#*^##! Seat belt retractors - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy #*^##! Seat belt retractors

Got my interior back together and find I had to struggle for 15 minutes to try and get the seat belt out far enough to buckle! The retractor keeps on catching preventing it from releasing.

I had the belts out when I redid the interior and they are all clean, but seemed to catch even when they were out of the car.

Is there anything I can clean/adjust to stop the ratchets from grabbing so easily?

Thanks

G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 12:55 PM
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Give this a try. I had similar issues and this seemed to do the trick. The ratchets must be mounted exactly vertical. A little bit off and they grab for no reason at all. For some reason gravity seems to play a role in the workings of the mechanism. Maybe someone more experienced than I can give more details.

Good luck.

Darren

Present - '81 Spider
Past - "73 2000GTV 105 series
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 01:09 PM
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I am not a mechanic by any means but have done some patent work in the area of car safety systems. I am not sure what type of locking mechanism is used on S3 Spiders, but if it's an inertial system, they sometimes rely on a weighted pendulum to lock the ratchet when the car stops short (the inertia causing the pendulum to swing). In that case, mounting of the ratchet in a position off from it's intended rest position may cause the pendulum to be in the locking position.

Al
Current Alfa: 1986 Spider Veloce
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 05:19 PM
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Mine stick whenever it rains (really). I sprayed the ends with WD40.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I pried off the one side, the opposite one of recoil spring.

There is an assembly of nylon gears and a small weight.

The nylon gears rotate and engage the cam lock on the reel.

I ended up spraying some silicone and exercised the reel a bunch of times.

Installed with side cover off; just to be sure. It seems to be working!

Funny, the gears did not seem to be sticky?

I'm going to try and see if I can lube the other side without taking the side over off as you have to destroy the long pin that peens over and helps hold the plastic cover on. The other cover actually seems to clip on and hold ok.

I took some pics if anyone is interested.

Wish me luck.

G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Now that I know which side to lube I was able to pull back the cover on the pass side while it was still in the car and lube it with some silicone using the extension tube. If you reach down on the front side you can hold the cam lock back so you can rotate the spool numerous times and work in the lube.

Now both reels work reeeeelll easy!

G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 11:37 PM
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That sounds like a good way to go, mine stick occasionally and they can only get worse if I don't do something.
Could you post a picture?

Spider S4 1990 manual red LHD
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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I opened the WRONG side

I had sticky, slow retracting belts on my recently purchased Milano. One side revealed the ratchet and ball. I made the mistake of opening the other side with a flying spring covered in a sticky old grease. I have cleaned and relubed the spring, recoiled it --but I'm not sure what's next. Any thoughts?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Mine have been working fine since I did the clean & lube.

G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:45 AM
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I have the same problem with a spider type 2. Roverguy, can you post your pictures cause I'm not sure where to lube Thanks!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few pics. I was able to pull the side cover off while still in the car on one. I actually pulled the other one out of the car which made it a bit easier to clean out & flush with some WD or other thin solvent to cleanse out the crud. After it was clean I slowly pulled the belt out. You will see the little pendulem weight that causes the ratchet to lock.

This needs to swing freely so it doesn't activate the spool gear on pulling belt out.

After it is clean I used some spray silicon on the pivot points and spool axle. Watch you don't get lube all over the belt. I did this by pulling the belt all the way out.

Good luck.
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G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 09:04 AM
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my 74 spider has this problem too, if you stop pulling the belt out, it locks and you have to retract it all the way. our 2003 mazda tribute does too, with the seatbelt latched, it keeps tightning up, and will not pull back out till you retract it. someone must have not advanced the seatbelt technology very much.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:23 AM
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Thanks for the pictures Roverguy! It's gonna help alot I'll post here in case of succes! Or failure
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:31 AM
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Thank you for the pics and advice roverguy. The rachet mechanism would not release on my 91 Spider so I could not pull out the seat belt. Shot the gears and weight with carb cleaner and that did the trick.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Glad to have been of help; mine have been working fine for 6 mos now.

G Hamilton
'88 Spider, '82 911 SC-Sold, '68 Triumph TR250 - Sold - N of Boston
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