1970 Mustang Custom Seat Belt Installation

1970 Mustang
3pt Shoulder Harness How-to

Custom Install
This installation is going to be a little different from our stock installation. The main difference is that the retractor is getting mounted in a different location. This move will make the retractor completely hidden but in doing so we make a little extra work for ourselves. In the long run, we find it is worth it though. Hiding the retractor makes it look a lot cleaner and it also gets it out of the way. Passengers getting into the back seat, won't have to step over it. This DOES NOT make the belt any less effective. This custom installation of the three point seat belts is very similar to the installation on the Nifty One wagon. The Mustang has a rear panel with an arm rest built in that when installed, completely covers the retractor. Not all cars will have a panel like this, but it can still be done. The retractor can be hidden in the rear kick panel which is what we did on the Nifty One wagon.

Step 1:
The 1970 Mustang had a seat belt with a shoulder harness. It was a little different then what we think of as a shoulder harness seat belt. The 3pt shoulder harness seat belts that we are installing are D. O. T. approved.

You may find as we did that you need to clean out the threads. The seat belt mounting points have become rusted-up over the years. The tap is a 7/16" fine thread for the floor mounts & 3/8" coarse thread for the shoulder point.

Step 2:
The shoulder mount and the fixed side are being mounted the same way as the regular install. Just unbolt the old belt, and clean the threads if needed.

Step 3:
The shoulder part of the Juliano's seat belt gets bolted into place. We are using the same exact location as the stock belt without any modification. The special shoulder bolt that comes in the hardware kit allows this point to pivot even with the bolt extremely tight.

Step 4:
With that tight, the plastic piece snaps into place. This seat belt install is taking place in the middle of a full restoration so that is why the interior is completely removed.  When you are mounting to stock locations, you would not have to remove any interior pieces. We will have to remove some interior components when we mount the retractor and end bracket during the custom installation.

Step 5:
The mounting location we used to mount the retractor and end bracket on the basic install will not get used in this installation. We usually say to use the stock mounting location if you can, but in this case we want to open up access to the rear seat and keep the retractor out of eye sight.

Step 6:
Here is the special bracket that we are using for this custom install. Toby is using a marker to mark where he needs to drill. The small holes are used to bolt the bracket to the car. The large holes are going to be the new mounting locations for the retractor and end bracket. The retractor will get bolted to the top one and the end bracket will get bolted to the bottom. If you are going to install your belts like this in a 70 Mustang, you will need to order the custom installation hardware kit.

Step 7:
With all the holes marked its time to drill.

Step 8:
The bracket is bolted in place and ready to go. We choose to bolt the bracket in place, but you can also weld it in.

Step 9:
The retractor is mounted and the end bracket is bolted in place. With these two tight, you can figure out where to cut the interior panel for the belt to exit out of it.

Step 10:
We put the interior panel into place so we can line up about where its going to come out. We want to make the hole in the right place so the belt doesn't rub on it as it goes in and out.

Step 11:
We put tape down and draw the opening we want. The tape helps reduce chipping and also gives us a guide to cut on

Step 12:
With that cut out, we use a file to do the finishing touches.

Step 13:
As you can see it came out great. The opening has to be large enough to fit the buckle out of. When you put it together for the first time you have to run the buckle and shoulder mounting point through this hole. The hole we have here was more than enough to do the trick.

Step 14:

Once you’re done with that, unbolt the shoulder part and the end bracket of the belt. Feed the buckle, shoulder bracket, and the mounting point through the hole and bolt it back into place. You may need to set the panel in place to get the correct angle on the end bracket before tightening it down since this part will stick out of the bottom front corner of the panel.

This is a very slick way to get the job done and it looks better than having the retractor right in the middle of everything.

Step 15:
Here is our bracket being bolted to the stock seat belt location. This is located on the drive shaft tunnel. This bracket is going to allow us to have the stiff arm part of the belt exactly where it needs to be.

Step 16:
We are showing you this part with the carpet in so you can see how clean it looks once it's all together.

Step 17:
Here is the stiff arm bolted in. With all of the trim pieces and interior panels installed the custom installation looks great. It's a very clean look these belts look great and are made of very strong materials. All of the bolts in our hardware kit are grade 8. Make sure to tighten all bolts very tight.

The installation we just performed is not any different then the basic install in terms of safety. Looks and accessibility to the back seat is the only reason we wanted to install it differently. If you don't want to make these modifications for whatever reason, the basic install is just as good.

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The Stock Installation