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Seat belt experts please advise


worzella
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My original 1975 Repa seat belts are in decent shape, but the mechanisms

that "locks" them during a collision were very sticky... to the point it could take a dozen very slow, patient tries to get them to unwind.

I bought replacements from one of our compadres on this list and they are much better, but still a bit finicky. I have a crazy idea that I want shot down if need be.....

Would lubricating the mechanisms help? Since they are sealed end caps (no screws), would it be crazy to drill a tiny hole or holes into the plastic end caps and squirt in some WD-40 or light machine oil or otherwise. I could then seal up with a dab of clear silicone.

I am not sure if the "locking" mechanism is inertial and just gummed up or if it is spring loaded and just gummed up.

Any advice on getting the open and close of these old belt units more reliable?

Thanks,

Randy

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Springs over time loose their strength especially if they are corroded/rusted. Also, there are plastic bushings on either side of the spool (that rolls the webbing) which go bad over time causing wobbling of the spool and preventing locking and retracting mechanism to work smoothly. To add insult to the injury, the metal teeth of the ratchet mechanism inside get shaved off causing skipping, not good (should be replaced). Finally, webbing gets thicker over time putting extra weight on the springs effectively slowing down the retraction job. That is said, you can put few drops of light machine oil on both ends of the spool where the plastic bushings are, no need to drill the plastic covers. The covers are secured with special oval head security screws, not riveted. Usually, the driver side gets bad first since it is the most abused. If you worry about your safety, you can buy a new pair of Repas from Blunt, they are cheaper than Autoflugs (Euro spec). Or send me an email for other options. Oiling might help for a while but eventually they will have to be replaced. removing and washing the webbing may also help which can be done by pushing the webbing through the slot in the spool and removing the security pin. You need to lock the mechanism using a flat screw driver while cleaning the webbing.

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Thanks much... I did some more digging and found all of your previous posts, so now I understand the situation. I did squirt some WD40 in them last night and it seemed to help a bit.... but I have a little time before the car is actually road worthy, so I may save for some new units.

Thanks,

Randy

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