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96 XLT seat belt repair help

papa1930

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1996 XLT 5.0 2wd
My seat belt (female end) just gave up the ghost on my 96 XLT 5.0 2wd, and won't stay in. The release button's depressed in, so I gather that it's the spring-dealie that's messed up/broken.

Been searching thru the forums here, but still have a few questions.




What are everyone's opinion on this guy's solution to fix his?

When I unplug the seat/air bag sensor, will that set off the air bags themselves, and/or do I need to disconnect the battery first?

I don't have any T-50 torx bits. Do I need to need to buy 1 bit for the top, and bottom, or just the top? In other words is it a bolt AND a nut, or just a bolt?

Are they spot-welded on, or not? I think mine's facing my center console, and I may try not removing anything(console/seat) unless it's spot-welded. I don't want to strip it out.

Right now I've got a dog leash tied to the bottom of the female end with a caribiner attached for a temporary fix. lol



Thanks guys.
 



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koda2000

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there is no torx nut (i don't think there is such a thing) you only need the T-50 bit. your air bag is not going to go off if you disconnect the seat belt wire. go to the salvage yard and get another working female side from a similar vehicle to replace your broken one.
 






papa1930

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Thanks for replying koda.
Good to know about the airbag.

there is no torx nut (i don't think there is such a thing) you only need the T-50 bit.
LOL. Yeah I know there's no torx nut, I just kinda worded it wrong. Went back and checked. I thought it was another round head facing the seat, and it was one of those types that has a sleeve on the female end. But on further inspection (hard to get in there to look) it was just the end of the bolt that's rounded in like a bowl.

Did you see the guy in the video with the sticky tape? Thought that was pretty ingenious. Or would that be un-genious? lol
 






mcgufer

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Just a heads up, I changed mine on my 92 and I had to use a powerful 1/2" impact gun to remove the bolt.
 






koda2000

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Just a heads up, I changed mine on my 92 and I had to use a powerful 1/2" impact gun to remove the bolt.

being form th northeast doesn't help (road salt/sand). i had no problem with mine (southeast). it doesn't say were the OP lives, but a wire brush (underneath side on exposed threads) and some WD40 make it a lot easier to get the bolt out and may save your threads. if it's like my '00 & '01, you may have to remove the seat (easy - 4 bolts) to get the female part off.
 






papa1930

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Thanks for replying mcgufer.

being form th northeast doesn't help (road salt/sand). i had no problem with mine (southeast). it doesn't say were the OP lives, but a wire brush (underneath side on exposed threads) and some WD40 make it a lot easier to get the bolt out and may save your threads. if it's like my '00 & '01, you may have to remove the seat (easy - 4 bolts) to get the female part off.

I'm about as far removed from there temperature-wise as is possible.
Houston, Texas is where I'm at.

And it would probably have to be my center console to come out, because the bolt is facing it.
 






mcgufer

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I removed my center console to change it
 






papa1930

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Another question that comes to mind is what year models seat belt would work with my '96.

Anyone know?




Thanks.
 






mcgufer

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I believe any buckle 91-97 should work. Ranger buckles should work too.
 






gonenuke

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Just a little heads up. When I replaced the female belt part, after a while the old male part would just pop out. You might want to change out both sections so that you have a matched pair. This might have just been a difference between the two parts, but if your getting the belt from a JY you might as well get both parts.
 






mcgufer

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I agree if they have it get it, but the driver seat is used far more often and wears alot quicker. The original passenger side buckle should last a long time
 






daisyrocky

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1st Gen and 2nd Gen seat belt buckle are slightly different, just get both pieces from JY. I've been installing them between 6 Ex and notice the tongue between those two Gen are slightly different. They will click if you fiddle and force them but I would rather get the same exact one that came together. I just went through installing a 04 seat with unremovable seat belt buckle which is actually a steel cable and had to cut it and use a 2nd Gen buckle and welded a frame to install on a 97, I also had to cut the threads and use the 04 tongue and rethread the seat belt webbing with heavy duty tent thread.
 






papa1930

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Thanks for the info guys.



1st Gen and 2nd Gen seat belt buckle are slightly different, just get both pieces from JY.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what's "1st Gen and 2nd Gen", and how do you tell the difference?

Thanks.
 






mcgufer

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1st gen is 1991-1994 body style. 2nd generation is 1995-2001
 






bobflood

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And don't worry about matching color (if you care about that). You can take the colored sleeve off the old one and use it on the new one.

On my 97 EB (power leather seats) the female buckle rides on a rail attached to the seat; the rail is in turn bolted into the side of the hump with the Torex bolt. I had to remove the seat, as best I remember (it has been several years since I replaced it!)

Good luck.
 






lobo411

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My 1996 Explorer's latch just died too. I noticed that the Gen I latches looked the same as the Gen II (1995-1997 subtype), but then I tried removing a Gen I latch bolt and noticed that it seemed to be torqued to a much higher spec than the Gen II. Basically, the Gen II latch bolt could be removed with a 3/8" ratchet, but with a Gen I I needed a 1/2" ratchet and maybe a cheater bar.

There were tons of 1998-present Explorers, but I saw that they all had plastic latch housings vs mine with a metal housing. Then I noticed a 1998 with a metal housing. I pulled it easy and tried to latch it...it wouldn't work! Drat! I wandered around and found the only 1995 Explorer with a drivers' side latch, but someone had cut the wire in a place where it was impossible to repair.

That's when I got lucky. I decided to go back to the 1998 and try the latch I pulled from the 1995 vehicle. It wouldn't latch either. Then I noticed a discrepancy...the seat I pulled the 1998 latch from was embossed "Mountaineer." But the floorboard said "Explorer." WTF?? Then I realized that the reason it wouldn't latch was that someone had tried to put a 1995-1997 Mountaineer seat in a 1998 Explorer. I took the Mountaineer latch over to the 1995 Explorer, and it worked!

So my question is:

1. Will the 1991-1994 latch work in the 1995-1997 model years, even though the 1991-4 seems to be much more heavily torqued?

2. I bought the latch with the cut wire too. Could I just short the seat belt sensor wire if I end up needing to replace the belt latch again?
 






masospaghetti

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For question 2, you could short the seat belt sensor wire and you would never have the seat belt warning.
 






Meriden

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Okay Guys,

Here is a fix. Follow the instruction in the video to get the seat belt receiver apart. Also take apart the rear center seat belt receiver as well. Rob the spring out of the rear receiver and put it in the front. Note that you will need to cut out the set belt sensor to get it to ft. The wiring will need to be shorted out as outlined above. Works kind of like a charm...

m
 






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