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3 point seat belts for a 1960 Lark

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  • Interior: 3 point seat belts for a 1960 Lark

    I was on a hot rod forum and there was a discussion about 3 point seat belts vs. lap belts in hot rods. This got me thinking about my Lark. I have lap belts currently in front and back. But the 3 point retractable sound like it might be a good idea to install.
    Anyone put in 3 point retractable seat belts in their Stude?
    I have a 4 door, so the belt can mount to that center post. Is that center post strong enough?
    Any suggestions on vendors that have quality belts?

  • #2
    i was thinking , using a non retract, and mount the long end on the inside and around the bench seat double up on the floor, but in a crash the bench seat would flip forward, but maybe offer more resistance that you torso flinging into the steering wheel, dental work buy these quacks are expensive


    • #3
      Interesting idea.
      That is one reason I am thinking of the 3 point belt. I don't want my body or my passengers body or head being stopped by the nice soft metal dashboard or steering wheel.


      • #4
        Pleased with.


        • #5
          I've hear of them. One of the guys at work has a 65 Mustang and was debating on getting these.
          I was just looking at these today:


          • #6
            I installed 3 point belts front and rear my 54 coupe many years ago. Not really a fun job, especially when trying not to disturb the perfect headliner and upholstery that was already in the car. I was able to weld a mounting nut to a length of angle iron, fish it up the B pillar, and then attach it to the B pillar with 4 small bolts into pre-tapped holes in the angle iron. My thinking here was the angle iron would help prevent the anchor bolt from ripping through the sheet metal or kinking the sheet metal in the case of an accident. Turned out well, but took me a lot of time to figure out and install. The front belts were aftermarket hot rod items, and the rear seat belts were NOS items from GM. Thankfully they have never been put to the test, and hopefully they never will, but I do feel that in a test they will do me a lot more good than just lap belts. cheers, Junior
            1954 C5 Hamilton car.


            • #7
              Originally posted by rowan View Post

              I was just talking to MRS. Juliano yesterday about retractables. I am currently running their lap belts in my 62 Lark wagon. I have looked at the installation instructions but they do not particularly pertain to the Lark. If you used them, what did you install them in and was there any issues. I wouldn't use anything but Julianos , I currently have laps in 8 seats in various cars.



              • #8
                I agree with those recommending Julianos, having installed a few of their kits. I installed their 3 point kit on our 57 four door wagon. I removed the upholstery panel on the center pillar, slightly enlarged a hole at the bottom, fished the plate up (more than a few times), drilled 3 holes, and plug welded the plate through 2 of the holes. One could conceivably drill to match holes in plate and use bolts, welding was easier for me. If you have a 4 door, it may be the same. I did this a number of years, and many miles ago, the system has functioned perfectly. When my wife was rear ended, they did their job, and I was thankful to have the 3 point belts.
                Riverside, Ca.
                1957 Provincial X2
                1958 Transtar


                • #9
                  I've installed three points in my Stude, the "kit" I got was noted as the same as Julio's, my supplier has evidently retired. I welded in a threaded bracket in the B pillar after the car was painted but no interior installed. The retractor was at the B Pillar and out of the way. A little hard to see an the driver's side but you get the idea. Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    My dad and I put in a three point from an 82 mercedes 240d into my 64 Cruiser. I never noticed how much bigger the post was on the mercedes than the Stude until we started on this project. The anchor would not have been as good as the mb but it was a lot better than nothing toward keeping my family's bodies off the rigid steering column.

                    It worked fine.
                    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.


                    • #11
                      And with a ‘64 Cruiser, in addition to a fish plate, you could drill all the way thru the B-pillar and use the stainless trim to hide the screw head. I know those trim pieces will also fit a Wagonaire, but not sure about 2-dr sedans?


                      • #12
                        Having just been up close and personal with the B-pillars of my '59 Lark 2-door sedan (see windlace discussion elsewhere) there is no way that an anchor welded by the best welder on earth using the biggest Grade 8 bolt is going to restrain the acceleration that my 205lb frame is going to exert on that belt. There are forks at Wendy's that have more mass than these B-pillars.

                        The last 10 classics I've owned and driven have either had lap belts only, or no belts at all (like this 59-F4). If any collision of significance occurs, I am going to the car club in the sky in an instant.

                        I know that buying these things, I know that driving these things.

                        And even if we add some angle steel to the mounting point, and you manage to be held in place with your 3-point belt, that crumple zone in front of you (read: the entire front end of a Studebaker) is simply going to compress you into a new and uncomfortable shape. Good luck, folks.

                        Stay aware, keep your distance, drive smart. These are ridiculously unsafe vehicles.



                        • #13
                          I installed adjustable three point belts on my Willys pickup. I was able to fish the reinforcing plate up the pillar, bolt it in place and pop rivet it into place. I think it would take considerable force to pull that plate out of the sheet metal. I have to get creative to mount it in my GT however.

                          "Man plans, God laughs".



                          • #14
                            If safety is your total concern go to jegs and order a set of their race belts. you can even get them in a 5 point a pain to hook and on hook but about as safe as you can get


                            • #15
                              3 point non-retractable seat belts. 1959 Lark 2 Door Sedan. Split Folding Bench Front Seat. Note: Long post. Only realized during the post I didn't know how to use the sites photo upload function. Sort of now.

                              As of yesterday I have the seat belts installed. This is easier than I thought and if anyone wants to do the same I will include some pointers. If the location of the top anchor point seems low, it may be, but it is within the angles of safety. I also have to point out that I am using this setup to provide an anchoring and locating system for my body, not primarily to save myself in the event of an accident, I hope they do, but that's not the point. If I have more control then maybe I can avoid an accident, then that makes me safer . Retractable seat belts do not hold my body secure enough and the lap belts don't help with the upper body. It's not a 5 point harness but adequate for my street use and nice to have the support for the long drives.
                              Before we go any further let's go over some disclaimers. As this is safety related and may, or may not, have some bearing in a major, or minor, auto accident I want the reader to understand that what I am about to explain is the way I installed a 3 point non-retractable seat belt in a 59/60 Lark 2 Door Sedan. It may be the wrong way. It may be unsafe. I don't know as the setup has not been crash tested. All I am providing is a look at what I did for educational purposes. Your experience may be different and you could be using different hardware or seat belts. All these unknowns are included for free, thank you. Also because I modified the provided anchor plate all liability to that manufacture has gone. I trust my understanding of engineering principles and first hand experience in auto accidents

                              Here goes. This is not a written out procedure in a straight forward order. My advice is to read it all because I may have put the cart before the horse in some areas.

                              Also, I am not going to mention the other two anchor points that are in the floor. That has been covered many times with lap belt so there's no need to go over that again.

                              I started with these: ​​​​​​
                              These "X'ed" areas need to be trimmed. This can be done simply with a hacksaw and files or as elaborate as you like, one just needs it to fit. Which ever side of the car one is working on the top area to be trimmed should be slightly narrower. This is because of the B-pillar shape. Knowing that cars of this era could be dimensionally different I am not about to give exact measurements. I just hope the drivers side is constructed the same, and then, that the manufacturing on that day was spot on. The plate needs to fit inside a basically "U" channel shape, with a bumps, running vertically within the B-pillar. The anchor plate, if placed up against the B-pillar, should be dimensionally smaller so as to fit inside the B-pillar.

                              Below is the shape of the passenger side B-Pillar. ​If one pulls the windlacing towards the door the outlined yellow shape can be seen, hence the chosen trimmed shape of the anchor plate.
                              If you can drill the main hole correctly the rest is a cake walk. This is truly the hardest part of the install. The red line is the shape that the plate needs to be trimmed to. The blue lines are where the holes need to be drilled. The small hole, (3 seen in picture) that is already there, inside the larger blue outline (29/64ths), is for a trim plate that is held on by three screws. The 2 small holes in the new plate (13/64ths) are for pop rivets or spot welds. I chose the pop rivets. The larger hole is the hardest to drill because of the existing trim screw hole, as can been seen in the picture. It will try to direct the drill away from the desired location. I center punched each hole to be drilled. (WARNING: Use caution when drilling holes in the B-pillar. The outer skin, the nice painted side of the body, is about 2 inches behind the metal being drilled. If you hit the outer skin it could dent the skin, or worse, drill through it.) If you have a drill stop now is the time to use it. Do the small holes first as a trial. To get the location of the holes for the anchor plate just find the aforementioned bump next to the screw hole and position the plate where it best fits. When the plate has been trimmed and held up against the B-pillar it becomes self evident as to where it should go. I didn't choose this location because of it being the safest. No, it was because the B-pillar dictated “the possible to do' and “available location” that was in the angle window of safety. Please note that these cars were not designed with this restraint system in mind and I am unaware of any certification that could be given to any installation. Hopefully this moves the needle towards the positive side of the safety meter.

                              Interior B-pillar trim: As this is an esthetic piece of the job the procedure, bending, holes, etc... can be done to best suite the individual or vehicle. I included this part of the process as an example of what worked for me with my car. The existing trim plate, I can't find part number, and card that covers that area need to be modified. I didn't remove the card or interior material from the plate. If it's like mine the card hinges away from the B-pillar and then one removes the three screws. Once removed from car the area where the anchor bolt hole is located needs to be trimmed away. I cut about a 1 inch slot/tab so the trim plate slides past where the seat belt anchor bolt is.

                              One could do the trim plate many ways but this was the easiest in the end. The card with the interior material on it needs a hole for the seat belt anchor bolt to pass through. As the center trim screw hole was within the boundaries of the proposed anchor bolt hole I just pushed a sharp pointed object through the hole from the back. You can see the small hole about halfway up the card above the proposed slot. Remember this is done on the bench not in the car. Having an idea now as to the location I used a large hole punch to make the hole large enough so the spring washer can pass through the card. Don't forget that the small hole that was made is for reference only. Do not use this as a “center”. The finished hole for the large bolt is centered about an ½ inch from the small reference hole. I tried to make a nice bolt size hole, looked nice to start but once the bolt is tightened it squashes the card and the metal trim plate. Again remember the card and metal trim plate are hinged by material, swing the metal out of the way while you punch the large hole through the card. I had to include a large flat washer between the spring washer and the shoulder of the anchor bolt. This then allowed the hardware to locate and fasten properly and push the card away from the rotating seat belt hardware, but not crush the card to much. What eventually worked best in this install was to take the trim plate and make a elongated flat "M" with the center "V" of the "M" flat at the bottom. So the pressure exerted on the trim plate was controlled. The new profile of the metal trim plate is so subtle it doesn't change the card once installed.

                              How does one get the anchor plate up there? Looking at the B-pillar, one can use the top trim screw hole to pass some string through and down. This should go down and pass at the top hole for the rear quarter panel, which is located above the door striker on the B-pillar.

                              Using a hooked tool can aide in string recovery. I ​used an inspection camera to see up the B-pillar and there is a divider but it's not a problem. Once the string is attached to the top pop rivet hole drag the plate up through the body hole and in place. The biggest hurdle here is the plate can get stuck on so many little protrusions. Having the inspection camera, less than $10 on the net helped but more than anything else jiggling the string and probing with a stiff wire helped free the plate each time. Once the plate is in a position that the anchor bolt can be inserted it was. It can be tightened enough to assist in the install of the pop rivets. After the pop rivets are in the anchor bolt can be removed and installed any time. The string should stay during the whole process. If you drop the plate it could be a long day. I installed the pop rivets and when I was satisfied with the plate I just tugged on and broke the string. I was hoping that the pop rivet would cut the string, which may happen in some cases.

                              To run down the install quickly it would be, after window trim removed and all tools and hardware ready and available.

                              Trim anchor plate.
                              Drill 3 holes.
                              Lift into place with string.
                              Anchor with pop rivets.
                              Cut slot in and bend trim and punch hole in card.
                              Install seat belt.
                              Last edited by Felix; 08-05-2021, 05:18 AM.