Jump to content

Broken Cable for Automatic Seatbelt? (How much of a PITA will this be?)

Recommended Posts



Recently the passenger side seatbelt in my '94 Legacy GT got stuck at the bend in the rear when retracting, and would not continue retracting when manually cranked (the crank was tight - wouldn't move).   It was in this state for maybe a few days, after which it would try to move forward (moving a few inches), but it wouldn't go back.  


Eventually (a few more days), a big loop of the cable which should have pulled it back began spilling out into the car.   :o  The seatbelt is now loose on the track, so I'm pretty sure that the cable has either become detached, or has broken.




Without tearing the entire car apart quite yet, does anyone know what kind of a job I'm in for here?   Can the cable be replaced separately, or am I looking for a replacement track assembly?  The motor seems fine, I've never had any problems with it up until now.  Unfortunately, since the cable is broken/detached, I can't just crank it to the rear and leave it - I have to do something about it or I don't have a working seatbelt.  :(


Thanks in advance.   :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

When mine went same deal as yours, i just went the the wrecking yard and got a whole motor and assembly, for around 15 bucks installed it pretty simply, and never had a problem again, i didnt look to much into fixing mine. Easier for me to just replace the whole track motor assembly 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

should only need to remove the trim pieces around the door frame to see what is going on, possibly the seat to get down low - but yeah, what coolskaterkid said, probably easier to swap it out than to try to repair.


I would offer up the one out of my old car, but it quit working a long time ago - luckily in the closed position...had to unbuckle it to get in the car, then buckle it back up...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.   I lucked out, and the semi-local junkyard had one.  ;)  For the price, you're right, it isn't even worth it to take the old one apart and see if the cable alone is replaceable.


My replacement works, but sticks slightly as it travels, right at the bend near the top of the windshield.  Is there a particular lubricant that is recommended/safe to put in the tracks?  I suspect it is a result of sitting outside for years in Wisconsin, in a car without windows. ;)  It continues its direction, forward or backwards to the end of the track, with a little bit of a push past that spot.   Technically I could return it and swap for another from the same yard, but it's a 50/50 with the one other one they had, and I'm happy enough with this one that it wouldn't be worth the time to do it all again.




For anyone who finds this thread in the future, here are a couple extra pieces of information for the swap:

  • As always, it works best to take the junkyard car apart FIRST, so that you know how it comes apart before doing your own.
  • The large trim piece that goes up the windshield pillar and across the top of the door has clips which hold it.  The part above the window is released by pulling straight down, parallel to the glass.  The part that goes along the windshield pillar, however, pulls straight out.   You have to pull the window part down first, then the pillar part out, as the bottom of the pillar part is held captive by the dashboard.
  • The sun visor, sun visor clip, and the grab handle all have to be removed.
  • The support bracket for the grab handle (underneath the headliner) has to have one of the two screws removed, and the other loosened, after which you can swivel the bracket upward to get to the track screw which is underneath that bracket.
  • The headliner is in the way, and although you can pull it out enough for the job, even if you are careful, you will likely see lines or creases in it when you are done.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now