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safety seats

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by wheelnut46, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. wheelnut46

    wheelnut46 1/2 ton status

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    My son is 5 years old and 45 lbs. By law he is supposed to ride in the back seat of any vehicle that has front and rear seats. The back seat of my ’77 Jimmy only has lap belts. The lap belts are not long enough to go over a booster seat so I have been buckling him in without any additional seat – like a grown up. Booster seats all state that they are not for use with lap belts only. The NHTSA recommends retrofitting lap/shoulder belts into the back seat of any vehicle but I believe that to be an off the cuff answer by someone who does not know any better. Obviously that cannot happen with a fiberglass roof. I cannot find any oversized child seat with integral harness (Fisher Price 20/60 Futura – try to find it) I don’t believe that putting my son in the front seat is the safest option – just because it has a shoulder belt, and when my wife rides along he will go back in the back seat anyway.
    So, what are my options?
    How do you that have young children (under 60 pounds) safely seat them in your trucks?


    '77 GMC Jimmy
     
  2. TwoCrowsDesign

    TwoCrowsDesign 1/2 ton status

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    The center belt in my 89 is plenty long enough to go over my son's booster. The booster is the type with a shield that hinges into position in front of the child. The shield is then held in place by the lap belt. It works quite well and appears very safe. I think I'd prefer to have him sitting in the center of a Blazer with only a lap belt than to have him in a side seat just to get a shoulder belt.

    You might be able to get a longer belt from a newer model K5

    John
     
  3. Rob 85K5

    Rob 85K5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    how about one of those seat belt extenders for larger people?

    Rob

    <font color=orange>Bleedin' Chevy Orange</font color=orange>
     
  4. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    I haven't dealt with this problem in a while, since my boys are now 9 &amp; 11, but back when they were in the booster seat phase, I was able to get some seat belt extenders from the dealership for free.

    You may want to try just going your local Chevy/GMC parts counter and asking for seat belt extensions. You may get lucky and get the free ones, also.

    Of course, this doesn't solve your shoulder belt issue, but may allow you to use the booster with the lap belt.

    Good luck,

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</a>
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Let me guess...your in Canada?
    I'm facing some of the same issues with a rear facing baby seat. The Lady doesn't want to get rid of her 79K5. Right now we have the seat upfront using the should belt. The BIG reason for this is it is too difficult to load the Baby into the back seat. The center seat belt in the back does work for the seat. A lot of the rear seat law is because of Airbags. Unfortunatly it is up to the officers discretion and interpitation of said law. Most officers would understand the issue that the kid is safest in the front seat of these particular vehicles because of the extra protection of the shoulder belt and the fact that the vehicle wasn't designed to accomidate laws that came 20 years after the vehicle was manufactured. If they don't then I'm sure that a reasonable Judge would. After all the front not only has a shoulder belt it has a steel roof. These trucks are also registered with insurance company and most munisipalities as a K10 truck or wagon not a K5 SUV. There is not really a way to refit shoulders to a older hard top. I think that most law officers would let it slide for the occasional times when he is riding in the back without a shoulder harness.
    What you may not know is some of the last K5's to come off the line DID have rear shoulder belts off the hard top. Even the 73-75 had provisions for a shoulder belt for the front. What you might try to do is locate an top with the belts and retro fit it's belts in the back if it concerns you that much. The other alternative is a full roll cage with a provision for a shoulder or 4 points for the rear passengers.
    I have made my full cage in my 75 to run shoulder belts. Because of loading the kids I did not put a cross bar for the front to run 4 points although I may put a modified or removable bar in. I'm seriously thinking about putting one in for the back seats since it only has lap belts. That will also keep my squirmy 9 year old sitting straight in the seat [​IMG]
    On the 79 I will be putting a cross bar in to secure the topple strap on the next seat the baby will graduate into. I'll just use the existing bolts for the topper. This however may be at the wrong angle to work with a booster seat.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  6. wheelnut46

    wheelnut46 1/2 ton status

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    Actually I'm in Rhode Island. The '88 Totota 4 runner that I just got rid of had the same problem. I was able to fix it quite easily because the roll bar in the back had nuts welded on at the factory in just the right places to mount retractable shoulder/lap belts. It must have been planned from the beginning but not used due to poor placement (the belts didnt retract well, wrong angle or cost. I simply mounted a set of junkyard seatbelts from a Toyota pickup and I was all set. They even fastened into the original buckles.

    '77 GMC Jimmy
     
  7. wheelnut46

    wheelnut46 1/2 ton status

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    After thinking about it overnight, I kind of like the roll bar/roll cage idea. Does anyone make pre-fab roll cages for these things? Or there's the option of installing a pickup truck bench seat and eliminating the rear seat altogether.

    '77 GMC Jimmy
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well Smitty built and a few others have front cages but most just have kicker legs in the back. What you might do is get that cage and then get a second main hoop and mount it in the back and have somebody local cut you some stringers to tie the front to the back and figure out where you need the seat belt mount and put a vertical peice. A rear bar was a factory option and with some hunting you might be able to find one in a junk yard as well as the front hoop. the floor was the same in your 77 as it was for the 73-75 so you should be able to find that bar without much trouble. I know where 2 are here in GA if they are still in the trucks. That is how I built my Cage. I used the existing main factory hoop and built it from there.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     

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