Seatbelt retraction - slow

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Dino D
Joined: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 16:59
Posts: 376

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Dino D » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 15:06

Hi all,
Any ideas on how to make the seat belts retract faster. They've slowed down on the Z but also our Honda CRV.
I imagine same cure regardless of car though?

TR4man
Joined: Wed 24 Oct, 2012 14:34
Posts: 431

  Z4 coupe 3.0si
Location: Woore, Near Nantwich, Cheshire

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by TR4man » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 16:33

Mine does that too, so I'll be interested in any solution as well

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Davejue1
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:25
Posts: 1249

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Mansfield

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Davejue1 » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 19:28

Mine too! I believe its on a spring and as they get older they stretch hence not enough tension to return the belt properly. I am no mechanic but pretty sure that's whats happening. I'm sure someone will be along soon to correct me if I'm wrong. :)

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colb
Joined: Sat 05 May, 2012 23:46
Posts: 579

  Z3 roadster 1.8 TU
Location: Newport South Wales UK

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by colb » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 20:21

The recoil workings dry out over time, try pulling the belt out to its fullest extent and spray some silicon lubricant on the end of the belt then let it recoil and pull the belt in and out a few times until the silicon does its stuff in the workings and the belt recoils as it should.

Colb
Colb
1999 BMW 1.8 Z3
1998 Honda Deauville NT650V

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Southernboy » Tue 09 Sep, 2014 11:47

If you want to do a thorough job of it, you will need to remove the turret trim covers to expose the seat belt mechanisms. They have a black plastic cover which can be seen once the trim is out the way. There should be a small hole for lubrication in the plastic cover, if not, make a 2mm hole with a drill bit so you can get the lube in. First pull the belt out as far as it will go, spray some WD40 into it. Once you have that done, , and release it to retract on it's own. Getting the turret trims off is a bit of a mission, but it will ensure you get to the belt spindle and the cogs. :wink:
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Davejue1
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:25
Posts: 1249

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Mansfield

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Davejue1 » Tue 09 Sep, 2014 12:13

No spring there then Barry as I suspected! I see you've joined the dark side mate! It's all downhill from now on for you :D

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Dave
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t-tony
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 23:17
Posts: 352

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: torksey lock

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by t-tony » Tue 09 Sep, 2014 18:02

Colbert has hit the nail on the head. The biggest problem with slow recoiling belts it the fact they are dirty which causes friction and the belt won't wrap freely around itself. Not in my car I hear you all shout, but it is never the less. Clean them with soap and water,thoroughly dry them and the spray liberally with silicon spray. Next, hope you have done this before it's too late and the recoil system isn't damaged.
"Knowledge and experience are not always the same"

Dino D
Joined: Fri 10 Feb, 2012 16:59
Posts: 376

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Dino D » Tue 09 Sep, 2014 20:22

The Z ones are not too bad so will try the clean and apart method before stripping the interior bits (again!).

The Honda on the other hand is very slow after years of use with kids in all weathers, that might need the full job as Southernboy suggests.
Thanks for the tips.

PS should we use WD40 or something more lubricating (3-1 spray, ptfe etc?)
Will it not get all over the belts and the all over you clothes eventually?

t-tony
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 23:17
Posts: 352

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: torksey lock

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by t-tony » Wed 10 Sep, 2014 00:35

I wouldn't use anything other than silicon spray on the belt webbing, it is almost odour less when dry and isn't greasy.
"Knowledge and experience are not always the same"

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Southernboy » Wed 10 Sep, 2014 08:39

The mechanism in these things is really very simple... a central shaft which has a coiled spring around it and those components are within a sleeve to which the belt is attached by means of a groove in that sleeve. At one end of the central shaft is a cog and a small locking lever activated by a small steel ball bearing. The small lever locks into the cog when the belt is jerked abruptly. The "stickyness" is caused by the mechanism, not by a gungy fabric - unless it's covered in jam or other sticky stuff - So, the cure is to clean the mechanism, which requires getting to it. The belt itself is actually quite long - 3 - 4 feet - so that when the required stop is implemented, the belt essentially locks on itself as well as being stopped by the locking lever. If you've ever rolled up a length of fabric and tried to pull the loose end to tighten up the coil, you will know that it sort of locks up on itself... Anyhow, the little lever is a gravity operation. That's why the entire mechanism and belt has locating pins when fitted to the car. The angle at which it is fixed, keeps the locking lever clear of the center cog... When / if you remove the entire mechanism, you will notice that it's a PITA to get the belt to withdraw unless you hold the body at just the right angle to prevent the locking mechanism engaging.

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t-tony
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 23:17
Posts: 352

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: torksey lock

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by t-tony » Thu 11 Sep, 2014 00:26

I have to disagree Barry, I test up to 9 vehicles every day and part of the seat belt test is it ensure that when fully extended and plugged into the buckle on the seat or floor when released it will recoil fully to the seat back. When they don't all they need is the webbing cleaning of mainly women's make up hair laquer etc. Always the drivers seat and never had to prat about with the recoil mechanism. Unless it's just magic. Only time we have problems with extending the belt is usually the recoil mechanism sticking and not letting the belt out. You are correct about having to have the reel horizontal in both planes to release the belt. Sometimes when the reel is loose on it's mounting the the mechanism locks due to the inertia lock operating. But cleaning is the fix, trust me. Try it before condemning someone else's idea.
"Knowledge and experience are not always the same"

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Seatbelt retraction - slow

Post by Southernboy » Thu 11 Sep, 2014 06:31

I'll defer to your greater experience regarding dirty belts then. I can understand dirt etc will contribute to the fabric not coiling on itself freely or being able to pass through the restricted areas it passes through in and out of the mechanism. Having replaced my belt webbing for new on my last Z3, I found that "stuff" had wrapped around the center shaft on the edges of the belt area which had likely been carried into the body of the unit attached to the surfaces of the webbing. The result was it restricted the webbing from being able to move freely when re-coiling. Some of the "foreign" material was also from the webbing itself which had begun to fray on the lower edge as it passed through a broken seat belt guide.
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