Gen II seatbelt fix (sorta)...

Disclaimer: The information provided on this webpage is presented solely for the sake of information. Safety equipment such as seatbelts should never be tampered with and if any such equipment is malfunctioning it should be replaced with new components by a qualified repair shop immediately. and it's owner in no way endorses or incourages any actions presented on this page and assumes no responsibility or liability for damages or injury attributed to any such modifications as may be listed below. Any person attempting these modifications aggrees to hold and it's owner harmless of any liabilities financial or otherwise and understands that any modifications they may perform are done so at their own risk.

The following is a mod I performed on my truck to increase the return tension of the shoulder belts.The mod consists of two main parts, winding the return spring and lubricating the actual belt itself. The first part, winding the spring, is a very risky endeavor. If you lift the spring housing just a fraction of a millimeter too far the spring inside will pull off of the center spindle and immediately unwind itself. There is no bodily danger but it will be EXTREMELY difficult to rewind the spring should this happen. Not impossible mind you, but very difficult and requiring a lot of patience. For this reason I strongly suggest that you first try part two, lubricating the belt, and only then if you still need more return tension should you try part 1. The return spring is designed to provide uniform tension over the entire operating range. Putting extra winds into the spring *MIGHT* increase return tension if the spring is somewhat worn out at that particular point. Mine increased very little from the spring mod, but as weak as the return tension had become on mine I needed every extra bit that I could get.

Part 1: Winding The Spring

During this procedure you will loose all the pre-load tension on the spring if you lift the spring cover a mere fraction of a millimeter too far.

First remove theplastic cover which hides the torx bolt attaching the top loop to the side pillar. You will need a T50 torx bit for the anchor bolts.

Next remove the trim along the back of the cab, the side pillar making sure not to pull the speaker wires, and the bottom door sill cover.

Next remove the two remaining torx bolts, one securing the seat belt assembly, the other securing the lower end of the seatbelt to the floor (not pictured). Now you can fish the belt through the pillar cover and remove the entire assembly to a work bench (or tailgate).

You should be able to easily locate the blue spring cover, it has "CAUTION DO NOT REMOVE" embossed into it.It is secured by two phillips screws. Remove these taking care to keep pressure on the cover to prevent it from coming up or rotating. This is the point of no return, you can chicken out now and put the screws back in, or press on and risk loosing all the pre-load tension on the spring. What you want to do is hold the cover like I'm doing in the last photo -but use both hands, I had to use the other to take the photo- with the screws removed, VERY, EXTREMELY CAREFULLY, lift the cover up away from the black metal bracket. You only need to lift it JUST until you can rotate it. The cover is keyed to the bracket so that it will not rotate unless you lift it up a bit. VERY SLOWLY AND EASILY lift and twist using both hands until you feel it clear the notches, at that point you can rotate the cover in either direction. You will feel which direction the spring is putting force on, just rotate against the springs force (I don't remember which direction that was, I think it was counterclockwise but it will be obvious to you). Put a few extra turns in the spring, I added about 6 or 7 complete revolutions. After several turns line the cover up with the screw holes and put the screws back in. At this point you are either happy you finished it without messing the spring up, or are saying to yourself "@#!% I lifted it too far, now what do I do!?"

At this point, if it was successful, reattach the assembly by the three torx bolts (leave the trim off for now) and check to see if you can still fully extend the belt.  If not you will need to remove it again, and unwind a few turns out of the spring.  When you have it just right reassemble everything in the reverse order and you are done!

Part 2:LubricatingThe Belt
After going through all the trouble of step one (and managing to uncoil the passenger side spring...) my seatbelts still did not have enough tension to reliably retract on their own although they were a bit better. I found upon closer inspection that the main cause of this was the friction between the belt itself and the upper loop which it glides through. I think that as the belt ages it picks up dust and other contaminants and over time it begins to stick to the plastic liner inside the upper loop. I used some Prestone Silicone lubricant spray. This is what I lubricate my window tracks with. I applied some directly on the plastic loop and also applied some all along the backside length of the belt. You should check first and be sure the lubricant will not stain your belt it had no adverse effects on mine. After lubing the belt up they retracted almost like new!

(Written by Mike Clark)