, same on other side.
This whole seat belt project including the weld repairs to my seat frame and mount only took a couple hours from removal to reinstalling the seats including head scratching and figuring out the plan. One of the only times I've ever completed a project in less time than I estimated.
Installing seat belts can be done without welding and without removing the gas tank!
The 20" center belts are shown at full extension, if you'd like the buckle to be at your front instead of your side then they'd need to be longer. The retractable part is plenty long to reach either way. PICTURE 14
seat belts done PICTURE 15
seat belt from the side
Next, prepping for the 4-5 hour drive to the Stovebolt Homecoming in a couple weeks. Homecoming Info