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Well, I wanted to write a month or so ago soon after I changed the oil in my wife’s car—and dumped three of four fresh quarts down the fill chute until I realized I had never put the plug back in the pan..... But I knew I’d soon top that one. So here it is.
After an on-again, off-again resto, I am finally to the point where the mach is almost finished—and am planning to have it inspected on Saturday. One of the last things I needed to do was install the seatbelts. Well, as they probably look like most you might find in the junkyard—old and ugly. And I was debating how I was going to freshen them up. Either I could send ‘em off to snake-oyyl (and shell out $500), OR, I could surf the old forum - which I did. I’m surprised there was not too much info on the subject..... But I did find a post from MikeO that recommended cooking your belts in Rit dye.
So, that’s what I did - buckles, belts, hardware, plastic, everything. I figured, MikeO did it, and the Rit dye directions said “boil water - soak for 30 minutes”. Well....GOOOOOOOHLEAAAAAAAAAa!!!!! What was I thinking!?! Two of my rear lap belt buckles now look like they’ve been through WWIII - warped and narley and bent and twisted and utterly unuseable. Fortunately, that’s all I ruined—I cranked down the heat and soaked the rest. My wife had a good time giving me the business—until I threatened to spill the cauldron of dye in her kitchen...And double fortunately, I had another pair of the two belts I ruined. Anyway, Rit dye works wonders. The belts look great, and I’ve still got my $500! If you decide to take that route, just don’t follow the directions on the Rit box EXACTLY... Good luck.

70 Mach 1 (351C 4V 4-speed) I've been restoring since '96. 95% complete. Also have a '68 HT (289 2-speed) that I restored between '97-98 and is FOR SALE! The VMF has proven to be an invaluable resource for information, humor and excellent advice.
 
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i'm sorry to say that your problems have not ended. the RIT dye will come off on your clothes.

the best thing to do with old seatbelts is soak them in soapy water for a couple days, then scrub them with a brush and let them dry. if they are faded, use a spray on dye like SEM to give them some color. Otherwise, have the re-webbed.

Charles Turner
MCA Gold Card Judge(64.5-65, 66)
'65 Fastback
'00 GT Conv, triple black


Check out my 65 [color:blue]fastback!</font color=blue>
 
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Say it isn't so!!! I read that after two years of using the Rit dye, the seatbelts have never bled. I guess I'll just have to soak them in water again tonight, put them in the sun tomorrow, resoak them and run them through a light-colored towel. OR, I could just dress up like johnny cash whenever I want to drive the mach - black on black.

70 Mach 1 (351C 4V 4-speed) I've been restoring since '96. 95% complete. Also have a '68 HT (289 2-speed) that I restored between '97-98 and is FOR SALE! The VMF has proven to be an invaluable resource for information, humor and excellent advice.
 

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I vaguely remember something we used to do after dyeing something and it involves soaking it in vinegar. You then rinse in warn soapy water. This sets the dye and should not bleed. I know that would be the last smell you would want in your car, but I think there is an answer here somewhere.

1966 Red Conv (200)
1966 White Pony Int.(289)A Code
1966 Coupe (289) C Code
MCA 36048
 
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Here's a thought...tie dyed seat belts for 60's cars. LOL

James

1965 convertible "White Pony", my own lesson in mechanical humility
 
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I'll be glad when we come to a consensus on this so I can do mine-if not I'll order the competition type from Branda!

Raven Black 66 Fastback GT, 289 A Code, PS, C-4, AC
Pony w/Rally-Pack, TTD's
Cool Huh?
 
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hey 70MM,
sorry you ended up cooking 2 of your buckles! i probably should've put some detail in my previous post.

Step 1: clean the belts thoroughly with a mild detergent(i used dish soap).
Also, what i did to keep the belts from twisting and stretching and keep dye from splashing around was loosely roll the belts in a coil and secure them with rubber bands. then, i did not allow the buckles to make contact with the dye water - i used a couple of long rods criss crossed over the top of the pot and set the buckles on them. I only allowed the water to almost boil, never hotter. then for the little bit of belt that did not get submerged, i carefully spooned (or eye-droppered) the dye into place. Then, following the directions, i rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. I seem to remember using vinegar, also, as a fixative. It got to where there was no more bleeding from rinsing and i rinsed just a bit more. Finally, i uncoiled the belts and laid them flat to dry. They look brand new. These were black belts that with age had turned that faded army green color, now they are jet black.
like i said, in the 2 yrs since, there's been no bleeding at all, even in wet weather or hot summer temps.
i hope it works out for you.
mike o


[color:blue]'65 wimbledon white original coupe I6
'99 silver convertible V6

Check out Mike & Jackie's '65 Mustang </font color=blue>
 

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I did the belts in my 70 Boss 302 well over 10 - 15 years ago with Rit dye and had the dye set in a vinegar solution and NEVER had a bleed thru problem. They still look fresh today..

randy


http://www.bossman-motorsports.com/bossbanner2.gif
http://www.bossman-motorsports.com
 
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Whew! I'm gonna soak them tonight in vinegar! Does it take much? I'm guessing you guys are talking something like 1:10 vinegar to water. I appreciate it!

70 Mach 1 (351C 4V 4-speed) I've been restoring since '96. 95% complete. Also have a '68 HT (289 2-speed) that I restored between '97-98 and is FOR SALE! The VMF has proven to be an invaluable resource for information, humor and excellent advice.
 

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When I changed the interior in my '89 from white/grey to black. I used a spray type vinyl dye from Pep Boys. I stretched out the belts sprayed them, let them dry in the sun for an afternoon and it worked great. No Bleeding, no mess and they looked as if they had always been that way.

http://my67heven.tripod.com/emsm.gifI was looking for a restoration of fantasy. I do not want my car to be as it was in 1967. I want it to be as I imagined it in 1967. -John Baird
Got Rust?
 
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