Click Banner for Details on this Saabnet.com Classified




Passive Seatbelt Replacement



This FAQ was generously created by TSN Members Jason Philbrook and Jacob Post.

Passive Seatbelt Replacement on a Classic Saab 900


When the electric seatbelts fail, and they do, it's a safety hazard, an inconvenience, and a potentially expensive repair job. Different people have different ways to replace the seatbelts, and some go so far as to replace the headliner. (ceiling of the car). This is totally un-necessary with this method. In this webpage, we'll put 3-point seatbelts from a early to mid-80's Saab 900 3door into this 1989 Saab 900T 3door.

You should take from the old car, the seatbelt mechanisms, bolts, rear panels (as patterns), and Oh-sh** handles.

I did this on my 88 900T 3door, and it worked so well that Jacob used the same procedure when the seatbelts in his 89 900T 3door failed. I provided some minor assistance and took pictures.

If you click on the 640 link, you will get a decent sized photo. If you click on the 1024 link you will get a very large detailed photo.



640-pixel
1024-pixel

Instructions

Remove the panels as shown in the photograph. There are a handful of plastic twist screw things which hold these foam and plastic panels in place. The seatbelt motor is mounted behind this panel and has to be removed.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
This is the seatbelt motor right here. Flip the seat forward and unscrew the motor. There are wires under the seat which also need to be unplugged. No cutting is necessary, they unplug neatly. After this is done, the motor will be dangling by the track.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
Peel back some of the rubber door gasket. Below this is some gooey tape which holds the track cover on. The track cover is also attached with two screws where the visors attach. These should be undone. There are also a couple of plastic snaps which hold it on. These should be removed as well, but don't wreck them.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
This photo shows the track as it is attached to the car. Here, Jacob is putting some serious force on some huge TORX bits which hold the track to the frame. Remove the track completely from the car. The motor will come out with it.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
I had acquired a set of panels from the parts Saab and used them as a pattern for cutting a hole for the seatbelts in the panels that belong to this Saab. Please do this cutting neatly. Also, slope the cutting downward toward the inside where the knife is now. Then the seatbelts won't rub against the back of the panel when they are sliding up and down.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
There is a little plastic piece which screws into this which guides the seatbelt in and out. It is shown here. It was taken from the donor car. There are also a couple little bolts and metal clips which hold it to the panel.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
Beautiful! This is what it should look like. When you acquire the seatbelts from the donor car, make sure they are not damaged. Defects in the seatbelt could reduce their safety. (Duh!) Now you should bolt the seatbelt mechanism down using the bolts from the donor car, and replace the panel, and put carpet back down.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
From the donor car you should also stolen the Oh Sh** Handles, and the bolts which attach them to the vehicle. Having these is important because where the seatbelt attaches to the pillar, there would otherwise be no place to put it with piece that had been removed. (The track cover) The holes for the bolts are already built into the car, and neatly threaded and everything. Perhaps the engineers knew passive belts were just a fad and the retaining the original configuration might come in handy?


640-pixel
1024-pixel
There's probably a little pre-cut section in the carpet which you can pull out for the bottom of the seatbelt to bolt to the floor. Pull out this little round piece of carpet, and there is a small rubber plug in the body which must be removed. This protects the threads which you will then use to attach the bottom section of the seatbelt. Pretty slick.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
Here's how it bolts to the floor. The annoying plastic guard which fits down over this was not shown in the picture, perhaps for clarity. Well, you take the bolt which you removed from the donor car and bolt the seatbelt into the floor via the hole which you just cleaned out. Simple as that.


640-pixel
1024-pixel
Final tip: Cut the lower part of the track cover where it changes color. A hack saw or a band saw does good a good clean cut here. Then re-attach the top part of the track cover. It happens to fit neatly over the older oh-sh** handles. It also makes it unnecessary to replace the headliner, which would be a big expensive pain.

This is the finished picture. As for the belts which are built into the seats, I left them there. I've got more important things to do beside dis-assemble and re-assemble car seats. Besides, it's amusing to watch passengers' expressions when they are presented with two choices for seatbelts.


Subject: Jacob Post and his 1989 900T 3-door.
Photographer: Jason Philbrook
Camera: Agfa1280 digital camera


Return to FAQ index
Return to The Saab Network

The content on this site may not be republished without permission. Copyright © 1988-2016 - The Saab Network - saabnet.com.
For usage guidelines, see the Saabnet.com Mission and Purpose Page.
[Contact | Site Map | Saabnet.com on Facebook | Saabnet.com on Twitter | Shop Amazon via TSN | Site Donations]