Tuesday 31 March 2015

Seat Belt Replacement

Services - review 

Yes, yes, I expect you all would love me to belt up. But you can't suppress the truth! That there is always something that can be changed on a car (although not necessarily improved). 

I got to thinking about an old MG Metro I once had. It had a mainly grey interior with red seat belts (this was a while back). So with my current less than exciting black belts, I started to wonder if it was possible to change them for something a bit more 'disco'. Firstly I had a look on eBay and yes there did appear to be generic belts for sale. Expensive and by no means guaranteed to fit. I also mooched about in the second hand market to see if I could find anything that fitted, but they were all, a bit 'second hand'. Lastly (Google being my friend) I did a search, low and behold, I was not the first one to think of this (link) and a forum user called Ms33 had already been here. So with thanks to this trail blazer I got in touch with Sue Taylor of FDTS Ltd. 

Turns out that FDTS do seat-belts... All kinds of belts, you have a classic car? No problem! Want something bespoke, Okay! A harness? Sure! Or like me, a change of colour? Go Crazy..
Courtesy of Ms33
In Ms33's instance, red would work well with the interior of a spec 3 GTR as this would already have red accents on the trim and seats. 

A quick exchange of emails and swatches were soon winging their way to me. I had been particularly annoying in the respect that I wanted red, but suspecting that it would not work had also asked for a blue selection as well. A few days later I had more swatches, in all shades than you could shake a poopy stick at!
Now all I needed to do was decide on a colour.. This actually was not so painful and soon I had a couple of candidates, one in a red and one in a blue/grey. The red blended  well, with more 'pop' and wow factor. Whereas the blue/grey blended in just like a factory finish. I decided I had enough wow factor and went for the safe look. 

I won't bore you with the actual process of belt removal. Although may do a Skyline interior strip out post at some point. Suffice to say if I can do it anyone can! 

So now all u had to do was get the belts up to FDTS and seeing as when packed up they are surprisingly heavy, I decided to take them in person (rather than pay postage).  
Belts being changed, note all hardware was left on.
After managing to finally find the place (it is well hidden) the lovely Sue Taylor insisted that they could make up the belts whilst I waited. It is always a joy to be able to watch something be made before your very eyes and this was a real treat! I would not call it a science however and sometimes simple is the way to go. Sue laid out the belts and made straight copies. Although with regard to the rears she actually improved on the original finish. 
A most exciting machine.
FDTS obviously have a selection of sewing machines, being a man I liked this one which does the main webbing stitching in a pre-determined pattern. 

Interior back in and belts in place. 

You don't have to go to the detail that I went to. For instance I removed all the belts from the back for replacement and you don't even see some of them. In addition I have the blacked out rear windows so you don't really see the shoulder belts in the back either. However I couldn't live with a mix! Perhaps you can though? 
All in with VAT added it set me back £191.40 which is actually pretty reasonable, coffee and biscuits were thrown in as well!

Contact details:
Susan Taylor - Managing Director
Highfield Works
Rear of 1-3 Parvis Road
West Byfleet
Surrey KT14 6LP
Tel +44 (0) 1932 342043

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