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Old 10-28-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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1997 SL2
Default HOW-TO: Seatbelt R&R for 2nd (and maybe 3rd gen?) SL (and possibly SW also?) series.

Please note: I can't post to the how-to library right now, so I'm posting this here and then flagging it so Charlie can do the honours and I can edit this and any other post I make in this thread as needed. Also, this covers the seatbelt ONLY at the moment, I saw no need to R&R any buckles (though it'd be nice if I either had a second center buckle or the buckle my "new" seatbelt came off of ). I also don't know if this'll come up again in the future, but better safe than sorry. Also credits go to off-track for posting the seatbelt R&R instructions (From the FSM, here), and Project84 for sourcing me the "new" seatbelt.

Now then... tools that you'll need:

1. flat-head screwdriver (for popping panels)
2. 18mm socket for a 1/2" DRIVE RATCHET!!
3. Torx TX-45 screwdriver or socket, as well as its appropriate drive ratchet (if you have the socket)
4. PB Blaster (trust me, you're going to need it)
5. LONG-HANDLED 1/2" DRIVE RATCHET OR BREAKER BAR. If none of these are available, a small pipe that fits over your existing ratchet is fine too.

And here's how to R&R:

1. Watch this Richpin video (up till the 2:40 mark) to learn how to pop off most of the needed panels, package tray (optional; I didn't have to fool with mine) and the bottom seat cushion (again, I didn't need to fool with it, so it's optional). Also, I know it's for rear speaker R&R, but nearly all stuff you have to take off for that job is needed for this one too:

2. You'll need to remove the upper panel that covers the seatbelt, as seen below (I personally just ripped this one down by hand):

3. Now you'll need to take your Torx TX-45 bit and undo the bolt here, as seen below:

4. You'll need to wrestle the seatbelt module off its second mounting hole. This hole is VERY CRUCIAL to the extraction and retraction of the seatbelt. If you DO NOT line up the brass stud on the new module with this hole, then your seatbelt WILL NOT WORK.

5. Get at the bottom end of the seatbelt (where the edge of the seat was) and undo the 18mm bolt here. FAIR WARNING: This WILL be a pain in the ass to remove. You WILL need A LOT of patience and PB Blaster. Also this is why I stressed LONG-HANDLED 1/2" drive ratchet, or breaker bar, or small pipe over your existing ratchet.

6. Normally installation is reverse of removal, but there are some special steps for installation with this project. See that panel in my picture in step 2? You'll first have to undo the 18mm bottom bolt from the old and new seatbelt (remembering how the washers go back on), and loop the new seatbelt through the hole on the panel, while removing the old one of course.

7. If I were you, while you have the washers off the bolt and it's off the seatbelt, I'd put some PB Blaster on the new bolt as well as the hole where the 18mm bolt goes into. This'll make it easier to screw in the bolt later.

8. While you're waiting for the PB Blaster to set in, I stressed the point of that brass stud in step 4. It looks like this and is at the bottom of the module:

Again, this stud is VERY CRUCIAL to the operation of your seatbelt. You'll have to get the stud into its hole, while lining up the TX-45 bolt into its hole. You may have to turn this into a wrestling match, but will be WORTH IT when you get everything on and it works as it should.

9. Test the seatbelt to make sure it can extract and retract as it should. If it does, then it's OK to put the panel back on.

10. Re-install the bolt where it goes onto the seatbelt (again, keeping in mind the specific order on how the washers go on), and tighten that bad boy up!

11. From here, putting the other panels, package tray, and bottom cushion should be the reverse of removal.

Hopefully this will help someone else... Questions, comments, praise, etc are always welcome.
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97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

Last edited by adventureoflink; 10-28-2010 at 06:46 PM..


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