Ok.. so I've got one of those... the ones that have decided to not retract well due to dirt, sludge, act of god, whatever. Well, I dismantled mine, and it appears that this little part failed. It used to be in one piece, now it is two.
Now, there is a possibility I broke it as I removed the spring module, in which case, shame on me, but either way, I will have to figure out how to replace/fix it. Looks like some form of abs plastic, and its degraded, and brittle.. so I'm not sure I can repair it.
If anyone knows where I might retrieve that part, I know junkyards, but they're likely to be just as brittle,which defeats the purpose.
Another thing I noticed, after reviewing a thread that talked about a solenoid that swapped the tension from the heavy to the light spring, and then STUCK there due to being 'always on', I am not sure how to test that, since I don't want to bring any external current to the outside of the seatbelt housing, as I'm a bit leary of setting off this explosive that's inside the long tube. Anyway, the thread indicated removing power to that solenoid, after unbinding it from the light spring, it'll always be in heavy mode.
So if i can fix/replace that little part, I'll interrupt that circuit and test it. Perhaps others are still experiencing this same issue.
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Welp, I tried using polyester resin to secure it, and it held, till i tried winding it back up... and then the little plastic bit collapsed and disintigrated even more. So, I'm back to square one, need to find that little part and perhaps replace the spring wire, but I've not found a source for that yet... But I'm still looking. Or, I may use a bit of fiberglass dowel, and see if I can fab it. Who knows, I'm not done tinkering with it yet.
I tried the salvageyard route today... turns out they only had a couple of 92's in their yard. Said hell with it, and bought one of the seatbelts they had. Turns out, not only do they not have the explosive retractor on them, they don't match up bolt wise either.
Ok.. no problem, took the retractor mechanism off of it, with the intent of fixing it to the 94... most of the parts were either identical or similar enough, I could do it... but the little piece that broke on the original, looked different from the one I pulled. Hmm... ok.. no problem, took a bench grinder to the bit that fit into the broken piece, and viola, it now fits into the 92 version. Put it back together and preceed to wind it up... every so often I'd put the belt back on and see if it did a satisfactory job... well, the short version is.. it broke.. again.
Moving ahead, I decided that the 94 springs were at fault, simply too warn to develop sufficient springiness (is that a word?) to retract as they should. So I removed them, and replaced them with the springs from the 92. Mind you, at this stage I still don’t have a part to replace the broken bit. And I have to say, that winding those tension springs by hand is a right pain in the ****. Now I had to come up with a solution for making that part, and my solution came in the form of a fiberglass dowel, such as you’d see a temporary fence utilize. I cut off a three inch piece, made some marks on it to match up to the original bit, slapped into my cordless drill and went to work with a bench grinder. Pictures would go a long way to showing you what I mean by all this, but I was too busy trying to make it all work again to even think about pictures… In the end, I was able to fab a part that was close enough to the original to function, though it was prone to letting go of the light spring, so I curled the spring up inside ever so slightly and anchored it with polyester resin. This time when I got it all back together, I opted not to go for factory springy, but instead settled for slightly better than it used to be.
The sad part is, after having the seat belt assembly in my hands for half the day, I know if I could get my hands on new springs, I could make it work like new again. I may just look for a source, since reconditioning these old ones might be a worthwhile endeavor.