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Econoline throttle cable adapter bracket

I wanted to replace the accelerator rod setup on my 64 Econoline with a cable one so I built this very simple adapter to use the existing pedal assembly, since these photos I have changed the washer and spring setup to look a little neater but it works incredibly well.

I fitted a pair of Rivnuts to the front valence and bolted the bracket to them, the original pedal arm on the assembly rests on the bracket and I used a bolt to attach the cable end and spring to the original assembly arm.

This is the bracket, its very simple but effective!

Cable detail from above:

Spring detail from above:

Bracket attachment to Valence:

D&D disk brake conversion and master cylinder upgrade kits – My experience with them.

This post is about my personal experience with fitting the D&D brake and master cylinder conversion kits on an early ford Econoline, it is not a guide and I take no responsibility for anything you learn here. I fitted this with a mate and couldn’t have done it alone.

Overall I am very pleased with the kits, my van now stops straight and perfectly everytime I feel so much safer driving it however the instructions are somewhat lacking and miss a few key points.

General Notes:

I chose to powder coat my brackets, they are well made items but unpainted and personally I don’t want mine rusting away under the van.

DO NOT USE A PRESS for any of the installation, it isn’t needed and will do more damage than good.

Disk conversion kit:

1. If you press the studs out of the drums you risk destroying the hubs, so remove the drums you will need to cut the “Swage” from around the studs, to do this I used a bench drill with a 5/8″ hole cutter and the pilot drill removed, I ran the stud inside the hole saw and it cut the studs out perfectly. But make sure you don’t go too far as you will either damage the hubs or shatter the hole saw.

Once these are drilled out tap the hub from the drum with a hammer.

2. It is imperative that the holes in the Jeep disks are 5/8″ unfortunately due to manufacturing tollerances this cannot be assumed so ream or drill out these holes to 5/8″ (16mm) mine were close but not all uniformed. The kit would not assemble correctly without drilling these out.

3. Do not press the new studs in, tap them in with a hammer, in fact you don’t need a press for this kit at all! If you press them in you risk damaging the hubs and shattering the new disks.

I would suggest laying a wheel on the bench, assembling the components (studs, disks and hubs) tapping the studs through and tightening them up with wheel nuts, this will make sure that the whole lot goes together true.

4. While you have your van in the air and in pieces clean your suspension components and grease your kingpins, it will significantly improve the ride.

5. The recommended brake hoses do not fit they are too short, we simply relocated the the brackets to the chassis and welded them in however I am told that the 4WD S10 Blazer flexi’s are longer and may work.

The completed disk conversion with relocated flexi hose bracket:

Master cylinder kit:

1. With the supplied cylinder the larger port goes to the rear brakes this at the rear of the vehicle when fitted and the smaller to the front (the one at the pushrod end).
D&D supply a short adapter hose for the rear brakes which we put a proportioning valve on and ran straight to the rears but in theory you don’t need this and could just use a straight coupler.

If I were to do this again though I’d use a T-piece sending one line to the rears and one to a brake pressure switch binning the mechanical switch supplied.

The front outlet comes with an adapter to make it work with a standard inverted flare 3/8 fitting which I ran to a T-piece sending one line left and one right.

2. The aluminium turned caps just need pushing into the master cylinder gently until you feel resistance, they don’t need to be pushed all the way in as it’s a low pressure feed, try to source angled hose barbs for these. I cut down straight ones.

3. I fitted my resorvoir in the cab, I drilled a couple of holes in the cab floor and ran the hoses up to a resorvoir behind the front panel.

You need brake feeder pipe between the reservoir and the master cylinder, do not use fuel hose or anything else it will perish. I bought aircooled vw beetle hoses as they are readily available but summit do sell it.

Make sure there are no kinks or tight bends in the hose so the fluid can fall down to the master cylinder.

4. My pedal free play was massive, I understand there should be around 1mm free play at the master cylinder but even with the eccentric nut this was too much giving a very floppy pedal, We added 5mm to the pushrod by welding a section of M8 bolt shaft in which solved it. Obviously you may not have this issue and if you do you’d need to calculate the correct length yourself.

5. Bleeding, bleeding bloody bleeding! when fitting these kits I replaced everything front and back, shoes, pipes, cylinders, flexi’s the lot which meant lots of air and bleeding was an absolute ass, we ended up backfeeding fluid with a syring into the front lines to get it to start bleeding so I’d suggest following the advice and bench bleeding the MC beforehand.

Completed master cylinder kit:

I hope this post helps someone as this is a great way to add some stopping power to your 1961-67 Econoline.

Raspberry Pi 3 (stretch) and Wirelessthings sensors

After successfully running for 18 months my SD card failed probably due to the amount of mysql data read/writes. Luckily it failed read only so I didn’t loose too much data however I decided to start fresh using rasbian stretch and an external mysql table on a traditional drive (Not an SD Card) so here is a little guide of what I did again it assumes you have no mouse, keyboard or monitor attached and is correct as of December 2017

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Prepare the Pi:

1. Download the latest Raspbean Stretch Image and Using your favourite method, prepare your SD card using the downloaded image for the Pi (I used Etcher on my laptop).

2. Add an empty file to the boot folder called “SSH”

3. Plug an ethernet cable into the Pi and connect to a router serving DHCP and Boot your Pi using the newly prepared SD card.

4. Using a network scanner (or login to your router) to determine the IP address of your Pi, I use fing on my smartphone.

5. Log into the pi using SSH in OSX type

SSH pi@IP Address

and use the password “raspberry”

6. type

sudo raspi-config

Change User Password – Follow Prompts to set a new password

Localisation Options – set your timezone and wifi country

Interfacing options > Serial – Turn OFF serial prompt but turn ON Serial Hardware

Interfacing options > VNC – Disable VNC Server as using tightVNC

Exit raspi-config and reboot when prompted.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Configure VNC:

1. to Install VNC Viewer type

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

2. If you want to change the VNC port type

sudo nano /usr/bin/vncserver

find the line

$vncPort = 5900 + $displayNumber;

and change 5900 to the port you want to use, I use 59000 which equated to 59001 in real life. Press Ctrl>X, Y, Enter to save and exit nano

3. To make VNC run from boot you need to create a script, type

sudo nano vnc.sh

paste the following into it;

#!/bin/sh
vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24 -dpi 96

save and exit nano, type

sudo chmod 755 vnc.sh

then type

./vnc.sh

and you will be prompted to enter a VNC password.

Type

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

add these lines after the commented section


# Auto run VNC
sudo /home/pi/./vnc.sh &

save and exit nano, reboot and VNC should now run from startup!

4. You can now connect to your Pi using VNC! so VNC into your Pi and set a static IP using the network settings GUI in the top right of the screen and reboot, the next few steps can be done through SSH or terminal in VNC its up to you.

Configure Webserver and PhpMyadmin:

As I am initially only using the RPi to collect sensor data and write it to an external mysql table and web server I have skipped this step but left its heading in.

I used my Synology NAS and installed MariaDB and web station (Apache)

Setup Shares:

1. we are going to setup samba shares to make moving scripts etc easier, so install samba

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin -y

2. once installed type

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

scroll down and make sure you have the correct workgroup (I just use WORKGROUP) and that Wins Support is enabled.

3. to be safe you should only add your pi user so type

smbpasswd -a

and enter your desired password, if you do want to add the root user type

sudo smbpasswd -a

4. to add shared folders type

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

and at the bottom add the code:

[www]
comment=www Share
path=var/www/
browseable=Yes
writeable=Yes
only guest=no
create mask=0777
directory mask=0777
public=no

[RootFolder]
comment=Root Folder Share
path=/
browseable=Yes
writeable=Yes
only guest=no
create mask=0777
directory mask=0777
public=no

5. You should now be able to connect to these shares using standard UNC paths from your windows or macintosh computers

Setup the “Slice of Radio” (Wireless message bridge)

Because of a change to the way the Pi 3 uses Uart, we need a workaround to get the Slice of radio working.

1. type

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and add

# Change device tree to enable slice of radio
dtoverlay=pi3-miniuart-bt

to the end of the file then reboot

sudo reboot

If you haven’t installed your slice of radio yet, shut down your Pi and fit it

sudo shutdown 0 otherwise reboot the Pi sudo reboot

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3. next we need to setup your radios, If you’ve already done this skip to step 5 otherwise dowload launchpad from github and copy it to your pi, this is a collection of gui python scripts used to configure your wireless sensors. I have put mine in home/pi/launchpad using vnc in terminal run

gksudo python LaunchPad.py

to fire it up. (using gksudo rather than sudo fixes display 0.0 errors caused by running X programs on VNC, you may not need this if using a monitor.)

4. In LaunchPad, Click on message bridge and hit start wait a minute, then click on Configuration wizard (If this is a rebuild rather than fresh install you can skip configuration and just install minicom to check the sensors are responding) then select “serial” in the next window you can configure your sensors, press the configure button on a sensor for one second, wait for it to communicate with wireless bridge and follow the on screen setup, repeat for each sensor. Once you are finished exit LaunchPad

5. next we install minicom to test communication with your sensors is working correctly so type

sudo apt-get install minicom -y

once installed we need to run

minicom -b 9600 -o -D /dev/ttyAMA0

This will open minicom and if all is well you will see your sensors responding, remember they will only report as often as you have told them to so you may need to be patient! Exit minicom when you are happy that the sensors are responding.

Ctrl A, X

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 19.53.13

BACKUP your SD Card:

At this point I’d recommend backing up your SD card image and archiving it, also I would suggest a Cron job to backup any scripts you write to an external destination.

Summary

That is kind of it for configuration, you now have a Pi 3 running the latest Raspbian, you have sensors attached and reporting,.

Originally I followed this project to get me going http://www.lourenco.eu/temperature/instructions.html but I have since ditched it in place of my own version.

References:
http://www.briandorey.com/post/Raspberry-Pi-3-UART-Boot-Overlay-Part-Two

Tutorial – Install PhpMyAdmin on your Raspberry Pi

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Beets installation on Synology NAS

I recently discovered the Synology community which contains some excellent packages to enhance the capability of a Synology NAS however although listed the “beets” package doesn’t appear on my DS215j so after doing some digging and figuring out an easy way to install it I thought I’d share that knowledge.

I take no responsibility for damage to your system I am just sharing what I have learned.

First using package centre ensure python is installed on your NAS (I am using “python” from the community repo but “python3” should work aswell) and that telnet (not recommended) or SSH access is enabled.

I used the guide from primalcortex.wordpress to install pip but in a nutshell.

ssh into you NAS and type wget https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py to get the pip installer, then run sudo python get-pip.py to install pip

Once this is done you can install beets by typing sudo pip install beets then install requests (for fetchart to work) by typing sudo pip install requests

beets is now installed, to check its working type beet version this will return the beets and python version numbers and any active plugins (There won’t be any yet!)

Next we need to edit the beets config type beet config -p this will tell you the location of the config file you’ll need to copy this and edit it off the synology to edit it.

type cp /var/services/homes/admin/.config/beets/config.yaml /volume1/music/config.yaml to copy the blank file into the music folder, using my PC I edited the file to contain this: (You will need to edit this to reflect your folder structure and where you want the files to live!)

directory: /volume1/music/music
library: /volume1/music/music/beets.db
plugins: [fromfilename, discogs, fetchart, embedart]

Once edited save the file on the NAS in “music” and run the following  cp /volume1/music/config.yaml /var/services/homes/admin/.config/beets/config.yaml  this will overwrite the blank config file with the one in “music”.

You can now import your files, I have around 100GB of music in /volume1/music/old so I ran beet import /volume1/music/old -qg this automatic import took a long time (Several hours) and imported around 45GB of files, running beet import /volume1/music/old -qg imported another 10GB relatively quickly (A couple of hours)

Unfortunately once the Autotagging has run you’ll need to do a manual import and search to import the rest of the files using the command beet import /volume1/music/old once this starts you will be prompted to import media, unfortunately this process in laborious but its the price you’ll pay for an organised media collection. The one really useful feature missing from beets would be for an option to automatically skip duplicates but prompt for everything else!

Anyway hopefully this will be useful to someone!

1964 Ford Econoline

Here is my latest acquisition, I sold the Cortina and bought this 64 Econoline, its the second I’ve owned and was originally a 240ci straight six with a 9″ rear but is now a 302 V8 with C4 automatic from a Mach 1 Mustang.

I have been working to finish it, make safe and do a good job of. It’s taken a hell of allot longer than I expected for a “running road legal vehicle” but there was so much that needed doing/redoing to make it safe, I’ve pretty much finished the engine mechanical side but it still needs allot of work and at some point an interior and paint.

Here are a few pictures, it’s pretty bare atm with little to no interior but it goes like a rocket and is noisy as all hell.

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Raspberry Pi 3 (Jesse) and Wirelessthings sensors

After all the issues migrating Wheezy over I decided to start from scratch with the Pi 3 and my wirelessthings sensors. This guide is pretty poorly written but is step by step everything I did. it assumes you have no mouse, keyboard or monitor attached.


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This post is correct as of the 9th of april 2016

Prepare the Pi:

1. Download the latest Raspbean Jessie Image and Using your favourite method, prepare your SD card using the downloaded image for the Pi (I used Apple Pi Baker other GUIs are available).

2. Plug an ethernet cable into the Pi and connect to a router serving DHCP and Boot your Pi using the newly prepared SD card.

3. Using a network scanner (or login to your router) to determine the IP address of your Pi, I use fing on my smartphone.

4. Log into the pi using SSH in OSX type

SSH pi@IP Address

and use the password “raspberry”

5. type

sudo raspi-config

select Internationalisation Options and set your timezone then go into Advanced options and turn ON serial! Exit raspi-config and reboot your Pi when prompted

It is good practice to expand your filesystem at this point however I haven’t found raspi-config GUI very good at this so run:

raspi-config --expand-rootfs and reboot when finished

6. SSH back into your pi run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

7. Change the default password! type

passwd

and enter your old password followed by your new one as prompted!

Configure VNC:

1. to Install VNC Viewer type

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

2. If you want to change the VNC port type

sudo nano /usr/bin/vncserver

find the line

$vncPort = 5900 + $displayNumber;

and change 5900 to the port you want to use, I use 59000 which equated to 59001 in real life. Press Ctrl>X, Y, Enter to save and exit nano

3. To make VNC run from boot you need to create a script, type

sudo nano vnc.sh

paste the following into it;

#!/bin/sh
vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24 -dpi 96

save and exit nano, type

sudo chmod 755 vnc.sh

then type

./vnc.sh

and you will be prompted to enter a VNC password.

Type

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

add these lines after the commented section


# Auto run VNC
sudo /home/pi/./vnc.sh &

save and exit nano, reboot and VNC should now run from startup!

4. You can now connect to your Pi using VNC! so VNC into your Pi and set a static IP using the network settings GUI in the top right of the screen and reboot, the next few steps can be done through SSH or terminal in VNC its up to you.

Configure Webserver and PhpMyadmin:

1. install apache server

sudo apt-get install apache2 apache2-doc apache2-utils -y

then install support packages

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php-pear php5-xcache -y

finally install php mysql connectivity

sudo apt-get install php5-mysql -y

2. install mysql server

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client -y

you will me prompted for a mysql password during installation.

3. install phpmyadmin

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin -y

when prompted select yes and enter the password you chose above, then specify a phpmyadmin password.

4. we now need to configure phpmyadmin

nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

scroll to the bottom and add the following line

Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf

save and exit nano

5. Restart apache

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

and you should be good to go!

Setup Shares:

1. we are going to setup samba shares to make moving scripts etc easier, so install samba

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin -y

2. once installed type

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

scroll down and make sure you have the correct workgroup (I just use WORKGROUP) and that Wins Support is enabled.

3. to be safe you should only add your pi user so type

smbpasswd -a

and enter your desired password, if you do want to add the root user type

sudo smbpasswd -a

4. to add shared folders type

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

and at the bottom add the code:

[www]
comment=www Share
path=var/www/
browseable=Yes
writeable=Yes
only guest=no
create mask=0777
directory mask=0777
public=no

[RootFolder]
comment=Root Folder Share
path=/
browseable=Yes
writeable=Yes
only guest=no
create mask=0777
directory mask=0777
public=no

5. You should now be able to connect to these shares using standard UNC paths from your windows or macintosh computers

Setup the “Slice of Radio” (Wireless message bridge)

Beacuse of a change to the way the Pi 3 uses Uart, we need a workaround to get the Slice of radio working.

1. type

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and add

# Change device tree to enable slice of radio
dtoverlay=pi3-miniuart-bt

to the end of the file then reboot

sudo reboot

2. we now need to disable the serial prompt in a non standard way so type

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

comment out the line in this file and add:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait

Save and exit nano

If you haven’t installed your slice of radio yet, shut down your Pi and fit it

sudo shutdown 0 otherwise reboot the Pi sudo reboot

IMG_20160410_095022_1460278476747_1
3. next we need to setup your radios, If you’ve already done this skip to step 5 otherwise dowload launchpad from wirelessthings and copy it to your pi, this is a collection of gui python scripts used to configure your wireless sensors. I have put mine in home/pi/launchpad using vnc in terminal run

gksudo python LaunchPad.py

to fire it up. (using gksudo rather than sudo fixes display 0.0 errors caused by running X programs on VNC, you may not need this if using a monitor.)

4. In LaunchPad, Click on message bridge and hit start wait a second, then click on Configuration wizard (ignore the message stating “Message bridge not found”) then select “serial” in the next window you can configure your sensors, press the configure button on a sensor for one second, wait for it to communicate with wireless bridge and follow the on screen setup, repeat for each sensor. Once you are finished exit LaunchPad

5. next we install minicom to test communication with your sensors is working correctly so type

sudo apt-get install minicom -y

once installed we need to run

minicom -b 9600 -o -D /dev/ttyAMA0

This will open minicom and if all is well you will see your sensors responding, remember they will only report as often as you have told them to so you may need to be patient! Exit minicom when you are happy that the sensors are responding.

Ctrl A, X

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 19.53.13

BACKUP your SD Card:

At this point I’d recommend backing up your SD card image and archiving it:

Apache2 optimisation:

you can disable unused modules to speed up apache2, I disabled these but it’s made no difference.

sudo a2dismod autoindex -f
sudo a2dismod auth_basic -f
sudo a2dismod status -f
sudo a2dismod deflate -f
sudo a2dismod ssl -f
sudo a2dismod authz_default -f

Summary

Thats kind of it for configuration, you now have a Pi 3 running the latest Raspbian, you have sensors attached and reporting, you have a webserver installed, mysql, php and python so you can do with it what you like!

Originally I followed this project to get me going http://www.lourenco.eu/temperature/instructions.html but I have since ditched it in place of my own version.

References:
http://www.briandorey.com/post/Raspberry-Pi-3-UART-Boot-Overlay-Part-Two

Tutorial – Install PhpMyAdmin on your Raspberry Pi

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1972 Mk3 Ford Cortina for sale

Originally a 1600L this car had a 2ltr Sierra engine and type 9 gearbox professionally fitted around 10 years ago. Its a nippy car that Runs perfectly with a progresive webber and stainless exhaust.

Its stock height and besides the inertia seatbelts its the Original Interior, they are also the original wheels.

The suspension has been poly bushed and it has adjustable tension Gas Shocks fitted giving it great road handling compared to the standard cortina, however its still really comfortable for day to day driving.

It is in great condition generally and has been resprayed at some point in its life, it does need a small repair to a wing, one sill and rear arches (not MOT fails) but it comes with brand new sills and rear arch repair panels, I had planned on getting these done but never got round to it as they really arent that bad.

Located in North Hertfordshire

£5000

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Wireless Hot Water Temperature sensor

I wanted to add hot water temperature to my raspberry pi powered “Pimometer” but wirelessthings dont make a suitable XRF sensor.

I decided to buy a standard wirelessthings temperature sensor, unsoldered the thermistor and added a flying lead resoldering the thermistor to this, making sure to insulate the legs of the thermistor.

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Luckily (or not) our hot water cylinder has no insulation around the immersion heater at the top of the tank, using some thermal paste i attached it to the bare metal and taped it in place with some foil tape. I then added it to my pi and left it to get some readings.

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The final step was making sure the readings are relatively accurate, using a thermometer under the hot water i compared the real life temperature to the readings on the pi and to my suprise they are are only a couple of degrees out so definitely accurate enough for what I need.

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After seven days of data logging i lagged the hot water cylinder to see if there was any significant improvement in heat retention.

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NOTE: When first testing this setup I didn’t use thernal paste, the readings were around 30% out which was nowhere near accurate enough, by adding the thermal paste and angling the bead of the thermistor it has improved this considerably.

Hog 1000 backlight replacement (retrofit Cold Cathode with LED)

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The backlight on my Hog 1000 died, this is not surprising considering its age and the fact that backlights do eventually die! Sadly the inverter and cold cathode tube for this console are no longer available so I decided to replace it with some LED strip!

I first removed the main PCB then the LCD, I de-soldered the inverter and took the cold cathode tube out of the casing.

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LCD with tube mounted

I removed the foil that covered the tube and slid a strip of daylight LED tape into the aluminum holder (covering the terminals on the tape and the cable where it exits) with some PVC tape.

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Test fitting the LED tape

Finally I found a12vdc supply from the rear PCB and I put the console back together!

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It works a treat and is very bright, you can’t control how bright it is from the console anymore and it doesn’t automatically switch off when the console is inactive but beggars cannot be choosers and it works brilliantly!

To get around the dimming issue I have ordered a 12v LED dimmer switch online and plan to fit it just under one of the wooden side panels. I did consider taking a feed from the other LCD backlights so that they dimmed and turned off together in the end I decided it was safer to leave them as they were and not fiddle too much!

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Better than new!

Inertia seatbelts in a Mk3 Cortina

So you want to fit front and rear inertia seatbelts in your Mk3 ford Cortina? Well it’s relatively easy and here is how I did it!

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The fronts are a simple straight swap but its worth mentioning that they should have a long solid buckle link as otherwise they don’t do up if you are a little on the large side and the inertia reel needs to function vertically, I just bought generic three point inertia seatbelts online.

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The rears need to be a three point type but without the extra top guide so that the inertia reel sits on the parcel shelf and functions horizontally, they also need short webbing buckles.

Originally I bought some securon rear seatbelts which were apparently Cortina fit however the webbing on the buckles was too long so they fouled on our child seat. I ended up buying generic intertia seatbelts online and removing the top guides.

Seatbelt mounting holes are already there under the rear seats, the reel itself sits on the parcel shelf and bolts through the holes already in place. I also added some extra very thick large seatbelt mount washers for added security!

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