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1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

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1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

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Old 11-12-2010, 03:28 AM
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1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

Hello All!!

Hopefully, this works out, first time trying to post pictures, so bear with me!!

Here goes nothing!!

I spoke about this before under the seat belt button recall thread, about how to repair a non-retracting seat belt, well here are the photos to show you all the "fix"!!


The problem, slack seat belt, won't retract!!


The problem, slack seat belt, won't retract, different angle!!


To fix the problem, start by removing the four screws holding the rear headliner trim!!


Remove the screw from the side panel!!


Remove the screw from the speaker trim panel!!


Remove the seat belt escutcheon, be careful, do not break the retaining tabs!!!


The seat belt retractor, be careful with the headliner, be gentle!!


The seat belt retractor, again!!!


Now begins the fix, remove the plastic cover on the right hand side, with a flat tipped screw driver!! There are four holes that locate it properly, it just pops off!!


The culprit!!! The spring loaded arm is jammed in it's slot!! This is what makes the seat belt not retract!!!


Use a flat tipped screw driver to lift the spring loaded arm out of it's slot!! This will release the seat belt, and should result in your seat belt retracting back into the retractor at a high rate of speed!!!

If your seat belt doesn't retract, try to lift up on the inertia lock, this may have jammed it's self also!!

A little WD-40 sprayed into the spool shaft ends will also help, de-gum the seat belt!!

If all this still fails to retract your seat belt, you may have a broken clock spring on the left hand side!!

That will be another "fix" to do!!


The spring loaded arm moved out of it's slot!!


Success!! The seat belt retracted!!!!


To fix it permanently, place the spring loaded arm down underneath the retractor frame!!

You may also have had the gray gear come off it's pinion gear, don't worry, take it out also!!!

The spring loaded arm will be retained in the down position by the cover once it's replaced on the retractor!!!


Another view of the position of the spring loaded arm's final resting place!!!


The cover re-installed, the spring loaded arm retained outside of the retractor, not able to get jammed into it's slot again!!


Another view of the "fix"!!


Doesn't that look better!!! A fully functional seat belt!! The only thing this seat belt doesn't do now, that it did before, is it won't stay slack!! There will always be some tension against your chest from the seat belt, the "comfort feature" has been disabled!!

Now, go out and fix your thirdgen!!!

Total time approx. 15 minutes!!!
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:54 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair

Originally Posted by 87IROC-DAN61 View Post
Hello All!!

Hopefully, this works out, first time trying to post pictures, so bear with me!!

Here goes nothing!!

I spoke about this before under the seat belt button recall thread, about how to repair a non-retracting seat belt, well here are the photos to show you all the "fix"!!



Attachment 209746

Just yank on it from different angles... it eventually will click and retract... or hit up a junkyard, or buy a 3 point seat belt...
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:00 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

Originally Posted by KNBlazer View Post
Just yank on it from different angles... it eventually will click and retract... or hit up a junkyard, or buy a 3 point seat belt...
Hello KNBlazer!!

Yanking on it takes all the fun out of taking it apart, and fixing it!!!



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Old 11-12-2010, 02:51 PM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

Thanks for showing that! Was able to get my passenger seatbelt to retract.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:57 PM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

How does the escutcheon come off? Pry, slide, pull, etc?
What exactly does the comfort feature which is disabled for the "fix" do?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:36 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

I just wanted to say thanks too.

Really helped to have those pics to know what to expect under the headliner.

The escutcheon on my offending belt mechanism was already buggered, and already held (improvised) by a pair of deck screws. The (planetary?) gear on mine had gone off its rocker. I was able to just put it back in place, but without having to change/move the position of the spring. Even with the spring back in what looks like the correct position, the "comfort" feature of the retractor doesn't seem to work - or at least does not reliably do so.

Much better than just being stuck in the yanked-out position though!

Thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:22 PM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

My driver seatbelt retracts but occasionally while driving ill end up with some slack and have to pull it away from chest and let it retract would this fix be my solution as well?
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:56 PM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

I'm subscribing to this! I need to do this later.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:01 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

This worked great! Thanks so much man!! Now I'm not terrified to drive in my pre-airbag era car!
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:57 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

I also just walked out into the parking lot and did this. Seems to work great. Does anyone know what that bar was supposed to originally do?

*EDIT* I found out it's the "comfort fit" feature that these cars came with.

Last edited by RedLeader289; 05-04-2015 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:42 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

this is great, now i wont need to buy new seat belts!
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:49 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

This is epic. I just saved a ton of cash.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:10 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

GM stopped using that feature on later thirdgens. 91-up don't have em, 89 do, not sure about 90.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:18 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

This is great, just done mine. MUCH Better. Thanks for the step by step.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:36 PM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

Originally Posted by dyear20 View Post
My driver seatbelt retracts but occasionally while driving ill end up with some slack and have to pull it away from chest and let it retract would this fix be my solution as well?
I also have this happen in my '87 - is this what the "comfort feature is"? Or is this a separate issue with a different fix?
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:23 AM
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Re: 1987 Camaro Z-28 Seat Belt Repair, the "fix"!!

Originally Posted by Bow_Tied View Post
I also have this happen in my '87 - is this what the "comfort feature is"? Or is this a separate issue with a different fix?
Yes, that's precisely what it is. 30 some-odd years later the "comfort feature" is more like "annoyance feature".
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