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Old 09-06-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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Fixing seatbelt flutter (not masking it) for free in 5 inutes.

I mentioned this fix in a thread earlier today and said I would take some pics and do a write up. I can't find where I said that, so I'm just going to start a new thread.

My wife and I picked up our new Wrangler Friday night, spent Saturday morning installing mods, then got it dirty on Sunday and took off the top and doors yesterday. Driving nekkid was cool, but as anyone who has done it knows this causes the seatbelts to flutter in the wind and make really annoying noises. Within 2 miles I had heard enough. When we pulled in to have a sandwich I did this mod real quick and no more flutter.

I'll pass on writing about the science unless someone asks for it, but this is very easy and fixes the problem instead of just covering it up like all the stuff I saw when I searched the topic after it came up this morning.

Here are two photos of the seatbelt as delivered:





As you can see, both legs of the belt run straight from top to bottom. This is why they flutter in the wind.

The first thing you have to do is pull out enough extra seatbelt to put a fold in it and feed it all the way back through the shoulder harness bracket. If you start at the bracket and pull it out as shown in the following photo you will have plenty.



Next, fold the seatbelt over on itself as shown below. Pay attention to the direction you make the fold, you're going to do it again in a minute.



Once you've got the fold you have to feed the fold through the shoulder harness bracket. The fold has to be tight to get it started through the bracket. Once you get it started through just pull it the rest of the way. This should give you half a twist on each side of the bracket.



Do another fold and feed it through the bracket so you've got a full twist on each side of the belt. Make sure you do the second fold in the same direction as the first or you will undo what you just did. After doing this a second time you should have a full twist on each side of the bracket. It will look like this:



We found the twist in the shoulder belt quite annoying, but after running it all the way down to the bottom as shown below it was no longer noticable and didn't try to work its way back up the belt.



I pulled the trim panel off with the intent of unbolting the lower seatbelt bracket and taking the twist out of the lap belt, but the bracket is attached to the belt reel to make it easier to deal with on the assembly line. If you really wanted to you could separate the two. It won't hurt anything to do so because you are going to put the bolt back through both of them. I opted not to because I didn't want to take the cutoff wheel to a brand new Jeep to remedy something that doesn't bother us.

That's it. No more flutter and nothing wrapped around the belt, attaching it to the body, or anything else.

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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Thank you, oilwell. This is going to be as important a 'mod' as turning the rear view mirror over!


Those straps even flutter just with the windows open!

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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Variation of an old trucker trick on tie down straps...Great TIP!!!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
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I took my rears off-no rear seat. And I think my front already has a twist in it haha. Yay for me. But good call, I know how annoying it gets, my passenger side does it sometimes too. Another good one is to use the tape with velcro on it on a spot on the back of the front belt and then to a spot on the roll bar.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill View Post
Thank you, oilwell. This is going to be as important a 'mod' as turning the rear view mirror over!


Those straps even flutter just with the windows open!
Turning the rear view mirror over?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Turning the rear view mirror over?
Yup. Turn the rear view mirror 180°. Adjust for/figure out reversed day/night function. Notice immediate increase in field of view, about 20% others have said.

I did it in the dealers parking lot when I first picked up the Jeep.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xj-boonie

Turning the rear view mirror over?
Better view through the front window.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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Better view through the front window.
And the rear.


Fiddling with the mirror, it is obvious that Jeep could easily optimize the rear view by changing the mirror's shape and mounting location. Duh...


Maybe they'll start putting a twist in the seat belts.... Probably not, too simple a solution to a constant complaint.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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Variation of an old trucker trick on tie down straps...Great TIP!!!
I actually learned it on motorcycle tiedowns, but the truckers use it too. They wouldn't be able to buy enough tiedowns to stay in business otherwise.

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Maybe they'll start putting a twist in the seat belts.... Probably not, too simple a solution to a constant complaint.
I would actually prefer to see them do what they should have done to start with: not have the vertical portion of the seat belt exposed. It would have been just as easy to make the trim panel extend another foot or so up the pillar and route the belt inside it. Since they aren't in the business of fixing these little details I will have to force myself to live with adding a twist to the belt.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:05 AM   #10
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Stupid question maybe, but would simply leaving the rear seat belts buckled also solve the problem???
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:17 AM   #11
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Stupid question maybe, but would simply leaving the rear seat belts buckled also solve the problem???
This isn't a rear seatbelt problem. It's the front ones that buzz because the vertical portion is exposed to the wind when the doors are off.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:54 AM   #12
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May have to try this. I forgot about that flutter since we haven't had the top off during the fall/winter (if you can call it winter).

With the nice weather upon us, it's only a matter of time before the flutter rears its ugly head again.

Also need to try that mirror trick... cool.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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That's a first . Never heard of or experienced seat belt flutter.

Doors off I would click in tighten as much as possible, take a deep breath and yank down the strap so that it locks, release breath and it stays locked in place.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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Another way to deal with the flapping is very cheap and easy. Go to Walmart and buy a seat belt comfort pad. It wraps around the belt and it's together with velcro. Just wrap it around the vertical run of the belt. It will fall to the bottom of the door pillar. It looks like it couldn't possibly work but it does. No more flapping. You'll want a black one instead of the white one in this picture. They also work on the back belts when you put the top down but in back you wrap the pad around the both sections of the belt near the buckle.

Here is my driver's seat with the pad installed. It doesn't flap at all.

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Old 03-28-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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This would drive me nuts more than the flapping. An easier solution, that worked for me, was to lower the height adjustment of the seatbelt.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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Tagola for when I pull my Jeep outta the garage (could be weeks).
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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I like this idea allot. Going to Walmart to get a pair in black.


Quote:
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Another way to deal with the flapping is very cheap and easy. Go to Walmart and buy a seat belt comfort pad. It wraps around the belt and it's together with velcro. Just wrap it around the vertical run of the belt. It will fall to the bottom of the door pillar. It looks like it couldn't possibly work but it does. No more flapping. You'll want a black one instead of the white one in this picture. They also work on the back belts when you put the top down but in back you wrap the pad around the both sections of the belt near the buckle.

Here is my driver's seat with the pad installed. It doesn't flap at all.

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:18 AM   #18
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Went to Walmart and bought two covers in black. They were $5.xx total. They also have tan and white. I took the car on the highway and no flutter. Great, easy, cheap mod.

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I like this idea allot. Going to Walmart to get a pair in black.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:31 AM   #19
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For $3, bought one package of large weather stripping. Cut said weather stripping into 2 strips, 2 inches long. Stacked them on top of one another, and then stuck the double stacked strips to the seat belt housing about 6 inches from the bottom.
Problem solved. It moves the seatbelt far enough away from the pillar so it doesn't flap. Plus, the stripping is black so you can barely tell it's there unless you look and the seat belt isn't all twisted. Took all of 5 minutes for both sides.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:36 AM   #20
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interesting way to fix this...thanks for the write up and detailed pictures!

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