1956 Ford Wagon 3 Point Seat Belt How-to

1956 Ford Wagon 3 Point Seat Belt How-to

3-Points   for 56 Ford Wagon 

Long roof cars are seen more and more frequent around local cruise night spots. From everyday drivers, to show car caliber vehicles. Most have gone through some modernization changes, but one of the last areas to be addressed is safety belts. A lot of modifications may sound harder to do then they really are once you attempt to do them. After going through this article we hope it will make it a lot easier for you to install three point and lap belts in your nineteen fifty five or fifty six Ford.

Step 1:
The first step in this three-point safety belt installation is to remove the "B" pillar's interior panel and wind lace.

Step 2:
Next is to find the location of the pivot bracket. It has to be above the shoulder (when seated), and in a spot where the "B" pillar bracket can be mounted.

Step 3:
Some cars have access holes in the pillar that makes it easy to slide the bracket into. In this case the bracket has to be welded to the outside of the inner pillar panel. With a marker, mark the spot where the bracket "pivot bolt" hole has to be drilled.

Step 4:
Hold the bracket nut up to your mark. If there's anything that's going to prevent the bracket from fitting flat against the pillar panel, then either the bracket, or the panel has to be modified. In this case, we decided to make the bracket fit the panel.

Step 5:
After marking the bracket, we used a die cutter to notch out the upper and lower sections of the pillar bracket.

Step 6:
Next, trace out the bracket on the pillar so you know where to grind off the paint for a clean weld.

Step 7:
You can use a grinder or sand paper to scrape off the paint, but make sure it's free of paint, rust, or grease .

Step 8:
Now its time to drill out the hole for the bracket nut (the mark you made in step 4). Start with a 1/8" or 1/4" drill bit and work your way up to 3/4". In this photo you'll see we put a socket over the drill bit, to prevent the bit from hitting and denting the outer panel.

Step 9:
Double check pivot bracket mark, and drill slowly, don't force the bit through.

Step 10:
After drilling, use a file to square up the hole so the bracket nut fits inside. The nut must face toward the outside of the car in order for it to work correctly.

Step 11:
Then with a piece of wood to protect the outer pillar panel, and clamp the pivot bolt bracket in place.

Step 12:
Protect the interior with welding blankets, and weld the bracket in place.
Step 13:
Wire brush the weld and apply a primer or paint to protect the area from rusting.

Step 14:
To locate the hole that will have to be drilled in the interior panel, measure from the center of the pivot bolt to the upper interior panel mounting screw bracket. We used a longer bolt then what is supplied in the hardware kit, with a spacer, to allow the belt bracket to pivot without rubbing against the interior panel. Also make sure the bolt is not too long and bottoming out on the outer pillar panel..

Step 15:
Transfer that measurement to the inner interior panel and mark it. Next, center punch the mark and drill out to a 9/16" hole.

Step 16:
Install the interior panel, and bolt the pivot bracket in place tight. The bracket should pivot freely and not rub against the interior panel.

Step 17:
To be sure nothing is rubbing also install the plastic bracket cover.

Step 18:
The lower section, (the retractor) can be mounted on the floor using an "L" bracket/anchor plate combination, or on the lower "B" pillar area. In this case we welded an anchor plate to the inner pillar. Again measure from the interior panel screw bracket, to the center of the anchor plate nut, to find the location of the hole to be drilled in the interior panel.

Step 19:
Transfer the measurement to the interior panel, mark it, and drill out to a 9/16" hole. Using the same process, mark and drill a 9/16" hole in the inner "B" pillar panel.

Step 20:
Place the anchor plate nut (with the nut facing to the outside of the car), over the hole, mark the pillar panel where you're going to weld the anchor plate in, and clean that area of paint, rust and grease. Put the anchor plate back in place and weld it in.

Step 21:
When finished, the anchor plate should look like this, with the nut to the inside of the pillar. Clean, prime, or paint to prevent from rusting.

Step 22:
With everything bolted back in place, the retractor and pivot bracket assembly should look like this.

Step 23:
Next we'll install the buckle arm. For a bench seat you'll need what's called a "soft arm belt". With bucket seats, you'll need a "stiff arm belt". Keep this in mind when ordering your safety belts. With the bench seat installation, position the seat all the way forward. Slide the belt in between the cushion and back rest, with about three inches of the buckle arm showing.

Step 24:
The belt should be long enough to bolt to the drive shaft tunnel, at a point where the seat is all the way back. Get this measurement before placing your order, because the buckle arms come in different lengths.

Step 25:
Mark the location on the side of the tunnel, then take a look under the car to make sure there's room for the anchor plate, and that you're not drilling through anything other than the floor pan. If all is clear, drill out to a 7/16" hole. Note, that in this installation, we also added in lap belts for a third person. They can go into the same holes with washers to space them out.

Step 26:
With everything bolted in tight, and the same installation done on the other side of the car, were ready to go to the back seat to install lap belts for three people. .

Step 27:
Using the same order on installation, the back seat should be a snap! Keep in mind that you have to have room for the anchor plate and the floor is strong in that area. It may be necessary to trim the anchor plat to fit, but the more plate you have the stronger the mount will be. This photo shows the mounting location of the outer buckle arm belt.

Step 28:
Same order of installation in the back drive shaft tunnel mount, as in the front. The only difference is you have to watch out where you mount the anchor plate, because of the up and down movement of the differential.

Step 29:
Repeat the same installation on the other side, add the center third person belt, tighten all bolts and the installation is complete!