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Author Topic: Seat Belts  (Read 1207 times)
Jolls
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« on: January 22, 2024, 01:35:42 PM »
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Hi Team

I have read through all of the info here in relation to seat belts. Given my good wife was involved in a accident in my old FC that left passengers hospitalised as a result of no seatbelts I thought I would do the right thing and get them fitted. I called my local authorised restraint fitting station in Goulburn and they advised me that if I was to fit seat belts I would have to get the vehicle engineered and bought up to modern standards. In fact they went so far as to advise against fitting seat belts because the engineering requirements made it prohibitive cost wise. This sounds like a pile of horse poo to me but thought I would check to see if something new has come in. 

As a follow up - how far can I go before installing seat belts goes from optional to mandatory?

At this rate it makes sense to register it as a daily driver with no seat belts and standard drums and then take it back 12 months later with seat belts fitted and a HR front end - the local inspection station would be none the wiser and magically it is a roadworthy vehicle! Makes a mockery of the "system".
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ardiesse
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2024, 01:53:26 PM »
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Craig,

You fall into the same category as me.  Because the car's unregistered and has no seat belts, you have to get the seat belt installation approved by an engineer.  The rest of the vehicle does not need to be brought up to modern standards.  The fitting station is right about the cost, though.  I expect to be a few thousand lighter off by the time the approval is issued.

Except if you are increasing the engine output by more than 10%.  Then the fun starts.

Register the ute first, then fit the seat belts.  Confirm with the fitting station that installing seat belts in an already-registered vehicle does not require engineering approval.  But then there is insurance to deal with.  Retrofitted seat belt installations are supposed to be engineer-inspected as a condition of insurance.  And I hear the same is true for historic registration.  This is the letter of the law.  It is more honoured in the breach than the observance, though.  Which is usually OK, except when something goes wrong.

Your HR front suspension would require a brake check to be performed, by an engineer.

Rob
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Jolls
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2024, 02:51:46 PM »
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Craig,

You fall into the same category as me.  Because the car's unregistered and has no seat belts, you have to get the seat belt installation approved by an engineer.  The rest of the vehicle does not need to be brought up to modern standards.  The fitting station is right about the cost, though.  I expect to be a few thousand lighter off by the time the approval is issued.

Except if you are increasing the engine output by more than 10%.  Then the fun starts.

Register the ute first, then fit the seat belts.  Confirm with the fitting station that installing seat belts in an already-registered vehicle does not require engineering approval.  But then there is insurance to deal with.  Retrofitted seat belt installations are supposed to be engineer-inspected as a condition of insurance.  And I hear the same is true for historic registration.  This is the letter of the law.  It is more honoured in the breach than the observance, though.  Which is usually OK, except when something goes wrong.

Your HR front suspension would require a brake check to be performed, by an engineer.

Rob

Thanks Rob,

This make a lot more sense than the way it was described by the fittign station. Their advice was pretty clear in stating that fitting the seat belts was not worth the cost. Probably not the safety message that they should be puting out.

I will take you advice re fitting seat belts post registration. Maybe I can convice Mrs J that we don't need them; it is a pretty big maybe though! If I can get that one over the line it is one less hurdle/cost to endure.

A bit of the old greatcoats on greatcoats off - definately leaning towards standard registration in the first instance.

Understand the requirement re HR front end.

Cheers
Craig

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Jolls
Harv
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2024, 05:44:50 PM »
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Some info I have posted over on the FB/EK forum, edited to suit your situation.

Both my FB sedan and my EK wagon have seatbelts, fitted by me.

For my FB sedan I have non-retractable lap/sash belts in the outer positions, and lap belts in the centre. I have this in both the front, and the rear.
For my EK wagon I have retractable lap/sash belts in the outer positions, and lap belts in the centre. I have this in both the front, and the rear. For the rear, I mounted the reels on the wheelarch, and put the sash guide on the "C" pillar.

My understanding in NSW is:
a) if you are undertaking modifications that require an engineers certificate, then seat belts must be installed for all seating positions. Lap/sash seat belts are required for all front and rear outboard seating positions. Lap/sash or lap belts shall be fitted to inboard seating positions. The level of safety provided by seat belts must not be reduced. Seat belts must not be replaced by belts of a lesser standard or with second-hand belts. For example, lap only belts must not be used in place of retracting lap/sash seat belts. This is based on the NSW RTA Vehicle Standards Information Sheets No 6. for light vehicle modifications. My wagon went through this process, and has a full VSCCS (engineering) certificate. As Rob notes, it is not cheap.
b) if you do not require an engineers certificate, then you do not need to fit seatbelts. However, if you are carrying kiddies, the following apply:
Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint.
Children aged six months to under four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint.
Children aged four years to under seven years must be secured in forward facing child restraint or booster seat.
Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows.
Children aged four years to under seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.
I understand that the above child restraint laws are retrospective (i.e. that they are not "grandfathered" just because the FB/EK came out with no belts orginally). You would need to fit belts to meet the above.
c) if you are installing belts not for engineering certificates or for child restraint (but more for peace of mind,as is your case I think) then you can choose which positions get belts and which don't.
d) Any installed seatbelts (even the peace of mind ones) that are not subject to full engineering must be approved by an RTA Authorised Restraint Fitting Station. This is not an engineers certificate, just an inspection and basic form to sign off and fairly cheap (>$100). Most fitting Stations will not let you do the work yourself (to a decent standard) and then inspect and certify it - most will only certify if they do the work themselves (in the end it's their signature on the line). It pays to check with the one you have in mind before you fire up the drill and spanners to DIY. My FB sedan was "certified" this way and has the simple piece of paper to keep in the glovebox. This process was cheap (a hundred dollars or so compared to a few thousand for full engineering).
e) Some Fitting Stations require full compliance to ADR5 (http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2009C ... 5628295870) when you install - there are some tricky bits in ADR/5 about how far apart the belts can be. Again, check with the Fitting Station you have in mind before flashing up the tools. I did an ADR/5 compliant system for my EK wagon. I took a full set of photos and measurements, and have turned it into a draft Guide. If you want a draft copy, let me know an email address.

I could be wrong with the above understanding of NSW legislation - happy to hear alternative views.

Cheers,
Harv
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Jolls
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2024, 07:23:31 PM »
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d) Any installed seatbelts (even the peace of mind ones) that are not subject to full engineering must be approved by an RTA Authorised Restraint Fitting Station. This is not an engineers certificate, just an inspection and basic form to sign off and fairly cheap (>$100). Most fitting Stations will not let you do the work yourself (to a decent standard) and then inspect and certify it - most will only certify if they do the work themselves (in the end it's their signature on the line). It pays to check with the one you have in mind before you fire up the drill and spanners to DIY. My FB sedan was "certified" this way and has the simple piece of paper to keep in the glovebox. This process was cheap (a hundred dollars or so compared to a few thousand for full engineering).
e) Some Fitting Stations require full compliance to ADR5 (http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2009C ... 5628295870) when you install - there are some tricky bits in ADR/5 about how far apart the belts can be. Again, check with the Fitting Station you have in mind before flashing up the tools. I did an ADR/5 compliant system for my EK wagon. I took a full set of photos and measurements, and have turned it into a draft Guide. If you want a draft copy, let me know an email address.


Hi Harv,

Thanks for taking the time to provide that - I had already stalked you across at the FB/EK forum and found your post. I was expecting what you quoted above as the answer from the inspection station I rang - I suspect based on Robs feedback that this only applies if the ute was already registered on standard/historic plates. I would love a copy of your guide if you don't mind it will be a great resource for down the track. I will send my email address by DM.

Regards
Craig
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Jolls
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2024, 08:09:00 AM »
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In NSW the seatbelt thing is a bit of a minefield when it comes to older cars.

If your car came from the factory without seatbelts & they were fitted by the dealer at purchase or soon after, do you need a certificate from an RTA Authorised fitting station to register the car today ?

Holden sold Nasco accessory seatbelts from the early 60s, so a dealer could have fitted front (& maybe even rear) seat belts to your new EK in 1962, do these need a certificate because they are not factory ?

Same goes for many 2nd hand cars from the 70s. Repco, Britax & other sold countless seatbelt kits during that time & these were then fitted to ten of thousands of pre-70 2nd hand cars by dealers, mechanics & owners themselves. Were these ever checked or certified ?

How do you prove that the rear seatbelts in you EK were fitted last year (by you) or 30-40 years ago by a mechanic or dealer ?

Dr Terry
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Jolls
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2024, 10:57:14 AM »
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In NSW the seatbelt thing is a bit of a minefield when it comes to older cars.

If your car came from the factory without seatbelts & they were fitted by the dealer at purchase or soon after, do you need a certificate from an RTA Authorised fitting station to register the car today ?

Holden sold Nasco accessory seatbelts from the early 60s, so a dealer could have fitted front (& maybe even rear) seat belts to your new EK in 1962, do these need a certificate because they are not factory ?

Same goes for many 2nd hand cars from the 70s. Repco, Britax & other sold countless seatbelt kits during that time & these were then fitted to ten of thousands of pre-70 2nd hand cars by dealers, mechanics & owners themselves. Were these ever checked or certified ?

How do you prove that the rear seatbelts in you EK were fitted last year (by you) or 30-40 years ago by a mechanic or dealer ?

Dr Terry

Grey areas - always an opportunity for exploitation!

Interesting thing is that by trying to do the right thing I simply pulled the top off a can of worms. Almost a write your own adventure for how to get from A to B.
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Cheers n Beers

Jolls
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