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remove oem retractor seat belts

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Post by JKK on Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:07 pm

Hi everyone, im stuck trying to remove the oem retractors in my elcamino, anyone knows a trick? anyone can teach me?
i been trying for 3 weeks.. use lots of wd40, and break 5 t50 bits....
can appreciate any help
thanks
Juan

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Post by jerry46765 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:54 pm

On some that were impossible, I welded a cheap socket on the head of the torx bolt and turned it out with a large breaker bar or impact. Heat from welding also helps loosen. Also going underneath and cleaning the threads with a small wire wheel in a grinder helps when trying to remove.
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Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:57 pm

Had the same problem w/ rear back seat retractors.  Jerry's idea is a good one as there is little room for error & you'll most likely strip the dumb-a$$ torx bolt anyway. The key to a breaker bar is enough bite into the bolt and enough room to use a large one, perhaps even extending it with a length of pipe.  I ended up center punching & drilling holes in the bolt heads to use a bolt extractor from Craftsman.  Took forever to drill them out but if you have to go that route use carbide tipped masonry drill bits, all the others break or get dull fast.  You have to use a variable speed drill no more than say 850 rpm.  Have a buddy use some MAP or propane on the underside when you're ready to unscrew the bolts.
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Post by Joe73 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:02 pm

If you decide to heat it from the bottom, make sure you heat the part that the bolt threads into. Not the bolt itself. Heat expands metal and heating the bolt will expand it and make it tighter.
I'd get a good grip on it in whatever manner works best. Then heat around the bolt from the bottom. Get it good and hot and try turning it.
Good luck with it.
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Post by pila on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:53 pm

Using heat on the nut that's welded in the floor panel, from the bottom side, seems to work better than most ways, like said above, and usually the threads will survive OK.
A propane torch wont do it very good though. A MAP gas or welding torch works much better.

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Post by JKK on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:00 pm

is an elky!! the retractor is mounted in the b pillar.... no way to heat it!!

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Post by Joe73 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:03 pm

I'd try heating around the head of the bolt. It has to the have nut welded to the back side for threads.
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Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:09 pm

LOL oops.  Should have paid better attention, sorry.

Are the Torx  on the bolts still in good shape? Have you tried a 1/2" or 3/4" breaker bar yet?
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Post by JKK on Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:44 pm

yes... i tried t50 bit on 1/2 braker bar... broke 4 bits!!!,

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Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:02 pm

I bet those bits were made in China- they cheat on steel content when making those items.  Best if possible to buy a Craftsman or another "professional grade" bit from a specialty vendor truck like Matco, Snap-on, etc.  Try & get a length of metal pipe (as long as possible).  Have a friend hold the business end on the bolt so it doesn't strip while you work the bar.  The extra length on the bar will multiply the force.  Get some PB Blaster lube & use that vs WD40.  Let it soak overnight & then reapply before you try again.
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Post by Wallyuph on Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:16 am

I have used a big nut when the torx bolt ends up striped out. The nut is big as 3/4 the size of the head of the bolt in the center of the nut. Then I weld the inside of the nut to the top of the stripped torx bolt. Let it cool tell its not red hot any more them go back and forth form loosen to tighten each way a little at a time. Some times the nut twists off and I just weld a new one one on. You can tape up wet towels around the area if you don't have a welding blanket to use to keep spraks under control.
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