Exploding seat belts. [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: Exploding seat belts.


Lou'sSS396
Jan 10th, 07, 6:08 PM
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

=]

70 Gold Nugget
Jan 11th, 07, 3:00 PM
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!

Olle
Jan 11th, 07, 3:05 PM
Exploding seat belts? Now I'm curious... :confused:

Ark68SS
Jan 11th, 07, 3:51 PM
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.:confused: AFAIK, it's a sodium azide compound. Here's a link if you're interested in the chemistry & physics-- http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Airbags/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. :eek:

BillL

Olle
Jan 11th, 07, 4:04 PM
Thanks, Bill! :thumbsup:

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. :)

Ark68SS
Jan 11th, 07, 4:32 PM
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. :o 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. ;)

BillL

Olle
Jan 11th, 07, 5:06 PM
Alright, keep us posted... explosives are always interesting. :D

Lou'sSS396
Jan 11th, 07, 5:17 PM
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.

Olle
Jan 11th, 07, 6:39 PM
Aw crap, wasn't as exiting as I thought then. :)

furball8994
Jan 11th, 07, 6:56 PM
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? :wacko:

Ark68SS
Jan 11th, 07, 9:33 PM
Not according to GM's official website and some other info I have- http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/safety/protect_occupants/air_bags/history/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/articles/magazine/it/1995/1/1995_1_48.shtml
BillL

70 Gold Nugget
Jan 12th, 07, 3:48 PM
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...:)

70 Gold Nugget
Jan 12th, 07, 3:50 PM
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...

Lou'sSS396
Jan 13th, 07, 6:44 AM
Ohhh, for the love of God!:mad: 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....
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e8/Hazus00/2f44_1.jpg

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?

Olle
Jan 13th, 07, 12:07 PM
Ohhh, for the love of God!:mad: I DO NOT HAVE AIR BAGS IN MY CAR!! How many time must I say this? NO AIR BAGS.

Are you really sure? :D Seriously, I think there's a company called "Snake Oyl" that can rebuild old seat belts.

Chris R
Jan 14th, 07, 12:48 AM
So anyways, back to the air bag thing.:D

Joking, yea, Snake Oyl rebuilds seat belts but prepair to pay for them. I hear they arent cheap.

P J Moran
Jan 29th, 07, 10:12 AM
Kyle, I feel your pain. I read this thread and was equally frustrated at how the topic kept getting diverted to air bags and such.

I, too, have the exploding buckles and cannot believe that plastic face retainer thingy isn't available by someone somewhere. All one has to do is snap in a new one and the buckles are fixed (until next time).

I failed state inspection because my buckle had exploded and I haven't been able to fix it. I, too, would like to know if and where the needed replacement parts can be had.

P J Moran
Jan 29th, 07, 12:10 PM
Are you really sure? :D Seriously, I think there's a company called "Snake Oyl" that can rebuild old seat belts.


I called Ssnake Oyl. www.ssnake-oyl.com (http://www.ssnake-oyl.com) They are familiar with the exploding buckles. They do not have repair parts for them. They have a few used sets they'll sell for like $100 each if you're hard core about correct restoration.

They offer replacing the ends of our belts with different buckles and tongues for a reasonable price. You can send your belts in and they'll rework them to the extent you want - new ends to complete rebuild (new webbing) and detailing (tags, labels). All work is custom, and they don't offer an exchange service. Their backlog is 4-6 weeks!

I can't "afford" to have my vehicle out of commission for six weeks (because the retractor is also the base for the seat, the seat must be out while the belts are serviced). What I need to find is a belt set out of a parts car that I can send in for rebuilding. If anyone can hook me up with a set of belts I can use as a "core", I'd appreciate the hook-up.

SethT
Jan 30th, 07, 6:34 PM
Lou, those aren't air bags, those are seat belts......just kidding with you. I have seen them many times on ebay, if you are willing retire your originals. You can always keep the old ones. I just did a search, and didn't find an exact match, but you may want to keep an eye open if you chose to go this route.

Lou'sSS396
Jan 31st, 07, 6:19 AM
Lou, those aren't air bags, those are seat belts......just kidding with you. I have seen them many times on ebay, if you are willing retire your originals. You can always keep the old ones. I just did a search, and didn't find an exact match, but you may want to keep an eye open if you chose to go this route.
I have seen many sets go on eBay for $100 and up. Even really faded ones! Too much for me. So, I got a hold of some different ones. They might be from the 80's. And there are only the side & not center. Odd though, there are 2 retractors, one is the latch plate(or tongue) and the other retractor, is the buckle itself. Mmmmm odd...At least they work for now.

hmott
Jan 31st, 07, 3:59 PM
I have seen many sets go on eBay for $100 and up. Even really faded ones! Too much for me. So, I got a hold of some different ones. They might be from the 80's. And there are only the side & not center. Odd though, there are 2 retractors, one is the latch plate(or tongue) and the other retractor, is the buckle itself. Mmmmm odd...At least they work for now.

Maybe you should get airbags in case they don't work. :D

Lou'sSS396
Feb 1st, 07, 4:47 PM
Maybe you should get airbags in case they don't work. :D

Hahaha. They work, trust me. xD

Although, thy would be nice =D