3-Point "Y"-Shaped Seatbelt Installation in a Speedster
- Category: Safety & Driving
Text and photos by Greg Scallon
My installation (more photos below) is a direct copy of the set-up that Alan Klingen did for Stan Jensen's speedster. I saw Stan's belts at EASY one day and decided to do mine the same way. Without an extra 4" I-beam welded into the rear bulkhead, I realize there's only so much strength this design has, but I'm confident it'll slow my face down measurably before impact if it ever comes to that.
After searching high and low, I was surprised to find that Deist seemed to be the only company with a Y-shaped shoulder belt set-up. I priced them on the Web but couldn't get a better deal than Jim at EASY and would much rather give my money to him than some Web company. FYI: The eye-bolts, washers, nuts, etc came with the belts.
The goal was to have the mounting point as close to that 90 degree bend in the bulkhead as possible for strength but to leave room for the eye-bolt on the inside. I drilled from the back, in the engine compartment, and tried to stop the drill bit immediately after it went through the metal so as not to unravel the carpet on the inside. I did get a bit of carpet but only a tiny amount.
As for the fender washers, I bent the bottoms to curve around the 90 degree bend. If you use two washer as I did, you have to bend each of them at a slightly different spot so they nest into each other perfectly. I used a vice and a hammer for this. Then, for the washer set that was going under the regulator, I cut off the tops with a sawzall.
After all that, installation is really simple. Just bolt everything together and spray some rattle-can undercoating on the washers and nuts. Actually, I sprayed the nuts washers and the ends of the eye-bolts with undercoating while they were still out of the car so I wouldn't have to go overboard once they were in the car. I then finished them off with a few squirts once they were bolted into the car. Be sure to mask off your engine compartment really well when doing this step. That stuff is nasty.
The two shoulder belts connect just behind you and form a "Y". The single rear belt goes to the rear bulkhead eyebolt. The eyebolt is installed just above the 90 degree bend stamping on the bulkhead. Be sure to drill about 1/2" up from the angle to leave enough room for the head of the eyebolt on the inside.
You can see the engine compartment mounting points here, just outboard of each hinge plate.
I doubled up on the fender washers and bent each to conform to the angle of the bulkhead stamping.
You can see that this one required a bit more work. I angled the bottom the same as on the left and also had to trim the top to clear the regulator mount.
This shot gives you a bit of an idea as to how low the mounting points are relative to my shoulders. It's really not bad. In fact, the rear strap looks lower than it would be when stressed due to it being pulled down by the weight of the tonneau.
This list of vendors, in alphabetical order, is not necessarily comprehensive, and additional companies may also offer similar products. Note that where possible, links are provided directly to a specific product page if available.
EASY: Diest Safety seat belts
PEP: seat belts
Zim's Autotechnik: seat belts and eye bolts