After replacing the steering wheel, I installed the roof side panels. Then I
moved onto the front
seatbelts. If you remember from earlier, I had to remove the botched seatbelts that the previous
owner installed. Just so I can pass the states vehicle inspection.
Now I intend to do it right. When
I bought the Landy in June 2000, I made a special trip to Paddocks.
I purchased a set of inertia seatbelts with the correct Land Rover anchor brackets.
The upper and lower anchor brackets were simple to install, just a few holes needed drilling.
Then I installed the seat belts and this where the fun began.
Firstly, using the illustrated
instructions from Paddocks, on the rear backing plate of the seat belt
reel system, the bolt holes didn't match up. The holes in the backing plate had to be drilled out extensively,
till they lined up with the bolts in the roof side panels. Once the holes were finally squared up, I then
bolted on the seatbelt reels.
Problem number two now came to
light, the belts hanged all the way down to the floor! The damn belts
are too long. The belts have to shorten by a length of 50 cm. I at first thought that I could sew the
belts myself to the correct length, but I was unable to buy any "bear thread". So, on to plan B, I went
to the local shoe repair shop and explained to them my problem. They willingly took up the challenge.
We decided to shorten the belts at
the reel end portion, so that there will always be a few raps of belt
over the newly sewed section. But, believe me, there is no question to the quality of the sewing, top notch job.
Back to the Land Rover and I
reinstalled the seatbelts again. Now Problem number three rears it ugly
head. The top mounting bolts head, comes in contact with the belt for a few rotations of the reel. Damn,
how long will it take before there is scoring into the belts and their strength is compromised ?
The states motor vehicle
inspectors, take seat belt safety very seriously, so, I know I have to sort
out this problem soonest. I bought these crappy seatbelts from Paddocks, they claim that they fit the
Series Land Rover and even provide the buyer with their own mounting instructions.
On the back panel
of the seatbelts carton, there is list of vehicles that the seatbelts are
with. NO where, did I find ANY Land Rover product listed. I you are in the market for inertia seatbelts,
shop around. If anybody tries to sell you "iMMi" inertia seatbelts, product number AC3-001 or AC3001,
DON'T buy them, you'll go through the same BS !
Moving on, the fine summer
weather is here and its time to finish up the painting. I need to repaint
the 2 side doors, do the rear door and the military door tops. A few days of prep. time was required for
welding and sanding. This time around, I decided to hang all the parts from the garage ceiling.
Just as last year, I did the painting over a 2
day period. The first day was the etch primer and primer
coats. Then day 2 was the paint layer. This time around, it was less stressful and I had plenty of paint.
I sprayed 4 coats of paint onto the doors and damn, did they ever turn out good. So good in fact, they
look better than the rest of the Land Rover. No runs, no orange peel, just nicely applies paint with an
even shine. I then left the doors hanging in the garage for a week, before attempting to install them.
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