Tight, Sticky Seat Belt Easy Fix, W/PHOTOS | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Tight, Sticky Seat Belt Easy Fix, W/PHOTOS


Well-Known Member
June 14, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Holiday, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Explorer
First this is the driver side of a 93X. My problem is that the belt was getting harder and harder to pull out and needed a lot of help retracting. I looked on here many times for help and didn’t find much except it is a common problem. I took it apart (now I say apart I should note I DID NOT take the retracting mechanism apart NOT NOT DISASSEMBLE THE MECHANISM) a couple times for cleaning & silicone treatments. But could not fix it I finally took the mechanism out and took a good look to see how it functions. I found there is a large idler wheel on the lower end of the mechanism that the belt wraps around. Now on that wheel there is a rubber sleeve (see photo) on top of the steel roller. What had happen is the rubber sleeve became loose and slid to one side acting as a brake. I would push it back and the belt function like new for a short time then the rubber belt would again shift to the side and bind. What I did was cut off about 1/8” of the belt pushed it to one side put some thick CA (crazy) glue on and put the belt back in the center. Now if you use CA be careful you have to know how to work with it. It dries very fast and is not forgiving don’t get it on your seat belt.

This took me less then 1/2 hour with minimum tools. You will need first a TORX T-50 socket tool, 10mm socket, 7/32 socket and a medium phillips.
I took photos after I did the job but I think I got enough to help someone.

Take off the molding on the floor there are 3 screws one in front and 2 up on the post. Note where the clips are in the photo this will help you where to pry.


Next unbolt the top of the seat belt T-50 TORX bolt. Then pry out the 2 push-in connectors then unscrew the 7/32 bolt in the hanger hook. Now you cab remove your top molding.



Here you see the mechanism in place. Note where the belt anchors to the floor. I put a slight slit in the carpet so I could get to the bolt easer. Unbolt the anchor feed your belt through the molding.

Now un bolt your mechanism there is a 10 mm bolt on top and a TORX T-50 on bottom. Again WARNING DO NOT DISASSEMBLE THE MECHANISM. You can work the belt but you have to hold the mechanism as it sits in the vehicle or it will lock on you. Now you can see the rubber belt on the lower idler roller. If it has slid to one side that is probably your problem at least it was mine. You can see the piece I cut off and then glued the rubber sleeve in place.

Well I hope this helps some one. I know it would have helped me. I got a LOT of information and help from this community. I hope this gives a little back.

Bruce from Florida

Cool! Thank you. I don't have this problem, but I do have problems on the driver-side where the belt won't come out when you press the release button...aggravating. I cleaned with WD40 and then lubes with a silicon spray lube. Helps int he short term, but sure is a pain sometimes when it doesn't release and I am stuck for a time.

Thanks for the post and pictures! I'll give this a shot!