I am going to add seatbelts to my 41 AK and am wondering if anyone has installed shoulder belts on one of these and what kinds of problems you ran into?
Right now I have a bare cab sitting on the shop floor so it seems like the right time to make any changes. I have not decided if I am going to go with an aftermarket bench seat or put in some expensive buckets for comfort but, it seems either way the seat belts would be a similar project. If anyone has done this what kind of shoulder brackets did you use? Any issues with the gas filler tube getting in the way?
If this is too much work and/or trouble I may just go with lap belts and forget it. Any thoughts or advice on installation for shoulder belts?
My understanding is most if not all states do not require seatbelts of any kind for this vehicle but apparently there is an issue with Federal highways requiring some kind of seatbelts but probably not shoulder belts ?? I intend to take the truck cross country when done so I want to be legal and as safe as possible. I really don't need to deal with child safety seats etc. I drove this exact type vehicle 40 years ago with lap belts only and had no problem but always thought an impact between my soft old head and the steel dashboard and/or steering wheel might not go so well for me.
On my 41 I used a 6 in wide piece of 1/8 in steel plate to reinforce the floor for the belt mountings. It's not welded in, just held in place by the belt bolts. For the shoulder belts I welded a piece of 2X2 square tubing to the seam between the top and bottom cab halves below the rear window. I mounted the shoulder belt to this then covered it with a piece of sheet metal. The mounting position is a little low but not bad. I used a seat/shoulder belt combination from Seat Belt Pros because I could get individual parts instead of a kit. I think they are not in business anymore.
I don't know your objective for your finished truck, but I put Tahoe seats in mine. They have fold down arm rests and built in shoulder belts. It's a tight fit....no room for center console or anything like that, but it works!
41 3/4 Ton Pick Up (in process) 55 Grumman Kurbside (Doughboy) 235/3 on tree w/ OD 57 3100 58 C4400 Viking (Thor) 59 C4500 Short Bus (Magic Bus) 59 G3800 1 Ton Dually (Chief)
Thanks Harold41, Did you put a large plate under the floor across both belt bolts or individual smaller pieces for each bolt? I was thinking about a 3" wide piece of 3/16" about all the way between the cab mounts to spread the force. And a couple of 4x4" plates under the floor outside the cab mounts for the bottoms of the shoulder straps.
I was concerned about going too low with the shoulder so I found a shop that can roll a curve on some 3/16" plate to make a curved rectangle to fit behind my shoulder behind the door post rear flange and the piece of curved triangular sheet metal in the corner above cab seam/u-channel. It might be a little weaker but seems like 3/16" plate would hold up ok and it would pull directly against the rear door post and seat mount channel. I believe it will be completely hidden by the sheet metal headliner that fits in that area around the rear window. I will just have to punch a couple of holes in that headliner for the mount bolts and weld some heavy nuts or threaded plates behind my curved plate.
I may have to have it fabricated and just see what it feels like. Yours sounds a little stronger but I intend to drive the truck on some longer trips and want to make sure the shoulder belt isn't so low that it might cause irritation on my shoulder. The older I get the easier I am to irritate. In any case I am hoping this thing never gets a real world test.
VEW, I am trying to get some smaller buckets so I can make a small console however, I am keeping the original fuel tank and I don't think the mounting would be strong enough. I am going to look into what is available before I go forward. I was looking at the seats in my 2000 Toyota Camry and they might fit and are actually pretty comfortable. However, they don't have built in seatbelts.
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
I added a piece of 2" angle iron under the back of my cab all the way across and mounted my seat belts to that (through the floor). Keep in mind, it you hit something, whatever you are bolted to needs to be able to stop about 200 lbs without ripping loose. I never got around to putting in shoulder belts, but there was a nice place up near the top of the cab to add in a bracket/brace.
The 1/8 plate is actually in 3 pieces because the cab mounts are in the way. I cut the outside pieces to fit the space between the cab mount and the outside of the cab. I used Fiero seats because I already had them. The stock seat mounting was too low in the back and I thought put the seats in an uncomfortable tilted back position. So I made a higher rear mounting bracket by welding 2 pieces of brick lintel together into a Z. The bottom of that Z rests on the cab floor and the seat belt mounting bolts go through it and through the 1/8 plate underneath. A piece of 16 ga sheet metal goes from this mounting bracket to the front of the gas tank tub which completely covers the gas tank.
In my 54 I have a similar setup as Tiny292 except mine are out of a 2001 Buick Lesabre. Other GM cars of the era have the same set up without the console which I think would fit your truck better. Pontiacs 2 door cars. Pictures of mine in photobucket. https://photos.app.goo.gl/KLBPBWwLcYUUWffE7