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Discussion Starter #1
We're finally to the point where we can make some road trips with my 7 yr old daughter in the Nova. Currently she needs to be in a booster seat. The booster is normally held in place (along with her) by a rear shoulder/lap belt combo. The '73 obviously only has a rear lap belt. How can I safely add a shoulder belt to the center rear seating position. Being a hatch might make matters trickier. Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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If you have a welder it might be easier (and less visually altered) to weld in the metal hooks in between the seat cushion and back rest. Just a thought, but would require a welder

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Discussion Starter #4
If I could find a child seat that retains the 5 point feature at higher heights/weights, that would solve the problem. When they are in this configuration a lap type belt is all that's required to hold the child seat in place. The child seat then has the 5 point harness built into it. The problem is after kids reach a certain height/weight, these child seats are meant to convert into a booster seat. The 5 point harness is removed and now relies on the standard shoulder/lap combo belt to hold everything (child and booster) in place...Novas unfortunately lacking the rear shoulder belt.
 

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If I could find a child seat that retains the 5 point feature at higher heights/weights, that would solve the problem. When they are in this configuration a lap type belt is all that's required to hold the child seat in place. The child seat then has the 5 point harness built into it. The problem is after kids reach a certain height/weight, these child seats are meant to convert into a booster seat. The 5 point harness is removed and now relies on the standard shoulder/lap combo belt to hold everything (child and booster) in place...Novas unfortunately lacking the rear shoulder belt.
Totally understand your point and I know this doesn't solve the original desire of the added shoulder strap as far as the child's restraint, but for the booster seat itself i feel like these are much more secure.
Here's pictures of my youngest sons booster with the clips I was talking about and the "hooks" in between the cushions I was referring to. With the car seats and boosters I've used over the years there has always been slack in the seat itself when only belted in, i remember one time my sons seat (when he was like 3) actually tipped over around a corner and it was belted in. Since then I only use the hooks, clip them on and pull the straps and they don't budge.
But obviously this is only the seat itself and not strapping the child in. Just a thought, either way if you wouldn't mind giving a update if you go through with something on this as I would like to see the outcome!


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Discussion Starter #6
Those hooks are part of the LATCH system that cars have had since the early 2000s. I agree, they're much more secure than just using the belt. I could add those if I use a car seat tailored to her height/weight. Incidentally, I did find one that she will fit in but it only has about 4 more inches to go before she'll be too high for it as well. I tossed around the idea of adding a short "rollbar" of sorts that would be just below the level of the fold-down rear seat. A 5-point racing harness could be attached to this. Furthermore, would it be feasible to simply run the top shoulder straps of a 5 point harness over the top of the fold-down seat back and anchor them to the floor behind the seat? Random ideas I've had.
 

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For a booster, the latch feature is just a convenience to keep the booster from sliding around when the kid is not in it. It does nothing to retain the child in an accident.

I am not familiar with the rear body structure of the hatch configuration. Do you have any photos you could share of what it looks like with the seat up and seat down? I suspect to get a shoulder harness you may need to add a mounting point to the sail panel area. You could then use a tether-style harness attached to the sail panel with a retractor anchored to the floor behind the seat and keep the other two mounting points the same. Is there some kind of side-latch that keeps the back up? Perhaps you could attach a bracket from there to hold onto the belt. Whatever you do will have to create a solid structure because shoulder belts can see thousands of pounds of force in an accident.

You could add a "harness bar" like you're talking about but it would take up a good deal of your hatch space.

Adding 3pt belts to the backseat for the my Nova was an investment I continue to feel very good about. My kids started in child seats, then boosters, and now one of them has grown to sitting back there with no booster at all. The 3pt belts keep them secure. Here is how my belts installed: REAR 3pt Seat Belt Install Morris Classics Here is another version: 3 point retractable rear seat belt install
 

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would it be feasible to simply run the top shoulder straps of a 5 point harness over the top of the fold-down seat back and anchor them to the floor behind the seat? Random ideas I've had.
You do not want to run the top straps straight over and down the back of the seat to the floor This will put the spine in compression and can cause injury. The top straps of a 4/5/6 point harness are supposed to be mounted within a few inches of the shoulders, with an angle up to 10 degrees below horizontal. If you run a very long strap back to the rear of the car someplace, you might be able to achieve a shallow enough angle, but then you will have a lot of extra strap that will stretch in an accident.
 
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