Lotus Elan

Seat belt removal Elan S3

PostPost by: tomjones20194 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:32 pm

Folks - I’m working on removing the interior of my S3 so that I can rebuild the panels and install new carpet. I’m almost there but cannot figure out how to remove the seat belt retractor from the rear wall panel. Below is a picture of the hex screw that needs to come out. I cannot get a socket or wrench on the hex head since the belt is in the way. I’ve tried finding the nut on the other end but it’s buried somewhere up on the frame chassis and inaccessible. Advice greatly appreciated.

Regards
Tom

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:49 pm

Can't see from your photo where the reels are located on the back panel but if they use the same fixing points as the static belts then they will be bolted to the chassis either directly to the rear suspension towers via the body mount bolts or to outrigger brackets mounted on the top of the towers. In either case the bolts are threaded directly into the chassis and there will not be any nuts to access to assist removal unfortunately.

Have you tried using an open ended spanner inserted from below behind the belt reel ? If you can get it on the bolt head you may then be able to turn the whole lot together .. may damage the carpet but you are replacing that anyway. Failing that maybe you can grind off a swan neck ring spanner enough to fit over the bolt head.
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:17 pm

Use a ring spanner, to get over the 'hump' at the top of the fixing plate, the head of the spanner is offset for such purposes.

Image

As far as I recall from the last time I did this, it was not a problem; if the belt get in the way simply pull it all out and tie the end somewhere to stop the spring rolling it back.

The whole thing comes away from the back panel as you undo the bolt so the clearance for the spanner remains fairly constant.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:32 pm

Tom, it's tough to see how the seat belt body is bolted up since we cannot see where it's mounted on the rear panel.

If it is like later Federal cars (S4s & Sprints) the inertia seat belt is mounted low & bolts through the wheel arch & is backed up with a re-inforcing plate & mounting nut.
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Take a look inside the wheel arch & see.....
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PostPost by: tomjones20194 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:25 pm

My S3 is different than the S4/Sprint photo. Retractor mounts to the top of the rear frame arch.

I’ll try the offset wrench. I don’t have one of those so did not occur to me. I was trying an open ended straight wrench and a ratchet and neither worked.

Thanks for the replies.
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PostPost by: bulfin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:38 pm

Sorry to change the thread, but my S4 has non-inertia seatbelts. Was this a PO change or were the reel type an option?

Thanks,

Bob
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:00 pm

bulfin wrote: Was this a PO change or were the reel type an option?


I believe they were standard fittings on S3SE cars and optional on other cars.
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PostPost by: tomjones20194 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:14 am

Success! The offset box wrench worked. Rear panel has now been removed. Now on to making some fiberglass replacement panels...

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