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Old 13-03-2018   #1
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Seat Belts & Paint

Hi Fiat Forum

I am once again looking for a bit of advice on two separate topics:

Seat belts - I have got a 1973 500R, which was imported to the UK just over two years ago. The car did not have seat belts when I brought it. I'm sure this question will have been asked before but does my car need seat belts for its MOT? If so, does it need both front and back or just front?

Paint - Is it possible to buy ready mixed spray cans from anywhere? I've checked the classic 500 suppliers I know and none of them seem to supply paint.

Any support or advice would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards


Idleboy08
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Old 13-03-2018   #2
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

VdL do sell a limited range:

https://www.fiat500vdlaan.nl/en/webs...?CategoryID=56

I've dealt with these although not for aerosols; colour matching and quality with cellulose was excellent.

https://www.auto-paint.co.uk/

You will need front seat-belts in a 1973 car.
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Old 14-03-2018   #3
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

I have just fitted the seatbelts from Van der laan. 94 the set ,they are 3 point fixing. Does your car have anchor points already? If so they will be B pillar and floorpan. You will need to find a suitable point to fix the reel. I found a good point which was bottom of the B pillar but up against the base of the rear seat. A hole can be drilled which comes out front of the rear wheel arch
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Old 14-03-2018   #4
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

As far as I am aware, rear seat belts are not required for the MOT---I have a 500L (1972) which has no rear seat-belts and the lack of them has never been commented on by a variety of MOT examiners. I am not aware of any propriety seat belt kits for the rear seats of a 500.
With regard to front seat belts, you will probably find a captive nut on the 'B' pillar (the one just behind the door). If it has not been used, there will probably plastic blanking plug in it. The reel can be bolted to the vertical panel just under the rear seats---drill through and bolt through panel with a LARGE washer under the head of the bolt (to spread the load. The bottom eye on the extending belt can utilise this bolt to locate it. (that's how it is on my car). The 'stalk' with the lock mechanism will bolt through the floor (again, probably into a captive nut) just behind the seat, up against the central tunnel--you just have to make a hole in the carpet for the bolt to go through.
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Old 14-03-2018   #5
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

Hi Hobbler (Tom)

Here are some shots of the rear seat set up I have, (grand kids safety), got these lap belts from VDL and you can see the large plate washers underneath the car for the drilled through fixings. Very straight forward, just a case of finding a clear drill point. You're right Tom there is no legal requirement (UK) to fit rears, in these old cars if they were not originally designed with them, but once they are fitted they become part of the car and must be correct to pass an MOT.

The front seat inertia belts went straight into the existing fixture points. I was able to use 2 large 'L' brackets that conveniently came with the lap belts, to space the reels far enough back to ensure the fronts seats don't foul them. All works well and I feel very secure with the inertia belts, much better than the standard belt type, they just got in the way and were a mess.

Cheers
Hugh Jarce (aka Gary)
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Old 16-03-2018   #6
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

I have a 75 500R and mine did have belts (fixed rather than inertia) in the front only. I haven't changed these for inertia ones yet but they passed the first registration and subsequent mot no problems. Fixings are on the B pillar and one either side of the floor behind the seat rails for the belt end outboard and the buckle inboard by the tunnel. You should be able to find them if you pull up the rubber matting.

If you are a member of the 500 enthusiasts club there is a list of the fiat paint codes in the members area, any parts place should be able to match to that.

a couple of other potentially useful mot things
You only require one wing mirror for the mot.
I used LED 'switchback' bulbs and clear lenses in the front sidelights/ indicators as there is no sidelight bulb in the headlamps for Italian imports and you cant have amber sidelights in the uk. You can get them by googling classic car led or similar. Some people have sympathetic mot testers but this got mine through. I know there is a separate discussion on LED bulbs but that's for another day!.
I didn't need to tape up my LHD headlights, they were not sufficiently bright to cause a problem on the tester...
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Old 16-03-2018   #7
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

With regard to mirrors, I don't think you have to have any--as long as you have an internal rear-view mirror. I have passed at least 3 MOTs with NO door mirrors fitted---only a rear-view mirror.
The 'normal' headlamps on a 500 are dim enough (compared to some of the modern 'search-lights'), and low enough, that I have found that I can drive with the headlamps on full beam all the time--and NOT ONE person has ever flashed me about them. The downside of having something as low down as the 500 is that modern LED brake light are at my head height--and bugger me are they bright! The modern practice of sitting at traffic lights with ones foot on the brake-pedal instead of using the parking brake doesn't help either.
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Old 17-03-2018   #8
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Re: Seat Belts & Paint

Quote Originally Posted by the hobbler View Post
The 'normal' headlamps on a 500 are dim enough (compared to some of the modern 'search-lights'), and low enough, that I have found that I can drive with the headlamps on full beam all the time--and NOT ONE person has ever flashed me about them.
Maybe the other drivers in your neck of the woods are simply more polite and understanding of the older car. It reminds me of an issue experienced by my neighbour Bob, who is 94. He drove a car every day until last year and for several months he would regularly talk about how bright modern headlamps on oncoming cars are...and I would obviously agree...they are! But then one day he came by with his owners' manual and asked me to explain how he should turn the lights on....he's only had it for 15 years! I went across to his car and discovered that both of the bulb-filaments in both headlights were broken...he had no lights! people were obviously flashing him to say "Put your lights on you idiot".
I know it's bit mean of me but there's an anonymous DVLA helpline to report declining driving ability like that. My grand-kids are a bit safer...he's not driving anymore. The downside: it consumes half my waking hours helping him out.
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