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  • Soft top seat belt brackets

    I installed these seat belt upper anchor brackets on my S3 88. I've been wanting to get the seat belt upper bracket on the soft top to match where it is on the hard top. With out an upper anchor point on the soft top the belt is uncomfortable at best and I'm guessing it won't be kind to my shoulder in an accident. I used to swap tops out for summer and winter, but just didn't get around to it last winter, so I spent more time in the Rover with that belt discomfort. I bit the bullet and got these brackets from Rovers North.

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    I think they are a net gain, although it's not all positive. They make the seat belts more comfortable than not having them for sure. It's not as easy to install as I imagined, but it was more of a pain than it was difficult.

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    This is not a simple bolt on thing. Sure, some of the holes all sort of line up with existing ones, but the various layers of sheet metal under the bulkhead capping make things less than easy. Some of the bolt holes land a bit too close to vertical folds of sheet metal that you can't see underneath. I wound up accidentally drilling out and removing a welded-in nut for an original seatbelt anchor (inboard leg, near the current belt reel). Tightening the bolts means crushing/bending the layers together with clamps or pliers or a hammer before you can get a nut on it. Not ideal, but this isn't a prize winning truck, and I'm glad to have whatever additional comfort or safety it offers. The brackets sort of tell you where they want to be if you move it around a bit before marking holes. The rear facing leg (with the vertical slot) needed to be bent forward almost an inch to fit in the hole in the capping that I think it was meant for. I just put it in a vise and bent it by hand till it fit.

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    The belt rubs against the leg that is nearest to it. One of the brackets had rough galvanizing in that spot, so I had to sand it down a bit to avoid belt damage.
    You can see that the belt retractor thing is not exactly level, and so far that hasn't been an issue. The belt sometimes won't retract all the way, or loosen when I need it to, but that was happening before these were installed, and with the hard top, so nothing new there.
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    I had left over seat belt hardware from installing new Britax retracting belts 6 years ago, which I used for the upper anchors.
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    It fits nicely inside the soft top, but it must be removed to install the hard top. Once installed, these are good and sturdy. No flex, and they look they belong on the truck. Strong enough to be good hand holds for my boys when they climb over the side into the back. I just made sure to sand off any sharp zinc spots.

    So, net gain, but not perfect.

    Anyone know if this is an adapted Defender part?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by RustCollector; 06-11-2024, 08:29 AM.
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    '73 S3 88"
    '87 110 garden shed

  • #2
    great write up.
    Erik

    1970ish exMOD 109

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    • #3
      agreed. thanks rustcollector

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      • #4
        The set I used came from England, not sure if it is same manufacturer. Mine came with a galvy box for the seatbelt reel. I did a whole lot of extra work to make the belt line up directly under the fulcrum. The picture is befor the modified fuel filler cover was in place. Of course it was twice the work because I have dual tanks (exterior filler on left side too).
        1965 Series IIa

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        • #5
          Thanks for the kind words.

          Goose, first, great looking truck!

          Those galvy boxes for the reels are also offered by RN, but not included as a kit with the brackets. I thought about also getting them, but didn't know what they were supposed to look like. I will look into them now that I've seen your installation. You should write up your process, so we can all see how much work it is.
          ---------------------------------------------------
          '73 S3 88"
          '87 110 garden shed

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          • #6
            I know, I so bad about that. I absolutely love reading others write ups about what they're doing to their Rovers. I just get started and completely forget about documenting things as I go along.
            I really wanted to have the reels directly under the shoulder pivot so that they would work easiest. There is just not a lot of real estate there to allow this. Thus the modification of the filler covers. The boxes are nice in that they cover the reel for esthetic reasons as well as keeping dirt and debris from fouling it. It also makes a secure mounting point by spreading out the bolt pattern to four through bolts instead of just one large one (there is a corresponding flat galvy plate for the other side as well).
            I made the mistake of buying too long of seatbelt though. I thought I needed the longer one because the end was mounted far below the seat height. It wasn't necessary and now the spring does not offer enough tension when you release the belt to pull itself up. I have to hand feed it up to get it out of the way.
            The holes all lined up for me between the pipework and the bed I'm happy to say.

            Rusty
            1965 Series IIa

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            • #7
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ID:	223334Here are some more current pics with the covers in place as well as other clutter. Also the anchors for the other end of the belts. They also double lower mounts for the tools.
              1965 Series IIa

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              • #8
                Here is the same kit in a customer's Santana. He mounted the reels at an angle and seems to work fine. Click image for larger version  Name:	20240612_153254.jpg Views:	0 Size:	186.6 KB ID:	223336 Click image for larger version  Name:	20240612_153305.jpg Views:	0 Size:	175.3 KB ID:	223338 Click image for larger version  Name:	20240612_153258.jpg Views:	0 Size:	184.3 KB ID:	223337
                1965 Series IIa

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                • #9
                  My solution to the seat belt support bracket. Some remnant steel tubing and a bit of welding. Cost about $50. Cheers.Tom
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                  • #10
                    Thanks for these write ups. I know it adds time to what sometimes are already frustrating jobs. Very helpful to see. Hoping make my NADA 109 a soft top at some point.

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                    • #11
                      Mine came from Purely Metal

                      www.purelymetal.co.uk/raised-seat-belt-brackets/
                      1965 Series IIa

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                      • #12
                        Rusty, you've got a LOT going on with that bulkhead. Rope, shovel, Hi Lift, brackets. Looks great! I don't even notice the seat belt brackets.

                        Tom, I was pretty close to making my own when I saw them on RN's site (and ran out of time). I like your solution.

                        DoKarider, writing it up is actually fun. It's also helpful to be able to complain about things every now and then to a knowing audience. Please post a pic of your NADA 109. Love to see it in whatever state it may be in now.
                        ---------------------------------------------------
                        '73 S3 88"
                        '87 110 garden shed

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                        • #13
                          I'm remembering now that I actually was interested in raised seatbelt brackets when the only option I could find was a similar design to what's installed now BUT with a bar between the two sides. That seemed like an unnecessary obstacle across the whole seat back (which my boys climb over all the time). I had plans to buy the crossbar one anyway and modify them by removing the center cross bar. When I saw the two individual side bracket they looked better than I had time to make, so I jumped on them.
                          ---------------------------------------------------
                          '73 S3 88"
                          '87 110 garden shed

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                          • #14
                            Haha, I did the very same thing! I had made one side and wasn't quite happy with it. My Santana customer asked me to install a set for him, so he bought two sets and gave me one. He did his own belt and reel install.
                            1965 Series IIa

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