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Old 11-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
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Sqealing seat belt re-tractor

Just how hard is it to remove the drivers side seat-belt re-tractor in a 98 TJ? It is driving me whacko with the squealing noise every time I even move.

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Old 11-03-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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Umm not bad. Spray the unit with some PB Blaster it will solve the squealing noise. You can pull it off the jeep in about 30 seconds. Just don't take off the side that has the coil wound up in it. It says do not open on that side lol. You can get to the moving parts from the other and clean them out. I had to do the same thing when my passenger side seat belt was actually not moving from it's in position meaning it never let somebody use the seat belt it would lock up on the slightest touch.

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Old 11-04-2010, 04:58 AM   #3
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LOL, mine does the same thing. Mostly when wheeling over rough and uneven terrain.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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I'm not sure I'd use PB Blaster, it could leave an oily residue on the fabric of the belt and mess up your clothes, along with collecting more crud.
I'd try pulling the belt as far off of the spool as you can, and clipping it so you don't have to hold it.
Then give the moving parts a little squirt or ten with some windex that has a shot of rubbing alcohol in it.
Let it sit for a minute or two then hit it hard with an air nozzle. That should loosen the crud. Next blow it out and clean it up without leaving any mess behind. If it's still grimy, do it again. By eliminating the dirt you should eliminate the squeak.

I do mine about once a year because of all the mud and dust that gets in them.

If it's still trying to squeak, pull it out and clamp it again then give it a VERY LIGHT shot of WD40 or ZEP 45 JUST ON THE MOVING PARTS and wipe off any excess. Oily stuff (even ZEP) will attract dirt. In turn, this will restrict the free movement of the gizmos inside making the belts not retract properly. It will make you crazy. WD will evaporate eventually. Less likelihood of collecting crud.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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Squealing seat belt

Hey, thanks for the input. I'll give it a try, and hope it works. I just priced a replacement a little over $200! That's from the dealer. Whoa. I can listen to a loto squeaking for that.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Look into wrecking yards and Ebay if you decide to replace it. You'll save a boat load of cash.

Let me know how it goes for you. I always like to know how folks work things out. That way when someone comes up with a good fix it can be passed along to the next person.

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Old 11-07-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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Squealing seat belt

Well Kate, it didn't work completely. It did help some by using the WD40 after the Windex treatment, but still squeaks some. I did find NEW replacement belts (both) for about $170 in an after-market catalog. I will check with the local wrecking yard on Monday to see if they can locate a "Quiet" belt for mucho less $.

I appreciate the advice even it doesn't work, it's worth a try anyway. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:54 AM   #8
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Sorry it didn't work, dang it!
I sure would like to know what is squeaking in there. I hate squeaks!

Hopefully you'll find a set at a good price.
Google Jeep Wrecking Yard, maybe you'll get lucky and find something online.
Also check Ebay. Lots of them on there too.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #9
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It's not the seatbelt's retraction mechanism that is causing it to squeal.

How does a violin and its bow make its sound? The violin's bow is drawn across the strings to make the strings vibrate. In the seatbelt's case, the seat belt is being drawn against the exterior plastic housing as you move back & forth, like a bow across the string, causing it to squeal.

You can likely cure it by trimming the protective housing's plastic opening back some so the seatbelt can't rub against it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:22 AM   #10
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Squealing seat belt

I'll give it a try, and post after the fact. Thanks to all.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #11
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squealing seat belt

Well,well,well, the trim job worked like a charm. I can't tell you thank you enough. I placed a small piece of tin between the belt and the plastic housing, to keep from nicking the seat belt, and trimmed just a small amount of plastic from the back side of the housing, and it works like it should. QUIET. No muss, no fuss. Thanks again. The Old Guy.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:14 AM   #12
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Yippiee!

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