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S1 seat belt retractor

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Discovered that neither of my retractors lock the seat belt when yanked hard (like on every other car i have owned).

1) Are the bolts holding the retractors on the engine side under the plastic cover or are they behind the bulkhead trim?

2) What is a good source for new seat belts?




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Can't help with specifics on the S1.


If you cannot find new seatbelts from the usual parts suspects like SJ or JAE etc, ask at a provider of handicap vans. These vehicles often have custom-made belt setups.

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Slava81 is a good source for used parts, happy to deal with him. Another solution is to hire an upholstery pro to re-web the units unless you have reason to think them deficient. 


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So the single bolt holding the retractor is visible on the picture, deep inside the plastic cover...duh!

As soon as I loosen the bolt the retractor starts working again (locking when yanked)

As soon as I tighten the bolt the retractor stops working.

I wonder if it is because the car has the front lifted up on jacks and this puts the retractors at an angle. I'll keep investigating, might be a while still before I can get the car level again.


Thanks for the inputs on the potential sources.

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So i did a little google research and there is effectively two types of seat belt retractors. 

1) weighted pendulum: this will lock if weight is moved forward in a collision

2) centrifugal clutch: this will lock when seat belt is yanked hard

The Kangol retractors in my S1 are the weighted pendulum type. This explains why seat belt doesn’t lock when yanked. 

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