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My Alfa survived the great Dallas hail storm last month, but now I've got to get it inspected this month, and wouldn't you know it the driver side seatbelt is stuck only part way out.
I've have seen some posts from those who have fixed the problem in the past, and it seems like I should be able to fix it (unstick, clean and lube).
My question is, when they talk of "pulling back" the door opening seals, I assume they mean the black rubber seals.
I can't figure out a how a seal that you can just pull out could possibly hold the b-pillar, but I guess they do.
Mine are in great condition (the whole car is), and I fear tearing them and not being able to get replacements.
I would have thought that you could simply remove the B-pillar and not touch the seals but apparently not.
Do the seals really just pull out, without tearing?
When done, do I just push them back in with some type of edge?
No glue required?
I've damaged more stuff trying to figure out what to do, and can't afford to mess this up, so any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Same goes for any other advice on the belts/procedure.
Also, has anyone ever replaced the Alfa belts with another brand?
I was in a 2003 Honda Pilot this weekend and the passenger belts were similar (but slightly bigger fastener).
If it's possible and you can't get Alfa belts, it would seem that some other belt could be substituted if it fits under the b-pillar and you can attach it.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Piece of Cake!

I remember when I first had to do something on my first Alfa -- years and years ago. I was so scared. I found another Alfa owner who had worked on his. He said, "For heavens sake, you can do it. Your'e educated and everything. The guy who put this car together couldn't even talk English." That was so stupid I had to laugh, but I have never forgotten it, and still sometimes chuckle to myself about it. But it gave me enough nerve to start to try.

Yes, the rubber seal around the front door can be pulled directly away from the trim on the pillar without tearing any of it. Just pull firmly and slowly so the stickum will come loose. But you don't have to take it all the way out, just the part holding that cover over the seat belt. It will be easy to put it all back together because you merely have to press back in what you have pulled out. However, remember that you must pull out both the front door side of it and the rear door side of that pillar cover. The cover should be free at the bottom and up the sides once you have done that. I can't quite recall if you have to unscrew the door plate, but even that is simple, so simple I can't recall if it was necessary. I may have done it without it being necessary.

Work the belt a little -- shake it sideways, maybe unbolt the tensioner at the bottom so you can get to it and turn it around to see a bit. Try to avoid taking the tensioner apart, but if you can't get the belt to unloose any other way (last resort), then don't get hit by the spring when it comes flying out, and use your noggin to figure out how to get the spring back once everthing is free so that you can reset the tension by turning the winder on the side.

once you feel it will work okay, then put the tensioner back into place, wind the tension, then put the pillar cover over the belt and merely press the seals back into place. There is enough "sticky" to make everything hold together again. You won't even be able to tell you had it apart.

Good Luck. Try to swear in Italian if you feel that will help.
 

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Some times, they retract if you grab the belt tight and give it a hard snap down as if extending it. If you do this several times if may come free.
 
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