The proper installation of seat belts is crucial for proper operation.
The information contained in this instruction is supported by the SCORE-International rule book. The illustrations and text are written by Greg Cornelius of Desert Design & Fabrication. (www.desertkarts.com)
Be sure you are properly qualified before installing seat belts in any vehicle. Your life and the life of you passenger depend on it.
1. If welding is required to install the seat belts have the welds done by a certified welder.
2. Follow the guidelines of installation to ensure effective seat belt operation.
3. Follow proper tensioning techniques.
A properly installed lap belt is the foundation to a properly functioning harness system. The lap belt must run across the lap near the crotch and not against the stomach. If you are using a slotted seat there must be enough room for the belts to be adjusted.
Frequently installers place the adjustment buckles in a location that prevents proper tensioning of the lap belt. This may allow the belt to ride up on to the stomach which could cause injury to the vehicle occupant. (Driver / Passenger)
The belt should run across the lap and angle back towards the rear of the car. If you are using seat sliders make sure that this angle is achieved for all positions of the seat. In a dune buggy it is required that tabs be welded to the lower tubes of the frame near the seat. In the case of the shoulder harness it is ok to remove the mounting tab and wrap the belt around a mounting tube. It is NOT ok to wrap the belts around the floor tubes. Doing so will cause chaffing of the belt between the floor panel and the tube causing premature failure in the system.
Before welding the mounting tab to the frame ensure the gas tank is removed and all flammable materials are removed before welding.
The belts must run down to the floor and remain near the seat and not out to the edge of the car at an angle. If there is no solid location for the seat belts to mount in your car one must be fabricated and installed before proceeding.
In no case should the seat mounting hardware be used to secure the belts. The seat belts must have their own mounts.
The shoulder straps must be mounted at least 4 inches below shoulder height and not more than 7 inches below shoulder height. If the belts are mounted too high they will not protect you from moving up and out of the car in the event of a rollover. If the belts are mounted too low they will have no effect in a frontal collision. The occupant will rotate through the loop created by the belt.
A cross bar should be welded in the area between the seat and the engine. These tubes are usually close to the seat and provide a suitable mounting location for your shoulder straps. The tube must be the same diameter and wall thickness as the frame.
To mount the shoulder straps you have two options. You can weld a tab to the cross tube at the center of the seat, or you can remove the mounting tab and wrap the strap around the tube using the "M" buckle to secure the strap.
Do not run the straps over your engine. It is better to trim your straps so the length is correct than to expose the webbing material to the heat and chemicals of the engine.
Leave enough material to allow the proper tensioning of the belts when the seat is forward and back if sliders are being used.