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Seat belts in a Starliner??

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  • Body / Glass: Seat belts in a Starliner??

    I am getting ready to install seat belts (lap only) in my '53 Commander Starliner. I could use some advice (and hopefully pictures) on how to install the outer belts, since the floor of the body is "hidden" by the hog troughs and not accessible for attachments.
    Thanks
    Howard
    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

  • #2
    On my '55 both belts are secured to the floor behind the front seat about 15" apart. The belts pass between the seat bottom and back. Nowhere near the outer edge of the floor. I can get some photos when I get home from work if you need them.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • #3
      Hi Eddie. I sure would like some pictures if you can get them. Thanks Howard
      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

      Comment


      • #4
        The belts are not installed at the moment but the holes are there. Also I just realized the car is not at home. It is at the transmission repair shop. I will have to grab my camera tomorrow and stop off at the shop to get the photos on my way home from work. I'll post them as soon as I can.
        Ed Sallia
        Dundee, OR

        Sol Lucet Omnibus

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Eddie!
          Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
          '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
          '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
          '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

          Comment


          • #6
            Howard - okay here are several photos showing the attachment points for the front seat belts in my '55.
            Click image for larger version

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            Be sure to make sure that you go through the floor where it is clear underneath.
            I hope this helps. Sorry, I did not get any measurements but you should be able get a pretty good idea where they are.
            Ed Sallia
            Dundee, OR

            Sol Lucet Omnibus

            Comment


            • #7
              Great pictures Eddie, but since your car is a 4 door, you don't have the hog troughs in the way under the floor outside of the frame. Only Starliner hardtops have the hog troughs and that is my issue. Thanks for trying to help.
              Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
              '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
              '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
              '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by brngarage View Post
                Great pictures Eddie, but since your car is a 4 door, you don't have the hog troughs in the way under the floor outside of the frame. Only Starliner hardtops have the hog troughs and that is my issue. Thanks for trying to help.
                I would think that one way to add belts would be to mark where the holes go, cut a 4X4 in or so plate with a nut welded to it to attach the belts to, mark the plate location and drill four holes ( one near each corner of the plate) in the floor. Then drill the hole for the mounting bolt and slot the floor the length of the plate. Drop the plate through the slot, pull it flush with the floor and spot weld the plate through the holes in the floor. Weld up the slot and grind level. A little paint and no harm no foul. Install belts and move on.

                Just be sure to drill a small hole in the floor where the mounting bolt goes and explore under the floor with a bent wire to see where you are clear to mount the plate prior to any other drilling.

                Bob

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                • #9
                  Great idea Bob! Thank you. Howard
                  Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                  '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                  '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                  '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why not drill a hole in the bottom of the hog trough big enough for a socket. Plugs of all sizes are available to fill the hole.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Stephen, that is exactly what I was thinking! Thanks.
                      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brngarage View Post
                        Stephen, that is exactly what I was thinking! Thanks.
                        Howard, Just a thought, If you go up through the hog troughs, you will probably need to add a plate under the floor to spread the load created by the belts doing their job. Just a bolt and nut and/or a small washer , I don't believe, would be enough area to resist the pulling forces on the belt.

                        I'm not an Automotive Engineer but unless you have something stronger than the floor sheet metal, I think, you are just creating the illusion of safety. Check out the aftermarket belts from that era and you will find a fairly large plate/washer included to spread the load.

                        In my 54K there were some plates to mount the seats under the floor. They might be enough but just be aware of the potential issues. Mine are mounted in heavy plate under the floor and to the roll bar inside, that's over kill but my grandkids used to ride in it and over kill is what I, and their parents, wanted.

                        JMHO, Bob

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                        • #13
                          Bob, after I answered Stephen, exactly what you said occurred to me. I think I need to make a slot in the hog trough so I can slide the washer/plate in and put it on the bottom of the bolt. Thanks for making the point of the "illusion of safety" with just a small washer that would certainly pull thru the floor.
                          Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                          '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                          '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                          '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This issue is more than likely the reason Studebaker attached the outer seat belt to an "L" shaped bracket screwed to the lower rear vertical area of the driver and passenger doors on these cars!
                            Last edited by SN-60; 03-05-2016, 11:41 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Howard, I hesitate to mention this as you are probably well aware, but the hog troughs are not a hollow shell but consist of three vertical baffles, the inner rocker panel, a middle support and the outer vertical. Just be sure to explore the inside of the HT with a bent wire before committing to a large cut where ever you start.

                              Again sorry if you knew this, but I hate surprises when I'm cutting into body metal.

                              Good luck, Bob

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