Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-10-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
Bill Goddard
Senior Member
 
Bill Goddard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Shrewsbury,Pa
Posts: 494
Default Seat belts for Fordor

I have seen some articles in print and postings on the barn about installing seat belts in a Tudor but I need to install some in a Fordor with adjustable front seats. Does anyone out there have any information or experience with this? Thanks Bill G
Bill Goddard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 9,289
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

From my perspective, you need to think hard about this. If you install them, is it possible they will give you or the occupants a false sense of security? My take is that it will.

The wood subrails is substantial on the outsides however the cross brace is only mortised in and secured with 4 screws. If you are involved in an accident where a sudden strain is placed on the belt mountings, how many G's will these need to withstand?

In the perfect world, the belts need to be mounted rearward of the passenger to keep from pinching internal organs during an impact. "Rearward" involves an 18 gauge floor pan that is nailed or screwed to the subrails. Again, not very substantial during a sudden impact. Get the car in a spin or worse, a roll-over where forces are being applied from multiple angles and in all likelihood the belts will be ripped loose on one end. One end is all it takes to have a catastrophe on your hands!

Therefore my opinion is you must decide whether your chances of survival will be better with "something" installed rather than nothing, --or whether the driver & occupants need to be aware that it has nothing and act accordingly when riding in the vehicle. Tough decision for anyone to make because valid arguments either for, --or against them can be easily made during a debate.

And, for the record, I do not install safety belts in any of my customer's vehicles due to liability implications yet I have them in some of my personal antique cars.

/
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 05-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #3
Tom Endy
Senior Member
 
Tom Endy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,606
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Seat belts don't offer the protection found in a modern car. They will, however, keep your front seat passenger from tumbling out the door if it should come open while making a left turn. I also believe they will keep you inside the car in a roll over.

A number of years ago there was an accident in Arizona where a Model A was rear ended by a high speed modern car. The Model A rolled over. The driver managed to stay inside the car as he was hanging onto the steering wheel. He survived with only minor injuries. His wife was thrown from the car and it rolled over her and killed her. Speculation was that if she had stayed inside the car she would have survived.

I have seat belts in my Model A's. My Victoria has an adjustable sliding front driver's seat. The seat belts are adjustable and will accommodate different positions of the seat.

I would recommend installing seat belts.

Tom Endy
Tom Endy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
Pete
Senior Member
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wa.
Posts: 3,711
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

I have 5 point race belts in my 2 door.
They are anchored to the frame and special structure.
And, NO, the body is not going to come off in a severe wreck.
No documented cases.
And like Brent, we do not install belts in customer cars for liability reasons.
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 01:28 AM   #5
H. L. Chauvin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,179
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Maybe something to think about prior to designing seat belt anchorage:

About 2 years ago, at night, I saw a car that did not stop at a very rural intersection & crossed the highway with brakes applied, flipped upside down, & dropped down about 8 feet into a large continuus, soft earth swale, with the car's 4 wheels in the air. My wife called 911 before approaching the accident.

Passenger & driver were both swinging & "suspended", facing downwards, & moaning. Appeared neither could unlatch their seatbelts because of the tension on their seat belts latches caused by the 200 pound weights of each of their bodies. (Took several firemen to support one suspended body at a time to free the seat belts -- one seatbelt unlatched, one cut with knife).

Theoretically, after the crash, each of the seat belt bolts on the out-side was carrying one-half of the person's 200 pound suspended weight, or 100 pounds.

On some Model A seat belt diagrams, one (1) in-side center bolt is indicated for attaching both in-side halves of both seat belts; hence, in this scenario, "after the crash", this center bolt would have to carry a concentrated suspended load of 100 x 2 = 200 pounds.

At times, center bolt attachment & anchorage may be indicated as a 12 gage x 2" strap, or maybe a 1/4" x 2" steel strap, or something else.

This example below is definitely not at all the worse case scenario for a live load impact in an accident, but on any Model A body, wood or lightgage steel, try to imagine first removing the front seats & back seats.

Next, somewhat "similar" to the above accident, allow a 200 pound person to jump off of an 8 foot high step ladder & land in the "center" of a Model A undercarriage, immediately behind a Model A front seat or rear seat.

Try to picture what would happen to a 1/4" thick x 2" wide steel flat bar spanning 40" & attached to a lightgage floor pan or lightgage body channel with a 200 pound weight dropped from 8 feet.

Hopes this helps just a little for one to begin to decide how to securely anchor all of one's Model A seat belt bolts.
H. L. Chauvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
1931 flamingo
Senior Member
 
1931 flamingo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: new britain,ct 06052
Posts: 8,541
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

When I did belts in my 32 coupe back in 61 I used 3/8 plate about 6-8" square beneath the floor pan. You also might do a search here also as this has been discussed previously.
Paul in CT
1931 flamingo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #7
Bill Goddard
Senior Member
 
Bill Goddard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Shrewsbury,Pa
Posts: 494
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Good answers. Keep them coming. So far I'm pretty discouraged. My wife insists on seat belts and I know I can't convince her otherwise. I have concluded so far that:
1.Seat belts alone will probably keep you in the car in a rollover or bumpy turn if door flies open.
2.In a hard stop at 60 mph and no shoulder harness forget it will be a very bad day.
3. Driving speed should be limited to 35-40 mph because of crash potential and limited breaking.
4. Single point anchor bolt between driver and passenger should be double rated.
Bill G
Bill Goddard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
John Duden
Senior Member
 
John Duden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,840
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

WHAT ARE SEATBELTS!??
John Duden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
Richard Wilson
Senior Member
 
Richard Wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 908
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

"2.In a hard stop at 60 mph and no shoulder harness forget it will be a very bad day."

Not to mention the ten gallons of gas that will probably be dumped in your lap.

I wonder if one could reinforce the seat belt center mounting point with 1. a strap around the torque tube or 2. a piece of steel channel welded to the frame rails as an additional crossmember to anchor the seatbelt? Overkill?

Last edited by Richard Wilson; 05-11-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Additional thought.
Richard Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 09:53 AM   #10
Kevin in NJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East NJ
Posts: 3,171
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Let us get down to some facts.

Accidents and seat belts are about the laws of probabilities. What are the odds you are going to win in an accident (by win I mean live)? It is proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that staying in the car attached to the body improves your odds of surviving significantly. YES, there is also the odds that they can make your situation worse. BUT the odds of them keeping you safe far out weigh the odds of you getting a worse injury.

Now to make matters worse, the press only carries news of spectacular accidents. In some of those cases you may see where the seat belts hindered. What you must keep in perspective the thousands of accidents that happened that day you do not hear about where everyone walked away unhurt- because they wore their seat belts. It is like the casino, you only hear about the few winners not the thousands of losers.

They are designed to hold you in place so the body can take the damage. This prevents being thrown from the car and/or the secondary hit of you moving forward and hitting the now stopped car at what every speed you were traveling.

The Model A bodies all have doors that will pop open at low speeds. So you really want to always stay inside cause being outside is not good. The injury and death rates go way up if you get outside your car.

I look at the poor structures and seat belts in the Model A in 2 way.

First from the energy stand point. If the seat belt mount points holds for a period of time during an accident then the total energy your body must absorb is reduced. This means you may not get as injured. While the seat belt failed, it may have done enough to prevent your death.

From the common usage of our cars we frequently are not going at 'highway' speeds. The belts do not have to do as much work.

Now for the wood sub-rails, well my cabriolet has wood. That wood is NOT going to break easily. I put the mounts back some so that the bolts are being pulled along the length of the wood. Yes the wood will give some, but I know it is not going to give up easy! My center mount is a 1/2 plate steel held by a combination of the wood cross member and the intermediate steel cross member. I have the forces set up to mostly push the center wood cross member forward. So I am taking advantage of the strongest sections of the wood.

Remember when designing your seatbelts the mount anchors should be set up to do a shearing action. A straight pull on a bolt and a structure is the weakest. Look at how modern cars have all their structures. Some are pretty small chunks of sheet metal and you would wonder how they could hold up.

For the rumble seat I have a cross member made of thick walled steel square tubing. Then into the side uprights.

So will my stuff hold up in a 60 MPH head on- probably not. Will it keep people in place during a moderate accident, I am confident it will.

We need to be realistic. The A is not a modern car and we can only do so much. My view point any seat belt bolted in fairly tight can only help. It would be unrealistic to expect them to hold in a violent accident.

The probability is that any seat belt can only improve your odds of winning in an accident.
__________________
Cabriolet and Technical Hints
Kevin in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #11
jrelliott
Senior Member
 
jrelliott's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 680
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

On my '28 Fordor added an piece of angle iron under the wooden cross brace and tied it into the frame as my mounting points for the front seat belts and another in the rear for the belts there. Probably not to judging standards, but should not break and would hold you in an accident. It will probably save you in a slow speed accident, but may not in a high speed accident or t'boned by a pick up. As others have stated it is a law of probabilities and will take my chances with the seat belts.
jrelliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
H. L. Chauvin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,179
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Hi Bill,

In not trying to degrade or counter what others have done or proposed with Model A seat belts, for safety & structural integrity, sincerely glad to see your structural comprehension of just the "double" force on the seat belt center-bolt.

One can realize that there are millions of Americans who use "common sense" to provide structural wood & structural steel connections every day, even though they are not graduate structural engineers. If in doubt, maybe consult with one of these type of guys.

After hearing of & seeing articles written on attaching the seat belt center bolt to the lightgage sheet metal pan behind the Fodor front seat, (with or without a 40" long x 2" wide x 1/4" steel plate), another commom sense way to imagine the strength of this attachment in a Fodor is to try to picture obtaining a large, approximately 40" wide x 24" Commercial Kitchen sheetmetal baking pan & attaching it up high into a fixed, rigid wood ceiling framing opening, with tiny shoe nails or shoe tacks like that of the Model A floor pan attached to wood sub-sills.

Through the center & on the front side of the baking pan, provide a seat belt bolt attached to a tow strap below, (about 8 feet long), with a 200 pound block of concrete attached to the other end of the strap, resting on top of an 8 foot high step ladder.

Next, let the 200 pound block of concrete fall off of the ladder & drop down 8 feet.

Look to see what happened to the de-formed lightgage baking pan which was assumed to be securely attached to the perimeter wood frame with tiny shoe nails.

Make sure your safety conscious wife sees this experiment because when it come to children's safety, women clearly see things that men can never see.

Most of the seat belt articles do not recommend attaching the center seat belt bolt to the wood cross member. The Fodor front wood cross member behind the front seat, (as is), is large enough to resist the force in bending; however, the weak point, as is the weak point in all wood beams & columns occurs at the end joint connections, in this case the thinner mortise & tenon connections at both ends which can easily fail in shear because many of these Model A wood joints already have split wood tenons from bouncing on rough roads & pot holes in the 1930's.

The rear Fodor seat belt anchorage to mortise & tenon wood, (as is), is not much better; & the lightgage sheetmetal over the differential is rather flat & attached to small wood members with the same type of tiny nails, thus offering no resistance.

I'm in the process of providing seat belts in my 1930 Briggs Town Sedan & after looking at what one has for anchorage, with the Fodor Model A as is, in my humble opinion, it would be like jumping out of an airplane with your heavy duty harness attached to your parachute with two (2) small safety pins.

With todays court system, as opposed to that of the 1930's, writing a detailed article recommending on how to attach Model A seat belts could be risky.

Hope this helps a little.
H. L. Chauvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 01:05 PM   #13
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,536
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Quote:
Originally Posted by H. L. Chauvin View Post
...With todays court system, as opposed to that of the 1930's, writing a detailed article recommending on how to attach Model A seat belts could be risky...
That's why the commercial shops will not install them for you, and it is also the reason why there are no "installation" instructions that will come with any seat belt that you buy anywhere.
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 04:15 PM   #14
H. L. Chauvin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,179
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

One reason why one doesn't see an article written by a licensed design professional on Model A seat belt design, especially with 100% perfect structural design calculations?

In agreeing with the gentleman's message #13 above, if one is a duly registered state licensed professional, with a state license number & professional stamp, & is legally permitted to provide structural designs, & it is known that said licensed professional has professional liability insurance, providing one professional Model A seat belt design coupled with one minor accident could provide one attornery with a settlement such that this attorney could retire for life.

It really does not matter if the professional Model A seat belt design was 100% perfect or not. Experienced & knowledgeable professionals are aware that in 95% of the cases, the designer's professional liability insurance company, (even if they know they can win the case in court), will settle out of court for an enormous amount rather than going to court where only the attorney defense fees will far exceed the out of court settlement.

Then the professional liability insurance premium goes up the followng year.
H. L. Chauvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:25 PM   #15
Bill Goddard
Senior Member
 
Bill Goddard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Shrewsbury,Pa
Posts: 494
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrelliott View Post
On my '28 Fordor added an piece of angle iron under the wooden cross brace and tied it into the frame as my mounting points for the front seat belts and another in the rear for the belts there. Probably not to judging standards, but should not break and would hold you in an accident. It will probably save you in a slow speed accident, but may not in a high speed accident or t'boned by a pick up. As others have stated it is a law of probabilities and will take my chances with the seat belts.
jrelliott: I think what you did is probably my best option. I will use a double strength bolt tin center position. BTW we have been considering a brown top for our early '29 LB with a rose beige or andalusite blue main body. Could you post a larger copy of your avitar so we could study it? Thanks Bill G
Bill Goddard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:49 PM   #16
Vic in E-TN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Maryville, TN
Posts: 445
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Very interesting reading. I have installed seat belts in my roadster and Tudor. I will review the attachment points and come to my own conclusions. I have seat belts in a box to put in my other cars.

The big question is what do they do in Australia where they are MANDATORY? I would like to hear from some of the posters down there. Maybe we could learn something. Perhaps they could post some photos.
Vic
Vic in E-TN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #17
wensum
Senior Member
 
wensum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 431
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

I find it surprising that there is so much debate over seat belts in old cars.
Here in NZ, cars that weren't required to have seat belts when new still are not required to have seat belts. So the majority of pre 1960 cars do not have belts.
We can even race pre 1960 cars without roll bars and without seat belts.
I have done may thousands of miles in classic and vintage cars, some with only rear wheel brakes, without ever being involved in an accident and only one close shave on a motorway when suddenly every car around us was locking up its brakes.
Some of the cars have flimsy fabric covered bodies.
The real point is that one drives aware of the shortcomings of the car and always anticipating the worst scenario.(it becomes automatic)
Vintage and classic cars have much lower insurance premiums because they usually do much fewer miles than modern cars and are usually driven with much more respect for their age. Consequently accidents involving thses cars are few and far between.
To have to put a seat belt on when driving a vintage car is taking away some of the vintage experience?
Despite all the above, I expect to be able to cruise at motorway speed (62mph here) and not be a mobile hazard to other road users
wensum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 12:03 AM   #18
30Murray
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Vancouver B.C.
Posts: 25
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Buckling up a seatbelt has become second nature to us and I feel very unsafe riding in any car without one, especially when my face is just inches from the windshield, hard dashboard and non-impact absorbing steering column. Therefore I installed 3-point belts in my Fordor.
The lap belts are attached to brackets that are anchored through the floor to an angle iron bar spanning between the frame rails, basically as others have mentioned above.
The big problem of course is how to attach the shoulder belt to a wood frame with no holding strength? I'll try my best to explain. My solution was to attach angle iron brackets that sit on and are screwed to the wood rail just above the door posts. The shoulder belt is bolted to a nut welded to this bracket. Another steel bar runs across the roof, above the headliner, and is welded to each bracket. This keeps the whole assembly in place and hidden. With this arrangement the pulling force of the shoulder belt is directed downwards and forward through the door post and frame. Imagine someone jumping on the roof and pushing down.
Will this hold up in a 45 mph front end collision? Obviously not, but neither will the car or its occupants, but at least it provides an increased level of safety over lap belts alone and I feel much more comfortable driving now with all the crazy drivers on the roads. I've tried to add a picture of the attachment, but not sure if it will work...

Last edited by 30Murray; 05-12-2012 at 12:09 AM.
30Murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 12:17 AM   #19
Mike V. Florida
Senior Member
 
Mike V. Florida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 14,051
Send a message via AIM to Mike V. Florida
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Goddard View Post
I have seen some articles in print and postings on the barn about installing seat belts in a Tudor but I need to install some in a Fordor with adjustable front seats. Does anyone out there have any information or experience with this? Thanks Bill G
Would not the idea behind the installation belt in the back seat of a Tudor be the same as the front seat of a fordor?

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55987
__________________
What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them. - Henry Ford II
Mike V. Florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2014, 10:15 AM   #20
barkleydave
Senior Member
 
barkleydave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 493
Default Re: Seat belts for Fordor

Old thread but here goes.

I am planning on putting lab belts in a 29 closed cab pickup. I thought about shoulder belts but believe the install is too difficult now that the truck is completed.

Looking at lap belts to at least keep occupants from being thrown out an open door and provide some protection from becoming a projectile in a crash.

Like to hear from folks that have done an install in a pickup.

thanks
barkleydave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:28 PM.