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Old 05-24-2011, 09:39 PM   #1
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Seatbelt Flutter Eliminator of Awesomeness

Ok, maybe not... but I like it so far.

I got sick of the seatbelt flutter when my top was down and I have passengers occasionally, so I couldn't just remove them and I also don't like the look of bungie straps around the roll bar holding them in place. So I built this to restrain them while still allowing easy access when needed.













This is just the prototype and I just got finished putting it on, but I haven't had a chance to road test it yet. The main sleeve is tied to the rollbar using the grommets and rope and the outer flap can be pulled open to free the seatbelts when you need to use them without having to remove the whole thing.

They're basically just a piece of duck cloth (like heavy duty canvas if you're like me and never heard of duck cloth before this), velcro, grommets, and 1/4 paracord-like rope.

If anyone is interested in me doing so, let me know and I can create a guide to making them while I'm making the other 3 in the next week or two.

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Old 05-24-2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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looks good. so can you remove the seatbelt without taking it all off?

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Old 05-24-2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Yep. The sleeve stays on the rollbar and the flap is sewed to the sleeve on one edge and vecroed on the other so you can just pull off the one side, free the seatbelt, and re-secure the flap.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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Dude, I think this has to the the slickest thing I have seen in a long time. Very innovative. You should consider making and selling these. I would like to make one humble suggestion though. For people like me who don't like the rope look maybe consider putting velcro on the rear also so it has a very clean look to it. Just a thought, but great job dude!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunaras View Post
Yep. The sleeve stays on the rollbar and the flap is sewed to the sleeve on one edge and vecroed on the other so you can just pull off the one side, free the seatbelt, and re-secure the flap.
That's what I figured, just wondering. You should sell them. I would be interested in a pair or 2 if you did.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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Mega KUDOs to you my friend. Like others I have said, I would like a velcro version. Not trying to criticize since it looks way slick, but my concerns are that the rope would dig into the foam creating permanent grooves over time, or that if the rope broke it would it unusable until I got some 550 (parachute) cord to replace it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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Market it to Rugged Ridge... I'm sure they would buy the design from you.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the complements everyone!

I'm not taking orders or anything yet, but I am thinking about making and selling them if there is enough interest and I can get the design nailed down. I also need to work out the process so it doesn't take up all my free time making them.

I considered using velcro, but I liked the look of the rope and grommets. Just a personal preference though. Using the velcro might be easier and quicker to make though.

Oh, and I welcome the criticisms, so keep them coming.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Grommets will be less expensive. It's a very nice design, I like it. Is the belt still functional, does it extend/retract with ease?
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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Great idea. I'd buy one.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:21 PM   #11
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Looks awesome and I would buy them, but I would have to think the potential liability of interfering with a seat belt could be huge. Hypothetically, someone borrows your Jeep and a passenger claims they didn't know how to free the seat belt so they couldnt use it and then they get hurt... Just say'in it must be a huge issue for a big company like RR to think about.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:40 PM   #12
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Safety was foremost in my mind with this project since screwing with how the seatbelt itself works is just asking to get my family or I hurt. If any part of this interferes with the seatbelt's operation, it will be changed until it doesn't or it will be scrapped entirely.

I haven't made one for the front yet, so I can't test that yet, but I designed the flap to be loose enough to be able to cover the vertical section of the seatbelt that goes from the shoulder d-ring bracket thingy (does it have a name?) to the retractor without interfering with its operation. So far it seems to be working as I planned, but I won't be selling any until I do much more testing.

For this one in the back, I put it on with the sleeve only wrapped around the rollbar so if the seatbelt isn't vecroed in the flap, it is completely free, just like if the sleeve wasn't on there at all. So, worst case scenario, I can just have the back ones only, and it can be used when no one is in the back seat and taken off both parts of the seatbelt when anyone is using them.

I still want the front to work as well, since the driver's side one flapping in my ear drives me nuts, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my own safety for that reason and I sure as hell won't risk someone else's.

I don't really see liability being a problem for someone borrowing the Jeep (doesn't happen) since pulling on the seatbelt frees it up pretty easily.

However, the liability issue of me selling them and someone installing it incorrectly (like wrapping the sleeve around both the rollbar and the vertical part of the seatbelt, potentially preventing the seatbelt from retracting) is the biggest reason I currently have against selling them at all. Installed correctly it seems to have no impact on how the seatbelts work, but all it takes is one person who either didn't read the instructions at all or misreads them and just slaps it on and then wrecks their Jeep, to sue me and ruin my life. Having just recently found out that we're pregnant with our first child, ruining my life financially isn't on the top of my to-do list.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
I would like a velcro version...
I'm interested in a pair too.
Great idea, that flapping is crazy annoying.

Good idea.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:59 PM   #14
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I had thought of damping the seat belt vibration with the thick sheep skin cover they make for children... I'll try to find the link agian....

Amazon.com: Sheepskin Seat Belt Shoulder Pad-Grey: Automotive
That will work...

I dont know if that fully explains the idea.. but the idea was to just disturb the airflow enough to stop the flapping / vibration. Add verco and fix it to the roll bar (your brain child) and waaalaaa.

I'll buy one from ya.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:18 AM   #15
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Damn McGuyver!! Looks good...really good..nice and clean! I would for sure buy a set. I See they are for the back..how about the passenger side front belt?? That one seems to hurl around worse than the rears. The wind here has been blowing its A$$ for over what seems like 2 months now...25mph wind on the highyways and byways is wearing my candy A$$ OUT. Lost two hats and had a Kroger card and some business recpts fly out of my pocket while pointlessly trying to answer the damn phone in the vortex.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #16
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@RubiDubiDoo:
First of all, I love the name.

I thought about doing just a sliding cover on the seatbelt that velcroed to the rollbar, just made of the duck cloth, not sheepskin. No offense, I just don't like the way the sheepskin would look in my Jeep and no one that rides in it is short enough to need the padding, so buying those would be overkill for my Jeep anyway. The problem I hadn't overcome was how to actually velcro it. If you just put a strip on the sheepskin pad and one on the rollbar, then you have the vertical part of the seatbelt in between the two and they can't stick. If you make the pad wide enough to extend past the edges of the seatbelt so you can put a strip on either side and stick it around the vertical belt it would see it would be too bulky in my opinion. Finally, you could use vecro straps to hold the pad to the rollbar, but that seems to kind of defeat the purpose of the sleeve. Plus putting even the loop side of the velcro on the pad seems like it would be scratchy and irritating on your neck, even more so than the seatbelt alone.

It's a great idea, I just haven't figured out a way to make it work yet. But if you think of something, let me know. I might try it out and see how it goes.

@clear lake jeepn:
This one was just a prototype as a reality check on my measurements & design and to see if I could make it function correctly and look ok before I made the rest. I plan on doing front ones for both sides in the next couple days. The fronts are slightly more complicated with having to deal with the softtop attachment points, but it shouldn't be too bad. I'll post pics when I get them done and attached.

Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to actually test how effective they are at stopping the flapping since they're calling for 90% chance of thunderstorms & rain until Monday or Tuesday, so the top is staying up for now. If we get a break in the weather I'll take her for a spin and see how it goes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:41 AM   #17
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If you are worried about safety, you could only have them enclosed when no one was using the seat belt. In reality, the seat belts shouldn't retract very much in case of a collision, they should just hold their place, for the most part. So, the velcro will give at that kind of speed and force being applied to them, problem is the seat belt will now have more slack because of the freed up belt. Not sure exactly how these work on the jeeps, but I wouldn't think it would be that big of a problem having a little bit more free belt to hit.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #18
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I *think* it will be a non-issue with the way I have it set up, but I need make the driver's seat one to get more real world testing to see if retracting is affected at all. I'm not concerned about the pre-tensioner during a collision since that would easily overcome any forces from the flap.

I know that loose seatbelts can cause extra injuries compared to properly tightened ones, hence the use of pre-tensioners. So, I want to make sure that if someone leans forward pulling out a bunch of slack that it retracts properly. If I find that these are causing problems with retraction, then the flap will be completely removed from the seatbelt when it is in use by anyone. That would negate the purpose of having it on the driver's seatbelt completely, but it would be useful any time any of the other seatbelts are vacant.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #19
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I approve this message man! Awesome idea, awesome design! Props
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #20
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A strip of velcro, loosely fastened around the bar and the back section of belt works very well, while not inhibiting the function of the belt. Loop side toward the belt please to keep from damaging it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #21
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A strip of velcro, loosely fastened around the bar and the back section of belt works very well, while not inhibiting the function of the belt. Loop side toward the belt please to keep from damaging it.
If that's the case, then I think this should work just fine as it should have similar if not less force on it. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:25 PM   #22
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That looks awesome!! And congrats on the baby!
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:51 PM   #23
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i like the design. the grommets adds some extra flair too. very nice.

not mentioned is just sewing the flaps directly to the sport bar. then it would almost look like Jeep has the presence of mind to build in a solution.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:04 PM   #24
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RubiDubiDoo... my daugher helped. Thanks..

I tried some velcro straps placed to make the Seat Belt (AKA Wide Guitar string) shorted in places to try to remove that resonant frequency. It worked, but it frays the seat belt slightly. Your cover is the right direction.

I keep checking the dollar store for ideas, but nothing has popped yet.

I tube that zips or velcros closed. My daughter wears "leg warmers" that are gray. That is close but I need the to open and close...

Thinking...
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #25
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I'll have the top off fo the rest of summer in case you need a feild test jeep in So Ca
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:47 PM   #26
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I used a seat belt shoulder pad that you can get at any auto store. It is charcoal in color and closes with velcro. I sewed the sleeve to the roll bar in the back and sewed the sleve to the fabric in the front. The ones in the back I just leave on there until I have passengers and the front I velcro after I buckle. The only problem with the front ones is that they don't automatically retract when you un-buckle. Not too bad of a problem. All is good and life is quiet now!
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:53 PM   #27
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Love the ingenuity. I'd buy a set. They look nicer than the occasional duct tape or more often used wife's cloth hair band thingys!
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:33 PM   #28
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Very good!

All Velcro please!
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:42 PM   #29
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Ok. I went to autozone and opted for the 5 minute $15 version of a fix. These Bell Memory Foam thingy's(6.99 each) velcro closed and match the interior well enough.







Done!!!
Test drive was a success.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:45 PM   #30
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I certainly could've used these the last couple of years. Such a fabulous, ingenious idea, love it! Good Job! Thanks.

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