Seat belt anchor points

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by gbcamper, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. There is no way you would get a fully compliant, off the shelf manufactured and installed seat belt conversion kit for a panel van for £600.

    Here is some good guidance of the kind of installation which would pass a safety test. Bizarrely there still doesn't seem to be an effective method for introducing a proper test at MOT time where belts have been retrofitted, other than a cursory glance at the mounting points and whether there is any corrosion nearby.

  2. The seat belts will be, yes. It's what you bolt them to and how that matters
  3. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    £600 isn't enough money to do the job properly, the seat belt anchor plates supplied by jus campers etc are perfectly fine for the job, they are used in Motorsport all the time, yes originals are bigger but that doesn't mean they need to be. The seatbelt uprights I had made were tested to 6.5Tons with zero deformation. The bolts sheared at. 6.3, you need to be pulling hundreds of miles an hour to break them, the panel van conversion is an issue and requires a seatbelt engineer to get involved, I do know such a man who has been a seatbelt point designer and engineer for nearly 40 years, perhaps I need to speak to him a bit more in depth about the subject
  4. Would be well worthy of a discusssion.....

    The £600 figure was thrown out to illustrate the point.....for a company to design and test, and sell one unit, it would cost hundreds of thousands....designing to a price point that people would consider reasonable, with a known market could be worthwhile....who knows?
  5. Pull testing....(as opposed to crash testing) must be relatively inexpensive....sure some of the RAF boys on here will know a contact or two in this field....
  6. Well I've just called VOSA to ask them what the appropriate applied standards, testing and certification requirements are and they advised I call the Department for Transport. I have called the DfT and they have requested I email the enquiry with vehicle details etc. to the vehicle standards folk there who can not take calls but will reply to emails. I will update you if I am in receipt of any pearls of wisdom as to what they advise.

    My main concern is not so much the installation (as you can over engineer something that will do the job), more how to evidence the installation is to an accepted standard (whatever that is) and has been carried out by a certified professional (whoever they are) and how this will be treated during vehicle inspection tests. At the end of the day I am not a vehicle manufacturer therefore it can be assumed that work I carry out is not to the same standards - if it needs to be, who and how do I do this? If the vehicle is exempt from any of the above due to age I think I would still rather install to those standards as it is the safety of my kids which I would be risking.
  7. If the vehicle is exempt from any of the above due to age I think I would still rather install to those standards as it is the safety of my kids which I would be risking

    ^^^ this....I've just been on to a testing company....awaiting some more info from one of their engineers....may prove useful.....
    gbcamper likes this.
  8. I do similar tests on aircraft structures. The principal is the same. You'd want 3 pieces of the structure, one for each section of the van where the seatbelt mounts to which represents the actual structure of the vehicle.

    Be looking at around £2k per test. That's test only, no certification. I do to know what the appropriate standard is but I'm sure one of the mass producers/converters of mobile homes would know. It's not cheap or easy. As I said above, it's all down to what people do in their own garage as a homebrew and what they think is acceptable.

    You'll get nowhere asking VOSA DT etc, they're all feckless.
  9. So assuming you had a test vehicle, and came up with a suitable design for the anchorage, you'd be able to test in situ, and verify that a particular fitting can withstand a particular load.....for a couple of grand a pop? I couldn't care less if it's been certified tbh, the certificate isn't what's stopping you....if a bespoke install has been tested, however, that's the reassurance that people will pay for.....
    So you, and some of the other peeps with the necessary background should get your heads together, come up with a design, and collectively we could all apply some pressure to the usual suspects to see if they'd like to be involved...there's a genuine many folk ten years ago were fitting fire supression kits?
    Get it'll be very well supported
  10. Well actually 47mph if you're 11 1/2 stone but I see your point, there is only so far you can go to make them 'safe'. I would guess in a poorly executed chassis interface they would be ripped clear from the structure well before the bolts had a chance to fail.
    gbcamper likes this.
  11. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    I might be wrong but I don't think anyone (re-seller, not customer) would touch it with a barge pole. Far too much risk without masses of testing and certification I'd have thought.
  12. I'm going to have to make the kids walk!
    Merlin Cat likes this.

  13. Haha, no chance!!!

    I'm not wealthy enough to face a law suit or willing to go to prison when it all goes wrong.

    If you were to sell something to someone and tell them it's been tested (take note @davidoft ;) ) then by inference they would be lead to believe that it meets a certain standard and is fit for purpose UNLESS you make it 100% clear to them otherwise.

    The former can be communicated in writing or verbally, but the latter must be communicated in writing.

    Edit; this is why I've never bought a red 9 front suspension kit. When I've spoken to the guys at shows they give loads of assurances but won't back it up with facts, other than to say 'our van had done xxx thousand miles with no problems
  14. No need to do that. Just flog the panel conversion an get a proper van

    physiopro likes this.
  15. Shame it comes down to money and Law suits....but guess that's the world we've created....
    how about I design some stickers for the bulkheads with "Passengers travel at their own risk"? :D
    kev and Joker like this.
  16. Should see the crap they spout about cycle helmets....and they're trying to make them compulsory:eek:
  17. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    But children are lighter and there are 3 mounting points not one ;)

    So x 3 x 3(for 4 stone child) ish

    The way I saw it was the bolt is an off the shelf standard seatbelt bolt, if the bolt sheared before the bracket then it's good enough, I have also had a seatbelt manufacturer look at it and said it would be half as thick/ strong these days. The fabricators are coded and build aircraft stuff and tested an independent test facility so I think more than most would have done. Red nine stuff is rebadged and make in America by another company. On a side note I know a guy who makes the new beams for most of the big Vw companies and he had he a guy come out from trading standards or whoever to watch what he did and how and that's as far as they go, there's no real overall body that makes sure stuff does it job it becomes a question of reasonable steps to ensure safety and quality, fitness for purpose etc
  18. I think @Joker made the point that it's all a bit 'homebrew' and what's deemed acceptable to one may be construed as questionable by another.... it's a far from ideal situation...Remanufacturing, or reinterpreting VW's designs is arguably as good as it gets, but these aren't necessarily suited to the owners' conversions. This is why I think it's a pity when this same thread keeps popping up, between us, we've yet to arrive at a good, acceptable, one-size-fits-all design...that can be made reasonably cheaply, and installed by a competent DIYer...

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