Seatbelts

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LON O'CONNELL

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On our 98 Taurus and several other Ford products there is a button in the seatbelt webbing about 18" - 24" from the floorpan on the outside of the seat. This button keeps the tongue portion of the seatbelt buckle (male end) from falling to the floor when seatbelt is not being used. Noticed on our T-Bird that the left side had the button, but the right side (passenger seat) only had a knotted mess of thread there. Week ago Saturday had the Service Manager at my dealer look at it and he agreed the button was missing so he ordered a new seatbelt assembly. Yesterday I took the car down to have the new seatbelt installed. Well we were surprized to find that the new seatbelt did not have the button either, but rather just a sewn up knot of thread. The dealer happened to have a red T-Bird on the showroom floor and it was that way also. Thought I would ask the owners on the board if their car was this way or it had the buttons on both seatbelts. You have to slide the tongue up a couple inches from its resting spot to see the button. Thanks for checking in advance.

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Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
 

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Lon,

Just got in from church, and went to look...as you describe--driver's side has a plastic button, and the passenger side has a knot of fabric. Hadn't noticed the difference before.
 
I do complain regularly about the short receiver latch on these belts. It would surely encourage fastening them if the thing had been just an inch taller. Reaching into the crack between the seat and the coke rack is really an agravation.
Bmcn
 
Is anyone else having trouble with the driver's shoulder belt coming out of the clip on the seat shoulder? It doesn't happen when my drife drives, but something about the way I position the seat, or maybe the way I put the belt on, causes it to come out. I'm going to see if I can put some clear plastic tubing over the holder ends to keep the belt in place.
 
Driver's side button, passenger side knot, just like you said. Hadn't even noticed.

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Yellow premium, full accent 4127
 
Lon,

I noticed it and thought I knocked it off with the kiddie seat. darn glad you took the step to save us all a trip.

Now, what the heck is the reason for this? Maybe the seatbelts were getting stuck and they had to rip them off? I can't imagine any other valid reason.


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RT2ESQ
Triple Black #748
 
Hello everyone,
I just finished reading the discussion of the Thunderbirds seat belts. As the Ford Product Engineer that released the seat belts for the Bird, hopefully I can shed some light on why we did what we did with regards to the webbing button (we call it the Tongue Stop Button). As an engineer who does competitive vehicle benchmarking frequently, I can appreciate the curiosity aspect of looking at vehicle attributes and wondering why something is how it is.

The reason we have two different tongue stop buttons on the seat belts is actually pretty simple. During squeak and rattle testing that takes place on the large machine that similates the road profile, an engineer noticed a noise coming from the seat belt tongue. The noise was the sound of the unlatched tongue rattling on the button. Obviously this presented an interesting question because we need a button so the tongue is accessible. Also, it would only occur on the passenger side because the drivers side would always be occuppied (latched).

As a results of our findings we challenged the supplier to come up with something quickly that didn't rattle. And what you see today is what they came up with. If you do some competitive benchmarking of your own, you will notice that some of our competitors use the same type of stop button.

Hence, the reason we have two different stop buttons from right hand to left hand.

If anyone else has any questions/comments, I will try to answer them as they're posted.

Thanks,
Steve

P.S. In response to greenwr's comment... It actually cost more to add that type of tongue stop button.
 
Just want to say welcome, and think you guys and gals did a great job on the bird. As always sometimes we always want more "stuff", but the car is great. john

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Blue/Blue Prem. w/full accent
In my Garage as of 1/25 #6333 LIC: BLU TB
 
smcinall,

A very warm welcome to our family of Bird lovers. It is nice to hear from the engineering side of the house. I too work in engineering test and development, although in electronics.

I'm sure that you will be barraged with questions so keep your pencil sharpened.

Once again, welcome.
 
SMCINALL,
Thanks for sharing and for clearing this issue up. It's really nice to know that you and hopefully the rest of the Wixom Team takes the opportunity to visit this forum once in awhile to see what the concerns of new owners are. So who's the Engineer for the sun visors?
smile.gif
 
smcinall,

Welcome!

I have to say that if all responses to a query on why things are the way they are received the type of response you gave us on this seatbelt issue, our lives would be a lot nicer..

What a refreshing read this was!
 
SMCINALL, being an engineer myself, I am sure you are right on the cost being more for the sewed button. If it were cheaper, it would be on both sides. That would be the proper engineering and bean accounting decision. Along as it performs it function, I am happy with it.

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Bill's Red and White #4359
Tag # 15AGAIN
 
smcinall, Like everyone else has said before me, welcome to the board. Seeing as I was the one who originally asked the question, I'd like to say thank you for the very thorough explanation on the seatbelt tongue stop.

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Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
 
My 2002 dos not have any stop at all on the drivers side, therefore I have to open the door to retrieve the t0ngue clip. most annoying and looking for a solution.
On a positive note, I do like the small sewn on plastic button on the passenger side, not as noticeable as the double sided big button most belts have. I may sew something on the drivers side, not easy.
 
I do complain regularly about the short receiver latch on these belts. It would surely encourage fastening them if the thing had been just an inch taller. Reaching into the crack between the seat and the coke rack is really an agravation.
Bmcn
Especially when it's cold and we have on lots of thick coats!! GRRRR :(
 
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