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5.0L (1979-1995) Mustang Technical discussions on 5.0 Liter Mustangs within. This does not include the 5.0 from the 2011 Mustang GT. That information is in the 2005-1011 section.

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
Project 5.GO!
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Default Seat Belt tensioners in '89 hatch?

Hi all,

During a recent outing to the local u-pull yard, I found a rare relatively intact 87 hatch with the same color interior as mine, and since I have been having problems with my seat belts not wanting to retract and being somewhat tattered, I pulled out the tensioners and belts. It was a relatively straightforward pull after I pulled all the screws and seperated the rear interior plastic trim from the frame. The tensioners were a black housing and the tongue on the belt looked a little different than mine, but the metal part that goes into the buckle is identical.

When I opened mine up today to make the switch, my tensioners are very different looking. They are bigger by about 1/3, and there is some kind of plastic coated steel cable attached to them that seems to go down to the floor behind the interior panel. Wherever it goes, I cant reach the end of it with my hand without pulling out the entire panel, and probably back seats. Is this an electrical or support cable? Can I cut it off and not have any problems?

The placement of the actual metal mounting bracket and the bolt hole line up fine on the both tensioners, only the case is different.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:07 PM   #2
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Anyone...? Anyone...? Bueller?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:24 AM   #3
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The cable goes down to that black button you see in the door jam. It allows the belt to retract when the door is opened. I'm not sure why the 87 seat belts wouldn't have the same cable. Maybe someone put different seat belts in it?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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Can u take a picture? I doubt the cable is electrical. Why can't you remove it attach it to the new seat belts?
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:11 PM   #5
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
The first photo is the one I took from the junkyard, but the driver's side, which I haven't installed yet. The second photo is what is in my car. It is hanging there because I don't want to cut it loose before I know what the deal is. The junkyard one is already installed behind it.

The black button is kinda broken on that side, so it is more like a black hole. Not that it eats stars or anything, the button just broke off a while back. Now that you mention it, I always wondered why opening the door made the belt retract on the driver's side. Shame it won't retract after I lean forward to change a CD... How hard is it to get in behind the trim panel and remove the cable at the button without cutting it? Or could I pry the button flange out from the door jam and simply remove the wire from that side (and replace the missing button)? I'm thinking maybe after I get it out, I can get inside the tensioner case, clean and lube it so it works properly, and keep it as a spare.
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Last edited by Project 5.GO!; 12-14-2011 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:30 AM   #6
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*bump*
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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*Bump*
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman524 View Post
The cable goes down to that black button you see in the door jam. It allows the belt to retract when the door is opened. I'm not sure why the 87 seat belts wouldn't have the same cable. Maybe someone put different seat belts in it?


So that is what that button is for.....lol
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Yeah, just learned that myself. Now if I could just get someone to tell me how to disconnect the damned thing so I'm not driving around with the tensioner dangling by the cable... LOL
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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Never mind, I just got it figured out. The button housing fits in the door jam in a bowtie shaped hole You twist the button housing to the left a quarter turn, and it pops through into the interior space behind the trim panel where the tensioner is. The button is not electrical, it's a mechanical thing like a throttle cable. When the button springs out, it pulls the cable inside the tensioner and lets the belt retract.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:36 PM
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2012, 50l, 89, access, belt, blue, chrome, mustang, problems, rear, seat, seatbelt, tensioner, tensioners, wire

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