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Old 01-11-2019, 08:22 AM   #21
updraught
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

Please post photos of bodies that have separated rom frames.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:01 AM   #22
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

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Please post photos of bodies that have separated rom frames.
Me too
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #23
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

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I will putting them in my roadster as well. I've gone back and forth and decided to attach them to the body and not the frame. The body will sheer off the frame in the crash and I don't want to be anchored to that mess if it does.
A Roadster would sure be a lousy Model A Ford to be in, in an accident

Seems like even with slight body flexing the doors will pop open it doesn't take much. And a rollover, ouch!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:21 AM   #24
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

Someone did an article on shoulder belts in a roadster. Might try it in my coupe.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:30 AM   #25
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

I always find these "safety" thread interesting when discussing Model A's. Like I suspect most here, I have taken a Model A right down to it's skivvies. The chances of the body sheering off in an accident is so remote that I find it hard to imagine anyone being concerned about that and here is why. Belted in or not, any impact capable of sheering off the body will kill you instantly anyway. There just isn't much to a model A, it's a glorified golf cart by todays standards. The biggest reason to instal seat belts, IMO is not to survive a crash but, rather, to keep the occupants IN the car fi you take a corner a little on the fast side. The doors are not nearly as secure as on a modern car and COULD come open if an occupant were to hit it with not very much force. I also find it curious that, while people will worry about the lack of safety do to the absence of seat belts but seem to be quite fine with having the fuel tank LITERALLY in their lap and the most hazardous ignition source (the battery) right under their feet. The ONLY way to make a Model A remotely safe is to leave it in the garage. For me personally, the seatbelt conundrum for me is not whether or not to anchor it to the floor or frame. The cars are so flimsy that I doubt that a belt will help much in a potentially fatal crash. It's weighing the risk of being ejected while taking a corner vs being strapped in between the fuel tank and the battery in a crash.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

If the body shears off of the car I don't think it will matter where your seat belt was anchored. Chap
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

There was a post last year about a family in a Model T that got rear ended, the T ended up flipping and ejecting all the family members. No one died..... It just makes me think about what would of happened if they were wearing seat belts... Im guessing in an enclosed Model A Sedan the seat belts might save there life from being tossed around... But in an open Roadster like in an open T maybe you wouldnt want them in case if it flipped. Who Knows.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

If you want seat belts and safety equipment buy a modern car. It’s much safer to drive a Model A without seat belts knowing that you are vulnerable than to drive with Mickey Mouse seatbelts thinking that you are secure. Luckily people are able to make their own choices but please don’t try to pretend that adding a couple of seatbelts to your car will fast forward it 90 years in road safety terms.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:49 PM   #29
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

Nothing we do to our Model As will make them as safe as a modern car and even those are not totally safe. People still die in those too. IMO, all we are doing by adding belts is improving our chances a little. We are playing the odds, that's all, just as we are when we get into a modern car. Who amongst us does not use the most important piece of safety equipment in a modern car - the seat belt?
I say the belts should be attached tothe most solid part of the car possible to avoid them tearing loose. That is the chassis and as has been said, in a Model A, even that is not all that terrific.
I haven't seen any pictures yet of cars with the body sheared off!
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:53 PM   #30
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At least as important as seat belts is to be sure Windshield is NOT plate glass!!

In 1963 I read about Model As having safety glass installed at factory so when I replaced ALL of the plate glass in side windows of Coupe I assumed windshield was safety glass .... wrong Batman.

1966 I hit the rear of a car stopped to make a left turn at 45 MPH.

Seat belt kept me out of the windshield glass!

Ten years and 20,000 miles later the windshield started to rattle ... glass was loose.

While removing it I found that it was single strength window glass!

Some old timer had told me years earlier, after performing the match trick to check if safety glass, that it was safe ...

Really scary to think what might have happened if I had not installed the seat belts in 1963!!
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:07 PM   #31
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

The safest thing to do is to AVOID an accident in the first place (of course) and to that end, the very FIRST safety feature that should be included in ALL cars is daytime running lights. Yes you could just turn the lights on when you drive, however, being so accustomed to things being automated these days, if you don't forget to turn them on, you will forget to turn them off. At least that is the way it is for me and i don't think I'm special. Also, we are so used to cars having their lights on that it is EASY to not notice a car without them. Again, that is the way it is for me and I'm not special. DTRL are a way more valuable safety measure than seat belts in a ModelA IMO.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:33 AM   #32
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

So as far needing belts. There are past accidents posted here. Coupes VS SUV head on. The one with seatbelts both were injured but survived, the one without they died. In both cases the damage did not go into the occupant area. Keep in mind my background is physics and I used to be an EMT. It is all about getting the car to take the energy. In the dead car the steering was munched and you can see the passenger put her head into the dash, trust me the head leaves a nice round impression in metal as I have seen it first hand.
So now to seatbelts in the A. Lots of bad articles and advice. First off the bolts must be in a shear action. The area has to be able to handle thousands of pound of force. The belts must come straight through the seat crack. This means the mount points have to be further back. In the case of the coupe it will be on the floor of the rumble area.
I had a tougher problem dealing with the wood sills of the cabriolet. I rigged a bar of 1/2 steel between the steel cross sill and so the force would be pushing forward and up on the forward wood cross sill. The mount point was such that the seat belt had the straightest run through the cushions. The sides were mounted into the wood back some to keep them in shear.
Rumble seat belts are really tough to get any good angles plus I think you have to consider the lid wanting to close. I used 1" square tube for the center mount and to the triangle braces on the sides.
Now the legal stuff. People in a car will expect any seatbelts to perform like a new car. If they use the belts you put in and get hurt they will sue you. I would be quick to remind people that they should not use the seat belts and only go as the factory built car. This may seem like a joke, but I am more serious then you might think. I also would not sell a car with the seat belts installed or advertise that it has seat belts. If you installed them then you will be sued if someone gets injured in an accident later on with the new owners. Sorry but that is how things are here the USA. Not saying that is good or bad, just basically what you have to consider these days.

The cars need seat belts. You will be safer with them installed. There are numerous accidents where the owners have stated it was only because of the seat belts the survived. There are numerous accidents were significant injuries and death have occurred with no seat belts. Those are just the facts.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #33
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Kevin in NJ View Post
So as far needing belts. There are past accidents posted here. Coupes VS SUV head on. The one with seatbelts both were injured but survived, the one without they died. In both cases the damage did not go into the occupant area. Keep in mind my background is physics and I used to be an EMT. It is all about getting the car to take the energy. In the dead car the steering was munched and you can see the passenger put her head into the dash, trust me the head leaves a nice round impression in metal as I have seen it first hand.
So now to seatbelts in the A. Lots of bad articles and advice. First off the bolts must be in a shear action. The area has to be able to handle thousands of pound of force. The belts must come straight through the seat crack. This means the mount points have to be further back. In the case of the coupe it will be on the floor of the rumble area.
I had a tougher problem dealing with the wood sills of the cabriolet. I rigged a bar of 1/2 steel between the steel cross sill and so the force would be pushing forward and up on the forward wood cross sill. The mount point was such that the seat belt had the straightest run through the cushions. The sides were mounted into the wood back some to keep them in shear.
Rumble seat belts are really tough to get any good angles plus I think you have to consider the lid wanting to close. I used 1" square tube for the center mount and to the triangle braces on the sides.
Now the legal stuff. People in a car will expect any seatbelts to perform like a new car. If they use the belts you put in and get hurt they will sue you. I would be quick to remind people that they should not use the seat belts and only go as the factory built car. This may seem like a joke, but I am more serious then you might think. I also would not sell a car with the seat belts installed or advertise that it has seat belts. If you installed them then you will be sued if someone gets injured in an accident later on with the new owners. Sorry but that is how things are here the USA. Not saying that is good or bad, just basically what you have to consider these days.

The cars need seat belts. You will be safer with them installed. There are numerous accidents where the owners have stated it was only because of the seat belts the survived. There are numerous accidents were significant injuries and death have occurred with no seat belts. Those are just the facts.
Hi Kevin,


What's your view of seat belt for only the driver. 99.9% of the time it is just me in my truck. Legally does this open up being sued for a passenger not having a seatbelt?
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:30 AM   #34
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

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WHY?
If it is because you think the body will come loose from the chassis and squash you, that is an old wife's tale. There have been threads here showing photos of wrecked cars from the Model A era. Some were very badly damaged and I don't think a single one of them had the body come loose. Maybe on the odd occassion, the body was so badly damaged that it disintegrated but a body as a whole does not come off. Other photos showed the body still attached to a very badly twisted chassis, yet still attached.
Regulations here require seat belts be attached to the chassis if no suitable anchor points are available, as in a Model A.
That story seems to have survived reason for years just like "The water flows too quickly through the radiator for it to have time to cool". Forget it!
What you say about the photos of "wrecked cars from the Model A era" is true.
BUT...that was over 80 years ago, and body rust and metal fatigue can do some really funny things sometimes.
Just something to keep in mind in "today's era"
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:31 PM   #35
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What you say about the photos of "wrecked cars from the Model A era" is true.
BUT...that was over 80 years ago, and body rust and metal fatigue can do some really funny things sometimes.
Just something to keep in mind in "today's era"
80 years of corrosion on the bolts could compromise their integrity but how many of us are driving cars that have not been "restored" sometime during that 80 years. Even thgose who drive an unrestored original car should not do so without making it safe, IMO. That includes checking/replacing thse bolts.
I would not even consider attaching seat belts anywhere other than directly to the chassis.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:52 PM   #36
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

Hello,

I have in my roadster seat belts in the color of the car. The two middle screws are mounted under the seat sheat outside with a L-profile approximately 10 inch long.

Better than nothing.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #37
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

I have lap belts and are all mounted thru the back of the seat risers with large fender washers. It's mostly for peace of mind that the belt will help keep us in the car and not get thrown out if something happens but who the hell knows. We could get turned over then the belt is more hinderance to trap me in the car. It's all just a crap shoot.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:13 AM   #38
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

Sure have kicked this one around a bit.... I have 5 As all have seat belts that I put in. They are only lap belts and MIGHT help in an accident. All are secured to a frame member, not just to body sheet metal. I have used channel Iron, 2X2 angle, 3X3 angle and other metal to secure them to. Grade 8 bolts and washers etc. A Model A is nowhere as safe as a modern car, but in my opinion they are a bit safer with belts. In 50+ years of fire and rescue work I have seen how a belt can keep people in place and alive. I have never responded to a Model A accident, and hope I never do, but if that time comes I hope for the occupants that they were belted in. Your mileage may vary......
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:42 AM   #39
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I put retractable lap belts in my 31 coupe last year from info I found on Ford Barn and they turned out pretty well. PM me with your email and I'll send you what I have.
I sent you an email.

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Old 01-13-2019, 11:48 AM   #40
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Default Re: Seat belts - to be or not to be?

I starting putting seat belts in my cars in 1957 simply because you had to have them if you wanted to participate in sanctioned drag races. The belts in my A's are attached to a C channel bolted to the frame using 3/8" grade 5 fine thread bolts.


That said, all of the nay sayers pretty much have it right (except those that think the body will separate from the frame) that seat belts aren't the magic bullet in an accident.


BUT, using belts in an A reinforces a pattern of using belts every time you get in a vehicle. Nothing wrong with that.
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