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MG TD TF 1500 - Seat Belt Installation

I am planning to install three-point retractable seatbelts. The "Roadster Retractable Seat Belt" shown in (about halfway down the page) appears to be suitable. Can anyone tell me if these will work in the TD?
Corey Pedersen 1951 TD #7169

Suggest searching the archives. Many pages have been written about belts over the years. Very complicated subject. George
George Butz

See the chapter in Horst Schach's "TD Complete Restoration Manual". We followed his guidelines when we installed my TD's 3-point shoulder belts, and the instructions were excellent. I'm very happy with the way they work.


Dave Jorgensen

I agree with Dave, Horst Schach's guidelines work very well. Not sure I would want to be in a roll over situation but it certainly holds you in place should you want to do some spirited driving ;>)

Brian Smith (1950 TD3376)

corey, depends on what your definition of working in the TD's is. if, as dave says, what you are looking for in your 3 point harness is to be held in place during spirited driving, the answer maybe "yes". if you are looking for additional safety in the event of an accident..then "no". just in regard to the shoulder harness..there is no added safety factor unless the harness is anchored above shoulder height..either off a roll bar or a structural seat back. if it is not installed in that fashion the spine will compress and the body will still move forward as the upper torso compresses.
the shoulder harness when properly installed will keep the upper torso from being tossed forward in the event of a front end collision..unfortunately that is the same accident scenario that will cause the solid shaft steering column to come back and pierce you through the chest like a cheap pinata.
the pinata part is opinion, the crippling spinal injuries from a shoulder harness worn with out support from above shoulder height is not..that is why the FAA will not approve of any shoulder harness installation that is not anchored above the shoulder and why no new car manufacture installs them without the higher anchor point. regards, tom
tom peterson

i see it was brian's post in regard to being held in place for spirited mistake regards, tom
tom peterson

Any T model is probably quite lethal if you crash at speeds exceeding 50 mph. But at lower speeds a three point belt will probably reduce damage to head, teeth, face and chest in any frontal above 10 mph. I have installed three point harnesses in my TF and believe that is good for me. A low shoulder strap anchorage will contribute to compression of the torso while obstructing a forward movement of body and head towards the steering wheel. I believe I prefer spinal injury to head injury or aortic rupture.


Jan Kristoffersen

I just went through this exercise for my TF.

I settled on a three point harness that was designed with a floor mounted rear anchor.

Probably does create some compression on the spine but it is at least designed that way.

Here is a document I created detailing how I did it.

Very happy with it. Feels nice and secure.



Dave Moore

Seat belts are a good idea. They will keep you in the car and in the driver's seat. This will often help prevent an accident (you won’t be tossed out of the seat, and still have some control over the car, and may well be able to prevent the collision) and should the car roll over (which happens more frequently than I'd like to think about) the car will not fall on top of you.
Unfortunately, if you have an accident at any speed, chances are you will not survive- belted in or not. Two of our MGs have flipped over and landed up-side-down. In each case, the seat belts held and did their job.
On the TD and TF good anchor points for the outboard bolts are the same bolts that anchor the body tub on the same dumb iron that the leaf spring bolts to. A good inboard anchor point is the junction of the drive shaft tunnel, floor board and rear cross brace. I use a 3/8 bolt with a fender washer underneath to distribute the shock load.
I have had spirited discussions with people who disagree with me on these two locations. I have been told that the inboard anchors are not strong enough. Unfortunately I have seen cars that have wrecked, and I can tell you that the inboard anchors held.
I have been told that the outboard anchor locations are insufficient, because the body tub may detach from the frame in a collision. The reality is that in a collision this severe, the seat belts will have a marginal impact at best on survivability.

D. Sander

This thread was discussed between 06/10/2013 and 07/10/2013

MG TD TF 1500 index

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