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Cantedvalve

Shelby Harnesses - how do they work?

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I am getting close to needing seatbelts in my car again, I am considering a MTF rollbar and some sort of harness for my car.  The MTF rollbar comes with a mount for a Shelby style harness.  I have found a Shelby style harness, but upon looking at it, I have no idea how it works.  Evidently  the shoulder straps don't connect to the lap belt (they bolt to the lap belt mounting points)?  Are these more for show, or do they actually provide some level of safety?

My original belts are just that... original.  The material feels brittle, and the shoulder belt doesn't stay clipped in (the plastic ring is gone).  So I need to replace them anyway, and I thought this might be an upgrade.  I'd go with a regular 3 point, but most if not all the 3 point setups I have found are actually 4 point (or look like cheap 80's crap), and I don't want to do that.

So in addition to the original question, I guess... anyone make a true 3 point with shoulder strap that will bolt to the original locations?  AND look fairly original?

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I can't help you with answering how a Shelby style harness works, but FWIW, I had the belts in my cars restored, and they turned out really good.  They look & work like new, which is exactly what I was after.  There are several companies out there that do this, and I had mine done by Python Restoration.  http://www.pythonrestoration.com/

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Fwiw, I found that if you install any harness you will be stuck back into the seat, and not able to reach the dash for whatever reason. Ymmv.

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13 hours ago, RPM said:

Fwiw, I found that if you install any harness you will be stuck back into the seat, and not able to reach the dash for whatever reason. Ymmv.

Oooooo... I hadn't thought of that!  Dang it.  I definitely want to be able to move.   Really though, with the stock belts you can't lean forward either.  So maybe it isn't that much of a difference?    See I HAD a harness style picked out that I could get matching rear belts with.  But it's a harness, so limited movement  The Shelby style is at least inertial locking where you can move otherwise, but I don't like the way the harness works.

My problem with the stock belts is that the little plastic ring that goes on the shoulder strap stud breaks away.  When I got the car, I always left the shoulder strap attached.  Until that broke.  After that it became a pain.  It is also pretty salty to restore them and then not be happy with them.

And I really want one of those MTF roll bars...  so I need to find a reason.

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So, how about THIS...  4 point harness with dual inertial retractors!  Probably not the best of ideas...

I dont like that the shoulder straps on the Shelby style harness dont attach to the lap belt, OR that it is a 2 step process for getting into the Shelby style harness.   I DO like the inertial retractor though.  So maybe if I can find the retractor and a different 3 point harness that is all one piece, I an be happy!  OR... a buckle for the retractor that will take a 4 point harness.

I think I have ruled out restoring my belts at least for the time being.

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I've reassessed my stock belts. They are in acceptable condition (belts are flexible, stitching intact, good color, chrome in great shape), except for the shoulder belts.  Those are the crunchy ones, discolored, stretched out elastic bands, missing the plastic rings around the studs, but the chrome is in good shape.  So I'm gonna send them off to be rebuilt.  This way I don't have too much into them should I decide to do the roll bar and harness later.

But I really want that roll bar......

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22 minutes ago, Cantedvalve said:

I've reassessed my stock belts. They are in acceptable condition (belts are flexible, stitching intact, good color, chrome in great shape), except for the shoulder belts.  Those are the crunchy ones, discolored, stretched out elastic bands, missing the plastic rings around the studs, but the chrome is in good shape.  So I'm gonna send them off to be rebuilt.  

Ok, well, here is the deal. There is another company called snake oyl that has been restoring belts for many years. They have 2 levels of quality. Some people have stated that the stitching and webbing (belt material) was not 100% concours correct, however, these people did not say if they got the low end or high end resto from snake oyl, however, they all said the service was fast and they were always easy to get a hold of. I have seen the high end belts done by snake oyl years ago and they were 100% concours correct in every way, but again, that was years ago.

python resto does a good job but many have said he can be hard to reach and is often running a few weeks behind.

I would call both companies and ask exactly what webbing they currently have available and how it compares to the original and what a realistic turn around time is and approximate cost etc.

If you want them fast and they don't have to be 100% concours correct with the buckles restored etc, you can take them to an upholstery shop and have them redo them. you can compare the webbing they use to see if you like it. You may also be able to get the original webbing from an upholstery supplier like i have in the past. sms may have it and so may aaa upholstery or detroit vinyl. i have had a local upholstery shop do several belts and they all came out xlnt and they even matched the factory stitching when i asked them to. the thin elastic band on the shoulder belts is also available.

 

 

 

 

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Cantedvalve - 

I have a 69 GT350 with the roll bar and shoulder harnesses. I rarely use them. Here's the picture from the owners manual. I think it says it all. At best, if you stop short, you get great posture - worst case your arms remain behind the rest of your torso. I have not had the inertial reel grab hold yet while driving.

That being said, I admit that the combo of the padded roolbar and harnesses hanging down looks really cool - and have had many a spectator comment similarly.

Doug

20180928_001757.jpg

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I've contacted both Python and Ssnake-oyl.  Ssnake got back with me, and all in process is 5-8 weeks (assuming for a whole set). I don't need concours stitching, as there is nothing concours about my car.

I am not a fan of how the harnesses in the Shelby cars work.  Id love to have an inertial reels on a 4 point harness - which means 2 reels per seat.  However, there are enough warnings about street driving and roll bars that I don't feel comfortable having my kids in the car.  I don't race, but I do like cool and functional.  I thought the roll bar (with the kicker to the wheel well) with harnesses would be an automatic increase in safety, but it evidently isn't. So, I will do more research while using the stock belts. The goal is to get the car up and running again, and the harnesses don't necessarily help me get there.  The MTF headliner does though!  That is going in tonight.

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3 hours ago, Cantedvalve said:

Yeah, he must be really busy because he hasnt answered the phone.

lol, sounds familiar.

 

4 hours ago, mustangstofear said:

Python is about 40% cheaper than Snake Oly, that's  why we switched  years ago. His work is excellent. 

 

i think he may have worked at snake oyl originally

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Python Restoration here - Stewart

A customer gave me a heads up on this thread

Cool forum

We are blessed with an abundance of customers and work, so sometimes in-house orders take priority over answering phone inquiries.   We are better at responding to email rather than phone calls as we can do that after hours if need be.  Don't be afraid to email more than once if we somehow missed the first inquiry.

The original roll bar reels for Shelby are an inertia style reel - they will pay out slowly as you lean forward to adjust the radio or grab your phone - but lock instantly if they spool out quickly.   It is wise to check this on original reels to be sure they are working as designed.

67s were a one piece design, 68 - 70 are the two piece clip design - picture attached.   The MTF bar is nice - will need to check to see which reel and cover it is designed for.   67 mounting bracket is different than the 68-70 style.

Attached a pic of a correct 69 set we restored - and a correct 68 69 style retractor on an original bar.  We do also sell reproduction inertia reels since the originals are so difficult to find and quite expensive.

If you are planning on driving the car be sure to use belts with new or newer webbing as they will still have the ability to stretch and work as intended.   Webbing is designed to stretch 25-30% of it's length in a collision.  50 year old webbing may hold or may not - but any stretch would be long gone.   

Hope this answers the question - if not, we will be glad to try and help.   Good luck with the project.

Stewart

Python Restoration

www.pythonrestoration.com

 

IMG_3081.JPG

68 shelby retractor.jpg

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