Seatbelt latch - Child Seat - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 20th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Seatbelt latch - Child Seat

Hi,

For those with babies..........

A while ago I posted a message asking if anyone ever had their child in the front seat of the Defender. I got a ton of "YES" answers.

Today I had the opportunity to try it. Thought it would be the coolest thing, and my 13 month old son would love riding around in the front seat! He can already points it out everytime he is in the driveway. But I Could not figure it out. Here is my problem:

On our newer cars - if you pull the belt out all the way, you hear an audible click, and when you start feeding the shoulder belt back in it does not come back out. You are able to really get the seat in tight this way.

On my Defender - if you yank the seatbelt it will jerk - but no matter what I do the seatbelt will just pull in and out. So I can get the seat in pretty tight - but then by shaking the baby seat, the belt starts to pull back out and and the car seat loosens right back up.

So how did people do it? Am I an idiot and missing something? I know I will get responses of just tying the seat to the roll bar, but I want to know if there is a 'standard' way to do it.

Flagg
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  #2  
Old February 20th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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I made 2 anchor points and bolted one to the seat belt mount (inside) and one to the roll cage mount (outside) and then used the "LATCH" system on the child seat to make it secure.
Worked for forward and rear facing as the little one grew up. No air bag on the passenger side so no problem. Little one is now almost 5 and survived not growing up in a mini van!!!
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  #3  
Old February 20th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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My wife used one of these http://www.babyproofingplus.com/item2669.htm with a locking clip and you could tighten it right down. But don't tighten it too tight because it takes all the give out of the seat belt, apparently the seat belt can snap in half if you really crank it down(if you got in an accident). I also tied the latch system into the roll cage.

http://www.skjp.com/products/index.p...yTite4344&id=6
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  #4  
Old February 20th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Hey Mike do you have a picture of what you did? Im not quite sure I follow what you did.

I assume this is only for the front? What about the back ? I have a rear seat would like to be able to use either seat.
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  #5  
Old February 21st, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagg
Here is my problem:

On our newer cars - if you pull the belt out all the way, you hear an audible click, and when you start feeding the shoulder belt back in it does not come back out. You are able to really get the seat in tight this way.

On my Defender - if you yank the seatbelt it will jerk - but no matter what I do the seatbelt will just pull in and out. So I can get the seat in pretty tight - but then by shaking the baby seat, the belt starts to pull back out and and the car seat loosens right back up.
Flagg
Flagg,

I'm not sure that the ratchet style seatbelt tighteners would work in your situation Flagg, though they might, I'd consult the documentation that comes with it. Newer car's seat belts have a feature called ALR (Automatic Locking retractor) that allows you to pull the belt all the way out, and when it goes back in locks in each ratcheted position, not allowing the belt to come back out until it is feed all the way back in, defeating the ALR. This is specifically for the purpose of securing child safety seats. You can always use the basic and time tested seat belt Locking Clip (info on how to use it), most every car seat comes with and can be picked up for about $2.99 if you can't find it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefighter2904
Hey Mike do you have a picture of what you did? Im not quite sure I follow what you did.

I assume this is only for the front? What about the back ? I have a rear seat would like to be able to use either seat.
Hey Jason,

I'm in the same boat as you (so to speak), and will be putting a solution into place this spring. My best idea so far is to remove the 'Y' portion of the rear seat belts, that bolts to the floor in the rear center, and replace it with two of these . My hope is that they will be the right length to then use as an anchor point for the child safety seat's LATCH anchors. Since this mounting point is already reinforced and (theoretically) crash tested as an anchor point to restrain two adults, I would think it would be secure enough, though any input to the contrary is certainly welcome. Still trying to figure out what to use as an anchor point for the top tether though. So far running to the roll bar is all I've come up with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
I made 2 anchor points and bolted one to the seat belt mount (inside) and one to the roll cage mount (outside) and then used the "LATCH" system on the child seat to make it secure.
Worked for forward and rear facing as the little one grew up. No air bag on the passenger side so no problem. Little one is now almost 5 and survived not growing up in a mini van!!!
Mike,

I'd like to see your front seat anchor arrangement as well. What did you use as an anchor point for the top tether, the roll cage?
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  #6  
Old February 21st, 2008, 09:53 AM
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I made little D ring things out of plate, then bent the angle up and made them so the latch thingy on the child seat would clip into them, Then I took out the bolt that holds the seat belt clip (inside strap of seat) and put the D ring under it. Then took out a roll cage bolt on the tub (outside strap of seat) and put the thingy under that bolt.
When I looked at what I built compared to the latch points that were in the wifes Audi it was clear they were plenty strong.
I don't have any pix. It was a long time ago. If Noah is on the board he can snap some pix maybe. They are likely still in ECR 4.
The top/back strap went over the seat and down to the roll bar on the floor.

I made the same things for the dune buggy.

Apologies for all the mini-van safety freaks who think it is "unsafe" to put kids in cool cars.
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  #7  
Old February 21st, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
I made little D ring things out of plate, then bent the angle up and made them so the latch thingy on the child seat would clip into them, Then I took out the bolt that holds the seat belt clip (inside strap of seat) and put the D ring under it. Then took out a roll cage bolt on the tub (outside strap of seat) and put the thingy under that bolt.
When I looked at what I built compared to the latch points that were in the wifes Audi it was clear they were plenty strong.
I don't have any pix. It was a long time ago. If Noah is on the board he can snap some pix maybe. They are likely still in ECR 4.
The top/back strap went over the seat and down to the roll bar on the floor.

I made the same things for the dune buggy.

Apologies for all the mini-van safety freaks who think it is "unsafe" to put kids in cool cars.
Thanks for the description Mike, I thought you had photos of everything you've done! LOL! One other thing for everyone to keep in mind is that the car seat manufacturer will have guidelines for the minimum and maximum distance between LATCH anchor points. Obviously the same width between anchors on the seat and the car seat is preferable, but the wider the anchor points become, the more inward force is exerted on both the anchor points and the carseat attachment points, which can also cause some serious problems in crash dynamics (think vectored forces from those physics classes you took). I would imagine that the points described are considerably wider than the car seat attachment points, so that would be a concern for me. The Car Seat we have specifies a maximum of 14" if I remember correctly, but all seats will be different.
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  #8  
Old February 21st, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I see your concern, and you can narrow the width by drilling some holes and making backing plates in the right place.

I understand the concerns of parents (I'm one too) but when I was installing my first child seat in my wife's car years ago (if you have kids and remember the very first time you put a child seat in a car it seems like it takes forever (now I can do it in seconds)) I dug in and took a look at those "ultra safe, ultra special DOT/NHTSA, AARP, AAA, DEA, CIA, IIA, etc etc approved latch things" in the car she had then a, BMW X5, and it was 2 D rings that looked like they came from the hardware store held down by about 4 spot welds.

My point is that if you think about it a bit anything you build will likely be a ton stronger than the "ultra safe" crap thats in your wife's Volvo.
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  #9  
Old February 21st, 2008, 11:47 AM
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THANKS everyone. Keep those ideas coming! I have to get my son into my Defender at some point. I know he will love it. He already points to it, walks over to it - imagine when I surprise him and put him in for a ride. When I get to something I will post what I did. And I love hearing all the suggestions.

Mike - I never thought that my first response would be from one of the Defender experts in this country! Thanks for the value and knowledge you add to this D-90 board. I enjoy reading and learn something from EVERY one of your posts. CONGRATS on making it 5 years with no Mini VAN! I love the picture of your son in the dune buggy.

J Landers - I kind of agree with Scott in that I am not sure a ratchet will properly tighten the belt (yet I know it worked for you so I am curious. I think I may have to retrofit off the roll bar.

I am first going to try to take the seat bottom out an strap it right to the box the seat is on. Yesterday I had the seat bottom out, I put a seat protector in for the seat back protection, and it fit quite well. It was only the seat belt itself that made me write.

Thanks.

Flagg
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  #10  
Old February 21st, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagg
<snip>

Mike - I never thought that my first response would be from one of the Defender experts in this country! Thanks for the value and knowledge you add to this D-90 board. I enjoy reading and learn something from EVERY one of your posts. CONGRATS on making it 5 years with no Mini VAN! I love the picture of your son in the dune buggy.

<snip>
That'll be $50 please



(I think I've been subconciously waiting for someone to thank Mike for anything so I could make that joke)

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  #11  
Old February 21st, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bharris
That'll be $50 please

Well... I didn't have to drive to the other shop to get the file, and I didn't have to re-type it... so lets call it 25 bucks!!!
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  #12  
Old February 21st, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
I see your concern, and you can narrow the width by drilling some holes and making backing plates in the right place.

I understand the concerns of parents (I'm one too) but when I was installing my first child seat in my wife's car years ago (if you have kids and remember the very first time you put a child seat in a car it seems like it takes forever (now I can do it in seconds)) I dug in and took a look at those "ultra safe, ultra special DOT/NHTSA, AARP, AAA, DEA, CIA, IIA, etc etc approved latch things" in the car she had then a, BMW X5, and it was 2 D rings that looked like they came from the hardware store held down by about 4 spot welds.

My point is that if you think about it a bit anything you build will likely be a ton stronger than the "ultra safe" crap thats in your wife's Volvo.
LOL! You have no idea the amount of research I put in before our daughter was born, so funny you should say that (how many links you want?)! My wife's ride is actually a current generation Subaru Outback. I had to see the LATCH anchors too. They aren't terribly beefy looking, but they are bolted through the floor on her car at least.

Just for the record, I'd be less worried about the anchors you made failing (as a result of the distance between them) and more worried about the off-center forces from the widened anchor positions damaging the child seat's shell in a way that caused some sort of catastrophic failure of the seat's shell, and therefore not restraining the child as designed in an accident..
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  #13  
Old February 21st, 2008, 03:38 PM
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i dont want to be a wet blanket but is it legal to put a car seat in the front seat of a car? or defender as the case may be.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:57 PM
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that's going to be a state dependent question as carseat laws are defined at the state rather than the federal level. Having said that, however, I know it's legal in California, Colorado and Utah (unless changed recently that I was unaware of)

in jump seats.. not so much... which means car seat in the front; wife in the back with the dogs (and I wonder why she love it so much)
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Yes, it is "legal" it is only with airbags that there is an issue. It may not be "as safe" as a backseat, but it is "legal"

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Old February 21st, 2008, 04:52 PM
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In Maryland - IF the car is not equipped with airbags - it is legal for the baby to ride in the front. If we can pull it off, we will only do local short errands with him. Any long trips will be in the back middle of the Sedan........

Flagg
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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagg
Mike - I never thought that my first response would be from one of the Defender experts in this country!
OK... lets not over do it.


Actually this subject is a touchy one with me because I hate it when folks sell their Defenders when they get kids. Some of my best memories were of riding with my dad in his SIIA 88. If he'd gone all "mini-van" on me I wouldn't be who I am today. Keep the Defender AND your kids. Glad to see you are working on how to get the kids in the truck.

Remember when some of us grew up there were no real child seats, no one wore seat belts and that SIIA had a nice metal dash.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 10:06 PM
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No shit. I remember long cross-country drives every summer in the back of the family station wagon. Seats folded flat, kids spread out, and sometimes fighting. If it got really out of control, Dad would tap on the brakes, which would roll the kids forward, right behind the front seats. It was then easy for him, or Mom, to administrate "corrective action", and the trip would resume, with nary a stop.

Methinks if a State Trooper saw that today...............................
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  #19  
Old February 21st, 2008, 10:18 PM
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I remember riding on the parcel tray (under the back window of a sedan). Then getting chucked off when Dad nailed the brakes. Great fun!
Also recall laying on the center console and messing with the radio while going down the highway. My mother tells me stories about the "child seat" I had. It had a big metal steering wheel and lots of sharp edges she says.
Also recall, just like you, sliding around on the huge metal floor in the back of those GM wagons... it was like a skating rink... kids and the dogs all piled back there. My buddy's dad had a Pontiac wagon with the split tailgate and we'd put the window down and sit with heads out the back... maybe that's what happened to all those brain cells.

I'm old enough to remember being able to ride in the back of a pick up too... man I sound like an old fart.

I'm not against safety, but it does make me giggle when my son is not allowed to ride his bike without a helmet. When I think of all the dumb ass stuff I did on BMX bikes and how many speed runs on skateboards... no helmet... T shirt and shorts... ah the 70's
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  #20  
Old February 22nd, 2008, 10:24 AM
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No way I am selling the Defender for the reason of a child seat. I am instead going to figure out how to make one work. This is not an emergency for me, because we have other cars that can hold a seat. But I am going to make it happen! My son would love riding in the truck, AND it will happen!.

Mike - Thank god you dad did not "go mini-van" on you. That would be a real loss to the Defender world........

Flagg
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