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From memory...everything is easily accessible from inside the car apart from the retractor unit which is hidden in the interior B pillar.  This is a bit awkward because the B pillar trim is part of one big piece that covers the entire side of the rear passenger compartment.  In my experience you don't need to get the entire trim piece out to reach the retractor, just be able to lift it up enough to get a wrench in there - eminently feasible if you don't mind the odd grazed knuckle.  However to move this at all you will have to remove the rear seat - two screws at the bottom, two by the headrest and then it should lift off its clips.  That should give you enough flexibility to squeeze your hand in behind the panel.  Others may disagree and recommend taking the entire interior side panel out but then you're into disconnecting the speakers and the courtesy lights.

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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Hopefully a previous owner replaced the sill reinforcement plate when they fitted the new chassis. As the original steel ones dissolve into rust
 

one of my cars PO’s just fitted nuts and 50mm washers...😱 thankfully I found that when I went to change a jammed belt... unwound the bolt and heard the nut drop into the sill ... borrowed an endoscope and to reveal the issue.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. The chassis was replaced in 1988, so once I have a belt, will know what the situation is. The car has been well looked after for most of its life, and previous owners were not afraid to spend on it ( going by the reams of documents that came with it ) plus it has spent the last eight years inside a de-humidified building. Hopefully I get lucky.

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Had a look inside over the weekend. Roll bar and mountings look very good. However, when trying to un do the lower seat belt mount. the bolt just turns with a nice scraping sound. Looks like I am going to have to remove the sill cover. I can see rivets along the bottom edge and would imagine there to be some sort of sealer also. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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As well as the rivets under the car and along the bottom of the door opening there is a fixing at the very front of the sill inside the footwell - remove the kick-panel and you will see it - probably hidden by the vacuum reservoir.  There is a similar fixing at the very rear - you should be able to see that already with the rear side panel removed.  Both these fixings may be horribly rusty - I replaced mine with stainless "Big Head" studs bonded in place.

Pete

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21 hours ago, Blue and Tan dog said:

Had a look inside over the weekend. Roll bar and mountings look very good. However, when trying to un do the lower seat belt mount. the bolt just turns with a nice scraping sound. Looks like I am going to have to remove the sill cover. I can see rivets along the bottom edge and would imagine there to be some sort of sealer also. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Its not that much of a pain, but things to buy/find before embarking on this job:

  • Wide "feather splitter" style chisel and hammer
  • a long lever/wide prybar or crowbar
  • A pop rivetter and some new rivets
  • A drill set of suitable size for drilling out the rivets, and a set of punches
  • a tin of Isopon P40 or similar for shoring up the inside of the sill cover (It'll make all sorts of horrible cracking noises when you lever it off
  • two or three large aerosols of primer and satin black paint.
  • If you are doing the job on your own, some silicone sealant is helpful for holding the spreader plate in position whilst you get inside the car.
  • (probably) a replacement set of mounts. I know you say they look okay through the gap in the sill cover, but that turning without unscrewing is suggestive of the captive nut breaking away from the spreader plate. If you can weld a nut on some plate, you can make your own.

The job itself is pretty simple - just drill out all the little pop rivets, and lever the sill cover off as you go. Mine was held in place with a sort of mastic/adhesive type stuff as well as the pop rivets, so neaded some persuasion with a large flat prybar. The structural integrity of my cover was compromised during removal (cracks in the corners) so I shored it up with Isopon P40 glassfibre repair on the inside corners. I then rubbed them down, primed them and sprayed them in the original satin black. On a series 1 car, refurbing the sill covers and the front and rear bumpers with satin black is probably the best value for money job you can do. It really lifted the appearance of my yellow 521..

have fun!

Dunc

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The seat belt mounting plates I got from an sportcars were stainless and had m8 bolts welded to the plate so that threaded bar could be used to go!d it in place using bolts from the cabin side.

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Which belts are you going to fit then? 

I will have to do them in the future as well and I am tinkering about the back seats as well... I would love the same system all around but this looks only be possible with a newer system. But I do love the older ones more... they are more comfy than the ones from the Excel for example

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I could do with a recommendation for new dealt belts too. They are 4point belts if I'm not mistaken and need a long stalk to pass by the seat with a driver side switch in them. Mine are pretty manky and the current stalks don't have the switch so i can't wire up the warning light

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18 hours ago, mikeeech said:

I could do with a recommendation for new dealt belts too. They are 4point belts if I'm not mistaken and need a long stalk to pass by the seat with a driver side switch in them. Mine are pretty manky and the current stalks don't have the switch so i can't wire up the warning light

Hello Mike, have had a look at your resto thread and see you had to bend you're mounts to fit.  Have now completed mine (was going to photo the process, but forgot the camera) My sills under the cover are different to yours, in that they are flat and no modification was required. Was wondering if this is an Elite/Eclat difference, or just that mine is a 1979 build and the body was revised later on in production. Also my sills were riveted/glued top, bottom, front and back with no other fixings. Am going to stick with the Kangol Euroflex belts as there are some old dead MGB's not to far from me.

 

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I thought it was a bit odd that I had to bend them. Lucky the location of the bend was just below the reinforcing plate so I worked out pretty well in the end. My sills were like yours in that they were rivited but had what I can only describe as draft excluder (a foam double sided sticky tape) between the sill and body. This was easy to get from b&q. 

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