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> Seat belts, Prep for fitting
Fred Oldham
post 27 Oct 2014, 16:22
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Having rolled of the production line in 1955 my car does not have seat belts, or even the necessary holes and captive nuts to fit them. So I've commenced scraping off the paint from the floor and inner sill area ready to weld in some suitable reinforcing pieces. Pleased to say that there is not a sign of rust in any these areas so far. Over the next few days I will source some 2mm sheet to make up said bits and have a mosey around the local scappy for a suitable donor for the belts. Then it will be a bit of cutting and welding. I'll post up some pics as I go along just in case anyone is interested.
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Fred Oldham
post 2 Nov 2014, 14:09
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Finished scraping and cleaning the old paint and seam sealant off. Gave it all a coat of Kurust to get any light surface rust lurking in the joints. Went to the scrapyard today and got the front belts out of a Citroen C2 and the receiving stalks from a 206. Total cost £30. I'll make up some reinforcing plates next with captive nuts to fasten the belts to.
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Fred Oldham
post 9 Nov 2014, 15:31
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The retracting mechanism on the donor Citroen was tucked away inside the sill/door pillar cavity. The Austin doesn't have the depth to do the same, but I can 'lose' 75% of it this way. I cut a 4inch piece out of the inner sill at the base of the door pillar and using a cardboard pattern I made a three sided piece to slide into this hole to form a box. This has been welded in and primed. The mechanism has been bolted to a modified version of the original mounting and bolts through the floor-pan, with a large reinforcing plate on the under-side. The top fixing on the pillar was the easy bit, thanks to the blanking covers where the trafficators lived on earlier designs. Again, a long reinforcing plate fits inside the pillar, with a welded captive nut. I'll take some pictures of 'side2' to make everything a bit clearer.
Next job is to make a removeable cover to go over all this to keep dirt and feet off the moving parts.
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enigmas
post 9 Nov 2014, 20:24
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It sounds like a very well thought out installation. Looking forward to the pictures of the work.
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Fred Oldham
post 10 Nov 2014, 11:32
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Hello Enigma. Nice to know someone is out there! I've used 'side 1' as the design and prototype. Now I have a cunning plan, I'll take the pics as I progress with the other side. The biggest enemy of old cars in Britain is rust, so I am positively ecstatic to find that my car has none at all. Long may it remain that way.
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enigmas
post 12 Nov 2014, 03:37
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Yes it doses feel like posting to the ether at times Fred. Looking forward to the details and pix of your seat belt project. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)
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Llansadwrn
post 12 Nov 2014, 05:25
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...... Fred, I notice that 96 people have already looked at your topic, so that's a clue it's not all in vain. I think we're all looking forward to those pictures though. There's a lot of interest in fitting seat belts to our cars, and a lot of companies who will sell you very expensive kits, so I think you will find that you have an interested audience.
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Fred Oldham
post 12 Nov 2014, 12:11
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Thanks for the encouragement gentlemen. I've just painted the cover panel this morning. The hammerite done yesterday is still tacky so I'll leave this job for a couple of days to dry properly. It would really annoying to forget myself and stand on it. I was going to fit the reinforcing plate to the other door pillar, but I find I've run out of shielding gas for the mig welder. Put the fan heater in the car for an hour to warm things up and aid the paint drying process.
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Fred Oldham
post 18 Nov 2014, 13:50
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Well I've finished side one completely and am well on with side two. I'll post up some pictures over the next couple of days. I've been trying to work out how to stop the seats from tipping without losing the adjustment system and I think I've got a solution. I'll put it together and post a picture to gauge opinion. Assuming that it looks like working.
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Llansadwrn
post 18 Nov 2014, 14:07
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I for one will be very interested to see your approach to a tricky problem.
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 17:04
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I have to find, re-size, find again and hopefully transfer to here. I know this going to take a while even if I get it right. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif) So, this should be the inner sill after cleaning and priming.Attached File  P1030025.JPG ( 565.91K ) Number of downloads: 0

That appears to have worked, so will re-size the next batch and post them up.
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 18:31
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The inner sill was then cut to make a hole for most of the belt mechanism to live in.Attached File  P1030031.JPG ( 621.06K ) Number of downloads: 0

The brown colour is the unmarked original primer and what looks like rust is in fact wax.

The next shot is the cardboard pattern and the making of the insert to make a 'box' within the sill.Attached File  P1030030.JPG ( 486.4K ) Number of downloads: 0


After welding this in, grinding back the welds and applying seam sealer, the area was primed and top coated with Hammerite.Attached File  P1030023.JPG ( 642.91K ) Number of downloads: 0


The rest of the cleaned and prepped floor-pan was painted too.Attached File  P1030024.JPG ( 544.16K ) Number of downloads: 0


I think I have hit the file limit so will start a new post.
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 18:50
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I have shown the 'hole', but of course the belt mechanism was job one to find out what size of hole I was going to need. This is the original belt and mounting plate.Attached File  P1030019.JPG ( 553.62K ) Number of downloads: 0


The parts were going to need modifying to make a smaller package.Attached File  P1030020.JPG ( 566.19K ) Number of downloads: 0


The parts were trimmed and the plate bent and drilled for different fixings.Attached File  P1030032.JPG ( 477.15K ) Number of downloads: 0


With the floor drilled and a heavy gauge plate fitted underneath the belt mechanism is bolted in place. New post to come.


Attached File(s)
Attached File  P1030018.JPG ( 574.44K ) Number of downloads: 0
 
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 19:07
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I knew it was too good to last. That last picture is of the plate and captive nut ready to go into door pillar to take the top belt fixing. What I should have shown was the finished belt unit bolted into place.Attached File  P1030033.JPG ( 622.86K ) Number of downloads: 0


The top plate after welding into pillar and painting.Attached File  P1030017.JPG ( 552.89K ) Number of downloads: 0


Now that the belt has all it's attachment points. It just needs somewhere for the 'end' to click into. The seats on this car tip up. Goodness knows why Austin thought a four-door car needed tipping seats I can't imagine. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/blink.gif) I decided that I wanted the receiving end to attach to the seat itself and I would resolve the tipping problem later. So, the seat frame needed a suitably strong fixing point. My supply of heavy gauge plate to the rescue again.

These two shots show the plate welded in place.Attached File  P1030021.JPG ( 512.91K ) Number of downloads: 0

Attached File  P1030022.JPG ( 630.88K ) Number of downloads: 0
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Penguin45
post 23 Nov 2014, 19:14
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Good stuff, Fred. Some nice lateral thinking.

Flying Ws' "Uploading Photos 101" is HERE. Everything you will ever need to know. I do it through Photobucket 'cos it's quick and involves no use of brain or technology. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

P45.
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 19:21
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To protect the retracting mechanism from dirt and big feet, I made a cover panel to bolt over it. This picture shows the cardboard pattern and the finished item.Attached File  P1030028.JPG ( 607.75K ) Number of downloads: 0


A workshop vice, a big hammer, some scrap steel and an advanced CAD system ( cardboard aided design ) and hey presto! Hide the evidence with Hammerite and job done. This last shot is where "Christine" lives. There is also a huge black cat who is in charge of security; having excellent low-light vision and skills in un-armed combat.Attached File  P1030026.JPG ( 557.36K ) Number of downloads: 0


That's as far as I've got for now. Work will continue tomorrow. Watch this space.
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 19:39
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Thanks for the link Penquin. I searched about for ages before I found that I already had Paint on the system. My problem is not the manipulation of the images, it's finding the image I want. For reasons best known to itself my laptop has stopped showing the tiny thumbprint pictures and shows everything on the system as a little daisy. ( all identical ) This means opening each one to find the one I want, then noting it's jpeg file name and a brief description, before going through the re-sizing operation and saving it. Then when I put the post together I have to 'browse' for the file name, checking against the description. If I could find out why the computer insists on showing daisies instead of pictures it would be a doddle. Talk about a pain in the **se.
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fussyoldfart
post 23 Nov 2014, 19:43
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QUOTE (Fred Oldham @ 23 Nov 2014, 14:07 ) *
I knew it was too good to last. That last picture is of the plate and captive nut ready to go into door pillar to take the top belt fixing. What I should have shown was the finished belt unit bolted into place.Attached File  P1030033.JPG ( 622.86K ) Number of downloads: 0


The top plate after welding into pillar and painting.Attached File  P1030017.JPG ( 552.89K ) Number of downloads: 0


Now that the belt has all it's attachment points. It just needs somewhere for the 'end' to click into. The seats on this car tip up. Goodness knows why Austin thought a four-door car needed tipping seats I can't imagine. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/blink.gif) I decided that I wanted the receiving end to attach to the seat itself and I would resolve the tipping problem later. So, the seat frame needed a suitably strong fixing point. My supply of heavy gauge plate to the rescue again.

These two shots show the plate welded in place.Attached File  P1030021.JPG ( 512.91K ) Number of downloads: 0

Attached File  P1030022.JPG ( 630.88K ) Number of downloads: 0

Hello Fred,
My own experience with a 1955 Austin dates to 1955/56 so memory is a bit hazy but I do remember the tipping seats because, having collided with a farmer's truck, I was a little annoyed to find that in addition to the damage to the front of the car my lunch box had been demolished by the descending seat.

Reminiscences aside, would it not be simpler to secure the seat belt to the floor and keep the ability to tip the seat up for more convenient floor cleaning?

Darrell McDonald
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Fred Oldham
post 23 Nov 2014, 20:50
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Hi Darrel. It would be easier, but it doesn't seem to me to be the right way. In a crash the belt would have to restrain both the person and the very heavy seat. The person would be the 'meat in the sandwich'. I do have a plan that involves fixing a bar to the transmission tunnel, that extends sideways over both the seat frames to prevent them lifting. It's success depends on the space available in the tunnel for the heavy reinforcement and it's proximity to the prop shaft. I'll get out and get under as soon as in inside job is done.
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Fred Oldham
post 27 Nov 2014, 18:05
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I finished the last bits of 'side 2' and today I painted the floor-pan this morning. I just need to source the metal for the anti-tip device. My son probably has what I need kicking about somewhere in his garage. The design has to still allow the seat adjustment to work, even though I am unlikely to move it.
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