Exploding seat belts. - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 07, 7:08 PM Thread Starter
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Kyle
 
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Question Exploding seat belts.

I know this is a long shot, but is there anyone out there that re-makes the guts for insides & the top plastic plates for 72-75 GM exploding seat belts? I highly doubt it, but though I'd give it a try. Or, if anyone out there in ChevelleLand have any, let me know. Thanks

=]

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 4:00 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Lou most of that early safety equipment like that and early air bags were made with a nitrocellulose based compound...read DANGEROUS...so I would bet money nobody messes with it...nitro degrades over time too thereby making that old stuff even more explosive and dangerous...

Years ago it was rather easy to make a bomb by utilizing these components...I have seen bodyshop people take the ancient airbags, place them on the ground, and set them off. It blows the bag at least a hundred yards or more into the air. Ever remember seeing a cloud of dust in films of the ancient airbags? That powder is the nitro crap...

Nowadays airbags and seat belt systems are way more safe (and they no longer have dynamite in them...)
Good Luck!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 4:05 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Exploding seat belts? Now I'm curious...

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 4:51 PM
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Smile Re: Exploding seat belts.

Olle, they're called pre-tensioner belts. When the air bag is activated, there is a charge in the belt that also explodes and tightens the belts around your body to keep you in place. The charge is about the force of a 20 ga bird shot shell. Once they've been discharged, they're junk. There's no way I would even attempt to rebuild one, for both liability and safety concerns, if it could even be done. The explosion destroys the retractor mechanism, so the belt won't pull out & retract.

I have never heard of any type of nitrocelluose charges in airbags. AFAIK, it's a sodium azide compound. Here's a link if you're interested in the chemistry & physics-- http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edud...s/airbags.html
The stufff's pretty stable as long as it's in the air bag, but when it's exposed to water, it can create hydrozoic acid, and that stuff is toxic, volatile, and explosive.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 5:04 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Thanks, Bill!

I have heard of this being used in modern cars, but didn't know that it was actually used that early. Sounds like one of those super rare, mega-dollar eBay options.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 5:32 PM
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Red face Re: Exploding seat belts.

Lou may be talking about something else. The pretensioner system didn't come out until the early 80's, I think Mercedes was the first to offer them.
The '73 Olds Toronado was the first GM vehicle to have an airbag, and in '75 they could be ordered in big Buicks, Olds, and Cadillacs. These also may be the bags that 70 Gold Nugget was talking about. As I think back, I'm not sure what type of explosive was in those older systems. They were dropped in the '77 model year, and didn't come back until the '90's. I'll dig around tonight in some of the old stuff I have upstairs & see if there's any info about the 70's stuff there.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 6:06 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Alright, keep us posted... explosives are always interesting.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 6:17 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Re: Exploding seat belts.

No, no, no. I think you all have it wrong. They were poorly designed seat belt buckles. There was a plastic face clip that held it all in, and if they were not taken care of good enough, the face popped off, and all the guts came out. NOTHING to do w/ airbags. No air bag in the 70's -.-

The insides EXPLODED. That is how they got their name.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 7:39 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Aw crap, wasn't as exiting as I thought then.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 7:56 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

All very interesting.
Bill, I thought a had read an article the stated air bags were first installed in a GM (can't remember which) in the 60's. Do you know anything about this, Or is it just the Alzheimer's again?

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 10:33 PM
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Smile Re: Exploding seat belts.

Not according to GM's official website and some other info I have- http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/...ory/index.html
the first bags were in 1000 experimental cars built in '73. There were some experiments in the '60's, but the systems weren't installed into cars sold to the public. They were called "air cushions".
BillL

EDIT: This piqued (that's how that word is really spelled )my interest enough to do a little googling and I found this article which should teach us more than we ever wanted to know about air bags. It's written by Don Sherman, a former editor for Car & Driver magazine. It's long but good. http://www.americanheritage.com/arti...995_1_48.shtml
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Last edited by Ark68SS; Jan 11th, 07 at 10:55 PM.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 07, 4:48 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

I stand corrected about the propellants...I have been told however that those early airbags were dangerous...I suppose because of the 'exposive' force of them...

I install modern systems occassionally...it is really amazing some of the stuff they have nowadays...more and more the bags are cropping up in seats, headliners, etc...headliner boards are perforated to enable them to 'blow' out...seats have special insert areas that pop open...most of the time the brains of the systems is mounted in the dash or console towards the middle of the car...all modern airbag safety equipment has YELLOW wires hooking it up to the brain and to the sensors...be wary of the YELLOW wires when you work on modern airbag equipped cars...

ARK68SS thanks for the links...I learn something new everyday...
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 07, 4:50 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

LOU...that is interesting a safety device with poor engineering...it was the early 70's and that kinda thing was new so I guess they were learning...
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 07, 7:44 AM Thread Starter
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Angry Re: Exploding seat belts.

Ohhh, for the love of God! I DO NOT HAVE AIR BAGS IN MY CAR!! How many time must I say this? NO AIR BAGS. From late '72 to '74, GM had poor quality seat belt buckles. The plastic clip that held the whole thing together, broke a lot. And then the inside guts exploded out to where they don't work. I DO NOT HAVE AIRBAGS. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AIRBAGS. GET IT NOW?

They are just like this....


See that plastic face clip? Well, that holds all of the guts inside. When that breaks, they all fall out. Now, my question ONCE AGAIN is......does anyone reproduce the insides or does anyone here have a set of rears?

Kyle.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 07, 1:07 PM
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Re: Exploding seat belts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou'sSS396 View Post
Ohhh, for the love of God! I DO NOT HAVE AIR BAGS IN MY CAR!! How many time must I say this? NO AIR BAGS.
Are you really sure? Seriously, I think there's a company called "Snake Oyl" that can rebuild old seat belts.

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