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A Helpful Guide to Ford Seat Belt Installation

Buckle up for your safety. You can never tell when you'll be involved in a vehicular accident. Your vehicle may suddenly swerve or lose brakes or it may get hit by another vehicle unexpectedly. At that moment, the seat belts will keep you in position, preventing you from smashing into the glass because of the impact. So if your Ford seat belt, which mainly consists of a retractor and a buckle, is damaged with cuts or frays or it's already stuck or broken, you should have this replaced sooner than later. All you need is the right set of tools and some mechanical skill to pull this off by yourself. This can be done in just a short amount of time. These step-by-step instructions will guide you in installing front and rear seat belts:

Required skill level: Novice to Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  1. Trim removal tool
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Ratchet and sockets
  4. Specialty sockets
  5. Torque wrench
  6. Flashlight

Preparing for the task

Before you remove the seat belt and install a new one, it's best if you check the vehicle manual first to familiarize yourself with the seat belt design and mechanisms as well as the other relevant specs. Once you have an idea how the seat belt assembly goes, you'll be more confident to tackle this project. Make sure that you have the right tools with you.

Replacing the front seat belts

When installing new front seat belts, you have to get acquainted with the three-point seat belt harness, which is common on more recent vehicle models. To remove these seat belts, you have to work on the buckle assembly, at the lower lap belt attachment, the upper shoulder belt attachment, which has a retractor assembly that's built into the configuration, and the latch assembly, the third attachment point on the opposite end of the seat.

The retractors at the back of the center pillar molding can be accessed by removing the trim panel so that you can reach through the attachment points. With a trim removal tool, loosen the trim panels until these can be taken off. Be careful not to break any trim piece. You just have to pry gently and use the trim tool to unhook the clips. For the bolted and screwed-on trim pieces, use the ratchet and sockets or screwdriver. Locate the lower attachment points, which are usually hidden behind the trim, carpet, and bolt covers. Remove the attachment bolts using the right socket and ratchet. Remember the routing of the belts. Keep note of their positions, so you can install the new belts properly. The attachment bolts must be torqued according to specs to secure the installed belts.

Installing the rear seat belts

When replacing the rear seat belts in passenger vans, SUVs, and trucks, you have to remove the headliner. Rear seat belts on many vehicle models are almost identical to the front seat belts. The only major difference is the shoulder belt attachment, which is commonly positioned in the headliner of the passenger compartment. As you remove the headliner, be sure not to ruin the backing of the headliner or this will sag. A vehicle manual can guide you in removing a seat belt attachment from the roof of the vehicle, if you're not sure what to do with it.

In passenger vehicles, the seat belt attachments are found beneath the rear seat bottom. You have to pull out the seat cushion. Push rearward on the bottom center of the seat. Once the spring tension is released, raise the seat and detach it from the vehicle. This will give you access to the lower seat belt attachment points. Install the new belts and seal them with the fasteners. These should be torqued to proper tension.

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