Seat belt retractor broke, Replace, leave it or is there another option?

tkruger

Master Mechanic
May 6, 2015
276
43
NY
The passenger side seat belt retractor lever broke on my 1987 Monte Carlo. What does it take to replace these? Is it worth it to make them work as they should? Is there a way to update these to a modern seatbelt that does not use these retractors? I also need to replace a few trim pieces on the seatbelts so if replacement is an option now is the time to do it. If it is better to fix it then all the trim will be done now too, This car is a driver, not a show car.
 

Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
7,146
113
Spring, Texas
The passenger side seat belt retractor lever broke on my 1987 Monte Carlo. What does it take to replace these? Is it worth it to make them work as they should? Is there a way to update these to a modern seatbelt that does not use these retractors? I also need to replace a few trim pieces on the seatbelts so if replacement is an option now is the time to do it. If it is better to fix it then all the trim will be done now too, This car is a driver, not a show car.
The replacement seatbelts don't use the retractor lever. The stock seatbelt locks if the door comes open, to keep you from flying out of the car. The replacement seatbelts are like what are in modern cars in that bumps cause them to lock as well as pulling on them fast. They take some getting used to.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,767
113
Two phillips head screws hold the lever in the door jamb. There's a gasket behind it, and check the screw holes as years of hiding may show some rust around the holes and the backside.

If you're lucky, you can get the old one out and put a new one in from the jamb, but I've never been lucky. I have always taken the rear seat and lower side panel off to gain access to ensure the flexible rod got placed correctly.

They make a new repro for the driver side that Gbodyparts sells, but for whatever reason, they don't for the passenger side.

GM p/n you seek would be 20020378 for passenger side. (20020379 for driver side p/n)

 
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