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Belt Angles Explained

Don’t understand this belt angle thing? 


All retractable belts have a certain operating angle. In our Inertia Reel seat belts there is a little ball inside the retractor that stops it from operating once the retractor deviates off this pre-set angle. Most retractable belts will operate with 3º of their designed angle so a certain degree of accuracy with selecting the correct seat belt is required.


Our belts are designed to be mounted on a vertical or horizontal surface. When mounted on a vertical surface the seat belt retractor will either be vertical at 90º or it will tilt towards the front or rear of the vehicle at a set angle. It is this tilting angle towards the front or rear of the vehicle that will tell us what angle retractor you require for your replacement belt.


As an example, if you were to put a new seat belt into your car, you may find that the angle of your old retractor is 99º and not the same as the 90º angle of the new retractor you have just installed. (See Figure 1)    When you go to pull the seat belt out to wear it you may find that the webbing wont pull out of the retractor. This is because the retractor is not within the 3º of the designed angle and this new belt is not going to operate correctly in your vehicle (unless you always drive up or down a slight hill!) 

Take Note

Another thing to remember is that a seat belt that needs to mounted vertically on or in the pillar of your vehicle will also not operate if it is mounted on a horizontal surface such as on or under a parcel tray or bolted to the floor. 

The same goes for a horizontal Under Parcel Tray or an On Parcel Tray seat belt. These seat belts are only designed to work on a horizontal surface and as such will not work if you were to affix them to the pillar or side wall of the vehicle


If floor mounting your vertical retractor is your only option then we suggest mounting your retractor using our 90º Angle Bracket 

The 90º Angle Bracket should be bolted to floor first and then bolt the retractor to the 90º Angle Bracket

Horizontal retractors should never be bolted flat to the floor of a vehicle unless certified by an engineer as the severe operating angle may greatly increase the likely chance of the belt failing or being cut by part of the retractor or retractor cover in the event of an accident.