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From digest.v7.n226 Fri Sep 5 16:49:25 1997
From: Marc Plante <>
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 15:59:44 -0400
Subject: <E36><MISC>Schroth, etc.


If you've been watching the digest for the last month of two, you'd have seen the myriad of threads on whether or not to use belts and where to actually install them when you get them. Go to a track or an autocross and you'll see dozens of opinions and different installations for even the same model car. It's unfortunate that the dealer you bought from had limited experience mounting these belts in an E36 the application is very specific, as is the expertise to actually get them in, I'm sure. The documentation from the Mfrs typically covers some geopetric guidelines, but no specifics for mounting points by model of car, which leaves you hunting for the best way.

I'm sure Duane Collie will send you a copy of his VERY well documented process putting in the schroth belts...(Duane, I spose you archived that?) Duane used a tailstrap from Schroth that hooks into the inboard and outboard bolts from the rear seat then felt a clip to attach the actual shoulder straps to. He also did the full lap belt conversion, including dealing with the dreaded seatbelt tensioner.

I did a little different for my installation, though I might preface that I'm not 100% sure of my shoulder belt mount for track applications, simply because I have not been able to document the structural rigidity of the point I am using. It suits my purpose, though, which is autocross until I can come to terms with the mounting point and rollover concerns on the track.

First let me note that I have a 1993 E36 4 door which does not have the same autoadjust mechanism on the seatbelts that the 2 door does. The rear doors also make the outboard rear seatbelt bolts very accessible, though I didn't use them.

I put in a Simpson 3" belt, and used different mounting points for the lap belt. specifically, I bought some 1x1/4x6' steel stock at Home Depot and cut a stringer that I run under the seat rails with the rear bolts going through it into the floor. I don't discern any loss in seat motion, though I am concerned about bending the rails over time, so I'll probably end up taking out out off season. I attached eyebolts for the lap and sub belt to that spanner. I needed a hacksaw, a couple drillbits and probably the better part of my poor little craftsman's motor, but tt only took about a couple hours or so of fiddling, measuring and cutting to get it to fit and installed. This installation seems very similar to a "kit" that someone bought recently that included a spanner made my the harness supplier.

The spanner is solid, and I can remove it, or leave it in and clip in and out the belts as needed.

For the shoulder belts, I settled on bolting two individual straps to the spanner that the folding rear seats are hooked to when in the upgright position. I drilled up through that and backed it up with another 3-4" "washer" that I cut out of the same stock I used for the spanner. To date, I use the full setup for autocross only, since b/c of previously mentioned concerns, and I'll probably use my lap belt (plus 3 pt) for starters at my next school, since it does a decent 80/20 job IMHO. Whether I'll end up strapping myself in for a session in the full 5 points is way up in the air especially since I haven't seen a really strong stand for it (even Satch backed down a bit after Jim Moran's rebuttal).

I don't think I'd ever use my 5 pt on the highway (though I had one in my Integra in Dallas way back). Yes it's fun cranking Gs around offramps, but it's a little too flashy for the revenuers. I can think of a couple quiet stretches of road in this country that would be tempting, though.

For what it's worth,

p.s. any DCC folks going out to Lexington later this month?

Marc Plante
E36 325i Webster, 73k
Alexandria, VA

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