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dugan50, Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 60
Experience:  35 yrs experienced shop owner / technician
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what would cause seat belts to not be able to pull out and hook up

Resolved Question:

what would cause seat belts to not be able to pull out and hook up
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  dugan50 replied 10 years ago.
Usually when the seat belts lock up, it's because they have retracted into the retractor in the twisted position. In the twisted position, the fabric is twice as thick and the mechanism thinks it's fully retracted, and locks the belt. You will need to get access to the seat belt retractor assembly itself and manually wind them tighter a little more to release the locking mechanism.
I am enclosing a generic picture of where they are (in the "B" pillar) so you can see what I am talking about. There aren't any good tech manuals with photos of this that I could find, but I'll keep looking
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
i think the problem is electrical because i have had it apart. both sides wont move. even when the seatbelts are buckled the seatbelt light stays on.i found a box under the dash where the wires from the seat belts go.was wondering if box could be bad.
Expert:  dugan50 replied 10 years ago.
Is the airbag light on also?. Although your vehicle does not have seat belt pretensioners, the systems are interconnected through the seat belt light.
The seat belt reminder lamp also serves as a backup for the airbag indicator lamp. About twenty seconds after the ignition switch is turned to the On position, if an inoperative airbag indicator lamp circuit was detected during the bulb test sequence, the instrument cluster circuitry will flash the seat belt reminder lamp on and off for about thirty seconds .

If the seat belt reminder lamp stays on after flashing for thirty seconds , or comes on at any time other than about twenty seconds after the initial ignition-on sequence, it indicates an airbag system fault has been detected and that the airbag indicator lamp is inoperative.
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Expert:  dugan50 replied 10 years ago.
Looking a little deeper, I found a recal for 1999 vehicles. Depending onthe production date, your vehicel may qualify. (I am assuming it's a 2500 B Van)

August 2001

Dealer Service Instructions for:

Safety Recall No. 978 -- Front Seat Belt Retractors


1999 (AB) Dodge Ram Van/Wagon

NOTE :This recall applies only to the above vehicles built from December 18, 1998 through January 29, 1999 (MDH 1218XX through 0129XX)


One or both of the front seat belt retractor assemblies on about 150,000 of the above vehicles may not comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 209. An improperly manufactured internal lever may not lock the seat belt retractor. This could allow increased risk of injury to a front seat occupant in certain accident conditions.


The front seat belt retractor assembly(s) must be replaced.

You will need to check with your local dodge dealer tomorrow to see if your truck qualifies.